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.

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Tuff Gong Studio, Saint Andrew

Tuff Gong International’s Making of the Music Tour is an engaging behind the scenes look at the record-making process from rehearsal to album. The studio was founded by Bob in 1965. Its name is derived from Bob’s nickname “The Gong” which he shares with Rastafari founder Leonard “The Gong” Howell, and tuff you had to be to survive in the Jamaican music business. Tuff Gong boasts one of the planet’s few remaining operational vinyl record manufacturing plants and is one of the Caribbean’s largest recording studios. Artistes, musicians, producers and tourists travel from all over the world to see and use this studio because it is said to have a special creative vibe; maybe since its mixing board is the same one used by Bob on all of his records. Since its inception, Bob Marley and Tuff Gong International have sold millions of records and continue to do so with many of Bob’s children following in his musical footsteps and still recording at the studio today.

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Bob Marley Museum, Saint Andrew

Jamaica is the birthplace of globally renowned reggae singer, songwriter and guitarist Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley. He bought a house at 56 Hope Road in Liguanea, St. Andrew in 1975 and it was his home until his death in 1981 from metastatic melanoma. Six years later his wife Rita Marley converted the property into a museum to celebrate the life and treasures of her late husband. Thirty years later it has welcomed hundreds of thousands of guests- many in awe, thirsty for knowledge, or the simply curious. I first visited in March 2017 with a mixture of all 3.

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