MESSAGE BY THE HONOURABLE OLIVIA GRANGE, CD, MP
MINISTER OF CULTURE, GENDER, ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORT
FOR INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY
30 April 2019
Today, we celebrate International Jazz Day and the power of the music to bring people together in love, peace and unity.
We also celebrate the influence of Jazz on Jamaican music and the contribution of Jamaican musicians to Jazz internationally.
Our musicians such as Bertie King, Dizzy Reece, Monty Alexander and Ernie Ranglin established themselves internationally — long before ska, rock steady and Reggae captivated the world.
Those early Jazz musicians set the foundation for Bob Marley and others to place Jamaica at the top of the international music scene.
Today the Reggae music of Jamaica is at the centre of brand Jamaica.
In celebration of International Jazz Day, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport joins the Edna Manley School of Visual and Performing Arts in staging a Concert at Devon House this evening.
We’re happy to have the acclaimed Trombonist Steve Turre join with our local Jazz musicians for what promises to be a great evening of music.
I hope you’ll join us.
Olivia Grange, CD, MP
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport
Kingston 16 April 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed sadness at the devastation by fire of the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, France.
Minister Grange said she was “truly saddened to see images of the fire that ravaged the Notre-Dame” and that the “ruin of the World Heritage Site, which took centuries to construct, was a blow to humanity.”
She added: “I express sympathy to the people of France, particularly those who worship at the cathedral, which is considered one of the great architectural achievements of humanity."
Minister Grange noted that this devastation has come just a few days before we celebrate World Heritage Day on Thursday, 18 April 2019, by highlighting our important cultural monuments and sites.
Kingston 27 January 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says Jamaica endorses the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019”.
The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is an initiative of the Government of the Republic of Ghana which is intended to encourage people of African descent to visit Africa.
Speaking at the Caribbean launch of the Year of Return in Kingston on Sunday (today), Minister Grange said:
“Jamaica looks forward to a successful Year of Return and we will work with Ghana towards a successful year. Jamaica observes the International Decade of People of African Descent and so it is all very timely that we work together.
“We are connected. Ghana was a major hub for the transatlantic slave trade from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and we are happy that you have opened the door this year for people in the African Diaspora to return.”
“And as Jamaicans, we’re proud to see that our Reggae music will form the soundtrack for the Year of Return.”
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Ghana, Her Excellency Catherine Afeku said it was important to begin the Year of Return programme for the Caribbean in Jamaica.
Minister Afeku said:
“This is the Maroon country where liberation struggles started even before Independence. So we started here for symbolism. We want to invite you home, but we want to invite you coming back with that sense of strength that you are a descendant that survived.”
Minister Afeku said the Year of Return was an opportunity to highlight the strength of African peoples who survived the transatlantic slave trade.
According to her, “We have scientists who are the descendants of slaves, we have astronauts who are descendants of slaves. We have the Bob Marleys who are the descendants of slaves. We have the Usain Bolts who are the descendants of slaves. That is a positive story.”
The Ghanaian Minister is encouraging Jamaicans to make a pilgrimage to Africa, beginning with her country, even once in their lifetime.
“Ghana is opening its arms. Ghana is opening its doors. We want you to come and take a heritage that belongs to you. So it is not a favour, it is yours. We are here to assure you that you can make a home on the continent starting with Ghana,” said Minister Afeku.
Minister Grange said consideration is being given for direct flights between Jamaica and Ghana in support of the Year of Return initiative.
The year-long celebrations include music and food festivals, summits, investment fora and product exhibitions.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has said that thirty-one natural and cultural world heritage sites across 29 countries are vulnerable to a range of climate change related impacts.