The Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music (CPR) will launch the 2011 Community conversation Series with a forum titled Who Mash-Up Reggae: Reining in the Arms-House Artists. The forum takes place on Tuesday March 22 at 3Ten Lounge, located at 310 Bowery, between Bleecker and Houston Streets in lower Manhattan. Two years ago, CPR launched the Community Conversation Series with a forum titled Could Dancehall be the Ruination of Reggae and by extension the Jamaica Brand? Since then, the significance of the question has been demonstrated in many ways with the conviction of Buju Banton being the latest. What is next? Where is the music headed? Can reggae reform itself or must the community take on the challenge of taking responsibility for reining in the “arms house” artists?
In his keynote presentation at CPR’s Reggae Month reception on February 22, the day of the Banton verdict, Musgrave Medalist Dermott Hussey drew parallels between Banton’s conviction and contemporary Dancehall’s sullied reputation when he said “the music has been sidetracked by homophobia, misogyny and violence, and in a year when we have lost greats like Sugar Minott and Gregory Isaacs, what happened to Buju further damages our music.” In Billboard Biz, veteran Rastafarian reggae artist Tony Rebel is quoted as saying “this is a sad day for our music, our culture, and for Rastafari.”
Don’t miss the first installment of the 2011 Community Conversation Series when an esteemed panel (panelists to be announced later) will dissect the issue and offer answers. The evening begins at 6:30pm with a meet and greet, and will include a showcase of emerging artists. Mark your calendar for March 22 and plan to be on hand for an engaging evening of reasoning in the quest to preserve reggae music and arrest the lyrical deviations away from roots reggae’s expressions of empowerment for the downtrodden.
The Community Conversation Series is free and open to the public. All are welcome.