Jamaica Journal's latest issue devoted to popular music had a special launch at the Devonshire recently to welcome a donation of music memorabilia to the Jamaica Music Museum from the radio personality Dermot Hussey. Included in the launch was a small historical exhibition that offered a historical overview of the development of Jamaican music forms from its earliest Taino beginnings with a crudely hewn wooden drum to Sly Dunbar's technically sophisticated drum machine that revolutionised the sound of reggae.
The display gave viewers a taste of what they can expect when Jamaica's Music Museum is established downtown under the direction of Herbie Miller, reggae music expert and one time manager of the singer Peter Tosh. Also on show were album covers, gold discs, photographs, poster and ephemera that tracked the rise to international popularity of music forms such as ska, reggae and dance hall since Jamaica's Independence. Already a location near Kingston's waterfront has been identified for the museum and there is much excitement about this new museum being the catalyst for urban renewal and tourism regeneration for the old city. Certainly, it would be good to hear the sounds of Marley, the Abbysinians, Dennis Brown and Black Uhuru resonating again in these crime threatened neigbourhoods but will the dons who effectively control these areas be persuaded to dance to a different tune?