NEW YORK – In celebration of Reggae Month, Jamaica’s Consulate General in New York in collaboration with VP Records, will host pop-up exhibition entitled “A Reggae Music Journey” at the consulate from the first of February to the 21st, during Reggae Month.
The Exhibition, ‘A Reggae Music Journey’ is a historical display documenting the history of the Jamaican musical genre, and will feature artifacts including historic vinyl records from Van Pelt’s collection, and a platinum sales award for Sean Paul’s Dutty Rock LP presented to company President Randy Chin.
A Reggae Music Journey was created to document the legacy of Reggae music and the role that the Chin family, through Randy’s Record Mart in Jamaica and later, VP Records have contributed to the development of the genre.
An eight-panel display tells the label’s history dating to its origins as Vincent and Patricia Chin’s Randy’s Record Mart in Kingston in the late 1950s, extending to the present and featuring its 40-year run in Jamaica, Queens. The story of the company’s global impact and sustained relevance is woven into the story of Reggae itself.
Some of the genre’s most admired artists, including Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Beres Hammond, Barrington Levy, Garnett Silk, Lady Saw, and Freddie McGregor – who either had key releases distributed by VP Records or were signed to VP Records – are featured in the exhibit as well. The exhibit includes the work of photographers David Corio, Anders Jones, Wonder Knack, Jonathan Mannion, Martei Korley and others.
Jamaica’s Consul General to New York, Mrs. Alsion Wilson said the Consulate was very pleased to join with Jamaica and the rest of the world in celebration of Reggae Month. She said the staging of this exhibition will give Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica an opportunity to view this important exhibition.
Mrs. Wilson pointed out that Reggae Month is of great significance as Jamaican music has been an important part of our culture, a source of Jamaican recognition on the world stage.
She said on February 6, the birthday of Reggae icon, Bob Marley, the consulate will live stream the birthday celebrations from the Bob Marley museum on Hope Road.
In 2018, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, added Reggae to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as a cultural institution worthy of protection and preservation.
In a statement on its website, UNESCO said of Reggae: “Its contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual. The basic social functions of the music – as a vehicle for social commentary, a cathartic practice, and a means of praising God – have not changed, and the music continues to act as a voice for all.”
In 2008, the government of Jamaica declared February as Reggae Month, to highlight and celebrate the impact of the musical genre on the country’ socio-economic development.
At the launch event on Friday 31st January, VP Records plans to live stream its weekly music “Happy Hour” from 5pm – 6pm and provide a DJ from 6pm – 8pm for the reception.
The Reggae Music Journey exhibit will go from the consulate to the newly refurbished VP Records retail store in Jamaica Queens.