Tag Archives: MUSIC

On Travel: Reggae in Jamaica, The Spirit of One Love

“One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.”~ Robert (Bob) Nesta Marley

I can’t think of one music genre that unites people more than Reggae does. Or any one artist known the world over, like Bob Marley (other than Michael Jackson, may they both rest in peace).

All races, all ages, all corners of the world. Roots reggae soothes, it warms the soul, it makes you think positive. And no matter what is going on, there is nothing like listening live reggae to make your troubles go away. Well, at least for a few hours!

And today, the music genre is far from dead. If anything it has gained in popularity and is growing into more and more festivals around the world. I think it’s because now more than ever, we all seek peace and unity, and an understanding of life one way or another. Reggae lyrics are about just that – the concept of One Love.

But I will still say this: you haven’t really listened to reggae until you’ve heard it live in Jamaica. On the beach, by the water, or on the cliffs… the breeze blowing and the melodies ringing in your ear, and up close and personal with reggae’s top recording artists. There’s an unspoken, spiritual cadence in the air when the music plays in Jamaica.

It’s also how I started my concert photography, shooting live reggae in Jamaica. If anyone had told me years ago that I’d be doing that one day, I would have thought they were nuts.  But that’s just it – just like travel, reggae has the power to move and inspire, to change.

So if there ever was a good reason to visit the land of Bob – aside from its beautiful beaches and culture – music is it. Come see what brings so many people together, first hand. You never know where it might lead you.

Bunny Wailer, of the original Bob Marley & The Wailers | Live at the Annual Bob Marley Birthday Bash | Negril, Jamaica, February 2009

Bob Marley’s sons can be found performing live at home, when not on tour overseas. A truly magical experience. | Marley Magic Show | Negril, Jamaica, April 2009

Beres Hammond, at the “One Love Concert Series” – now Jamaica’s rising best concert series| Negril, Jamaica, February 2010 | Every Tuesday night, the sea and cliffside resort Negril Escape features a major reggae artist, live. Can’t think of a better way to experience reggae in Jamaica.

Ky-Mani Marley, One Love Concert Series, Jamaica 2010

A unique reggae experience in Jamaica (and the most popular today) is Rebel Salute. | Jamaica 2011

The Jungle Nightclub, one of Jamaica’s well-known venues, hosts concerts throughout the year. | Rootz Underground, Negril, Jamaica, March 2009

Jamaica’s established and ever-growing Annual Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival always features at least a one great Jamaican artist or group. ~ Third World, January 2010

Flags at reggae concert in Jamaica add to the overall vibe | Bob Marley Birthday Bash, Negril, Jamaica 2009

Concert Files: Erykah Badu | Annual Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival 2010

Erykah Badu is mesmerizing live. Original, unique in both appearance and style of performance, there is truly no one quite like her. She drew the crowd in at the 2010 annual Jamaica Jazz Festival from the moment she stepped onto stage. Even in complete silence her presence has a weight. An indescribable, ever-present spirit. I had a hard time putting my camera down, I was completely engrossed.

Concert photography is one of my first loves. It’s how I learned how to slowly master my SLR, and continuously learn about  lighting and speed. Mostly, I think it’s because I love to capture people’s emotions and moments in time. Emotions from the artist – whether jumping on stage or leaning towards the crowd or laughing half-way through their song – and emotions from the fans, the crowd. The pulsating sensation from being up front and being able to capture the music and the experience first-hand through my lens – like my own private window into the artist’s soul, hidden from the rest of the crowd – is something I absolutely love. Maybe also because music is a big part of my daily life – I listen to all kinds, from African to reggae, punta, zouk, R&B, soul, calypso, soca, pop, salsa, and merengue… you name it.

I’ve attended many concerts as a fan, and I dare say, I appreciate them more as a photographer. The music hits me. It hits me hard because I am “living” the artist for those two hours or so, through my own bubble, and I see the real person. Passion and creativity at their highest. Then I see the energy around me, and it engulfs me from head to toe.

If, in the end, folks view my  concert photos and walk away inspired and with a sense of the exact mood and sensation of that night, and a lasting memory of the artists’ true spirit… then I will have accomplished my goal.