23 Feb 2024

Kingston, 2 February 2024 (JIS) - The Jamaica Music Museum heritage series, Grounation, will begin on Sunday (February 4) at the Institute of Jamaica Lecture Hall, 10-16 East Street, Kingston at 2:00 p.m.

The series, which is in its 12th staging, will be held each Sunday in February, under the theme ‘Music and Reasoning in Working Class Culture: Implications for Governance and Constitutional Reform’.

Each week’s discussion will be highlighted by performances from the JaMM orchestra and invited guest artistes. It will be livestreamed on the IOJ’s YouTube channel.

Director/Curator, JaMM, Herbie Miller, told JIS News that the first event will examine the topic ‘Our 61-year Independence Journey: Lessons for Creating a Jamaican Republic’.

Presenters include economist Dr. Michael Witter; political scientist and lecturer, Professor Clinton Hutton; and journalist, Earl Moxom, with journalist, George Davis, as moderator.

The February 11 session will have the theme ‘Reasoning with Creatives: Social and Cultural Expressions in Changing Times’, and the topics for February 18 and February 25 will be ‘Advocacy for Constitutional Change and Good Governance: The Importance of Creativity and Culture’ and ‘Envisioning a Jamaican Creative Republic’, respectively.

Mr. Miller said that this year’s Grounation will be a “little more enticing” than previous years, based on the number of sponsors that have come on board.

“It is just a wonderful family experience. It’s educational, entertaining and an opportunity to meet and greet old friends from last year and [reminisce about] those who have moved on. So, it’s a great experience for everybody to participate in,” he said.

Expressing his views on the discussions that will take place at the first event, Mr. Miller said that Jamaica is at a crucial point in its constitutional reform, which requires community dialogue and cultural involvement.

“So, just investigating that through music and reasoning and looking at the working class and the implications that will come with Constitutional Reform, it simply means our voices have to be in there,” he added.

Grounation is among the plethora of events being organised to celebrate Reggae Month in February.

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23 Feb 2024

Kingston, 27 January 2024 (JIS) - A $90-million partnership agreement has been signed between the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and J. Wray & Nephew Limited to provide support for Reggae Month celebrations.

J. Wray & Nephew, a subsidiary of the Campari Group, will sponsor Reggae Month in cash and kind over the next three-years.

The agreement was signed by the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange and Managing Director of J. Wray & Nephew Limited, Jean-Philippe Beyer during a ceremony held on Friday (January 26) at the Ministry’s offices at 4-6 Trafalgar Road in Kingston.

Reggae Month, which will be observed from February 1 to 29, will feature exciting activities each day.

In her remarks, Minister Grange expressed appreciation for the agreement.

“To me it’s like a dream come through, a spiritual partnership made in heaven,” she said.

Under the agreement, Minister Grange said that the Ministry will expand Reggae Month celebrations, as well as “unearth and develop new talent and provide a bigger platform to showcase Reggae singers and musicians”.

Additionally, she stated that the sponsorship agreement will create more opportunities for people to earn directly and indirectly from the music.

“This partnership will go a long way to us achieving our goal of making Reggae Month truly an all-island Festival and a worldwide brand,” she added.

For his part, Mr. Beyer said that J. Wray & Nephew has a social responsibility to Jamaica and its people.

“Our long-term commitment is the development of what we see as the three major pillars of Jamaican culture, our food and drink, sports and music,” he said, adding that the support will have a great impact on the country’s economy.

The Managing Director noted that the company will not only support the Ministry’s efforts to develop music, but also provide a separate sponsorship package for the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association.

Mr. Beyer said J. Wray & Nephew’s commitment will extend beyond the sponsorship and that programmes will be launched in challenging communities to reach the youth and to offer opportunities for aspiring musicians.

“Our goal for this talent is not only to support their artistic endeavours, but also to show their peers that there are alternatives to crimes,” he added.

END

23 Feb 2024

Kingston, 28 January 2024 (JIS) - Reggae Month 2024 will kick off with a tribute to the Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Brown, at the Vera Moodie Concert Hall, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, on Thursday (February 1).

