Press Archive

Topic: Music


Title: Reggae Artistes give back

Excerpt: Contrary to what some may think that our artistes are just for the hype and all for themselves, over the last two decades or so, an increasing number of reggae artistes have been giving back to the society by reaching out the needy and less fortunate.

Excerpt: The Ziggy Marley's organisation URGE (unlimited resources giving enlightenment) has also been giving back to the community. One dollar from each ticket sold at a concert featuring Ziggy Marley goes towards the funding of URGE projects.

Excerpt: The Bob Marley Foundation (BMF) also plays its philanthropic role recently made a donation of a Blood Gas Analyser biomedical equipment to the Victoria Jubilee Hospital to be used in the Neonatal Care Unit.

Excerpt: Lorna Wainwright, manager of the Tuff Gong International Recording Studio told the Observer that several schools in the parish of St Ann have benefited from the BMF. Marley for Education is an educational project funded by the foundation. The Foundation also provides Matthew 25:40, a home for children with HIV, with educational supplies.

Title: Tuff Gong going strong

Excerpt: INTERNATIONAL artistes of all genres have landed in Jamaica with the sole purpose of using Bob Marley-built Tuff Gong International Recording Studio on Marcus Garvey Drive in St Andrew.
So far this year, the list of artistes includes Flamingo from New Caledonia (South Pacific); Polish band Star Muffin Guard; Senegalese Meta Dia; American rock group End Of A Year; Haitian Louinel Jean; Stone Rock out of Sweden, Tom Elmhirst from London's Hokeito Productions; China Harbour Engineeering Reggae Land Production from Spain and the BBC's film crew that did a documentry on the historic recording site.

Excerpt: Tuff Gong International Studio was founded by Jamaican reggae superstar Bob Marley in 1975. Marley was affectionately called 'The Gong', which is incidentally the same nickname of the founder of the Rastafarian movement — Leonard 'The Gong' Howell.

Excerpt: However, the Tuff Gong record label was formed by the reggae group The Wailin Wailers in 1970, featuring Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh and, at different times, Junior Braithwaite, Constantine 'Vision' Walker, Beverley Kelso and Cherry Smith.
The mastering room at the complex gave birth to such songs as No Woman Nuh Cry, Trench Town Rock, Stir It Up, Concrete Jungle, Redemption Song, Buffalo Soldier and Could You Be Loved.

Title: Reggaeville Festival Guide

Excerpt: Festiville - Reggaeville Festival Guide Festivalguide with Interviews, Album-Reviews, Photos and much more... More than 70 festivals!

Title: Reggaeville Festival Guide

Excerpt: Festiville - Reggaeville Festival Guide Festivalguide with Interviews, Album-Reviews, Photos and much more... More than 70 festivals!

Title: Reggae Label Exec Launches Grammy Campaign

Excerpt: Heeding annual criticism that reggae's finest releases are oftentimes overlooked as nominees in the Grammy's best reggae album category, Cristy Barber, VP of marketing and promotions at New York-based reggae label VP Records, is spearheading a drive to educate her industry about the role of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Excerpt: Barber, a 2005 Grammy nominated producer for the various artists compilation "Def Jamaica" (Island/Def Jam) and the former president of the Marley family's Tuff Gong/Ghetto Youths labels, will commence an informational media campaign in Jamaica, Jan. 21-25, where she will meet with key industry personnel.

Excerpt: Barber is confident her efforts will improve the odds for worthy artists to receive nominations, while highlighting the finest within a genre that struggles for widespread critical and popular acclaim in the post-Marley era. "Winning a reggae Grammy," observes Barber, "offers a level of recognition that impacts sales, radio play and concert demands, essential elements in establishing a new generation of reggae stars. I wouldn't be doing the genre, the artists or Jamaica justice if I didn't embark on this campaign."

Title: Ziggy Marley Responds to Buju Banton

Excerpt: Although the crowd at UWI reportedly applauded his remarks, they were not as well received outside the lecture hall. Jamaican media as well as radio shows and websites around the world have been flooded with outraged remarks from music critics and Bob Marley’s millions of fans. When asked for his thoughts on the matter, Ziggy laughed for a long time before speaking his mind.

