On December 12, 2015, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova announced the induction of 47 cities from 33 countries as new members of the UNESCO Creative Network. Cities such as Adelaide, Australia and Medellin, Colombia, were acknowledged for their work in one of seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music. Kingston was chosen as one of those cities for its accomplishments in music—no surprise there!
Here’s why we think Jamaica’s induction for music is well deserved.
The music that has grown out of Jamaica is known to cross borders and cultures. We blend rhythm and blues, jazz, calypso, African music and other genres to make a sound of our very own—one that resonates with people around the world. The sound system culture, which originated in Jamaica in the 1950’s, has graced radio stations across seas. Dancehall has become a thriving subculture throughout Japan. The world plays Bob Marley’s music 35 years after his death.
Chronixx, Kenznamdi and Kelissa, Skip Marley and Addis Pablo are just a few of the fresh talents emerging from Jamaica. We’ve watched as Chronixx rose to international superstardom this year. Skip Marley, grandson to Bob, released a well-received single this year, Cry to Me. Brother and sister duo Kenznamdi and Kelissa recently partnered with Walshy Fire of Major Lazer for an upcoming project. Addis Pablo was featured in Vogue’s story on the revival of reggae. Exciting developments from the boys at The Alpha Institute in Kingston means that we’re pretty sure a superstar will emerge from the prestigious school in no time. We can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for these artists!
The brainchild of Damian Marley (son of Bob), the annual Jamrock Cruise brings together reggae lovers from around the world for five days of nonstop performances. The 2016 lineup, announced during this year’s cruise, will include performances by Jr. Reid, Mr. Vegas, J. Boog, Collie Buddz and Mavado.
Yes, we’ve mentioned Bob Marley in each of the above points. But he deserves his own space, with an exclamation point. Legend, the Bob Marley and the Wailers compilation album released in 1984, has spent 393 non-consecutive weeks on “The Billboard 200” album chart. That’s the fourth-longest run in history. We are in constant awe of our most famous musician and Jamaican culture ambassador.
Feature image captured by Kevin Yatarola