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.

Happy Birthday to Bob Marley

Kirt Henry, Assistant Curator at the National Gallery of Jamaica along with representatives from participating Caribbean countries at Expo 2020 Dubai, pay tribute to Bob Marley on his 77th Birthday.

This effort is part of the Reggae Month activities at the Jamaica Pavilion coordinated by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Jamaica Tourist Board and the Jamaica, Special Economic Zone Authority.

Last Sundays to ft. Heavyweight Rockaz

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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.