CPR Reggae

CPR Reggae

CPR Reggae

Thursday, 01 September 2011 09:59

Tivoli Shocked by Dudus Guilty Plea

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Tivoli shocked by guilty plea of their former hero

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

EXPRESSIONS of shock and disbelief were etched on the faces of West Kingston residents yesterday as news emerged that drug lord Christopher 'Dudus' Coke — their one-time hero — had pleaded guilty in a Manhattan, New York court.

"What you mean he pleaded guilty; you serious; that can't be real," said a woman who identified herself as a family member of Coke.

The woman was among scores of residents in the communities of Denham Town and Tivoli Gardens who reacted to media reports that Coke had pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering in a plea bargain arrangement.

The news was particularly hard for residents of Tivoli Gardens who were still grieving the death of Coke's mother, Pauline 'Patsy' Haliburton, who died last week. Burton, who was ailing for some time, died a day after she was admitted to the Kingston Public Hospital. The former vendor had expressed fear last year that she would never get the chance to see her son again.

Kimoy Williams, a Tivoli resident, said she felt Coke made the decision to enter a guilty plea because of his mother's death. Haliburton, she said, was an important part of Coke's life and that her passing may have "left him a broken man".

Sam, also a resident of Tivoli, shared a similar sentiment. "The man's mother was the centre of his life, and now she [has] passed away; he may have given up," Sam surmised.

However, a fellow Tivoli resident, who identified herself only as Simone, said she felt Coke made the decision after he weighed his options. "I believe him know what him doing," said the woman.

But while some residents tried to guess reasons for Coke's guilty plea, others were left in disbelief.

"Then why would he do a thing like that. That no sound real; maybe it's not true?" said a man who was among a group that had gathered in the community.

A group of women who sat close to the man also queried whether he was forced to enter a guilty plea, while others said Coke apparently made the decision he felt was best for him. "A man has got to do what a man has got to do, and there is no two way about it," said Sam.

While he spoke, there were other residents who while not willing to talk to media were seen looking out from their homes with expressions of shock on their faces.


Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Tivoli-shocked-by-guilty-plea-of-their-former-hero_9579657#ixzz1WhqmBKya

Wednesday, 24 August 2011 23:33

The "Mantourage" Not good for the music

THE 'MANTOURAGE' — not good for the music

BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

FOR show promoters, unreasonable requests from some artistes seem to be a deciding factor in whether or not to book the artiste for an event.

Chief among the 'unreasonable' requests that come in from artistes is the attendant costs associated with the throng of supporters accompanying a number of reggae/dancehall artistes. The entourage of supporters, usually all men, is popularly referred to as the 'mantourage'.

According to one promoter who didn't wished to be named, "it's a big headache. Half the time we have refreshments for artistes and our VIP guests. If three artistes turn up with about 20 followers each, just imagine the chaos this will present to who we catered for," he pointed out.

On the matter of safety these artistes' followers generally escape being searched as the specially designated entrance areas ensure they bypass this procedure.

According to Headline Entertainment's Jerome Hamilton, who has booked artistes for various promoters, 'mantourages' may or may not be a problem "depending on the contractual agreement and the relationship that exists between artiste and promoter.

He did concede, however, that artistes who travel with a large following normally request a lot of tickets. If the venue is really big then it's not such a big deal, but when it's a venue that has limited capacity, it could cut into the promoter's bottom line when every ticket counts.

This problem is not restricted to Jamaica as US-based promoter Sharon Gordon, now head of (Coalition for the Preservation of Reggae Music) shared, it was the unreasonable demands and disrespect from some artistes that has seen her promoting one single event instead of the multiple productions she used to do.

One of her prime events Reggae Cabaret, an upscale event held at the Manhattan Centre in New York, was discontinued as she said she found it hard to deal with the unreasonable demands from some of the artistes she used on the bill. In addition, she found that the many followers they insisted on taking into the event in turn affected her bottom line. Now she only sticks to one event and that's Reggae Culture Salute.

