Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff signed into law on May 14 a law establishing the National Day of Reggae, celebrated annually on May 11 – the date Jamaican musician Bob Marley died.
According to the law, the date will serve to honour “the musical rhythm spread worldwide by Robert Nesta Marley”.
Senator Rodrigo Rollemberg – then a congressman – authored the bill, according to the Culture Ministry.
Rollemberg justifies the new law, in the text of the bill, saying “it is relevant to recognise the foreign musical rhythms, which without a doubt, ‘fell’ into Brazilian taste”.
In the text, Rollemberg also said: “The legacy that Bob Marley left the world goes far beyond reggae: it is through this music that many Brazilian artists use the medium of music to make legitimate social criticisms.
“This musical style greatly influenced some areas of Brazil, such as Salvador, which enacted a city ordinance establishing the day of reggae.”
Rollemberg also talked about how Bob Marley influenced Brazilian music, citing “Cidade Negra, Edson Gomes, Gilberto Gil among many other national artists devoted to continue to push through reggae, messages of peace, love and social criticism to encourage people to fight for their rights, just like Marley, considered the first superstar of the Third World with international recognition.
Meanwhile, a commemorative blue plaque has been placed at the London home where reggae star Dennis Brown lived, the unitedreggae.com website reports.
The unveiling ceremony took place on April 7 and was attended by Brown’s widow Yvonne and his brother Leroy.
Brown and his brother lived at the house in Harlesden from 1993 to 1999, the year he died from respiratory failure.
The ceremony was attended by Jamaican entertainers who have lived in London for years, including singers Jimmy James, Count Prince Miller and Winston Francis.
Dennis Brown, often referred to as the “Crown Prince of Reggae”, had a massive following in Britain where he operated his DEB label for several years.
Symbolic blue plaques have been placed at the homes of famous persons in Britain since the late 19th century. Among them are John Lennon of the Beatles, guitar great Jimi Hendrix, poet Lord Byron, and authors Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson.
Brown had an illustrious career which started in the 1960s at the age of 11. He recorded many albums including “Wolf and Leopards” (1977) and “Visions of Dennis Brown” (1978). - clintonlindsay.com