International Reggae Day.

Toots from Toots and the Maytals
Toots from Toots and the Maytals

Today is international Reggae Day and the genre that began in Jamaica is being celebrated worldwide.

More than 35 countries and millions of people will join in the spectacular celebrations for the genre of music that uplifts and inspires like no other genre.

Andrea Davis, one of the chief organizers of International Reggae Day 2016, told 18 Karat Reggae that she is happy that so many countries have been warming up to the idea of celebrating reggae music. Last year, the total number of participating cities was 25, a big increase from the three participating cities it had in 2015.

“Global appeal means global opportunities,” she said. “The local industry needs to build bridges into the international markets through collaborations and strategic marketing initiatives like International Reggae Day,” she said.

In Jamaica, in addition to media partnerships, the main event will be the staging of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and Jamaica Copyright Licensing Agency-sponsored conference at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in St Andrew.

“The conference will foccus on both Kingston as a creative city and navigating the digital content economy. Our panellists will include David Stopps of WIPO, Los Angeles-based travel consultant Ashley Randolph; musician/producer Danny Browne; photographer Fern Foster; musicologist Junior Lincoln; and entertainment and culture minister Babsy Grange. We are expecting a great conference as we look to build the reggae brand,” Davis said.

The organisers are also endorsing a number of events including tonight’s edition of Clarendon Live, featuring Duane Stephenson and Etana at the Fyahside Jerk Centre in Toll Gate, Clarendon and Startime at Clarendon Park come tomorrow with Marcia Griffiths, Freddie McGregor and Derrick Morgan.

In New York, a special event is being held featuring an acoustic performance by Toots and the Maytals in observance of International Reggae Day.

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  1. How is International Reggae day being celebrated in November when half the planet is freezing in the rain, cold and darkness of the Fall season? We need sunshine to celebrate Reggae Day. Please move it to a date between May and August.

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