"Many promoters are left holding the bag, because these artistes come with their large entourage and still expect to be paid in full and expect that their peeps should be fed and accommodated; it puts a burden on the promoters," Gordon noted.

In working to put together shows, she says she now has a new clause in place and that is how many tickets will be allocated and if artistes turn up with more people than the tickets cover, the additional cost will be deducted from their fees.

She said this was done to deter this kind of behaviour, but even then it is not a foolproof plan as "sometimes, it's your own staff that violates and allow these artistes and their 'mantourage' to enter the venue because they, the staff, tend to be in awe of them and are more fans than anything else. So it's a very difficult situation."

While some artiste use their large following as props -- seen in the audience rallying the patrons through firecrackers, torches and roars -- the reality is that with so many there as support it can give rise to unpleasant situations.

The stories are many where friction develops between the 'mantourage' and patrons or between the 'mantourages' of rival artistes.

When it comes to accommodation, promoters will sometimes find that their bill has shot through the roof as not only do these artiste book into rooms with their followers and charging it to the promoter's account, but some promoters complain about the high phone bills and other hotel charges they are faced with after the artistes and their large throng vacate the facility.

Hamilton pointed out that "people turn up and there's a problem, some artistes try to accommodate other persons not on the bill."

For Gordon it's an annoyance, and she sees this kind of behaviour as being "over the top". Added to that, she says they refuse to share rooms and demand the best.

"People must understand that for legitimate promoters, who are not in the underground economy, these requests are very exorbitant and drive up the cost of underwriting a show.

Another danger that arises from these large contingents that some artistes insist on travelling with are altercations which usually develops at the gate if any of the followers are not allowed entry to the venue.

According to Hamilton "If there's a problem, most times it's always a member of the 'mantourage' and they become the problem and soil the name and reputation of the artiste."

There's also the issue of the overcrowding of small dressing rooms which were not designed for so many people.

On a positive not Hamilton pointed out that not all 'mantourages' are disruptive, but his sole problem with the whole scenario is "when it gets in the way of work and doesn't fit in with what the promoter plans".

For Sharon Gordon, she looks for the day when the trend will be discontinued as she says it tarnishes the industry over all.

"Non Jamaicans believe that we are all like these artistes and their 'mantourage', just look at David Starkey in the UK is blaming Jamaican culture for the negative behaviour being played out in their society. As a result, many bookers and venues have chosen to stay away from reggae music, which hurts the music," she concluded".

Wednesday, 24 August 2011 23:14

VP Records Joel Chin

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He was the grandson of Vincent "Randy" Chin, who founded the successful reggae label, and signed Sean Paul, Beenie Man and Wayne Wonder.

NEW YORK -- Pat Meschino

Despite a semblance of routine Monday morning activities, the day wasn't a typical workday inside the cavernous Queens, New York offices/distribution headquarters for VP Records.

Just a week ago, on August 16 at approximately 11 PM, the label's Director of A&R Joel Chin, 35, was fatally shot in the head as he left his car parked in front of his home in Stony Hill, St. Andrew, a few miles north of Jamaica's capital Kingston. With the intention of fostering closer relationships between VP and their (predominantly) Jamaica based roster of acts, Joel relocated to Kingston about three years ago.

"You could have heard a pin drop in here yesterday; there is a sense of sadness but also a sense of togetherness," said VP's Vice President of Marketing and Promotions, Cristy Barber. "Joel had a great passion for the artists and for his projects; he cannot be replaced."

An officer at Jamaica's Constant Spring/Stony Hill Police Station who requested anonymity said investigations into Chin's murder are ongoing but thus far there aren't any suspects or any known motives for the slaying.