Excerpt: “Me love my father, you know? And me love all of my elders and my heroes. And I would never say anything to put down any of them. From Bob to Toots to Peter [Tosh] to Bunny [Wailer]. I wouldn’t say anything to put down any of those guys. You understand? I lift up them. Those are our heroes. We lift them up. We don’t put them down.”

Excerpt: McGregor also blamed the media for blowing the controversy out of proportion. “This man spoke for almost an hour and a half, and for them to take one line and take it out of context and out of perspective, I was so hurt. He also talked about Bob’s sons and the affect on their music. They are not allowed to create and develop in their own way. People always compare them to their father. I know it’s frustrating for them. And other artists have suffered because they don’t come from that lineage. The industry has kept it like that. Still to this day major record labels don’t know how to market this music.”

Title: Island Records turns 50

Excerpt: There are three huge walls full of silver, gold and multiplatinum discs hung around the staircase that leads to the small, wood- panelled bar in Chris Blackwell’s Strawberry Hill hotel, 3,000ft up Jamaica’s Blue Mountains. U2, Bob Marley, Roxy Music, Grace Jones, Black Uhuru, Bob Dylan, Aswad and many, many more are all represented. But there’s one small picture — in fact, a copy of a picture — hanging behind the bar that means more to him than all the expensively framed awards combined. In the photograph, originally taken by Nathalie Delon, ex-wife of the actor Alain Delon, Blackwell, then just 33, sits next to Marley, his brightest, biggest star. Both men are laughing at some long-forgotten joke. It is the only image of the two alone together he has.

Excerpt: “Early on, I told Bob we would never have a picture taken,” he says as we shelter from the morning sun in his private garden set within the hotel’s grounds. “It was essential for what Bob represented that he had a black manager. Then one day, in Sept ember 1980, he turned up at my house in New York — he was with Cindy [Breakspeare, the Jamaican Miss World 1976] at the time — and there was a photographer present. Bob actually asked for a picture with me, and the guy took it. But my original was destroyed in a fire last year, and the photographer won’t give me a copy. He says it’s his pension. The really sad thing is, it was that very day that Bob told me he’d been diagnosed with cancer and had just six months to live.”

Marley died 28 years ago, in May 1981. “I loved him so very much,” he says. From the look on Blackwell’s face, it could have been yesterday.

Excerpt: Ten days later, Bob Marley — “the real thing” — who had been stranded while on tour in the UK, walked into Blackwell’s office. “Bob had incredible charisma,” Blackwell says. “When he walked in a room, you knew about it. I gave the band Ł4,000 to make a record. I came down to Jamaica a few months later and the band played me the Catch a Fire album. It was one of the high points of my life.”

Excerpt: “Island happened during a golden age of music,” he says, gathering up his things. “The truth is, I didn’t do anything. I was just in the right place at the right time. I only ever wanted to turn people on to new music, new things.” His assistant comes to chivvy him along. Blackwell smiles and says: “I’m just a borderline groupie who got lucky.”

Title: Peter Buck's Missing Guitar

Excerpt: Peter's guitar went missing from the Finnair Stadium in Helsinki, Finland. Though the guitar has not yet been located, there is an active investigation and we are all hopeful that the guitar will eventually be returned. We still would like to hear from anyone with information which could assist us, which may be shared anonymously if desired:

Title: The Official Summerjam Calendar

Excerpt: featuring photos of
Sizzla, Ziggy Marley, Gentleman, Perfect,
Junior Kelly, Sebastian Sturm, Warrior King,
Morgan Heritage, Seeed, Luciano,
Turbulence, Mellow Mark & Capleton!


Title: Musician in Residence

Excerpt: The typical sounds of a hospital — metered beeps and muffled shuffling — do little to ease young patients' anxiety, depression, and discomfort. But a funky change is in the ear at UCSF Children's Hospital, which recently became the first hospital in California to hire a full-time musician-in-residence, UCSF administrators say.

Excerpt: Turow is a percussionist in Oakland's Afro-Groove Connexion and a visiting scholar at Stanford, where he has hosted symposiums about the effects of rhythm on the brain. He edited an anthology on the topic for MIT Press.

