Entertainment

IRD goes Dub

Thursday, June 01, 2017

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DUB — the Jamaican music form — takes the spotlight for this year's staging of International Reggae Day (IRD) on July 1.Created by reggae insider Andrea Davis in 1994, the event is a global festival which encourages media planners to dedicate a significant portion of their playlists and programmes to the promotion of reggae in all its forms over a 24-hour period.

“We chose to focus on dub this year as it is a slice of the Jamaican music catalogue with a large segment of the reggae audience, even in Jamaica, is not aware of. We just wanted to highlight the work of its innovators who, like many other proponents of our music, have really worked to take our music to all parts of the globe, and we just feeel that sometimes they don't get their just rewards. This is not the first time we are focussing on a particular segment of the music. In the past, we have paid particular attention to rocksteady as well as the work of the sound system as we celebrate International Reggae Day,” Davis told the Jamaica Observer.

Davis said this year IRD will salute and honour dub innovators King Tubby, Hopeton “Scientist” Brown, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Errol “ET” Thompson, Gladstone “Gladdy” Anderson, Neil “Mad Professor” Frazer, Jack Ruby, Sir Coxsone Outernational, Jah Shaka Sound System, U Roy, Stur Gav Sound System, Agustus Pablo, and Big Youth.

Dub poets who have assisted in spreading the music form are also being recognised. Folklorist Miss Lou, Michael Smith, Mutabaruka, Oku Onuora, Linton “Kwesi” Johnson, Jean “Binta” Breeze, Benjamin Zephania and Lillian Allen are those to be honoured on International Reggae Day.

Davis said the response to the event has been growing globally over the years and this year is no different.

“Everything is shaping up nicely. Media partners are still registering as we speak... eager to be part of the movement. Among the cities and countries we already have received responses from are New York, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Soweto. As usual, the numbers grow in the weeks and days leading up to July 1,” she said.

Davis pointed out that, unlike other years, when there was a forum and workshop discussing matters related to reggae, this year this educational component is being undertaken via the broadcast media, with a number of panel discussions being planned globally. Other activities to observe International Reggae Day include the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to reggae singer Beres Hammond, and the continued commitment to the natural environment with the tree-planting challenge.

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