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Join the reggae month celebrations at the Expo 2020 Dubai

Sun 06 Feb 2022    
| 2 min read

DUBAI:  Music-lovers visiting Expo 2020 Dubai 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.

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. Bob Marley’s iconic singles, ‘No Woman No Cry’, ‘Could You Be Loved’, ‘Three Little Birds’ and ‘Redemption Song’, play on repeat, and it is the beat of the nation which has connected Jamaica to the world.

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. Visitors to the pavilion can embark on a music journey and enjoy the ‘riddim’ – Jamaican Patois pronunciation of the English word ‘rhythm’ – 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.

Vivid artwork in the shipping-container-themed pavilion is inspired by Jamaica’s Annual International Reggae Poster Competition and depicts reggae’s groove and culture. 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.

However, Bob Marley, a pioneer of reggae music, was instrumental in putting his island nation and its culture on the map. Marley’s name was etched in the annals of music history when Exodus was declared album of the century by Time magazine in 1991. In 2018, Reggae music was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

Essie Gardner, Commissioner General of Jamaica at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “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.”

Reggae enjoys a global appeal, and February marks the beginning of the official reggae month in Jamaica. This is one of the reasons Jamaica will celebrate its Expo National Day on February 18, Commissioner General Gardner added.

Jamaica plans to showcase its rich reggae heritage with cultural performances throughout the month, starting with the 77th birthday celebrations of Bob Marley on February 6.

Source: Expo 2020 Website

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