Kingston 17 June 2019 – The Minister of the Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has expressed sadness at the passing of Conroy Cooper, the founder of Fab 5 band.
Minister Grange said:
“I was sad to hear of the passing of Conroy Cooper, an exceptionally talented musician, producer, composer and arranger, whose contribution to the development of Jamaican music has been immense.
Cooper was instrumental in introducing our music to new audiences abroad when he led the first tour of Germany by a Jamaican band, the Reggaes (which later became Fab 5).
His work in advertising, creating memorable radio jingles; his work in the theatre composing and arranging music for several productions, including national pantomimes; his work in the studio as a performer and with several artistes including Ernie Smith, Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari attest to his vision, his creativity and the range of his contribution to Jamaica’s music.
I offer sincerest condolences to his family, especially to his children and his brother Grub, the current leader of Fab 5.”
Conroy Cooper was 74.
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
Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius November 29, 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says the admission of Reggae music to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, is a tribute to the Jamaican people and to all those who have been exponents of the different genres that have emerged from the roots of Reggae.
Minister’s comment followed news of the inscription of Reggae at the 13th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Republic of Mauritius on Thursday.
However, the Minister stressed that “a special tribute must be made to the Rastafari community which has been recognised globally as the chief practitioners who have contributed, in a major way, to the evolution of Reggae. They carried the messages of peace, hope, love and one-ness that have made Reggae loved and ‘RASpected’ world-wide.”
Minister Grange said:
“As a genre, Reggae music reflects the influences of Kumina chants and songs, Revival tambourines and hymns, and the drumming and chanting of Rastafarians. The heavy bassline, which is associated with the strains of Reggae, have strong Rastafarian influences. Indeed, artistes such as Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, who emerged on Jamaica’s music scene in the mid to late 1950’s are to be acknowledged and recognised for their contribution to Reggae’s unique sound and how it has evolved.
While in the beginning Reggae was the voice of the marginalised, the music is now played and embraced by a wide cross-section of genders, ethnic and religious groups, and the recognition of its contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamism of the musical form.
The power of Reggae could clearly be seen when Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ turned the entire meeting of UNESCO’s Inter Governmental Committee into a song-and-dance party. The basic social functions of the music – as a vehicle for social commentary, a cathartic practice — have not changed, and the music continues to act as a voice for all.
Jamaica can be truly proud that it has given to the world many Reggae icons including Robert Nesta Marley, created a musical genre that has been inscribed to UNESCO’s Representative List of Humanity and which has penetrated all corners of the world and a new religion in the form of Rastafari.”
Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius November 26, 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has arrived in the Republic of Mauritius for the 13th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which began today (Monday, 26 November).
The Committee will consider, among other things, Jamaica's submission for the inscription of Reggae music on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
According to Minister Grange, “Reggae is uniquely Jamaican. It is a music that we have created that has penetrated all corners of the world. It is important that we safeguard and protect Reggae music.”
Jamaica’s nomination is one of 40 to be decided on by the Committee which ensures the implementation to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003).
The Convention promotes the safeguarding of traditions and living expressions handed down from generation to generation, including oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.
Minister Grange, who is first Jamaican Minister to be elected to the Committee, says she’s “happy to make the case to UNESCO for the inscription of Jamaica’s Reggae Music as our intangible cultural heritage.”
Minister Grange said the intention is to ensure that “Reggae music is recognised worldwide as the creative output of the Jamaican people.”
The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity now has 399 elements including Maroon Heritage of Moore Town which was inscribed in 2008.
The Committee will end its deliberations on Saturday, 1 December 2018.
Kingston, 17 October 2018 –The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has hailed the “historic achievement” of Jamaica’s team which qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup this evening after defeating Panama on penalty kicks in Texas.
Minister noted that “the Reggae Girls have become the first Caribbean team to qualify for the Women’s World Cup, an achievement that is well deserved and comes after overcoming several challenges and working very hard.”
Jamaica defeated Panama in a penalty-kick shootout in the third-place match of the 2018 CONCACAF Women's Championship.
The Reggae Girlz won the tie-breaker 4-2.
Minister Grange said:
“This is a glorious day. Words cannot truly describe this historic achievement by this group of young ladies, who through sheer grit and determination in a game in which both teams went all out for victory, came out victorious. Dallas, USA may be miles away, but at my office, we followed every kick, every tackle, every goal until that final penalty kick landed in the back of the goal.
“It was a total team effort. But special commendation to the goal scorers Khadija Shaw and 16 year old Jody Brown.
"The Reggae Girls have represented Jamaica well and we look forward to welcoming them home and to their performance in France in 2019.”
Minister Grange also congratulated the JFF as well as the coaching and support staff.