Charting Changes: An NGJ Reggae Month Event

On Thursday, February 24, 2022, the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) will present an online Reggae Month event, entitled Charting Changes: A Reasoning about Narrative Styles and Directorship in Dancehall Music Videos of the 1980s and 1990s. The event will be a panel discussion, streamed live at 2:00pm, on the NGJ’s YouTube and Instagram Live channels. Charting Changes is being developed in association with the Jamaica Jamaica! exhibition, which is currently on view at the NGJ and will close to the public on February 28, 2021.

This discussion will be focused on music videos which related songs that articulated popular dance moves, advice, religious views, social criticism and expressions of admiration and sexual prowess. Moderated by Dr. Sonjah Stanley-Niaah, former Director at the Institute of Caribbean Studies UWI Mona, the panellists will be: video director and producer Llewellyn “Leo” O’Reggio, film director Ras Kassa, as well as video editor and director Garth Daley.

The Jamaica Jamaica! exhibition was originally launched in France, at the Philharmonie de Paris in 2017. After it closed in Paris, it was shown in São Paulo at the SESC in 2018 and then relaunched in Kingston Jamaica at the NGJ in February of 2020. Its run was interrupted after being on view for only six (6) weeks, when the NGJ was directed to close temporarily due to the COVID – 19 pandemic and the show later re-opened on 5th of October 2021. Memorabilia of the exhibition are still available for sale at the NGJ Gift Shop, including copies of its catalogue publication.

For further information on the Charting Changes online panel discussion, the Jamaica Jamaica! exhibition or any programming at the National Gallery of Jamaica, please call the Gallery at (876)922-1561 or (876)922-1563. Emails should be sent to info@natgalja.org.jm . Also remember to subscribe to the National Gallery of Jamaica’s social media platforms on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Virtual Last Sundays to ft. Tori Love

On August 30, 2020 the National Gallery of Jamaica will be hosting our virtual Last Sundays on our YouTube and Instagram channels. This month we will be featuring the musical artist Tori Love and some more short interviews from the Jamaica Jamaica! opening. The videos will premiere at 1:30pm.

Victoria ‘Tori Love’ Taffe is a daughter of the soil and musician by blood. She is currently a student of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Music Performance to embolden and refine her natural affinity to music. Her dream is to continue sharing her music to bring hope to those in the world most in need of it.

Tori Love Official

Tori’s academic prowess at the Edna Manley School of Music has afforded her many musical awards, scholarships and the honor of representing her school on several platforms. This has included a tribute to the late Edward Seaga at the Little Theatre and a featured solo act for the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards in 2019. She has also worked with both upcoming and established artistes such as Rockaz Elements, Alicia Taylor, Naomi Cowan, Richie Spice and Wayne Marshall among others.

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Virtual Last Sundays to ft. Emily Ruth and Evad Campbell

On Sunday June 28, 2020, the National Gallery of Jamaica will once again present its virtual Last Sundays programme on our YouTube channel and Instagram account. This second video in our online series will premiere at 1:30pm.

This month we will be featuring musical performances by Emily Ruth and Evad Campbell.  The programme will include brief interviews from the opening of our current Jamaica Jamaica! exhibition. Originally launched at the Philharmonie de Paris in 2017,  the exhibition explores the origins of Jamaican music, its development and its rise to international acclaim. 

Born in Manchester, Jamaica, Emily Ruth comes from an artistic family and had developed a love for the performing arts at an early age. Having devoted much of her life to music and dance, Emily went on to complete a Master’s degree in Applied Music Psychology at Roehampton University in London. Her main focus is teaching piano, cello and group music for young children at The Music House and creating music programmes for individuals with developmental challenges. She is currently a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica (POJ) as the principal cellist; is the choir director and a pianist at Hope United Church and plays for functions across the island.

Evad Campbell is a keyboardist, musical director, arranger and soundtrack producer born and raised in Kingston. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music Degree at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA., and recently received the Berklee Achievement Scholarship Award which recognizes students who have demonstrated Academic, personal and professional success while at the college. During school breaks, he returns to Jamaica and works with groups such as the Ashe Company, UWI Panoridim Steel Orchestra, Bethel Steel Orchestra and his childhood music school, The Music House

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Introducing First Saturdays: Hard Road to Travel

First Saturdays Flyer

Beginning in March 2020, the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) will be hosting a film series entitled First Saturdays, which will be held on the first Saturdays of March, April, May and June of this year. This film series has been initiated as a part of the public programming associated with the Jamaica Jamaica! exhibition, which opened to the public on February 2, 2020 and is scheduled to close on June 28, 2020.  

The NGJ will commence the film series on Saturday March 7, 2020 with the documentary film Hard Road To Travel: The Making of the Harder They Come, by Jamaican film-maker Chris Browne. Hard Road To Travel explores the two-year journey undertaken by Jamaican film-maker Perry Henzell to film and release the iconic 1972 film The Harder They Come, for which Henzell was both director and co- writer alongside Trevor Rhone. The documentary highlights the struggles of Jamaica’s early film industry, while simultaneously providing a lens through which a period of Jamaican music can be explored and interpreted. Chris Browne’s own filmography includes another outstanding Jamaican feature film, Third World Cop (1999), as well as his more recent Ghett’a Life (2011). 

The film screening of Hard Road To Travel: The Making of the Harder They Come is scheduled to commence at 1:30pm. Attendance to the event is free of cost and is open to the public. Visitors are also being encouraged to view the Jamaica Jamaica! exhibition prior to the beginning of the film. For further details, contact the National Gallery of Jamaica at (876) 618-0654, (876) 922-1561 or (876) 922-1563.

Last Sundays to ft. Heavyweight Rockaz

Heavyweight Rockaz_Flyer

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programming for February 23, 2020 will feature the most recently opened exhibition Jamaica Jamaica! and a musical performance by Heavyweight Rockaz.

Co-curated by Sebastien Carayol  (Independent Curator), Herbie Miller (Director/Curator Jamaica Music Museum) and O’Neil Lawrence (Chief Curator National Gallery of Jamaica), the exhibition takes a look at the beginnings of Jamaican music and how it evolved into an international phenomenon. Utilizing art and artifact, video and interactive technology, it looks at the musical genres of Kumina, Revival, Mento, Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, Dub and Dancehall as well as the local culture and figures that influenced their development.

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Interlocking to produce musical patterns you can feel through a sound system, the drum and bass are core elements of Reggae Music. As a Drum ‘n’ Bass duo Heavyweight Rockaz uses this synergy to create relatable music that you can groove to. Members Unga Barunga and WelshBass started a new phase of their musical journey in 2013 as Heavyweight Rockaz and had their debut performance at Wickie Wackie Live in December 2014.

The two met in early 2000 while still attending college and have been collaborating since with the goal of unifying others through their music. They have worked with the likes of Tanya Stephens, Jesse Royal and Jimmy Cliff and have performed at venues locally and internationally. Heavyweight Rockaz aims to release new music this Reggae Month including an album and the song Sweet Sensation featuring Jesse Royal.

Doors will open to the public from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. The performance will begin at 1:30 p.m. As is customary on Last Sundays, entry is free, but contributions to the Donations Box located in the lobby are appreciated. 

These donations help to fund our Last Sundays events. The National Gallery’s Gift Shop and Coffee Shop will also be open for business.