Adrian Frater, News Editor
A rich cultural experience, steeped in Jamaica's history, art and music, will be on offer when the much-anticipated 21st staging of the annual Bob Marley Birthday Bash takes centre stage in the resort town of Negril between Sunday, February 6; and Wednesday, February 8.
Speaking at Friday's press launch on Negril's famed One Love Drive, promoter Clive 'Cubba' Pringle, the CEO of MXIII Lawn, says that while the staging of the event has been a struggle over the years, it was a pleasure for him to continue to celebrate the life of Bob Marley.
"Bob (Marley) has had a major influence on my life both as a musician and a freedom fighter and I feeling honoured to be doing this event as a tribute to him," said Pringle.
"Year after year, fans from all over the world come here to share in this wonderful experience."
The event, which will start with the customary beach party at the Negril Beach Park on the Sunday, will continue the next day with a culturally charged package dubbed 'Culture Night', at the MXIII Lawn.
On the Tuesday, there will a concert dubbed 'Tribute Night' while on the Wednesday, it will be the big, King of Reggae Earthday Concert.
"It was the music of Nyabinghi which inspired Bob (Marley) ... Rastafari had a great impact on his life and works," said Rastafarian elder Iyah V of the Rastafari Millennium Council.
"The impact of the Rastafarian culture on the world is something that should be applauded and celebrated, so we fully endorse this event."
The beach party will feature sound systems Black Blunt and Black Widow spinning only authentic foundation reggae music. The juggling will be shared between DJ Bones from Vibes FM, DJ Kwaku from Links FM, Jah Wayne from Lazeme Records and Glamma Wayne.
Monday night's 'Culture night' package will be preceded by the lighting of the bonfire, which will burn for the remainder of the event. There will be drumming and chanting by the likes of the award-winning Ras Tebah and the Son of Thunder, the African Descendant Drummers, Caribbean Flava Steel Band, the Roaring River Drummers, the Nyahbinghi Chanters and Hot Steppa Cultural Group.
Tuesday night's 'Tribute Night' should be dazzling with the likes of Raging Fyah, Droop Lion, Canadian jazz/reggae singer Robin Banks, Allie C, Tonya P and Karbel, who formerly performed as Sugar D.
Wednesday night's final night should be an awesome experience with reggae's living legend, Bunny Wailer as the headliner. The package also features songbirds Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt and famed Wailers guitarist/singer Junior Marvin, who has not performed in Jamaica in 21 years.
As a part of the celebration, a 'Mek a Jamaica' theme will be in vogue for the duration of the event. As a consequence, all of the art and craft items that will be on sale will be authentic Jamaican products.
"Since this is really a celebration of Jamaica's culture through the life and work of Bob Marley, we believe we should use this opportunity to showcase Jamaica's art and craft, hence the Mek a Jamaica theme," said Pringle.