Tue | Dec 18, 2018

Inside the Event | 20 hours to celebrate Jack Ruby - James Avenue remaining for music standout complete

Published:Friday | May 12, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Brigadier Jerry
General Trees
Josey Wales
Ninja Man
Burning Spear
Lawrence 'Jack Ruby' Lindo
Lawrence 'Jack Ruby' Lindo's grandson, Sean Kingston.

Today's second Jack Ruby Festival, subtitled The Black Experience, is slated to run just short of 24 hours.

The festival starts at 6 a.m. with radio station IRIE FM's Wake Up Call show with DJ Amber and continues all day through to a live outside broadcast on the Ocho Rios, St Ann-based station, ending at 10 p.m. Even then, the celebration continues officially until 2 a.m. on Saturday.

KaBu Ma'at Kheru, director of programmes at IRIE, said the radio station, which is spearheading recognition of the hometown music maker along what has long been known informally as Music Avenue, is literally transplanting its facilities to the location for the day.

Today is not necessarily tied to any specific dates in sound system operator and producer Lawrence 'Jack Ruby' Lindo's life.

Lindo, the operator of Jack Ruby Hi Fi, died in 1989. Among his outstanding music productions are Marcus Garvey and Man in the Hills by Burning Spear.

True to his sound system roots, Black Scorpio and King Jammy will be playing. Mutabaruka and Talia Powers are also on the musical roster. The performers include Brigadier Jerry, General Trees, Josey Wales, Yasus Afari, Ninja Man, Ikaya, Grampa Entertain, Skakespeare, Singer J and Zagga.

"The first one (in 2016) did not start as a festival," Kheru said, recalling that "it rained like crazy".


Long-term activities


She said the radio station's community activities are long-term, hence IRIE has been active in the area since then. So there is a mural befitting a road known for music, but also there should be an official road name change from James Avenue to Lawrence Jack Ruby Lindo Avenue.

Kheru said she has been informed that the change - the objective of an initiative in which IRIE FM was deeply involved and for which people in the area were consulted - is all but official.

It is possible, then, that by next year the Jack Ruby Festival will be held on the road with his name. Kheru is also hoping that next year Burning Spear will be able to attend, as well as Jack Ruby's grandson, Sean Kingston.

There is one music standout that she expects this year - Island Records founder Chris Blackwell - in addition to organisations such as the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and the Tourism Product Development Company (TDCo), as well as hotels.

Kheru said "we are working with the police on the grounds that this will be a start in community policing".