As demonstrations in Baltimore over the weekend to protest the death of Freddie Gray took on a celebratory tone, the entire cast of the Bob Marley musical that is scheduled to open this week in that city threw a free concert there on Saturday afternoon at Penn and North, right in the middle of the demonstrations, and close by the spot where Gray was arrested.
The cast of the Kwame Kwei-Armah-produced world premiere musical, Marley, features several Jamaicans, including actor and playwright David Heron, and former Miss Jamaica USA and Miss Jamaica World runner-up, Victoria Harper. The cast of Bob Marley urged residents of Baltimore to join them as they brought healing and joy to the community through the gift of song from the catalogue of legendary Jamaican icon, Bob Marley, who is seen globally as a freedom fighter.
“Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights”, the cast reprised to thunderous applause.
Bob Marley music
“The entire cast of 35 actors is here and the mood is very upbeat and happy as large crowds are gathering to hear a soothing selection of Bob Marley songs”, Rosiland Cauthen, director of community programms for CenterStage, told 18 Karat Reggae just before the start of the concert.
The musical runs from May 7 to June 4 at CenterStage and is based on the life and music of Bob Marley. One of the investors for the production is the founder of Island Records, Chris Blackwell, and he was in Baltimore attending one of the grueling rehearsals last week.
Elsewhere in the Jamaican community in Baltimore, popular concert promoters Vision In Music (VIM), that is made up of three Jamaicans, Pete Pinnock, Neville Jones and Donovan Murphy, said they were heading to Saturday’s concert to show support for all the residents of color in Baltimore. VIM is also planning to pay their own tribute, too. “We have an upcoming reggae event called Fire Rama on May 23 here in Baltimore that will be headlined by Capleton, and we are now looking at ways to express strong solidarity with the friends, family and supporters of Freddie Gray during that event”, Pete Pinnock told 18 Karat Reggae.