Special music issue of 'Ja Journal' launched
Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
Bob Marley beamed a lopsided grin from a blown-up version of the latest Jamaica Journal's cover art on stage at Redbones Blues Café, New Kingston, on Thursday night, as the newest instalment was officially presented to the public.
The Journal is a publication of the Institute of Jamaica, and this edition - a special double issue - is subtitled, 'Jamaican Popular Music Part Two'.
Among the articles are 'Reggae Sunsplash: A Pioneering Role in Jamaican Entertainment' (Clover Taylor-Johnston), 'So Special, So Special, So Special: The Evolution of the Jamaican Dubplate' (Joshua Chamberlin), 'Chris Blackwell and the Internationalisation of Reggae' (Howard Campbell), 'The Power and Philosophy I: Bob Marley's Music' (Clinton Hutton), 'A Dub Poet's Innerverse: An Interview with Mbala' (Eric Doumerc) and 'Writing Reggae: Poetry, Politics and Popular Culture' (Linton Kwesi Johnson).
After addresses by Hutton, who co-edits this volume, and Jamaica Journal editor Kim Robinson-Walcott, guest speaker Pat Ramsay put the arts in a functional perspective. "If we could realise what we have in the arts and really market it properly we gone clear," Ramsay said.
However, she noted that "we need to create new and different things" and later said that many creative persons in an older generation are stuck. "The muse is not flowing as it should," Ramsay said. In addition, she noted the number of cultural icons who have passed on within the last two years, among them Rex Nettleford, Barry Chevannes, Trevor Rhone and Sonny Bradshaw. Asking where those who will continue the creative work are, Ramsay said "let us work with the young ones and give them a chance. The creative energy cannot afford to go. As a body, the young ones need a chance to grow".
And part of that growth is the Jamaica Journal being positioned optimally to influence youth, Ramsay asking about the publication's position in the libraries and being assured that it has a place. "Let us move forward using our creative power and use the Jamaica Journal, because it is an enduring classic," she closed.
Saxophonist Tony Greene and pianist Ozoune delivered Harder They Come among their musical fare for the launch.