Veteran Jamaican entertainers Shabba Ranks and Toots and the Maytals, and Chronixx, Kes the Band, Raging Fyah, Rupee, Jah Works, and Ras Slick are among the acts slated to perform at the inaugural DC World Reggae Festival at the RFK Stadium in North East Washington DC on August 19.
The event, which is endorsed by the Jamaican Embassy, is part of the activities to observe Jamaica’s 56th anniversary of Independence.
The festival’s executive producer Omar Stephenson noted that the event will not only cater to Jamaicans, but also everyone, including Caribbean, African and urban audiences; and that it aims to use music to promote diversity and unity throughout the diaspora.
Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks described the initiative as a great way to promote Jamaica as a country, as well as its music and culture.
“If you think about it, we are all ambassadors of our country – especially its culture – which has so influenced the world stage that people are constantly amazed at our geographic size,” she said.
The ambassador emphasized as well that it was time for Jamaicans living in the diaspora to monetize the country’s culture, food, music and dance. “Our music – like reggae and dancehall, even our movie-making – has potential.”
Ambassador Marks further remarked that the key to harnessing our creative industry is an active collaboration between connected members of the diaspora and our talented local creative industry community, by organizing more concerts like DC World Reggae Festival.