When triple-Grammy Award winning artist Damian Marley performs in Cayman, he’s bringing a deep musical knowledge with him.
His rootsy sensibility is evident on tracks like Affairs of the Heart and yet the Jamaican musician is equally adept at melding hip hop, rock and sampling technology together – his collaborations with Skrillex and Nas speak loudly to a very modern musical mind. Welcome to Jamrock, possibly the first contact many fans had with his material, which could hardly be described as classic reggae.
The event, which takes place at the Festival Green, Camana Bay on Friday, 1 March, is organised by YoungBlood Productions. Mr. Notch of YoungBlood rates Marley’s work exceptionally highly. He explained that bringing the musician to Cayman was originally inspired by Black History Month.
“We have traditionally tried to set up shows [during February] to commemorate Black History Month. It is also the height of tourist season,” he muses.
“The idea is to give the locals and the tourists the chance to interact together. That is really important. A lot of the entertainment on island is segregated – a tourist venue and tourist entertainment, then elsewhere a local venue with local entertainment. But this gig is bringing local entertainment with an international flair to a central venue that is good for both.”
Damian Marley’s success as an artist made it an easy decision for the promoters to bring him here.
“It was a simple selection. Damian is moving reggae music in a direction that merges with hip hop and it is starting now to become a more mainstream type of form. Roots used to be mainstream and now this is the future.
“I am a music lover so I like it. One thing about music is the lyrics and his appeal to the younger generation. He is really speaking to them. I think he is the Bob Marley of his generation and it is ironic that he is the only one of the children to have Robert Nesta in his name,” comments Notch.
In store for crowds is a real high-energy treat, says the musician and promoter.
“Damian Marley is one of the most cutting-edge performers for the new generation and, like his dad [Bob Marley], brought reggae to the world, Damian is bringing new style reggae to his own generation,” Notch notes.
Also performing is an impressive array of local talent, including LocalMotion 345, Notch’s band, as well as performances from Stuart Wilson – who is bringing his wonderful band over from Jamaica – and Rennie Connolly.
“They are the best musicians Cayman has to offer, you cannot get better and they will also back Rennie Connolly who is playing on the night. Rennie has a roots repertoire, for sure.
“Damian has the future, Rennie has the past and me and Stuart Wilson have everything in between.”
The concert will be a safe concert, with lots of security and a strong police presence in the Camana Bay area. There will be a ‘One Love’ vibe, says Notch.
“Nobody needs to fear coming here like they are going to be oppressed or that they are not going to be able to let their hair down. This is a YoungBlood-style concert.
“It is such a massive venue that bringing blankets and chairs is always a good idea. This is reggae music and a free vibe.”
Notch says he would also like to extend heartfelt thanks to all the sponsors and partners who have helped make the event happen.
Food and drink will also be on sale but attendees will not be allowed to bring food and drink into the venue.
Doors open at 6pm and showtime for the first band is 8pm.
Pre-paid: $35 for general admission, $50 for bleacher seating, $80 for Limited VIP.
They are available at all Reflections stores, Funky Tangs and J&M.
For further information and group tickets, call 517-7797 or 929-3630.