A Toast to Pioneers of Jamaican Sound System Culture

Danny Dread and Other Living Legends Honored by JA Government

Reggae Month’s official close out event went down successfully last weekend in Jamaica and it was all about Sound System Culture.

The very first “Echoes of Soundsystem” celebration was star studded, and honored pioneering selectors, sound operators, artists and individuals who’ve made an immense impact in laying the foundation of Jamaica’s music genres.

The driving force behind the mass distribution of the Reggae genre in its emerging years, when Jamaican radio disk jockeys wouldn’t play Reggae on air, the Jamaican sound system delivered arguably the most influential music genre to the world.

Held at National Stadium’s Indoor Entertainment Complex in Kingston, living legend Danny Dread “the Teacher” was among those who were honored. Known around the world for being the iconic game changing selector of legendary sounds like: Papa Roots, Volcano, King Jammy’s, and Sturgav (among others), Danny Dread joined North America’s #1 sound in 1985 and is still an active member.

Honored alongside Danny Dread were iconic pioneers like: Paul Love, Toops, King Illawi, Peter Metro, Skyjuice, Yellowman, Chronicle, Burru Banton, Rory Stonelove, Ainsley “Rifle” Grey, and Louise Bennett. The pioneering Jamaican soundsystems that were also honored include: Stonelove, Metromedia, Bodyguard, Jamrock, Merritone, Silverhawk, Spinners Choice, Super D, Gemini, Jah Love, Ecology Force, Peacemaker, Sturgav and Exodus Nuclear.

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The first time the Jamaican Government has ever officially honored the integral role of the pioneers of sound system culture, the inscription on the Icon of Jamaican Sound System award that each honoree received reads, “For pioneering and championing sound systems at the cradle of and lasting bedrock of Jamaican music.”

The successful standing room only event also featured 12 sound systems which strung up in one venue, and each sound saluted various eras of Jamaican music. The 8 hour celebration, awards, music and friendly sound clash exhibition was sponsored and co-produced by the Government of Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture, Entertainment & Sports, and organized by sound system icon Ricky Trooper.

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Slated to become an annual event, when asked why he felt honoring the inaugural honorees at the 2020 Echoes of Sound System event was important, Trooper said “All my life I played a sound system and I grew up in sound culture. The amount of work they did to set the foundation, I wouldn’t feel good if they didn’t get recognized now, before they are gone. Because if they never set it, no one today would be able to do this. They are kings inna this.”

Still actively contributing to the culture, living legend Danny Dread and the King Addies crew will be featured in the “Vintage Is Forever” sound clash, versus longtime rival Jack Scorpio of the legendary Black Scorpio sound, on Friday April 3rd in New York City.

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About Christine Coley 4 Articles
Founder/CEO of Impulse Nation. Public Relations, Sales, Marketing and Product Development Rockstar.

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