Peter Tosh Museum, Saint Andrew

Peter Tosh is a platinum-selling Grammy award winning artiste and is one of the most talented reggae musicians to emerge from Jamaica. He got his claim to fame from the Wailers, a trio which also consisted of Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer. Peter Tosh was born in 1944 in Westmoreland, Jamaica’s most western parish and his life was brought to a brutal abrupt end in 1987 after a home break-in and robbery-turned-murder. Tosh had a rough start with an unstable family background, shuffled around from relative to relative based on circumstances but his musical talent emerged early despite the upheavals. Tosh is a self-taught guitarist and keyboardist who got his first real taste of music and performing when he moved to Trench Town as a teenager and met his fellow band-mates in the early 1960s. He taught them how to play, and they dabbled in ska and rocksteady before finding their calling in reggae, infusing their tunes with spiritual and political messages from their newfound conversion to the Rastafari faith.

Continue reading “Peter Tosh Museum, Saint Andrew”

Jamaica Rum Festival 2020: Recap & Highlights

Time sure flies when you’re having rum, I mean, fun. 2019 was the inaugural staging of the Jamaica Rum Festival and social media would not let me live it down that I missed it! The pictures looked epic and even my friends and colleagues were speaking about it for days. Thus, I eagerly anticipated the second staging, knowing that the event would be here to stay given all the success it had in its first showcasing and I was not left disappointed. The Caribbean produces some of the world’s best rums and our history is intricately intertwined with the spirit. Rum production dates back from the 17th century on plantations where my enslaved African ancestors toiled to produce this lovely liquor from sugarcane and its by-product molasses, and rum became the region’s chief export product after muscovado sugar.

Continue reading “Jamaica Rum Festival 2020: Recap & Highlights”

The Art Exhibit in Kingston You Need to See: ‘Jamaica, Jamaica’

Jamaica, Jamaica!: How Jamaican Music Conquered the World‘ is the latest art exhibit being shown at the National Gallery of Jamaica. It opened on February 2 and closes on June 28, 2020. It’s one of the most exciting exhibits ever launched by this gallery and was aptly opened in February, locally observed as Reggae Month. This exhibit was previously shown at Philharmonie de Paris in 2017 and titled “The General” after the 1985 hit song by artiste Brigadier. Renamed Jamaica, Jamaica! after gracing local shores, this exhibit documents how the tiny Caribbean island of Jamaica was able to become a global musical force to be reckoned with. The capital city of Kingston and venue of the exhibition is recognized as the birthplace of six distinct musical genres which led to Kingston being designated official UNESCO creative city status in 2015.

Continue reading “The Art Exhibit in Kingston You Need to See: ‘Jamaica, Jamaica’”

Montego Bay Cultural Centre, Saint James

Good things in life are discovered by chance, and that’s how I ended up spontaneously visiting the Montego Bay Cultural Centre. On my first ever visit to Jamaica’s second city, my morning commute to school led through the Sam Sharpe Square and I happened to look out the window just as we were passing the cultural centre that morning. I finished school early that same day and after alighting from a taxi in Downtown, I realized I was on what appeared to be the other side of the building.

Continue reading “Montego Bay Cultural Centre, Saint James”

A Jamaican Made Christmas Expo, Saint Andrew

A Jamaican Made Christmas is a two-day exposition put on by the National Baking Company at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, just in time for shoppers looking to purchase Christmas gifts before the season gets into full swing. This is its fourth staging and for 2018, it welcomed 100 exhibitors, giving 100 local entrepreneurs invaluable exposure.

Continue reading “A Jamaican Made Christmas Expo, Saint Andrew”

National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston

The National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) is the oldest and largest public art museum in the English-speaking Caribbean, established in 1974. It was borne out of a need to showcase the excellent talent and beauty of the Jamaican art scene, sending a powerful message to the ex-colonial powers that we too are capable of creating technically sound masterpieces to uniquely depict the Jamaican story. This gallery bears a comprehensive collection of early, modern and contemporary local art alongside smaller Caribbean and international holdings, with a significant part of its collections on permanent display. There are also frequent temporary exhibitions– the most recent of which was John Dunkley’s ‘Neither Day nor Night’ which ended on July 29.

Continue reading “National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston”

Appleton Rum Estate, Saint Elizabeth

The Joy Spence Appleton Rum Estate Experience is an elegant Jamaican cane-to-cup tour showcasing what it takes to make one of the world’s finest rums. Set in the delightful Nassau Valley in the parish of Saint Elizabeth, the Appleton Estate was established in 1749, however, it is believed that origins of the Estate date back to 1655. This rum is one of the few in the world to claim a terroir, that is, a rum 100% produced in the perfect trio of unique weather, soil and topography of the Cockpit Country which imparts a unique quality. And why is this tour named for Joy Spence might you ask? Well, she’s been with Appleton for over 30 years and is the world’s first female to be appointed Master Blender. That’s definitely a big deal.

Continue reading “Appleton Rum Estate, Saint Elizabeth”

Port Royal, Kingston

Ahoy, me hearties! Over a bottle of Jamaican rum, let’s talk about the Wickedest City of the West during her glory days, shall we?

Continue reading “Port Royal, Kingston”

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival, Saint Andrew

Jamaica’s Tourism Linkages Network through the Ministry of Tourism is on to something big with this one. The inaugural Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival is a three-day weekend affair with the main event taking place on Saturday March 24 at the cool historic military training centre of Newcastle in the Blue & John Crow Mountains National Park (BJCMNP).

Continue reading “Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival, Saint Andrew”

Trench Town Culture Yard, Saint Andrew

Jamaica’s capital city of Kingston pulsates to the beat of reggae music and its raunchier cousin, dancehall music. Both genres originated here so opportunities to enjoy and learn about their origins in Kingston are endless. Bob Marley is indisputably the world’s most famous Rastafarian and reggae’s most celebrated son. Born in the rural district of Nine Miles, St. Ann, Kingston can’t take credit for his birthplace but it can for his rise to fame. Bob Marley and his immediate family relocated to Trench Town, Kingston at age 12 in search of a better life.

Continue reading “Trench Town Culture Yard, Saint Andrew”