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Sound Systems On Show In Reggae Month

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, makes a point during a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, held at the agency’s head office in Kingston on Friday (January 24), to discuss Reggae Month activities.

An event titled, ‘Echoes of Sound Systems’, will be held at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston, on Saturday, February 29.

It is one of the many events to celebrate this year’s Reggae Month (February), being held under the theme ‘Come Ketch di Riddim’. During February, there will be 29 days of Reggae day-and-night activities islandwide.

Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on Friday (January 24) at the agency’s head office in Kingston, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, said the sound system was the base and root of Jamaican music.

“When we could not promote live music, we were able to use the sound system to build a vibe in the dance hall, and on that we built the whole evolution of our music,” she said.

Miss Grange pointed out that the event will not be “a clash” but one “to spread love and to embrace the past, present and the future”.

Sound systems became popular in the 1950s in the parish of Kingston and involve a group of disc jockeys, engineers and MCs playing different genres of music.

“The sound system era was not only about friendly rivalry but it was also about unity,” she said, noting that the Reggae Month event will begin in the evening and continue until “early in the morning”.

Meanwhile, Miss Grange said there will be a number of signature events to include an official church service, Reggae Wednesdays, Reggae Gospel Concert, Bob Marley 75th Birthday celebrations, Dennis Brown Floral Tribute and the Children of the Icons Tour stop in Kingston, Montego Bay, Falmouth, Mandeville and Port Antonio.

Reggae Month activities are being supported by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association, the Tourism Enhancement Fund, public- and private-sector entities, the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation and the Trelawny Municipal Corporation.


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