A songwriter and a producer, Joel also mixed songs for innumerable VP artists' releases; his exacting A&R direction contributed to acclaimed albums by several contemporary roots reggae acts including Tarrus Riley's "Parables" and "Contagious"; the latter peaked at no. 5 on the Reggae chart on August 29, 2009. Riley says that their often heated, music-related disagreements ultimately strengthened their collaborations. "I am very opinionated about how songs are mixed and we would argue about those things but it was never personal," Riley remarked on the phone from his home in Jamaica. "It was always about how are we going make the music better? Joel worked very hard because he wanted to be the best."

Joel's vast contributions to the reggae industry will be celebrated at the upcoming Reggae Rhythm and Blues concert on September 4 at Roy Wilkins Park, Jamaica, Queens, featuring R&B crooner Kenny "BabyFace" Edmonds and Riley who is slated to participate in the tribute's live segment along with his bandleader, veteran saxophonist/producer Dean Fraser. Joel deeply admired Fraser's musical expertise and regarded him as his mentor. "With the Chin family's cooperation, we will also present a video tribute featuring interviews with artists, Joel's family, and his VP colleagues," explains Bobby Clarke, one of the concert's promoters. "Joel touched every aspect of the music and played a major part in reggae's promotion, especially in New York."

Joel Chin is the first grandchild of the late Vincent "Randy" Chin and his wife Patricia, who founded VP Records (originally Randy's Records) in 1959 in Kingston. The Chins moved to New York in the late 1970s; in 1979 they opened VP Records, in Jamaica, Queens, with Vincent and Patricia's first initials forming their company's new name. Today, VP is the world's largest independent reggae label with its own physical and digital distribution services, marketing and promotions departments, touring and booking divisions and a publishing arm.

Born in Jamaica, Joel moved to New York as a child with his mother Juliet (Jadusingh) and father Clive Chin, a reggae producer best known for his work with The Wailers, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs and melodica player Augustus Pablo. As a high school student, Joel helped out at VP's retail record store, located on Jamaica Avenue, Queens. By the mid '90s he was VP's Director of A&R, working alongside his uncles, VP CEO Christopher Chin and President Randy Chin and his grandmother, Miss Pat, who is still actively involved in VP's daily operations.

Joel signed several top-tier Jamaican acts to VP including Beres Hammond, Beenie Man, Wayne Wonder and Sean Paul whose debut album Stage One was released on VP in 2000, featuring the hits "Hot Gal Today" and "Deport Them."

In 2002, VP forged a strategic partnership deal with Atlantic Records; Sean Paul's Dutty Rock, the initial release through that arrangement, has sold 2.7 according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album spun off three top 20 Billboard Hot 100 hits: "Gimme the Light" (No. 7), "Get Busy" (No. 1 for three weeks) and "Like Glue" (No. 13). The album itself peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 and spent 85 weeks on the chart. "Joel was my first A&R; he was the one at VP who really knew what was happening in the streets and the first one to really believe in me," Sean remarked in an exclusive interview with Billboard.biz on Sunday at midtown-Manhattan's Quad Studios. Sean relied on Joel's discerning skills to steer his debut production, "Blaze Fia", featuring various Jamaican artists recorded on his dancehall rhythm of the same name.

"Blaze Fia" was digitally released through Sean's Dutty Rock Productions, ironically, on the day of Joel's murder. "I left the track listing up to him because his opinions really matter to me," Sean reflected. "There are many yes men in the business, but I could always depend on Joel for a real answer. We are still trying to deal with his murder because we lost someone very special."

Dean Fraser produced the final album of Joel's abruptly halted yet nonetheless storied career. "We Remember Gregory," features 16 artists reinterpreting beloved hit songs by the late Gregory Isaacs; Joel signed on as the set's executive producer immediately after Fraser played him the tracks. Sadly, "We Remember Gregory" was also released on the day Joel was slain and Fraser, who has worked closely with Joel since 1996, was the last person to speak to him.

