International Reggae Day: an inspiring speech that marked forever
“The power of reggae music uplifts, inspires and unites», He underlined Winnie Mandela in his speech in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1992. These words from the wife of Nelson Mandela served as inspiration to bring the International Reggae Day.
On July 1, the world remembers a style born on the small island and has become a staple of the music industry. “Winnie is part of us. We identify with his fight and record songs about him. Jamaica embraced her not only as the wife of Nelson Mandela, but also as the mother of modern South Africa, a woman who was a freedom fighter and a liberator in her own right “, told a few years ago Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica.
Andrea Davis, producer of music festivals, has had a decisive role in immortalizing this special date which has been celebrated since 1994. “The world loves this music, it is the soundtrack of the Jamaican brand” he stressed in an interview with Jamaicans.com.
“It’s inspired by Winnie’s speech she gave while visiting Kingston with her husband. Its message was to “uplift, inspire and unite” the South African people in their struggle against apartheid. When this date was unveiled, before the internet arrived, the idea was to mobilize radios in Jamaica to show the roots and the branches of local music, its quality, and help people to overcome your own fight for equality“Describes the mentor who is part of a new generation who has been educated around the world and experienced the impact of Jamaican culture, especially reggae, as a brand.
And he assured: “It’s a kind of lifestyle which, like hip hop and country, among others, has its own sound, its fashion, its dance, its language, its philosophy, its cuisine, its images. and his attitude. The identity and value of the Jamaican brand is intrinsically linked to its music and culture. “
The birth of reggae
He appeared in the mid-1960s, as derived from ska, a musical genre born in Jamaica a decade earlier and which reached its peak in a few years with the fusion of the African-American music of the time, with specifically Caribbean popular rhythms, being also the precursor straight from rocksteady. It was also marked by the growing Rastafarian influence and belief in Jamaica.
The first artists to play with this rhythm were Toots and the Maytals, with his song “Make reggay”, 1966. Other interested personalities were Clancy Eccles, with“ Say What You’re Saying ”(1967), and Lee “Scratch” Perry with “People Funny Boy” (1968). Also on the list appears “Long Shot Kick De Bucket”, one of the first recordings, released by the group The Pioneers.
They were undoubtedly the Wailers, a group formed by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer who hoisted the reggae flag and took it to different parts of the world. The first of them is a prominent figure who took Jamaican culture to the top and popularized this music with his personality and strong social message.
Beyond melodies, marked bass, raspy guitar, with a seductive rhythm, his style crossed borders and influenced thousands of young people around the world, mainly in the early 80s.
An important step in establishing the style were the performances of Lamentations in London in April 1973. That same year, the group launched Burnin which had songs like “Duppy Conqueror”, “Small Ax” and “Put It On”, with “Get up, get up” Yes “I shot the sheriff”. It was precisely this last song that established Bob internationally with the voice of Eric Clapton, reaching No. 1 on the list of best-selling singles in the United States.
In 1974, Bob Marley spent much of his time in the studio working on Natty Dread, an album that contained songs like ‘Talkin’ Blues ‘,’No woman No Cry“,” So Jah Seh “,” Revolution “,” Them Belly Full (But We Hungry) “or” Rebel Music (3 hours Roadblock) “.
A year later, Bunny and Peter would leave the group for good to begin their solo careers. What Bob Marley and the Wailers two fundamental discs would be released: Natty dread Yes Exodus. The latter was very successful thanks to “To wait in vain“, “Exodus“Yes”Jammin “, among others.
In 1978 he came out Therefore, who kept Marley’s level with gems like ‘Satisfy My Soul’ and ‘Is it love?”. In turn, the disc Uprising (1980) is distinguished by “Could you be Loved?”. The group took the plane for a grand tour of the world; in Milan, they played before 100,000 people, a record. Marley returned to the United States, where he gave two concerts at Madison Square Garden as part of the Visit of the insurgency. Soon after, his health deteriorated dramatically.
In the late 70s, Bob, a football fan, suffered a blow to the toe, to a match with French journalists, before his shows in Paris. The musician had severe pain in his big toe. In a clinic, they detected a tumor. He continued with the tours, but the pain was constant. The cancer had spread throughout his body. He started treatment based on avoiding certain foods, drinks and other substances.
During the flight from Germany, his vital functions began to fail. When the plane landed, he had to be rushed to hospital. Dead in the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, now Miami University Hospital on the morning of May 11, 1981, at the age of 36.
His Reggae influence on Argentinian music
Since the early 80s, hand in hand with the new wave, this Jamaican style has arrived in the country. It can be found in the songs of The grandparents of nothing, as in “Tristeza de la ciudad” or in “Chalaman “. Other groups that have adopted a certain reggae sound have been Alphonso surrenders. Sumo has also merged it with post punk rock.
In the middle of this decade appear proposals more marked by this style, such as Parrots, Zimbabwe Reggae Band Yes CAFRES, the latter two are closer to the “root”. The presence of the leader of The Wailers was fundamental for the development of these proposals.
In order to Guillermo Bonetto, singer of CAFRES, the influence of Bob Marley is very strong. “A word so powerful, so subtle and so direct at the same time. Musically, it’s impressive. In his work we can study his orchestration, the bass line, the drums. He surrounded himself with incredible musicians, ”said La Viola.
“You could say we don’t understand the local language or idioms, but we share so much with Jamaicans. The sound of songs is so universal that sometimes you don’t need to understand the lyrics. It’s as if his music bailed out at times and regains a scale that seems unsuspected; each time it grows more, ”added the artist on the figure of Marley.
Zimbabwe (in the 1980s called The Zimbabwe reggae band) was another of the bands influenced by Marley’s music. “Not only because of the musical fact, the peculiarity and exquisiteness of his music, but because of the social burden his lyrics have, his message and his spreading attitude, he has become a communicator of social, political issues. and racial, ”he said. Chelo” Delgado, singer and guitarist of the group.
“Marley – he continues – turned on the alerts and many people echoed his message. He has always shown a lot in his songs the reality that has happened and is happening in the world.. The great weight it carries beyond its artistic value has to do with the social and political side. There is also a great deal of religious and philosophical culture ”.
In Argentina, curious young people like Néstor Ramljak They were influenced by Rastafarian sounds to the point that after listening to it, he decided that his music would be his. Today, he leads the group which has been ready to release their new material for 25 years.
“It was love at first sight, the soloist for whom I wanted to have a groupLearning his songs on my Creole guitar and researching his lyrics opened a door for me to a world that I still embrace. I greatly admire», He confided to La Viola Néstor, referring to his idol.
On the influence of his songs in the country, the musicians said: “I think the impact Marley had on national music was moderate, many were slow to find out. But, in the 80s there was a group explosions that they have generated songs in reggae format in their repertoire ”.
“Legend It was an extremely important album for the dissemination of the genre, ”he said. Sergio Colombo of Natty Combo and saxophonist from The fundamentals of air conditioning, the group that accompanies Indio Solari. He was 9 when Marley died and his music has run through his history. “I was 14 years old and ‘Three little birds it was one of the first two reggae I’ve heard in my life. Then a friend lent me the Leyenda vinyl album, ”Colombo remembers.
Remember the Bob Marley special at La Viola.
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