"Jamaica Rocks!" Tour of Japan Showcases Rich Musical Culture
The Min-On Concert Association invited a group of musicians and dancers from Jamaica to showcase the island's culture in "Jamaica Rocks!"--a show which toured 24 cities in Japan between September 9 and October 19. Jamaica is the 104th country to hold a musical exchange with Japan through Min-On, and this marks the second in a new series entitled "Caribbean Musical Cruise" aimed at introducing the rich musical cultures of the Caribbean.
A special group created for the Japan tour by the Honorable Olivia Grange, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, included singers Abijah, Tessanne Chin and Leye, musicians from The Skool Band, who formerly performed with renowned reggae musician Jimmy Cliff, and four dancers from the Jamaican National Dance Company.
The concert featured a wide range of musical genres, from reggae to earlier musical styles, such as mento, ska and rocksteady, as well as traditional folk dances.
The Hon. Olivia Grange commented, "I sincerely hope that the Japan audiences will experience and appreciate the diverse culture of Jamaica, a culture born of men and women from a variety of ethnic origins and expressed in our national motto: 'Out of Many, One People'."
[Adapted from the Summer 2011 Min-On Concert Association newsletter; photos courtesy of Min-On]