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Jamaica Music Museum's collection grows but still no home

Published:Wednesday | March 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer

Though there has been steady donation of artifacts to the Jamaica Music Museum, no location or date have been identified for this proposed showplace of the country's popular music history.

Herbie Miller, director/curator of the project, gave few specifics during Sunday's launch of the
Jamaica Journal's
Special Music edition at the Devonshire Restaurant in Kingston.

"Given the state of affairs, I don't think we are going to see a physical museum in the short term," Miller told
The Gleaner
. "It all depends on funding from local and international agencies who fund the arts."

Belly of the city

Miller was clear, however, on the museum's location.

"Definitely downtown, the music came out of the belly of the city and it must stay there," he said.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Olivia Grange also spoke at the function. She said respected musicologist Dermot Hussey has committed most of his vast music collection to the museum.

The Hussey donation includes 6,000 albums, interviews he did with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, and Requiem to Don Drummond, a 1969 radio programme paying tribute to trombonist Don Drummond who died at the Bellevue asylum that year.

Hussey, who once hosted shows on the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation and

Radio Jamaica, is currently a disc jockey in Washington, DC, with satellite radio station Sirius FM.

Pieces on show

Other pieces of interest that will ultimately be on show are a cassette tape of Tosh jamming a blues song with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones at SIR Studios in New York City in 1977, and a copy of
Escape From Babylon
, American singer Martha Velez's 1976 reggae album which was produced by Marley.

The latest issue of
Jamaica Journal
examines various facets of reggae, including its political and criminal links, a feature on controversial singjay Buju Banton and the reggae scene in Switzerland.

Two men who played integral roles in early Jamaican music were present at the launch. Bassist Lloyd Brevette, a founding member of the legendary

Skatalites band, and singer/songwriter Bob Andy.