Music is a growth pole, Mr Lee-Chin
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The Jamaican music, in all its characteristic genres, is a delicacy demanded globally by all people of a happy heart and even the most gloomy soul is irresistibly animated when come into aural or visual contact with this fascinating art form.
However, Jamaica has failed, over the past 40 years, since our music has become a global delight to properly and effectively exploit the full economic potential for national development.
'We have failed to monetise our music'. This was the theme of the third public lecture given at The University of Technology recently in honour of the late Joan Duncan, founder of the JMMB Group of financial entities.
The lectures and panels lamented the Jamaican economic dilemma in seeking to capitalise on its indigenous musical resources.
The highlights were:
(1) Jamaica is mushrooming with inspired and coveted talented seasoned musicians and neophytes of tremendous promise. However, the country has not been able to organise these players into a coordinated body of professionals who can claim their legal and economic right to the massive global market that has existed for decades.
(2) The chronic individualisation of the music industry creates a serious roadblock to the potential development of a national industry that has the capacity to create the kind of synergies that will maximise our foreign-exchange earnings.
(3) Jamaica has come a far way in establishing reputable musical academies for the training of a wide spectrum of musicians.
(4) We have not been able to legally protect our indigenous musical brands, thus creating a free-for-all situation where many countries have hijacked reggae.
(5) The occasion sent out a resounding imperative to the Government to take steps to industrialise the musical fraternity, elevating it to the same plain as our existing traditional sectoral industries such as tourism, agriculture, etc.
From my perspective I am challenging Michael Lee-Chin, Jamaica's newly appointed czar charged with stimulating economic growth, to make this venture an absolute priority in the short run.