Sat | Jan 23, 2021

Simon's shots - International photographer launches reggae exhibition

Published:Tuesday | February 19, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Chris Blackwell (left) and Don Taylor.
From left: Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Peter Tosh. - photos by peter simon
Big Youth
Peter Simon

Internationally respected photographer of reggae greats, Peter Simon, will mount a photo exhibition at the Pulse Centre starting Thursday. The exhibition will run for a month and is being mounted in partnership with Pulse. Called Reggae Bloodlines, the exhibition is a virtual history of Jamaica's popular music captured in pictures, spanning the pre-Marley period up to the present day. Many of the photographs are iconic images of these artistes, images which have become widely known on an international scale without the public being aware of their origin. Now Jamaicans can enjoy and acquire these images come Thursday.

An interesting aside regarding Peter Simon, the brother of world-famous singer-songwriter Carly Simon, is the story told by Erik Nicolaisen, star of the recent VW Superbowl, Jamaica-influenced, 'feel good' ad, who was turned on to Jamaica through reggae music.

Relationship cemented

Said Nicolaisen, who gave his best impression of a Jamaican accent and attitude in the ad, "My relationship with Jamaica was cemented by what I learnt from the book Reggae International."

That book, which became Erik's bible, was co-authored by, guess who, Peter Simon.

The depth of the 50-year-old connection that Simon has to reggae music is evident in his impressive images and forms the backdrop of a musical history lesson worth going many miles to enjoy.

The organisers of the photo exhibition are committed to increasing awareness of Simon's work, during Reggae Month, while providing an opportunity for Jamaicans and visitors to the island to better understand reggae's journey around the globe through the images. The launch on Thursday will be addressed by the Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Wykeham McNeill.

Peter Simon is an internationally acclaimed photojournalist whose commitment to documenting reggae culture has resulted in the publication of two historical works, Reggae Bloodlines (1977) and Reggae International (1983). He also broadcasts a reggae radio programme in New England. His work has been published in many newspapers and magazines throughout his illustrious career, including Time, Newsweek, People, Village Voice, Atlantic Monthly, Cape Cod Life, Boston Magazine, New York Magazine, The New York Times and Rolling Stone.

Reggae Bloodlines photos include most of reggae's greatest icons such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Culture, Tarrus Riley, Burning Spear, Luciano, Joseph Hill, Big Youth, Sly & Robbie, Alton Ellis, Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, Clement 'Sir Coxson' Dodd, Buju Banton, The Wailers Band and others.

The works will be on display and available for sale for a period of one month. Gallery's opening hours will be 10.30 a.m.-7 p.m., Mondays to Saturdays.