Like our alluring spices, the Jamaican pop culture has embedded its savor in some surprising places.
A few weeks back, I was pleasantly surprised when a Vietnamese colleague whipped out his Iphone and showed me album covers of his rich collection of Reggae artists.He then started humming, and bopping like a rude boy to the tune of:
Dennis Brown’s “Money in my pocket, but I just can’t get no love”
How is this possible?
The Jamaican brand remains very strong.
It did not just happen out of thin air, but conscious development and maintenance by entrepreneurs called promoters.These cultural diplomats provide forums for the stars to shine, and also protect the value of the brand.
I recently had the privilege to share a few moments with one of our premier promoters, Mr. Ephraim M. Martin. Ephraim is an entrepreneur, publisher and TV personality, hailing from Chicago.
His many accomplishments include: Being the founder of:
- The Chicago Music Awards (CMA)
- The International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA),
- The International Festival of Life (IFOL)
- The Caribbean Festival/Jamaica Independence Celebration (CAF/JIC).
In 1989, he established Martin’s International Culture, a not-for-profit arts organization to promote African/Caribbean music arts, and culture.
His fine efforts have been duly recognized.
- Mr. Martin was the 2006 recipient of the prestigious Black Heritage Image Award.
- He was named among the top ten “People Who Rock Chicago” by New City, a weekly newspaper.
- He was honored among the top fifteen African-American “Men Who Lead” at the Afrique Magazine Awards.
Now, let’s hear from you!