Inaugural Reggae Genealogy Celebrates Jamaican Music and Culture at Broward Mall

PLANTATION – The inaugural Reggae Genealogy music festival and concert event, celebrating reggae music’s rich history and cultural impact, captivated more than 1,400 attendees at Broward Mall this past weekend. The producers can stand tall as the accolades continue to pour in. The event was sponsored by Florida Power & Light Company, Broward County Cultural Division, Grace Foods, Visit Lauderdale, Blue Mahoe Capital, City of Plantation, Institute of Museum and Library Services and others, and it brought together notable figures, community leaders and music enthusiasts alike. Reggae Genealogy sparked important conversations about the relevance of Jamaican music to the world music scene.

L-R: City of Plantation Director of Economic Development Glen Hall, Councilwoman Jennifer Tucker Andreu, Patricia “Miss Pat” Chin, Marcia Griffiths, island SPACE board member and Reggae Month co-founder Lloyd Stanbury, Cedella Marley, Island SPACE president and co-founder Calibe Thompson, Councilman Lewis Reinstein, Broward County Commissioner Hazelle Rogers and Mayor Nick Sortal.| Photo: RJ Deed (Island Syndicate)

Island SPACE is the only pan-Caribbean Heritage Museum in the United States. For this event, Island SPACE gathered a team of experts in reggae music history, event production and business to execute the inaugural staging. Among them were Lloyd Stanbury, a co-founder of Reggae Month and the pioneering Jamaican all-reggae radio station, IRIE FM, and Calibe Thompson and David I. Muir, producers of the Taste the Islands Experience culinary festival and co-founders of Island SPACE. Additionally, the team comprises creative directors, authors, documentarians, television and video producers, radio personalities, musicians and choreographers.

Standout Moments

One of the standout moments of the day occurred when Cedella Marley delivered a heartfelt tribute to her mother, Rita Marley. Her announcement that she would donate one of Bob Marley’s guitars to the museum stirred emotions among the audience and the Island SPACE team. Cedella expressed, “Any Caribbean Museum should have a little of my father in it.” The upcoming premiere of the One Love Bob Marley biopic adds an extra layer of significance.

Distinguished guests such as Broward County Commissioner Hazelle P. Rogers (District 9), City of Plantation Mayor Nick Sortal, and City Councilmembers Louis Reinstein and Jennifer Andreu-Tucker, Jamaican Consul General Oliver Mair, and GraceKennedy USA President Derrick Reckord were in attendance.

In a nod to the upcoming Women’s Month, three iconic women champions of Jamaican music received lifetime achievement awards from Island SPACE Caribbean Museum president Calibe Thompson. Honorees included the”Queen of Reggae,” Marcia Griffiths, Patricia “Miss Pat”Chin of VP Records, and Cedella Marley, CEO of the Marley Group of Companies. The women were recognized for their indelible contributions to the impact of the island’s music on the world.

Commissioner Rogers presented keys to Broward County to all three honorees, emphasizing the importance of this type of programming — combining entertainment with education — in Broward County. Mayor Sortal also presented the keys to the City of Plantation to each of the icons. He expressed his desire to see Reggae Genealogy become a staple in Plantation for years to come.

Juliet Roulhac, Director, Broward-SW External Affairs & Corporate Philanthropy of FPL shared, “Diversity in our communities is part of what makes Florida so unique. FPL has been a long time supporter of the Caribbean community and was the very first sponsor of the music exhibits at Island SPACE Caribbean Museum, and is proud to be a participating sponsor of the Reggae Genealogy event.”

Rita Marley, the matriarch of the Marley family, received a private tour of Island SPACE Caribbean Museum, expressing her approval for the work done by Island SPACE to preserve Caribbean music culture.

A Resounding Success

The three-hour retrospective chronicled the origins of renowned Jamaican music genres, from their inception before Jamaica gained independence from Britain in 1962 to the modern era. It encompassed styles like mento, ska, Nyabinghi, rocksteady, lovers rock, dub, reggae, and dancehall. Furthermore, it spotlighted the profound impact of Jamaican music on diverse genres including hip-hop, reggaeton, EDM and Afrobeats.

Reggae Genealogy attendees do the Electric Slide while the crowd looks on in the background.
Reggae Genealogy attendees do the Electric Slide while the crowd looks on in the background.| Photo: RJ Deed (Island Syndicate)

Acknowledging the event’s resounding success, Thompson expressed her appreciation to the sponsors, partners, volunteers and attendees whose dedication brought it to fruition. She remarked, “The demonstrated support underscores the importance of the stories and narratives showcased at the event, setting the stage for a larger and more impactful event in years to come.”

Reggae Month at Island  Space Caribbean Museum

The celebration continues beyond the main event, as VP Records’ “Reggae Music Journey” showcases a captivating array of images and stylized graphics. Photographer Ajamu Myrie and graphic artist Maria Papaefstathiou have significantly contributed to this collection, currently on display in the museum’s cultural exhibit. Additionally, David I. Muir’s “Reggae Reel” fine art show spotlights some of the genre’s most legendary figures, enriching the museum’s Reggae Month offerings with iconic names from reggae and dancehall music.