Excerpt: On his first day of volunteering, Turow already saw results: A terrified 3-year-old covered in tubes and electrodes was lulled to sleep by Turow's mbira, an African thumb piano. "With this little guy, the only option was to let him scream, drug him, or to have some other kind of intervention," he explains. "So the fact that I was able to play, and within 10 minutes he went from being hysterical to being asleep, it was completely unexpected."

Title: Reggae Revolution

Excerpt: t was only when their grandfather Perry Henzell passed away, a little over a year ago, that my children took in how significant his influence had been around the world. Of course, they knew he was the co-writer and director of Jamaica's first feature film, The Harder They Come. My son had the poster over his bed; his sister was old enough to actually watch the film. But they were a little surprised by the magnitude of the tributes and obituaries that streamed in.

Excerpt: As the film travelled, so too did its soundtrack, featuring stars such as Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker and Toots and the Maytals. Between 1973 and 1978 Bob Marley and the Wailers released landmark albums, having been signed by Chris Blackwell at Island Records. Reggae was becoming a worldwide cultural phenomenon.

Title: Is Reggae Dead?

Excerpt: But since the hullabaloo that put reggae in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, what has happened to put the much-loved music in the headlines on a more positive basis? While some within the reggae fraternity have dubbed this year “two thousand and great,” is there really much to celebrate?

Excerpt: There’s no denying that reggae is by no means considered a priority by mainstream media. Regarded by many as a ‘seasonal’ music, it can often only enjoy airplay on commercial radio stations whenever carnival rolls around. But are there any emerging reggae talents who genuinely have the potential to enjoy international stardom?

Excerpt: One person who may be able to whip up a greater sense of professionalism within the genre is Cristy Barber, who recently returned to VP Records, after seven years of working with the Marleys at their label Tuff Gong. Now the Vice President of Marketing and Promotions at VP (who have now practically corneredthe reggae market, following their takeover of Greensleeves), Barber said:

“Unless we educate ourselves on what is going on in the overall music industry, reggae as a genre will not survive. We need to start putting together well-built albums and stop compiling artist albums as if they were riddim albums. People are still thirsty for the music, but the only albums they will buy are well put together albums. That’s why people like Amy Winehouse sell records; because her album is fresh, well put together and just overall brilliant!”

Title: Island Records & Lee "Scratch" Perry

Excerpt: February is the month 49 years ago when Island Records began and in 2009 Island Records will be 50 years old. Unfortunately Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who started the label in Jamaica in 1959 sold the storied company to Polygram/Universal Records in 1999 and it has become a shell of its former self under its corporate owners. For reggae lovers worldwide Island Records’ history will always be synonymous with two people - Chris Blackwell and the artist who brought the label to prominence, Bob Marley.

Excerpt: Although Blackwell was responsible for exposing audiences worldwide to reggae music and had a strong hand in building Bob Marley’s international career, there was a maverick producer in Island’s camp - Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry aka The Upsetter. While Blackwell was responsible for bringing Ska to the table, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry arguably created the musical form we know as reggae.

Excerpt: Let’s hope the owners of Island Records realize the vast repository of music and cultural history they are sitting on in time for the label’s 50th anniversary. As The Congos song ‘La La Bam Bam’ goes -
“For thirty pieces of silver
They sold Jah Rasta
And why did they do that?
Joseph with his coat of many colours
Was cast in the pit
By his own brothers.”

Title: Rasta Revealed

Excerpt: The most recognizable face of the Rastafari movement is the late musician Bob Marley, immortalized on T-shirts and posters wearing a crocheted red, gold and green cap over natty dreadlocks in a cloud of marijuana smoke. Yet the movement, which has more than one million adherents, is "not about singing reggae," says Jake Homiak, a cultural anthropologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. "It taps into an enormously deep root—a sense of longing for a place in the world by peoples of African descent."

Excerpt: "This is a faith of extraordinary commitment," says Homiak, who describes how early Rastafarians in Jamaica were beaten and publicly humiliated. "People have sacrificed and struggled to keep this faith alive." A glass case at the Smithsonian exhibit displays such manuscripts as the Holy Piby, a proto-Rastafarian text that was widely circulated across the African diaspora before being banned in Jamaica during the 1920s.