"Just as he drove up to his house he called to remind me to be on time for a Wednesday morning meeting; 15 minutes later I got a call that he was killed," Fraser chillingly recounted, calling from Kingston last night with his first public comments on the tragedy. "I went up to the house and he was lying there, his keys were in his hand, his cell phone beside him; it was devastating. Joel didn't have any enemies; he just loved working with Jamaican musicians and wanted the best for our music. It is just heartbreaking for this to have happened to him."

Joel Chin is survived by his parents, five siblings, his fiancé and a newborn daughter.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/vp-records-ar-director-joel-227058

Thursday, 18 August 2011 01:12

Blue Plaque Unveiling for Garvey

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Marcus Garvey was born in st Ann,s Bay, Jamaica on the 17th August 1887.From 1910 to 1912, Garvey travelled in south and central America and also lived in London from 1912- 1914 where he studied law at Birkbeck College.In 1935 Garvey moved permanently to London where he died on the 10th of June 1940.

Thursday, 18 August 2011 00:46

Joel Chin Murdered

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Joel Chin, VP Records Director of A&R, Murdered In Jamaica

August 17, 2011

By Patricia Meschino, New York

The Director of A&R for VP Records, Joel Chin, 35, was fatally shot in the head in front of his Stony Hill, St Andrew home, a few miles north of Jamaica's capital Kingston, at 10:45 PM last night (August 16) as he alighted from his car. Neighbors heard explosions and called the Stony Hill police. Chin was taken to Kingston Public Hospital where he was officially pronounced dead.

Joel Chin is the son of reggae producer Clive Chin, best known for his work with Black Uhuru and the late melodica player Augustus Pablo, and the grandson of Vincent and Patricia Chin, who founded VP Records in Kingston, Jamaica in 1959.

There is currently no known motive for his murder although an investigation is pending; the assailants remain at large.

Born in Jamaica and raised in New York, Chin joined VP Records in the mid-1990s working at the company's Queens, NY office, alongside his uncles, VP CEO Christopher Chin and President Randy Chin. He is responsible for signing some of reggae's most successful acts to the label including Beenie Man, Wayne Wonder and Sean Paul who released his debut album "Stage One" on VP in 2000.

In 2002 VP, the world's largest independent reggae label with its own distribution network and publishing arm, entered into a strategic partnership deal with Atlantic Records. Sean Paul's multiplatinum "Dutty Rock" was the first album released through that arrangement.

Chin's A&R direction played a major role in the success of VP's annual reggae compilations "Strictly The Best" and "Reggae Gold"; released on June 8, Reggae Gold 2011 has spent six weeks on the reggae chart, peaking at number one.

Chin relocated to Kingston two years ago to facilitate his work with the many VP artists residing in Jamaica's capital. In addition to his A&R direction on acclaimed albums by contemporary roots reggae artists Tarrus Riley, Duane Stephenson and Etana, Chin was also involved with production and songwriting. His final project for VP was "We Remember Gregory", a various artists tribute to the late Gregory Isaacs released yesterday (August 16) for which he served as an executive producer alongside Chris Chin.

"Joel was committed to music, so intrigued by manipulating sound," says his co-director of A&R at VP, Neil "Diamond" Edwards. "To keep his life going, to keep his spirit alive ,we have to continue to put out good music because that was all he was interested in."

Joel is survived by his mother Juliette, his father Clive, his newborn daughter, two brothers, and three sisters.  

**Reprinted from www.billboardbiz.com**


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Grange outlines plans for Jamaica’s 50th anniversary

By Sharon Gordon

Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, Jamaica’s minister of youth, sports and culture met with the media, Jamaican nationals and friends at the Jamaican Consulate in New York City on Wednesday, July 27 and gave an overview of the plans for the year-long celebrations to mark Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence in 2012.

“Our golden moment is now,” said Grange of the Jamaica 50 celebrations, which also encompass the Diaspora residing in the UK, US and Canada under the theme, “Feel the heart and soul of a nation!”

