High Commission in London Pays Tribute to Women in Reggae Music
The Jamaican High Commission in London ended its Reggae Month celebrations with a special event paying tribute to women in reggae music. The event included a panel discussion featuring women involved in different aspects of the reggae music industry.
They included Singer Janet Kay; Joy Ellington of VP Records; and Radio Producer and Founder/Director of the Black Music Canteen, Ruby Mulraine.
The moderator was Mykaell Riley of Steel Pulse, who is now head of Music Production and Programme Director, Black Music Research, at the University of Westminster. Jamaican High Commissioner, Her Excellency, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, said the event was important, as women have played an important role in all aspects of the music industry, behind the scenes, and as singers in their own right.
“There is doubt that reggae music has made a significant impact around the world, thanks to the efforts of reggae icons such as Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and many others, who have forged the path. Very little, however, is often said about the female artistes, who have been at the forefront of the musical genre from its inception. Too often, reggae music is seen worldwide as largely a male-dominated industry,” Mrs. Ndombet-Assamba said.
The High Commissioner said that the success of female artistes in Jamaican reggae music was not just restricted to providing backing vocals to male artistes, as a number of female singers like Marcia Griffiths, Millie Small, Judy Mowatt and Rita Marley, had success in Jamaica and in the United Kingdom.
“Many of them have overcome personal struggles in what is a tough industry, especially for women. Many of these challenges still exist but we women are resilient and we are committed to succeed at whatever we turn our minds to. For this reason, I am proud that we at the High Commission can close our Reggae Month celebrations by recognising the role that women have played in promoting one of our greatest exports to the world – reggae music,” the High Commissioner added.
The evening ended with a short musical set by Lovella Ellis, the daughter of the late iconic Jamaican singer Alton Ellis.
By Vivienne Siva March 3, 2014