By: Joseph Cunningham
Photography By: Milton Raynor
"I hereby proclaim the month of February to be celebrated now and henceforth as Reggae Month."
Those utterances from the Governor-General of Jamaica, Kenneth Hall, on Thursday morning, were permanently added to the pride Jamaicans feel for their music, Reggae. He also noted Reggae music is also that one thing people around the world associate the word Jamaica with.
After the Governor-General completed the proclamation an excited Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, said, "Isn't this a wonderful feeling? From the corners of Trench Town and West Kingston to the halls of King's House;" making reference to the growth of the genre.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding, during his address, paid special respects to the artistes, writers, arrangers, producers, promoters and all those engaged in the Jamaican music industry.
"In the case of Jamaica, there is no aspect of our culture that more clearly distinguishes us from the rest of the world as our music," he said. He stated that in most countries, culture is parochial, but Jamaica's music has moved out to the rest of the world.
He added that the Jamaican music industry was developed independently of government and established businesses, naming some of the pioneers, such as Laurel Aitken, Jackie Edwards, Desmond Dekker and Chris Blackwell.
Golding said, "Reggae Month will not just be a series of parties and stage shows, but it is going to be a month where we bring together our academic resources."
The official Reggae Month logo was unveiled by Golding, who was accompanied by singers Tarrus Riley, Etana and producers Bunny Lee and King Jammys.