The annual celebration of the birth, life, and legacy of the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley (OD) will once again take place on February 6th. This year, the Marley Family and its group of companies honor his 77th birthday with a 7 day series of 7 main events including a beach clean-up, sound clash, music industry seminars, two art installations, a grass-roots football clinic, and two concerts. All activities will showcase various aspects of his legacy under the theme Roots 77. Fans worldwide are invited to join festivities by tuning in to the Live Stream of Bob Marley’s 77th Earthstrong on the Tuff Gong TV YouTube channel, February 6, 12noon to 7pm.
“I am so pleased to have the opportunity to honour my dad each year — especially in a way that welcomes fans and well-wishers around the world to share this special occasion with our family,” states Cedella Marley. “This year is particularly important to us with Jamaica celebrating its 60th anniversary. The theme we chose, Roots 77, is inspired by the song ‘Roots’ and as we go back to our roots, we get a chance to explore the growth of Reggae, Rastafari, and Jamaica.”
“From now until February 4th, the Bob Marley Foundation is accepting entries from young artists for the juried Roots 77 Art Exhibition that will be on show at the Bob Marley Museum from February to August,” says Lecia-Gaye Taylor, Operations Manager for the Bob Marley Group of Companies. She continues “One of the main attractions of the celebration, however, is the new Rita Marley: Mystic of a Queen permanent installation at the Museum.”
The Berette S Macaulay-curated exhibition honouring Marley’s widow, family matriarch, philanthropist, singer-songwriter, cultural shaper, and entrepreneur, the Honourable Dr. Alfarita ‘Rita’ Constantia Marley OJ, OD, will be a permanent fixture at the Bob Marley Museum. It will debut on Sunday, February 6th with a private viewing by a delegation of government officials, including the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Tourism and Culture Ministers, and others, before opening to the public on weekdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Another highlight is the Roots 77 Concert: Celebrating the Roots of Marley’s Livity, which will be broadcast live from Jamaica and heard exclusively on Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Radio (channel 19, SiriusXM) from Tuff Gong International Studio on Monday, January 31, at 5pm. This concert, hosted by Tommy Cowan, features performances from by Etana, Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica, Gyptian, Bugle, Black-Am-I and Amanyea.
Bob Marley’s 77th Earthday live stream will be carried on Tuff Gong’s YouTube channel, Tuff Gong Television, from noon to 7pm on February 6th. The live stream features the broadcast premiere of the Roots77 Concert from Jamaica as well as additional musical performances from Minister Marion Hall, Sharon Marley, Skip Marley, Yohan Marley, and Elijah Marley. The main event will be the concert finale performed by the Marley Brothers (Ziggy, Stephen, Kymani, Julian, and Damian).
The birthday live stream on Tuff Gong TV will include highlights from the ongoing celebrations as well as live-action events at the Museum like African drumming; student performances, and the traditional blowing of the Abeng.
For the first of the birthday activities, the Bob and Rita Marley Foundations organized a ‘Back to our Roots’ Beach Clean-up & Concert on the morning of January 22 to spotlight environmental consciousness as one facet of the late reggae icon’s holistic wellness. This project mobilized community members to clean up the beach from 7 Miles to 8 Miles in Bull Bay, St. Thomas and concluded with the Back To Our Roots Concert at Jamnesia. This show featured performances by Billy Mystic, Micah Shemiah, Earth & the Fullness, From the Deep, Frogg Boss, and Blacka Lion.
One exciting occurrence is the introduction of The 7 Roots of Marley. The video meditations will explore the reggae legend’s ideals and give insight into the lasting global impact of Marley’s spiritual, social, and cultural philosophies. The short daily meditations will air each day leading into his birthday and will include: 1) Identity – Jan 30, 2) Food – Jan 31, 3) Creativity – Feb 1, 4) Fitness – Feb 2, 5) Rastafari – Feb 3, 6) Human Rights – Feb 4, 7) Music – Feb 5.
Julia Vaz, marketing director of the Bob Marley Group of Companies, emphasized the comprehensive nature of this year’s offerings: “The goal is to provide something for everyone and to emphasize different aspects of Bob Marley’s guiding beliefs and way of life. We want people to have a feel of who he was beyond his status as a reggae superstar.”
True to the Roots77 theme of honoring our foundation, the soundclash is a throwback to when reggae ruled the dancehalls. ‘Echoes of Sound Systems – When the Two 7’s Clash’ is a collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sports (MCGES) with the first airing on the Tuff Gong TV birthday live stream, February 6. Billed as the soundclash to end all sound clashes, it will see sound systems vie for the top prize and bragging rights. This event also launches part of the celebrations for Jamaica’s 60th year of independence and will air weekly during reggae month (February) on Tuff Gong TV.
The Bob Marley Foundation will stage a series of seminars on the business of music. Presented in partnership with the MCGES, JARIA, and IRIE FM, the Zoom seminars will air live on Irie FM and Tuff Gong TV as follows:
Tuesday, February 1, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
To Structure or Not to Structure…Recipes for Success.
Guests: Zachary Harding, Ron Young, Carlette Deleon, Lorna Bennett. Moderator: Ka’bu Ma’at Kheru
Wednesday, February 2, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Reggae in the Digital era… Monetizing social platforms.
NCB Links, WiPay, Large-Up, Brian Greenspoon. Moderator: DJ Sunshine
Thursday, February 3, 3:00pm – 4:30pM
How are musicians earning money in a pandemic
Guests: M1, Wayne Marshall and Tami Chin the Mitchells, Erik Mendelson (OneOf NFT site) Moderator: Mutabaruka
Roots 77: Bob Marley’s 77th Earthstrong Celebration would not be complete without the following activities:
Friday, February 4
“Roots Of A Riddim” Beats Breakdown Workshop at Tuff Gong Studio will focus on music production and include a feedback session. Hosted by Universal Music artist Nonso Amadi, it is geared towards emerging music composers, producers, and recording artists in Jamaica.
Saturday, February 5, 10:00am – 1:00pm
Football Is Freedom Roots77 U-15 girls football clinic is the first local event held under the umbrella of Cedella Marley’s recently-launched initiative that focuses on football as a means to foster both the holistic and athletic development of young women. The FIF/Roots77 clinic will be conducted by FIFA-licensed coaches from Jamaica and the United States. Medical personnel will also be on site to ensure that all safety protocols are followed.
Sunday, February 6, 12noon – 7pm
Live Stream of Bob Marley’s 77th Earthstrong
Tuff Gong TV on YouTube