Music icons honoured on Beat Street
Orange ‘Beat’ Street in downtown Kingston came alive at the end of Reggae Month as ‘Meet Us On Beat Street’ unfolded in all its glory with a buzz of activities that attracted locals and music-loving visitors from around the world utilising the hop-on, hop-off shuttle-bus service to view places of significance to the Jamaican music Industry on Orange Street.
Additionally, the stretch between North and Charles streets was lined with cultural items, and food and drink stalls, while a stage show put on by Kingston Creative, along with Witty’s Music Master Sound System, entertained the packed house.
The historic event, conceptualised by Julian ‘Jingles’ Reynolds, chairman of the Sound and Pressure Foundation (S&P), in collaboration with Kingston Creative –an organisation developing an art district and creative hub in downtown Kingston; the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; and the Kingston and St Andrew municipal corporation, was deemed a resounding success, prompting Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange to declare, while addressing the gathering, that she would ensure that the event became an annual affair.
The highlight of the afternoon saw the minister and the custos of Kingston, Steadman Fuller, unveiling a plaque and a sign in honour of Prince Buster, Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd, and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – three of the cultural Icons who made Orange Street a historic music site. The S&P Foundation plans to erect several similar signs in downtown Kingston, and to refurbish 16 musical heritage sites.
The foundation, which was founded in 2006 by Reynolds with founding members Kingsley Goodison, Colby Graham, Dr Dennis Howard, Colin Leslie, Herbie Miller, Roy Black, Trevor ‘Leggo’ Douglas, Keith Lumsden, and Camille Williams, aims to establish Kingston as a cultural tourism destination around the musical genres that it gave to the world.