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Jamaica 50 launches massive concert for O2 arena

Published:Thursday | June 14, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Lisa Hanna, minister of youth and culture, takes a picture with international dancehall star Shaggy during The Jamaica 50 Secretariat's press reception to launch activities for celebration of Jamaica's 50th anniversary. The event was held at the Spanish Court Hotel, St Lucia Avenue, New Kingston, on Monday night. - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer

Davina Henry, Staff Reporter

"The Jamaica you know is so much more than our champion athletes, tropical paradise and leisure destination."

One of the official celebrations of Jamaican culture and music, to mark its 50th year of Independence, will be 'Respect Jamaica 50', a live concert series in London's 02 arena, featuring 50 artistes.

Respect Jamaica 50 is the brainchild of AEG Live's president, Rob Hallett.

The 12-night concert series will feature performances from Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley, John Holt, U Roy, Mutabaruka, Yellowman, Jimmy Cliff, Shaggy and others.

While speaking at the official launch of Respect Jamaica 50, chairman of Jampro, Milton Samuda, said the achievement gives pause to the hopeful consideration of the future while reflecting on the past.

President of AEG Live, Robert Hallett, said he was honoured to be a part of this initiative.

In her address, Lisa Hanna, minister of youth and culture, said one of the aims of the Golden Jubilee was to present Jamaica in a way that has never been done before. She applauded the efforts made by the Jamaica50 committee, which she describes as 'santa's workshop' in the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

In addition to the Respect Jamaica 50 concert, container loads of Jamaican merchandise have already left the island, destined for the British ports of London and Tilbury.

Another feature of the Diamond Jubilee celebration is the Jamaica House 2012 in London. This will be the signature international event of Jamaica's celebrations, and visitors to Jamaica House will be immersed in the Jamaican culture through curated designs and exhibits.

Anthony Hylton, minister of industry, investment and commerce, said it was imperative that the country seize the opportunity to promote Jamaica as a premier business location.

Through it's Jamaica 50 celebrations, the country hopes to increase positive global awareness opportunities for its culture and to promote tourism, investment, trade and business opportunities.