Marley mystic in the air

At any observance to celebrate the life and work of reggae king Bob Marley, the performance of his children is usually eagerly anticipated. Such was the case at last Thursday’s 75th birthday celebrations held at Bob Marley Museum located at 56 Hope Road in the Corporate Area.
Billed as the Marley Brothers, no one was quite sure who would take to the stage. As the final act on a full day of celebrations to kick off the year-long celebrations it was Damian, Julian and Ky-Mani who took up the mantle to represent their father, and the packed venue was not disappointed.

Missing from the line-up were older brothers Ziggy and Stephen, but the trio made up for their absence, performing with purpose and passion to an enthusiastic audience which included Marley’s widow Rita and some of their other siblings including Cedella and Rohan.

It was Damian who got the ball rolling just after 11:30 pm with songs from his own catalogue, including Justice and Nail Pon Cross. He would then segue into his father’s works War and No More Trouble before introducing Ky-Mani, who dropped Crazy Baldheads. Julian was next and he delivered Heathen and Get Up, Stand Up.

Damian returned to centre stage and this time he would introduce a slew of contemporary acts whose presence and performances sent the audience into overdrive. Capleton, Popcaan, Iba Mahr and Kabaka Pyramid represented themselves well.The brothers then returned to the stage with a strong performance of their father’s Could You Be Loved and Is This Love. Beautifully supported by vocalists Roslyn Williams and Sherita Lewis, the Marley men brought the event to a close in fine style and left their audience satisfied.

Reggae history:Pat and Randy Chin, principals of VP Records

The annual Grounation (symposia and exhibition) series will kick off today at the Institute of Jamaica. The signature event — staged by the Herbie Miller-led Jamaica Music Museum — will devote four weeks to examining the role of the Chinese in the development of Jamaican Music, under the theme: ‘Black Head Chiney Man’.
Tom “Great Sebastian” Wong provides one of the earliest examples of Chinese involvement in the Jamaican music industry . He had a store/shop at the corner of Luke Lane and Charles Street.

Tom knew the value of using music to attract customers and set up what many consider to be one of the earliest examples of the Jamaican sound system. This he did with the technical support of the great Hedley Jones, who would be responsible for the design and assembly of much of the electronic equipment used in early Jamaican studios and sound systems.

There are those who point to Ivan Chin as another example of early Chinese involvement in the nascent Jamaican music industry. Chin produced the recordings of mento star Alert Bedassee, whose risqué musical offerings “scandalised polite society” during the ’50s. Bedasee’s Night Food is considered by many to be among the first recorded Jamaican hits.

Also numbered among the pioneers is one Vincent “Randy” Chin, whose eponymous record store and studio at North Parade would produce some of the earliest classics at the dawn of Jamaican Independence with the Trinidad-originated artiste Lord Creator. One of the products of that musical collaboration was Kingston Town, which became a major international hit through a cover done by British-based group UB40.