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Celebrating Reggae Month – February 2009

KINGSTON, Jamaica – During the month of February 2009, Jamaica’s Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports (MICYS) will once again carry out a number of activities in celebration of Reggae Month.

Reggae Month which is in its second year, comes against the background of 2009 marking the 50th anniversary since the birth of the formal Jamaican Music Industry.

The Minister, the Honourable Olivia “Babsy” Grange said that, “set against the backdrop of the world financial crisis and the fallouts expected for 2009, it will take on even greater meaning as, for many the world over, Reggae has become more than just a music genre; it is a culture and philosophy that influences people’s thinking and actions and helps them through the toughest of times.”

Miss Grange continued that, “Reggae Month 2009 is therefore the perfect opportunity for Jamaicans and followers of Reggae music the world over to reflect on and celebrate one of Jamaica’s most precious gifts to the world.”

The Month this year will feature a wide array of events that capture the full breadth of reggae as a way of life. The events include live concerts, parties, Symposia, films and a school tour.

Minister Grange said also that from February through March the Government and its agencies and partners “will continue to educate and remind the public especially the youth about Jamaican music, its roots, its global influence and impact of Reggae music and how our people can capitalize on the economic opportunities that it creates.”

Strong endorsement for Reggae Month 2009 has come from the music fraternity with many of its prominent members participating in the planning for the month which is taking place at MICYS.

As stated in the Proclamation which brought Reggae Month into being in 2008, “The power of Jamaica’s Reggae music has created a culturally fertile melting pot that has seen it bloom into hip hop, dub dance hall and other types of music and has shown the world that Jamaica is greater than its small size and population, with an even greater potential for greatness by having created a universal music that unites people of all origins into one global family of ONE LOVE.

The Proclamation also pointed out that the Jamaican music industry had always recognized the cultural, social and economic values of Reggae and found many ways in which to celebrate Reggae, always seeking to further preserve the intellectual property rights to the creators of Reggae music.

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