Title: Governor General to officially declare February Reggae Month

Excerpt: "I have written to the Governor General advising him to issue a proclamation declaring the month of February Reggae Month, and I am assured that that proclamation will be issued within the next few days so that you will have full authority to put the programme together," Prime Minister Golding announced.

Excerpt: Some of the activities slated for the first observation of February as Reggae Month, include the hosting of the Reggae Academy Awards, the Bob Marley Photographic Exhibition, Africa Unite/Smile Jamaica Youth Symposium, the annual Bob Marley Lecture, the African Film Festival, the Reggae Film Festival, the annual Irie FM Reggae Music Awards and the Bob Marley Creative Expression Day.

Title: One Love: Discovering Rastafari!

Excerpt: Along with a panel of 17 Rastafarian advisers, Homiak created the exhibit to dispel the stereotype that Rastafarian culture is merely about marijuana and reggae music. On display are artifacts that represent the cultural, political and social origins of the cultural movement.

Excerpt: Can you talk about the origins of Rastafari culture?
It started with Ethiopianism, which is a philosophy that gained ground in the American colonies in the late 1700s. It emerged as the first literate blacks began to discover a way of relating and reading themselves into the Bible. The reason why these references were important to blacks is because the Bible was their only literate source at a time when they were seen as less than human. The single reference in the Bible that was most important to the flourishing of this ideology is found in Psalm 68, verse 32. It's a redemptive verse that goes "Princes shall come out of Egypt, Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God."

Excerpt: What famous Bob Marley song really exemplifies the culture and his beliefs?
One of the most important songs he ever sang is called "Jah Lives" and it was important because he sang that song when Selassie was declared dead in 1975. Marley wrote and recorded that song within two weeks of Selassie's passing. It was a statement to the world and fellow Rastafari that God could not parish off the face of the Earth and certainly not the Rasta man's conception of God. Also, when Bob Marley sang the racial song “War,” all he was doing was putting Selassie's words to music. He was singing a speech that Selassie made to the UN in October 1963.

Title: There's more to reggae than Bob Marley

Excerpt: Reggae is supposed to make you feel something, whether it's a lazy, warm-weather calm or heated outrage at injustice. The one thing reggae isn't really about is itself.

Excerpt: Which is why the snobbery that surrounds the music is strange. It spawns pointless discussions about which of reggae's permutations (ska, rocksteady, dancehall, etc.) are of greater or lesser value than others. Who the lost legends are, or whether everyone in the genre is a lost legend cowering in Bob Marley's shadow. Whether Marley is the genre's father or just its very popular uncle.

Excerpt: Most reggae performers don't seem particularly interested in talking about reggae as a genre. That might be because reggae — like its predecessors rocksteady and ska and its successor dancehall — is a mutt of a music form, borrowing from different cultures and different countries. Last year when asked what reggae records had moved him lately, Ziggy Marley didn't name one. His current listening was Green Day's American Idiot.


Title: Video: Acoustic cover of True to MySelf

Description: Three guys, three guitars, awesome acoustic cover!

Title: Video: "War/No More Trouble" - Playing for Change

Description: This song around the world features musicians who have seen and overcome conflict and hatred with love and perseverance. We dont need more trouble, what we need is love. The spirit of Bob Marley always lives on

Title: Price of Silence - Amnesty International Video

Description: A music video that brings together 16 of the worlds top musicians—some of whom have fled oppressive regimes—in a rousing musical plea to guarantee human rights for all.

The track, donated by Aterciopelados and arranged by fusion music guru Andres Levin, combines the voices of Hugh Masekela, Julieta Venegas, Stephen Marley, Angelique Kidjo, Yungchen Lhamo, Aterciopelados, Yerba Buena, Natacha Atlas, Rachid Taha, Kiran Ahluwalia, Chiwoniso and Emmanual Jal with those of U.S. artists Natalie Merchant, and Chali 2Na of Jurassic 5. Introduction by Lawrence Fishburne.

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