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JM | Jan 30, 2023

Reverend Al Miller waking up reggae music fraternity

/ Our Today

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Reggae Month 2023 officially launched with a sounding call for revival

Reggae Month 2023 was officially launched yesterday with prominent clergyman, Reverend Al Miller calling on the reggae music fraternity to wake up and make the music what it once was, a message of change and a commentary on social ills of the society and the wider world.

The month-long series of celebration was launched at Rev Miller’s Fellowship Tabernacle Church at 2 Fairfield Avenue, Kingston 20 with the clarion call for revival and renewal of the musical genre. There were many smiling faces in the congregation, as several members of the Rastafarian community celebrated the launch of Reggae Month in church with Christians.

Several members of the diplomatic community and specially invited guests for Reggae Month 2023 were all in attendance to a nearly packed church sanctuary. They include the South African High Commissioner to Jamaica, First Secretaries of the Russian Federation, Mexican and Brazilian Embassy, a French artiste as well as guests from France, Florida and Canada for Reggae Month

REGGAE GOING OFF TRACK

Rev. Miller in a very sobering sermon acknowledged that reggae music has lost it way somewhat over the years, resulting in certain segments of the industry being concerned about the music and where it is going in based on its current direction. While acknowledging this, the clergyman appealed to the industry to nurture these young upcoming artistes, holding their hands and showing them the right way to reggae music.

Rev Miller made a trumpet’s call for the reggae music fraternity to make the musical genre what it once was, a message for change imploring the policy makers to use the music, “as a tool for education, have reggae to help the kids with mathematic formulas…. put those formulas in rhythm so kids can learn it. Teach them about love; point away from negative behavior to positive behaviour….”

The tele-evangelist called on the nation to accept that violent lyrics lead to violet behavior, making reference to research out of Iowa in the United States confirming this fact. At the same time, he is urging those with the influence to lift the level and the standards of the music.

Rev Miller declared, “we need to remove the music which, doesn’t motivate or send a message. We need to call it something else but nuh call it reggae because reggae carries a message” with the church and the reggae music interest in attendance, nodding in agreement.

Gospel music group, ‘The Foster Triplets’ and Reverend Al Miller at the launch of Reggae Month 2023.

As for the church, Rev Miller made the confession, “there was a time that for the church reggae couldn’t encapsulate the world of God but that is changing now,” reiterating that there is a role for the church in building reggae music and the message it ought to be conveying, reminding the congregation that reggae was part of the fight against apartheid in South Africa saying “reggae was music from the heart.”

GREETINGS FROM CULTURE AND TOURISM MINISTERS

Culture Minister, Olivia Grange, who was present at the launch told the gathering that there is now a going reset of Jamaica’s entertainment sector from the pandemic lull. She reiterated that reggae music recognized worldwide announcing that CVM has been on boarded as the official media sponsor of Reggae Month. The TV station will be carry the month’s various activities of “28 days of Roots Rock Reggae “under the these Come Ketch Di Riddim.

Minister of Culture Gender Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange and Reverend Al Miller at the launch of Reggae Month 2023.

Carolyn McDonald-Riley from Tourism Ministry representing Minister Bartlett brought greetings for the Minister, who was on route to Jamaica from an overseas assignment. She said reggae is an iconic brand, which is valued by her ministry, noting that the music each year attracts thousands of visitors to Jamaica each year through the many music festivals hosted here generating billions in foreign exchange.

McDonald-Riley reported that some 3.93 million visitors came to Jamaica last year earning the country US$3.6 billion. Reggae Month, which is held in February each year was first started in 2008. The congregation was entertained by the Foster triplets, Fellowship Tabernacle choir and the kids of Fellowship Tabernacle, who did two original performances in dance and song as well as reggae artiste, Abijah.

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