Reggae Month, the annual celebration of all things reggae, kicks off in Jamaica and Expo 2020 Dubai!
Jamaica has long enjoyed a rich musical heritage and a thriving culture, with genres such as Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, Dub and Dancehall originating here and influencing music globally. Jamaican music has long been a powerful force on a global scale.
Bob Marley, a pioneer of reggae music, was instrumental in putting his island nation and its culture on the map. In 2018, Reggae music was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
February was officially declared as Reggae Month in 2008. This annual observance highlights and celebrates the impact of the musical genre on Jamaica’s social, cultural and economic development. Reggae Month, the annual celebration of all things reggae, began on 30 January 2022, with a church service. The chief congregants were launched by the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia “Babsy” Grange and the Honourable Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism of Jamaica.
Reggae month 2022 is set to be sensational and invigorating! Saluting the genre, the entire month of February is dedicated to Reggae beats, organised by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association. Every day is promised with electrifying performances, dancehall concerts and weekly shows followed by awards nights.
In an initiative to celebrate the Reggae Month, music-lovers visiting the Expo, are in for a real treat at the Jamaica Pavilion as it celebrates its reggae month in February and the birthday of legendary Jamaican singer and musician Bob Marley. Visitors to the pavilion can embark on a music journey and enjoy the ‘riddim’ of the nation, experience a recording studio vibe at the mixer board while listening to the tunes of the bass guitar and the funky sounds of the computer drum machine, as well as remixed versions of reggae songs. Guitars belonging to famous guitarist and composer Ernest Ranglin, as well as exhibits from the National Museum of Kingston, are displayed in one corner of the studio, and the wall of fame pays homage to other famous Jamaican musicians: Shaggy, Sean Paul, Ziggy Marley, Damian Marley, Daddy U-Roy, Beenie Man, Chaka Demus, and more. During the month, visitors can also enjoy multiple activities at the Jamaica Pavilion like karaoke on Bob Marley songs and various reggae songs, Reggae Treasures – a reggae treasure hunt, reggae hour and much more.
Music is ingrained in the culture of the small Caribbean nation, with reggae the rhythm that moves Jamaicans, and the pavilion, located in the Mobility District, makes a bold statement with its upbeat music, colourful exhibits and vibrant mural art.
Essie Gardner, Commissioner General of Jamaica Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, shared that, “Music is a part of our psyche in Jamaica. The youngest child will start dancing once music is played, and he will move to a rhythm. Happy or sad, Jamaicans will sing songs of joy or sadness. And we are blessed to have been able to make an impression on the world with our music. Music therefore is an integral part of the Jamaica Pavilion. The pavilion would not be as impactful without music.”
In view of the unprecedented crisis of Covid-19, the celebrations are being streamed virtually. Download the Reggae Month app here to know all the recent updates or watch the live stream at Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ) channel on YouTube.