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The Bookish Side of Reggae

Proud authors of Reggae texts at the International Reggae Conference 2013

The pool of books about diverse aspects of Jamaican music deepens each year. This expanding bibliography is a critical part of not just documenting scholarship but ensuring the preservation of information about its evolution, the trends and the various elements of the culture. On Friday evening, (February 15, 2013) The International Reggae Conference 2013 spotlighted a few of these texts.

Donna Hope editor of International ReggaeThe texts were introduced by a team of presenters including Dennis Howard and Clyde McKenzie who presented an overview of books and their relevance to music landscape.

The slate of books being presented included International Reggae: Current and Future Trends in Jamaican Popular Music edited by Donna Hope. The book features presented at the last International Reggae Conference in 2010. Although the book had not completed its journey from the printery, a sample chapter was offered up to those who wanted to pre-order the book.

The other books being highlighted included The Encyclopedia of Reggae: The Golden Age of Roots Reggae by Mike Alleyne with foreward by Sly Dunbar. The panel also brought attention to Ska: An Oral History by Heather Augusty; Rastafari in the New Millenium Edited by Michael Barnett with a foreword by Rex Nettleford; Jamaican Vibrations: The History of Jamaican Popular Music in the 20th Century; as well as Ranting From Inside the Dancehall by Dennis Howard.

The panel, hosted by Roshane Miller, highlighted the breadth of texts being generated about the music, presenting a worthwhile mini-bibliography for the would-be Reggae aficionado.

The International Reggae Conference 2013 was held from February 14 - 16 at the University of the West Indies, Mona.