The calendar of activities will be made available via the Jamaica 50 website. However, Grange said that this was only a “preview” of the plans. The official launch will take place in September, once the celebrations for the 49th anniversary of Independence are over.

Grange spoke about the nexus between sports and culture in Jamaica, she said, “Sports and Culture are at the core of the celebration.” There are plans for a meaningful presence at the 2012 Olympics in London where a Jamaica Village will be erected in the heart of London’s Finsbury Park.”

The activities are likely to kick off in January with fireworks on the waterfront, in Kingston, Montego Bay, Port Antonio; there are also plans afoot for an Interfaith Ecumenical Service. Also on the calendar for January are special celebrations at the annual Accompong Maroon Festival and the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival.

February is Reggae Month in Jamaica and with icons Bob Marley and Dennis Brown celebrating birthdays, there are activities planned to mark their musical contribution to the culture. Jamaica Day, February 24th coincides with the birthday of Sir Alexander Bustamante and will be celebrated with an island wide focus on the “out of many one people” motto. Flag Raising activities and a restorative and community justice week will also take place in February. For March there is the Boys and Girls Champs at the National Stadium as well as the State Opening of Parliament and a book fair. From April to June there a numerous activities planned including those by JAPEX and JCDC.

International Reggae Day would be celebrated on July 1 and July 4 will mark Norman Manley’s birthday. August will see a twenty day Jamaica Independence Festival Celebration, Emancipation Day festivities, the Independence Balls in Kingston and Montego Bay which will include Street Parades. The ground breaking scheduled to take place on August 17 for Marcus Garvey Park in St Ann’s on his birthday with a completion date of August 2012. The Denbigh Agriculture Show, an all island community sports day and many more activities for all age groups.

In September there are plans to celebrate Ms. Lou’s birthday on September 7 and in October, Heritage Week and Heroes Day. There is also the Golden Exhibition a project that will involve members of the Diaspora as well as Jamaicans at home. In November, there is Restaurant Week and Remembrance Day while in December, there will be the Reggae Marathon and the National Pantomime among several other activities with more firework display on the waterfront.

She also announced the proposed plans for the redevelopment of Hope Gardens and the renovation of Ward Theatre. Grange said that there has been a commitment from the King of Spain to help underwrite the transformation of Emancipation Square in Spanish Town. There are also plans to erect a Music and Sports Museum and a state of the art Performing Arts Centre.

Grange, reminded everyone gathered that “It was a work in progress, a very ambitious programme, which will be phased over a number of years.”

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:17

CPR Initiates Youth Internship

 Can you blame my generation, subjected gentrification,
Depicting their frustrations over ill instrumentation
Cause music is the way to convey to you what I’m facing,
Placing my life in front of your eyes for your observation
Now if you can’t relate then maybe you are too complacent,
Athletes today are scared to make Muhammad Ali statements
Whats up with your motto?

Will you lead? Will you follow?
Improve your values,

Education is real power…

Taken from My Generation from the CD Distant Relatives

By Nas and Damian Marley

 

CPRLive Initiates Youth Internship

Over the years, many have cautioned that as CPR moves to preserve reggae music, special efforts should be made to involve the youth of our community. This of course seems very basic and obvious but devising an effective strategy for achieving this is quite something else. For example, while many have commented favorable about youth participation at our community forums, others have lamented the level of engagement coming from the youth. However, when invited to suggest ways to address that situation, that’s where it becomes challenging.

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??Perhaps we have not yet found the solution to that particular challenge but we are quite excited about My Generation, the broadcasting project recently announced and set to be previewed on August 19 in a week long celebration of the birthday of Marcus Garvey. My Generation will offer a weekly presentation of youth programming on CPRLive every Friday from 7:00PM to 10:00PM. This programming will be conceived, researched, developed, produced and presented by youth between the ages of 12 and 21 for youth and the young at heart.