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, made the announcement while speaking at the Reggae Month Church Service held today (January 28) at Fellowship Tabernacle, 2 Fairfield Avenue, Kingston 20.

“We have a plethora of events lined up, including tributes to Reggae icons, symposiums and a flurry of activities across the entire island, specifically Negril, renowned as the entertainment hub of Jamaica,” Minister Grange said.

Reggae Month will be observed from February 1 to 29 under the theme, ‘Come ketch di Riddim’.

The Minister informed that a highlight of the celebrations will be a Dancehall Week, endorsed by the Ministry and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission.

Dancehall Week activities will span from Tuesday, February 13 to Monday, February 19 and will include a street parade on February 18, commencing at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, 36 Hope Road, Kingston, and ending at the National Stadium, Arthur Wint Drive, Kingston.

“As we embark on the celebrations, I urge each of you to partake in these events. Show your unwavering support for Reggae music and the talented artistes championing our musical narrative,” Minister Grange said.

The Minister also urged Jamaicans to not only appreciate Reggae artistes but also “to inspire them to reach even greater heights.”

Other core events on the Reggae Month calendar include a musical tribute to Reggae Icons, a Reggae Gold Award, Dancehall awards, Young Reggae Ambassadors, Jamaica Reggae Industry Association Open University symposium and a Children of the Icons concert.

For further details on events and activities, Minister Grange encouraged Jamaicans to download the Reggae Jamaica mobile app from Google Play Store and iOs.

“The app will be our main vehicle for updating the public about the events. It will provide dates and information on the demography of events and directions from Google Map,” she added.

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23 Feb 2024

Kingston, 16 February 2023 – Children of the Icons and Emerging Artistes is more than a Reggae concert but a launching pad and mentorship platform for young artistes. This is how the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, envisioned the concert series she created in 2019. Minister Grange hoped young, aspiring musicians and artistes would benefit by being on the same stage with seasoned performers.

“We have to prepare the next generation,” said Minister Grange. “We have to expose them and help them to follow a path to success like the great pioneers of Jamaican music. And so by promoting Children of the Icons and Emerging Artistes, we are helping them to hone their skills and talent; and we are building confidence in them as future Reggae ambassadors.”

The Children of the Icons and Emerging Artistes concert series heads to Woodstock in Negril this Saturday, February 18. The Reggae Month event will feature Richie Spice as the guest artiste. The seasoned performer feels honoured to be on stage with these young artistes. “It’s a great feeling that I’m a part of this event,” said Richie Spice.

“It’s something very uplifting, very nice towards Reggae music. A lot of young artistes get to shine, show their talent. It’s uplifting. I’m so happy and humbled to be a part of it.”

“It’s a good vibration, knowing that indeed I’ve been doing the music for years and you reach a certain level in life and the younger generation can admire you and take a page out of your book and improve their lives or their careers. It’s a good vibe. It’s a good feeling.”

The show will also feature Teshay Makeda, based in South London, whose granduncle is Steve Golding, a rhythm guitarist who toured with Peter Tosh and had his own group Ossie D and Stevie G; Garnet Alkehm, the son of Roots, Reggae singer Garnet Silk; as well as Ragga Jahmari, the son of producer/ engineer Nigel Burrell.

Also performing will be emerging artistes Monifa, Jahcheff, Prince J, Mr. Universe and Kheela.

Saturday’s show will be the final instalment of the Children of the Icons and Emerging Artistes series for this Reggae Month following last week’s exciting show in Ocho Rios which featured guest artiste, Valiant.

Minister Grange said the concert series falls in line with the initiatives of Jamaica 60.

“I would say that as we celebrate our diamond jubilee, we’re Reigniting a Nation for Greatness and for Children of the Icons and Emerging Artistes we are creating a pathway to greatness as they stand on the shoulders of those who paved the way,” said Minister Grange.

