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”

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’”

The Top 10 Free Things to Do in Kingston, Jamaica

Kingston is the largest English-speaking city south of the United States, the capital of Jamaica, and a city I’m proud to call home. Kingston is located on the island’s southeastern coast and is the heartbeat of Jamaica– the home of business, commerce, government and a spirit and culture which can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Reggae and dancehall music were born in the deep gritty slums of Kingston as a means by which the city’s most oppressed and impoverished could escape their struggles, and now the entire country, region and world pulsate to these riddims.

Continue reading “The Top 10 Free Things to Do in Kingston, Jamaica”

Long Walk to Freedom Highlights

Born in the year of ‘Til Shiloh, Buju Banton’s first album released after his conversion to the Rastafari faith, Buju is the reggae legend whose success story my generation has had the honour of witnessing. Us younger folks didn’t grow up under the likes of Bob Marley and Dennis Brown. We grew up instead knowing that life’s Not an Easy Road and learning how to walk like a Champion. Another ghetto youth who showed us that hard work and dedication to one’s craft can elevate one from poverty, Jamaicans everywhere felt disappointed when we heard the news of Buju’s USA DEA charges for conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine in 2009, especially given that we crooned the lyrics to Driver three years prior.

Continue reading “Long Walk to Freedom Highlights”

Three Days to See Kingston, Jamaica

Jamaica gets millions of tourists annually and I’m just so fortunate to #livewhereyouvacation. However, that doesn’t mean us locals take advantage of all the sights to see and things to do around our own island. Many Jamaicans (& visitors too) only associate the resort towns of Jamaica with adventure and enjoyment– Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril– which usually means big bucks and a lot of travelling for the nearly 700,000 inhabitants of Kingston, the capital city on the eastern end of the island and far from these tourism centres. However, I’m about to show you how to enjoy the city that’s right under your noses. Set aside three days and let’s enjoy Kingston as I know it!

Continue reading “Three Days to See Kingston, Jamaica”

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”

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. My Bob Marley Museum tour guide had done an excellent job at not-so-subtly dropping hints that no Bob Marley experience in Jamaica is complete without visiting the studio where it all began. Six months later I finally heeded the marketing strategy and paid a visit. 

Continue reading “Tuff Gong Studio, Saint Andrew”

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.

Continue reading “Bob Marley Museum, Saint Andrew”