Bob Marley’s Birthday Celebration: #Roots77

Legend to be celebrated with exciting activities dubbed #Roots77

Bob Marley Day is commemorated each year on his birthday, February 6th, with a variety of activities globally. This year, as part of the 77th birthday celebrations (#ROOTS77), there will be 7 days with 7 main events including a beach clean-up, a sound clash, music industry seminars, two art installations, and not just one but 2 concerts.  All activities will showcase various aspects of his legacy under the theme Roots 77. Fans worldwide are invited to join festivities by tuning in to the Live Stream of Bob Marley’s 77th Earthstrong on the Tuff Gong TV YouTube channelFebruary 6, 12noon to 7pm.

“I am so pleased to have the opportunity to honour my dad each year — especially in a way that welcomes fans and well-wishers around the world to share this special occasion with our family,” states Cedella Marley. “This year is particularly important to us with Jamaica celebrating its 60th anniversary.  The theme we chose, Roots 77, is inspired by the song ‘Roots’ and as we go back to our roots, we get a chance to explore the growth of Reggae, Rastafari, and Jamaica.”

“From now until February 4th, the Bob Marley Foundation is accepting entries from young artists for the juried Roots 77 Art Exhibition that will be on show at the Bob Marley Museum from February to August,” says Lecia-Gaye Taylor, operations manager and legal counsel for the Bob Marley Group of Companies. She continues “One of the main attractions of the celebration, however, is the new Rita Marley: Mystic of a Queen permanent installation at the Museum.” 

The Berette S Macaulay-curated exhibition honouring Marley’s widow, the family matriarch, philanthropist, singer-songwriter, cultural shaper, and entrepreneur, the Honourable Dr Alferita ‘Rita’ Constantia Marley OJ, OD, LITT will be a permanent fixture at the Bob Marley Museum. It will debut on February 6 with a private viewing by a delegation of government officials, including the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, and other government officials, before opening to the public on weekdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Another highlight is the Roots 77 Concert: Celebrating the Roots of Marley’s Livity, which will be broadcast live on SiriusXM from Tuff Gong International Studio on Monday, January 31, at 5pm. This will include performances by Etana, Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica, Gyptian, Bugle, Black-Am-I, Amanyea, and hosted by legendary MC Tommy Cowan.

Through the Tuff Gong TV YouTube channel, Bob Marley’s 77th Earthday live stream will be carried on February 6, 12noon – 7pm. The full audio and video of the Roots 77 Concert from Jamaica to the East Coast and the West Coast of the USA will showcase additional musical performances by The Marley brothers, Minister Marion Hall, formerly known as the queen of the dancehall, Lady Saw, Sharon Marley, and grandsons Skip Marley, Jo Mersa Marley, and Elijah Marley.

The birthday live stream on Tuff Gong TV will also feature highlights from the ongoing celebrations as well as live-action events at the Museum like African drumming; the traditional blowing of the Abeng; and student performances from Haile Selassie High School, Liguanea Preparatory, St. Andrew Preparatory School, Revival All-Age School, and St. Isaac Basic School.

For the first of the birthday activities, the Bob and Rita Marley Foundations organized a ‘Back to our Roots’ Beach Clean-up & Concert on the morning of January 22 to spotlight environmental consciousness as one facet of the late reggae icon, Bob Marley’s holistic wellness livity. This project mobilized community members to clean up the beach from 7 Miles to 8 Miles in Bull Bay, St. Thomas and culminated in the Back to our Roots Concert at the cultural landmark, Jamnesia. This show featured performances by Billy Mystic, Micah Shemiah, Earth & the Fullness, From the Deep, Frogg Boss, and Blacka Lion.

A new and exciting feature of the Bob Marley celebration is the introduction of The 7 Roots of Marley.  Inspired by the 7 pillars of Kwanzaa, the video meditations will explore the reggae legend’s ideals and give insight into his natural mystic, well-roundedness, and far-reaching impact. The short daily meditations will air each day leading into his birthday and will include: 1) Identity – Jan 30, 2) Food – Jan 31, 3) Creativity – Feb 1, 4) Fitness – Feb 2, 5) Rastafari – Feb 3, 6) Human Rights – Feb 4, 7) Music – Feb 5.

Julia Vaz, marketing director of the Bob Marley Group of Companies, emphasized the comprehensive nature of this year’s offerings: “The goal is to provide something for everyone and to emphasize different aspects of Bob Marley’s guiding beliefs and way of life. We want people to have a feel of who he was beyond his status as a reggae superstar.”

True to this notion of going back to our roots, the soundclash is a throwback to when Reggae ruled the dancehalls. ‘Echoes of Sound Systems – When the Two 7’s Clash’ is a collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sports (MCGES) with the first airing on the Tuff Gong TV birthday live stream, February 6.  Billed as the soundclash to end all sound clashes, it will see sound systems vie for the top prize and bragging rights. This celebration also forms part of the celebrations for Jamaica’s 60th year of independence and will air weekly during reggae month (February) on Tuff Gong TV.

As part of the Roots 77 birthday celebrations, the Bob Marley Foundation also looks forward to conducting a three-part series of Music Industry Seminars on the business of music. In conjunction with the MCGES, JARIA, and IRIE FM, the Zoom seminars, will be aired live on Irie FM and Tuff Gong TV from February 1-3, including:

Tuesday, February 1, 6:30pm – 8:00pm

To Structure or Not to Structure…Recipes for Success.

Guests: Zachary Harding, Ron Young, Carlette Deleon, Lorna Bennett. Moderator: Ka’bu Ma’at Kheru

Wednesday, February 2, 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Reggae in the Digital era… Monetizing social platforms.

Kibwe McGann, Large-Up, Brian Greenspoon. Moderator: DJ Sunshine

Thursday, February 3, 3:00pm – 4:30pm

How are musicians earning money in a pandemic?

Guests: M1, Erik Mendelson (OneOf NFT site)

Moderator: Mutabaruka

Roots 77: Bob Marley’s 77th Earthstrong Celebration would not be complete without the following activities:

Friday, February 4

“Roots Of A Riddim” Beats Breakdown Workshop at Tuff Gong Studio will focus on music production and include a feedback session. Hosted by Nonso Amadi, an international artist signed to Universal, it is geared towards emerging music composers, producers and recording artists in Jamaica. For more information: gavin@quietaskept.cotrung@quietaskept.cojadeolubusola@gmail.com

Saturday, February 5, 10:00am – 1:00pm

The Football Is Freedom football clinic at St George’s College is a grassroots initiative to provide a holistic and safe environment that young girls can learn soccer skills, life lessons, and foster friendships.  The Football is Freedom camp will be overseen by FIFA licensed coaches.

Sunday, February 6, 12noon – 7pm

Live Stream of Bob Marley’s 77th Earthstrong

Tuff Gong TV on youtube

Thank you to our partners the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sports (MCGES), Jamaica 60, Reggae Month, SiriusXM, JARIA, IRIE FM, Marley One, Jamnesia, Courtleigh Hotel & Suites, Etal Store, and Mama Yashi.

For more information on the #Roots77 birthday activities, stay tuned to the Bob Marley Museum social pages

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