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International Reggae Conference to be held at UWI Mona

University of the West Indies | 2013-02-06 00:00:00

The Institute of Caribbean Studies and the Reggae Studies Unit, in association with the Office of the Principal at the University of the West Indies, Mona will host the third International Reggae Conference from February 14-16, 2013 at the UWI, Mona Campus. The International Reggae Conference is being hosted under the theme “Traditional and Emerging Themes in Popular Music”.  

As a seminal component of the activities for Reggae Month and Black History Month, the International Reggae Conference and associated events will consolidate and disseminate knowledge on Jamaican music culture and associated music forms and reflect on Jamaica’s attainment of 50 years of independence and beyond.  It will also celebrate the 68th anniversary of the birth of Jamaica's premier cultural ambassador, the Hon. Robert Nesta Marley, with the hosting of the Annual Bob Marley Lecture, in affiliation with the Bob Marley Foundation.  In addition, IRC2013 will highlight the international spread of Reggae music and culture in affiliation with Europe’s acclaimed Rototom Sunsplash Festival, as it celebrates 20 years of showcasing reggae lifestyle and culture.
Academics, researchers, artistes, musicians, scholars, cultural practitioners, entrepreneurs, journalists, students and music lovers from around the world will share their experiences and perspectives on Jamaican music. The IRC2013 will also explore particular aspects of music creation and dissemination to assess the trends affecting the movement of reggae and dancehall internationally and highlight valuable strategies for enhancing the development of cultural/creative music enterprises.

Over its three-day staging the IRC2013 will feature a fully packed schedule featuring academic panels, special presentations, roundtables, showcases and a variety of cultural activities.  Some highlights include the following:-

Minister of Youth and Culture, the Hon. Lisa Hanna will address the Opening Ceremony of the conference at the Undercroft, Senate Building, UWI beginning at 10.00am on Thursday, February 14, 2013.

The Hon. Edward Seaga will deliver a special presentation titled “Wake the Town and Tell the People:  Securing our share of the Music Industry Pie in a Changing World” in the Multifunctional Room of the Main Library on Thursday, February 14, 2013 from 1.00-2.30pm.

The Mona ICT Policy Centre will convene a Special Roundtable Session titled “Reflections on Jamaica’s Sector and the Click Economy:  Technology and New Business Models” in the Multifunctional Room of the Main Library on Thursday, February 14, 2013 from 3.00pm-4.30pm.  Panelists include Clyde McKenzie, Michael Witter, Evon Mullings, Michele Thomas and Georgia Gibson-Henlin.

The Conference will feature a Rototom Sunsplash photographic exhibition “Sunsplash Music, Sunshine People” in the Assembly Hall.  It will be officially opened at 4.30pm on Thursday, February 14, 2013 in the Assembly Hall and will run for the entire conference.

The Annual Bob Marley Lecture will take place at 6pm on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at the Undercroft, UWI. Mr. Allan ‘Skill’ Cole, former Manager and Confidante of Bob Marley, and Jamaican Football Icon, will deliver the Bob Marley Lecture titled “Bob Marley:  The Man that I Know”.

Rototom Sunsplash will continue its showcase on Friday and Saturday with two panel presentations – at 2.00-3.30pm in the Multifunctional Room, Main Library on Friday, February 15 and at 2.00-3.30pm in the Assembly Hall on Saturday, February 16, 2013.  There will also be a screening of Rototom Films at 12.30-2.00pm in N1/Neville Hall Lecture Theatre on Saturday, February 16, 2013.

Renowned musician, Peter Ashbourne, and Friends will weave a musical journey with their showcase titled “A Musical Overview of the Development of Jamaican Music” from 12.30-2.00pm in the Old Dramatic Theatre on Friday, February 15, 2013.

There will be a special Jamaican Music Industry Roundtable Session, featuring veteran Jamaican music producers Bunny Lee, King Jammys, Bobby Digital and Baby G, from 4.00-5.30pm on Friday, February 15, 2013 in the Assembly Hall.

The Conference will host a Book Launch and Entertainment Showcase event at 6pm in the Assembly Hall on Friday, February 15, 2013.  The Book Launch will feature a re-launch of several books and the launch of International Reggae:  Current and Future Trends in Jamaican Popular Music, edited by Donna P. Hope.  The Entertainment Showcase will feature several artistes including the Informative Historyman, Jah9, the UWI Pop Society and others.

Reggae Sumfest (Summerfest Productions), who is also a sponsor of the International Reggae Conference, will make a special presentation from 3.45-4.15pm in the Assembly Hall on Saturday, February 16, 2013.

The Conference will also feature a Reggae Village where exhibitors will showcase a variety of products for sale and where sponsors will exhibit their products.

The main conference proceedings and select presentations will be streamed live on the Internet via UWI-TV at   

All are invited to participate. 

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