My generation is the leading edge of a more expansive internship program which will engage youth in all aspects of the operation at CPRLive. CPR has already established itself as a work site in the Federal Work study program and will engage college students from the metropolitan New York area in all aspects of its operations. Production assistants will conduct research and otherwise assist in the production of the new programming being introduced to CPRLive as well as the existing ones; students from the communications and marketing arena will help shape the image of CPR and CPRLive and get the word out about the work and the programs they offer; technologists will help advance the use of technology by CPR and CPRLive.

To make all of this work, CPR must contribute to the interns’ schooling not only with the training and experience they will receive but also financially and that’s where you come in. As a membership driven organization, CPR depends largely on memberships and donations from the community to conduct its work. The federal work study program requires that worksites contribute a portion of the stipend the students receive and we need your support for this portion of the youth initiative to succeed.

If the longest journey begins with a first step, then for CPR, the launch of My Generation is the first step toward a vibrant youth initiative and development of a youth audience for roots reggae music. For this journey to be completed however, the community must make real the motto of CPR, ‘Working Together to Make Things Work’. Please visit our website and make your donation to the internship program.

“We, jah people can make it work (if we) come together, and make it work,” Bob Marley    


Wednesday, 13 July 2011 15:18

Steel Pulse Delivers The Perfect Show

 

Steel Pulse Delivers the Perfect Show

By Sharon Gordon


July 1st, celebrated around the world as International Reggae Day, is a most fitting of
days for a free reggae concert in the park and as fate would have it, that was the day
chosen by Celebrate Brooklyn for roots reggae icon Steel Pulse to perform a free concert
at Prospect Park's Band Shell in Brooklyn. With lines beginning to form as early as 3pm
for a concert scheduled to begin at 7:30pm, one could tell it was going to be a nice
vibe. With a steady stream of fans turning over the suggested $3 donation at the gate,
the Band Shell quickly filled to capacity once the gates opened at around 6:30PM. No
worries; folks spread their blankets or stood under trees and before you knew it, there
were more people outside the band shell than there were inside. As far as the eyes could
see, there were people: adults, children, babies, old folks, disabled folks, white
folks,black folks, Asians, dreadlocks,Rastafarians, you name it they were in Prospect
Park forSteel Pulse.

 

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"This is further evidence that people are thirsty and hungry for roots
reggae music and its message of hope," says noted journalist and CPRLive London 
correspondent, Pablo Assab; and roots reggae music they got. Steel Pulse did not
disappoint the thousands who were "Steppin' Out!"  Lead singer and front man, David Hinds
sounded as crisp as he did twenty plus years ago as he delved into their rich repertoire
unleashing classics, like "Rally Round," "Roller Skates," "Leggo Beast," "Steppin Out,"
"Chant a Pslam," the romantic "Your House" and many more. There was continuous cheers and
applause from the audience as they sang along word for word. David took time out of the
set to recognize the 30th anniversary of the passing of reggae icon, Bob Marley and the
group paid tribute in song with a splendid rendition of Natty Dread.  According to one
patron, "This was the perfect show! Steel Pulse came and delivered classic Steel Pulse
music to the fans!" For many, this was a night they will not soon forget.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011 14:20

More Culture Studies Needed in Schools

More culture studies needed in schools

BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ON the recent season of TVJ's School's Challenge Quiz, Excelsior and Charlemont High Schools found themselves being unable to identify songs from the catalogue of the iconic, Jamaican, reggae king Bob Marley. This was repeated in a subsequent match between Gaynstead High and Clarendon College -- during their face-off both failed to identify Bob Marley songs.

The following day, the social network Facebook lit up with comments from disappointed music lovers as they couldn't believe the schools could have missed the chance to identify the late singer's songs.

New York Media marketing consultant Dave Rodney believes the problem lies in schools not placing more emphasis on our own culture as a part of the curriculum.

