For the very first time in the intriguing history of Jamaican poetry, a member of the Marley family, Skip Marley, will grace the stage of the Jamaica Poetry Festival (JPF) 2022 slated for the AC Marriott Hotel, Kingston, the Jamaican capital, on Sunday, Aug. 14 at 7:00 p.m.
Other performers include Monty Alexander, who has been chronicled on more than 75 major recordings and cited as the fifth greatest jazz pianist ever, in The Fifty Greatest Jazz Piano Players of All Time (Hal Leonard Publishing); Marjorie Whylie; Prof. Mervyn Morris; Dr. Michael Abrahams; and Yasus Afari.
Skip is the eldest son of the legendary Bob Marley’s first daughter, Cedella — an original member of the Grammy winning Melody Makers, which also consisted of Ziggy Marley and Stephen “Ragga” Marley.
Skip shot to international fame with the hauntingly melodious song “No Slowing Down,” which was recorded with GRAMMY-winning R&B superstar H.E.R.
“It’s an honor to be the first JPF youth ambassador,” an enthusiastic Skip told Caribbean Life. “Jamaica is where I was born, and I’m proud to represent the island’s rich cultural heritage through my music releases, live shows, social media, and participation in events like Jamaica Poetry Festival 2022.”
With hundreds of millions of streams worldwide and over 40 million views on Youtube, Skip is now headlining his first solo US tour, billed the “Change Tour.”
“In the light of his potent, positive and visionary work, we are delighted to present Skip Marley as a performer and youth ambassador of our 12th Annual Jamaica Poetry Festival 2022,” Festival founder Yasus Afari told Caribbean Life. “We hope to create a collaborative synergy with Skip, which shall inspire and emanate social advocacy and international support for Jamaican Poetry.
“Additionally, Skip shall enable us to reach a wider international audience, especially via social media in order to enhance Jamaican poetry and the Global Poetry Movement,” he added. “This development is particularly important, especially in view of Bob Marley’s poetry and the inclusion of poetry by the USA Grammy Awards 2023.”
The Jamaica Poetry Festival was born in 2011 as part of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary celebration, with sponsorship support from the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).
Currently, JPF 2022 is being considered Jamaica’s 60th designation. JPF was staged at Louise Bennett Garden Theatre in Kingston for nine years.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event went virtual in 2020 and 2021, cultivating a huge global audience.
In 2020, JPF celebrated its 10th anniversary with poets from 10 countries, including Iran, South Korea, Botswana, Netherlands, Canada, USA, England, Trinidad-Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica.