Sound systems on show in Reggae Month

Minister of Entertainment, Olivia ‘Babsy” Grange

An event titled, ‘Echoes of Sound Systems’, will be held at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston, on Saturday, February 29.

It’s one of the events celebrate this year’s Reggae Month being held under the theme ‘Come Ketch di Riddim’. During February, there will be 29 days of Reggae day-and-night activities islandwide.

Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on Friday (January 24), Minister of Culture and Entertainment Olivia Grange, said the sound system was the base and root of Jamaican music.

“When we could not promote live music, we were able to use the sound system to build a vibe in the dance hall, and on that we built the whole evolution of our music,” she said.

Miss Grange pointed out that the event will not be “a clash” but one “to spread love and to embrace the past, present and the future”.

Sound systems became popular in the 1950s in the parish of Kingston and involve a group of disc jockeys, engineers and MCs playing different genres of music.

(Photo: thevinylfactory)

“The sound system era was not only about friendly rivalry but it was also about unity,” she said, noting that the Reggae Month event will begin in the evening and continue until “early in the morning”.

Meanwhile, Minister Grange aid there will be a number of signature events to include an official church service, Reggae Wednesdays, Reggae Gospel Concert, Bob Marley 75th Birthday celebrations, Dennis Brown Floral Tribute and the Children of the Icons Tour stop in Kingston, Montego Bay, Falmouth, Mandeville and Port Antonio, during the month.