END

23 Feb 2024

Kingston, 6 February 2023 – Emancipation Park in New Kingston will come alive this evening at 7 o’clock with the sweet sounds of Reggae in celebration of the birthday of Jamaica's great musical icon, Bob Marley.

The free Bob Marley birthday concert is a Reggae Month event.

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is inviting the public to "come out in your colours for this dual celebration of Reggae Month and Bob's birthday and enjoy the natural mystic flowing through the air".

"Through Reggae Month, we are able to achieve several goals: recognise the important role played by the King of Reggae whom we celebrate this evening and also celebrate the contributions of other greats such as the Crown Prince Dennis Brown, also born in February; Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Sly and Robbie, Lee Scratch Perry and so many others,” Minister Grange said.

The Bob Marley birthday concert in Emancipation Park will feature performances by Julian Marley, Marcia Griffiths, Max Romeo, George Nooks, Admiral Tibet, Capleton, Lutan Fyah, Gyptian, Etana, Droop Lion, G Whizz, Dennis Walks, and the Blak Soil Band.

The concert will be broadcast on Reggae Month TV on CVM, PBCJ, the JamVision cable channel, as well as the Facebook pages of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Honourable Olivia Grange.

Bob Marley was born on this date 78 years ago.

END

23 Feb 2024

Kingston, 26 January 2023 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says Reggae Month 2023 will have live events across the country for the entire month of February.

“It will be one month of entertainment, constantly, every day,” said Minister Grange.

Among the activities are tributes to Dennis Brown (on February 1); Bob Marley (on February 6); the weekly JARIA Wednesdays; the Children of the Icons and Emerging Artistes series; as well as the Reggae University Series.

“And it's not just entertainment, but it's also educational because we're going to be having symposia. We're going to be doing several interviews so that the public will have a better understanding of our personalities and their lives. We will have documentaries... and we will have an exhibition of dance hall posters over the years. We will also host tributes to some of our greats who have passed on, and we will have the Reggae Golden Awards. We will be awarding a number of our artistes who have contributed to Brand Jamaica and made the music what it is.”

The activities will launch with a church service this Sunday, January 29 at Fellowship Tabernacle, Fairfield Avenue in Kingston.

“We will have our praise and worship service at Fellowship Tabernacle and I'm inviting everyone to attend. It's really going to be an opportunity for us to give thanks to God and to also pray for continued health and strength and success in the sector.”

The full Reggae Month schedule is on the Reggae Jamaica app, downloadable from Google Play and the App Store.

END

23 Feb 2024

Kingston, 8 February 2022 – Reggae Month Echoes of Sound System clash blasts off with a not-to-be-missed Preliminary Round from Wednesday, February 9 to Saturday, February 12. 

The action starts at 9:00pm each evening on Reggae Month TV which is streamed on various online platforms, including the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's YouTube and Facebook pages and the Facebook pages of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and Minister Olivia Grange. The Series will also air on PBCJ each night at the same time.

Eight Sound Systems square off
Eight sound systems, including Ghetto Star, JamRock, Kush Int’l, King Rhino, Ruff Cutt, Nexxt Level, Yumi Hi-Power and Twin Star eagerly responded to social media and direct call-for-entries to battle for the coveted title of Reggae Month 2022 Champion Sound. The organisers then drew lots to determine the four clashes in the Preliminary Round.

They are as follows:
Nexxt Level vs Yumi Hi-Power
King Rhino vs Ruff Cutt; 
Ghetto Star vs JamRock 
Twin Star vs Kush Int’l

All the selectors are pumped up, super charged and ready to rumble, but at the end of the Preliminary Round, the number will be cut in half and only four sounds will be left standing. These four winning sounds will then move on to the Semi Final round and then the top two sounds will square off for bragging rights, the Reggae Month 2022 Champion Sound title, and prizes.

The winning sound will receive J$200,000; second prize J$100,000 and third prize J$50,000.

The official judging panel comprises Admiral Bailey, Skatta Burrell, Jack Scorpio and Rory (from Stone Love).

