The opening ceremony of the ‘Global Reggae Conference 2008’, which will explore ‘Global Reggae: Jamaican Popular Music a Yard and Abroad’, officially starts a week which dovetails with the inaugural Reggae Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24.
Conference chair, Professor Carolyn Cooper of the Institute of Caribbean Studies, noted that “For at least five years now, as co-ordinator of the Reggae Studies Unit, I thought it was important to hold a major conference focusing on the global impact of reggae.”
Cooper said that for Bob Marley’s 50th birthday, the Reggae Studies Unit and the Bob Marley Foundation had combined to look extensively at the work of Marley. The book Bob Marley: The Man and His Music came out of that conference.
The Bob Marley Foundation is also involved in staging the Global Reggae Conference 2008, along with the Recording Industry Association of Jamaica, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission and the Jamaica Tourist Board.
The conference comes at an opportune time, as the 15th anniversary of the Reggae Studies Unit approaches. It was founded in 1994. Cooper said she thought it appropriate to put on a major conference, as “there is so much work on reggae being done”.