"What has gone wrong, are we asking too much of our high school students?" Rodney questions.

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But Sharon Gordon, chair and co-founder of the Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music, (CPR) rubbished this as she posted her comment, "For those who are saying this is a new generation ... excuse me ... didn't we learn about Bach, Beethoven, Shakespeare, Mozart, et al ... in school .. my literature classes were full of learning about folks who lived eons ago...so tell me...am I missing something here...why do we continue to give this generation a pass and wonder what is happening to our island and even more our world? I do worry!"

In a follow-up interview on the topic Rodney said that more needs to be done to incorporate Jamaican culture in the curriculum of schools. "We appear to be at a point now where information that is not required for examinations is deleted in a hurry and that is sad. And Schools Challenge Quiz can do a lot more to promote Jamaican culture by replacing much of the Hollywood questions with chunks from the fascinating repository of Jamaican heritage, folklore, theatre and cinema. In a bizarre observation, I find that my relatives attending high school in Japan know a lot more about Jamaican culture that relatives at school in Jamaica," Rodney pointed out.

Sharon Gordon believes the situation is no laughing matter and stressed that it should be seen as a "desperate situation".

"We have fed these children junk and that is what they regurgitate," pointed out Gordon.

Jamaica Observer columnist Clyde McKenzie stressed that there is need for some courses on Jamaican culture in school.

"Part of our problem is that we don't tend to put sufficient emphasis on the formal side."

McKenzie also shared that in watching Schools Challenge Quiz he noted that a photograph of jazz great Ernie Ranglin was shown for the students to identify -- "none of the schools could answer!" McKenzie exclaimed.

"This is a serious indictment on our education system. No way children at that level could not identify that great Jamaican, something is seriously wrong with us," he stressed adding that the powers that be need to look at how we celebrate some of the greats among us.

"We need a course such as 'On whose shoulders we stand' -- a course on Jamaican culture where we learn about the contribution of some of these individuals," McKenzie said.

He also shared that there was a need for a book on some of the most pioneering, "not necessarily the popular, but those who have done important and pioneering things. A lot of greats works have not been properly recorded," were his comments.

Marketer and media consultant in New York Anthony Turner cited this blunder as a definite cause for concern and signs of a "deeper problem".

"The fact is that Jamaicans at home probably know less about our music and its history than others outside our community who have taken the time to study and educate themselves about the music."

Turner shared in the concensus that music history, particularly reggae music history, must be taught in all our high schools and institutions of higher learning.

"Our youngster-must be taught in a structured school curriculum about the genesis of our great reggae music. They need to be taught about the contributions of pioneers like Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Freddie McGregor and Gregory Issacs and the role that Cedric Brooks, Coxone Dodd, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Millie Small, Sonia Pottinger, Burning Spear, Sly and Robbie or even a tour manager like Copeland Forbes played to help export our music beyond the shores of Jamaica. This is the only way that the industry will thrive and be able to attract professionals lawyers, accountants, marketers, artiste managers and others that are needed to help the industry reach new heights.

Another Observer columnist Charles Campbell believes the situation has arisen because "Like the hero Marcus Garvey, the Jamaican power structure who controls both the media and education system, has been very ambivalent about the redemptive qualities and features of Bob Marley's legacy."

"In Bob's case, this is complicated by a strong prejudice against all things (and people) associated with Rastafari. In their minds, to teach or promote his music, exposes too much about the hypocrisy of our society, and would be implicit of an acknowledgement of Rastafarians' social and cultural contribution to our progress as a people, and our tremendous international identity."

"They only use his image to exploit his international appeal. The daily musical selection, of public radio and the sound systems that provide music for events, are so restricted, that one rarely hears a reggae song that's older than 10 years. That's why, for instance, many people wish that Bob Marley is never formally elevated into a national hero, fearing that this would be used to further suppress his most definitive works, which speak out loudly against oppression and discrimination in our societies," Campbell concluded.

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