Reggae Month activities will engage audiences in the virtual space, with the month-long celebration being held under the theme ‘Come Ketch de Riddim’. Like last year’s celebration, it is expected to draw thousands of patrons to Jamaica from locations as far as Europe and Asia.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, said that the virtual celebration will enable people to “get together and feel alright, even from a distance”, as Jamaica “builds back stronger to a brighter and dynamic future”.

Reggae Month is staged by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport in collaboration with production partners the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA) and funding partners including the CHASE Fund, the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the Jamaica Tourist Board and J Wray & Nephew.

Download the Reggae Jamaica Mobile App, free of charge from the Google or Apple Store, and get real time information on Reggae Month activities including the links to Reggae Month TV broadcasts.

Wake the town and tell the people… it’s Reggae Month 2022. Come ketch de riddim!

END

23 Feb 2024

Kingston, 27 January 2022 – Reggae Month, now in its 15th year, will launch with a Church Service on Sunday, January 30, 2022 beginning at 10am.

In keeping with the current rules for religious gathering, mainly key Government Officials and Reggae Industry Stakeholders will be in attendance. The Chief congregants will include the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, and the Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett.

The service will be broadcast and streamed live on various platforms. It will feature performances by Alicia Taylor, John Mark Wiggon, and the Go for God Music Ministry.

Reggae Month 2022, which will be an official Jamaica 60 activity, will include a range of events in Jamaica and its Diaspora.

END

23 Feb 2024

Kingston, 12 January 2021 (JIS) - Reggae Month 2021 activities, to be observed in February, have been moved to the virtual space.

The month-long celebration, being held under the theme ‘Come Ketch Di Riddim Virtually’, is expected to draws thousands of patrons globally to Jamaica, from locations as far as Europe and Asia.

Speaking during a virtual launch on Sunday (January 10), Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, said that the virtual celebration will enable people to “get together and feel alright, even from a distance”, as Jamaica “builds back stronger to a brighter and dynamic future”.

“After all, we are a people of a glorious ancestry, a people who have used the experiences of our past to create reggae music, whose rhythms the world recognises and loves,” she added.

Miss Grange said the Month presents an opportunity to further increase the capacity of Jamaica’s technical creatives through virtual workshops in areas such as sound engineering, writing and stage management.

She said that training opportunities and master classes in publishing and copyright for songwriters, musicians and artistes will be a feature of this year’s Reggae Month celebrations.

“We will promote strategic interactions among the world creatives through our online university. In this way, we will expand the dialogue on the needs of the creative sector as we continue to position Reggae among the world’s most vibrant brands,” Minister Grange said.

February was officially declared as Reggae Month on January 9, 2008. This annual observance highlights and celebrates the impact of the musical genre on Jamaica’s social, cultural and economic development.

END

23 Feb 2024

Kingston, 10 January 2020 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has described the new Reggae Month App as a “game changer as the government intensifies efforts to promote Jamaica’s music to the peoples of the world.”

The App, commissioned by the Reggae Month Secretariat, is now available for download on Android and iOs devices. It provides a comprehensive list of activities being held in celebration of Reggae Month 2020 in Jamaica and its Diaspora, among other features.

Minister Grange said:
“The Reggae Month Jamaica App provides a great platform for everyone to get and share information about Reggae Month 2020, which is going to be the best staging yet. The App is very interactive and allows promoters to add their events to the list of Reggae Month activities alongside those events that are being organised by the Government of Jamaica or endorsed by the Reggae Month Secretariat.

As such, I invite all companies, artists and producers to share with us your Reggae Month plans so that they can be included, or to upload the info using the App.

I also invite every hotelier, including small properties, to position Reggae Month activities as a must-see for all our visitors during February 2020.”

To download the App, search the words ‘Reggae Month Jamaica’ in the Google Play or App Store.

Reggae Month celebrations are being led jointly by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with several stakeholders.

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Minister's charge

Let’s go re-ignited towards a great future for Jamaica with renewed faith, courage and dedication.

Olivia Grange

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  4-6 Trafalgar Road

Kingston 5

Jamaica, W.I.

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