SUNY-UWI to ponder dancehall genre’s future

SUNY-UWI to ponder dancehall genre’s future
Jamaican Professor Carolyn Cooper.

Tasked with addressing issues related to leadership and sustainable development a partnership between the State University of New York (SUNY) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) culled a panel discussion to focus on the future of dancehall music.

Their Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development (CLSD) with its common vision of providing access to information and knowledge to assist the Caribbean diaspora and other minority communities here proposed a conversation that might add to others proposed and voted to meet the United Nations 2030 SDG goals.

Focusing on the Caribbean music industry, the topic of focus will be “What’s next for dancehall and breakout artists.”

Slated to present the keynote address will be Jamaican educator Professor Carolyn Cooper, a distinguished intellectual who is reputed to being an advocate for the preservation of reggae and dancehall music as well as one of the primary architects of establishing a curriculum at UWI dedicated to the genre.

Cooper has submitted a plethora of literary papers detailing the cultural connection of Jamaica’s homegrown music to Africa and the rest of the Caribbean.

Throughout her storied career she has been at the forefront defending the roots of the music and also some of its ambassadors.

Invited speakers to the Aug 19 event will also include include Cristy Barber, an avowed fan of the music who transitioned to corporate representation of reggae artists and record distributors of reggae music.

Robert “Bobby” Clarke, president and CEO of IRIE Jam Media Group, consisting of outlets that provide news, music and sports via an internet portal as well radio broadcasts centered around informing the Jamaican community is also expected to add poignant commentary.

The founder of brokered radio programming aired at 93.5 FM will join Spragga Benz, a dancehall artist who recently garnered huge audiences on his island during Reggae Sumfest.

Slated for the SUNY Empire State College, 177 Livingston St. in Brooklyn, the event is presented as part of the community engagement lecture series.

The program will begin at 6 pm and is slated to run for two and a half hours.


Reggae icon Rita Marley and dancehall legend Sizzla Kalonji are among the principal honorees at this year’s Emancipendence celebrations in Jamaica.

Presented during Grand Gala, the national public ceremonial gathering that culminates the celebration of Emancipation and independence at the island’s National Stadium in Kingston attracts the most distinguished citizens and a vast array of nationals to laud with high accolades the contributions of superlative individuals.

“It means the whole world to me coming from my nation,” the deejay reportedly stated.

“Coming from a nation with love on such a day (independence) in such a season means everything.”

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