Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bob Marley's Sons to Hold JA Peace Concert

Bob Marley JA Peace Concert
Associated Press
KINGSTON, Jamaica - Four sons of Bob Marley will hold a concert promoting peace to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the musician's birth, a family spokesman said yesterday.

The Feb. 10 concert, called "Smile Jamaica," will be held in the reggae superstar's birthplace of Nine Miles, in St. Ann parish, spokesman Jerome Hamilton said.

The concert shares the name of a 1976 show staged by the government of former socialist Prime Minister Michael Manley to promote harmony among politically aligned gangs, and will feature Stephen Marley and his brothers Ky-Mani, Damian and Julian, Hamilton said.

"They are trying to push a message of peace although it won't be as hard-core as when Bob did it," he said.

Hamilton said Los Angeles-based Ziggy Marley, the most famous of the musician's children, was not able to attend and rarely visits Jamaica.

Ziggy Marley won four Grammys with the Melody Makers, a band that included brother Stephen and sisters Sharon and Cedella until they disbanded in 1999.

Marley's children and Rita Marley, the singer's widow, perform across the globe. Rita, who often accompanied her husband's band with her soul trio, the I-Threes, is expected to attend the St. Ann parish concert.

The February date coincides with Bob Marley Week, a celebration of the singer's birth on Feb. 6, 1945, and falls within the height of Jamaica's tourism season.

Marley rose from the gritty shantytowns of Kingston to global stardom in the 1970s with hits "No Woman, No Cry" and "I Shot the Sheriff." His lyrics promoting "one love" and social revolution made him an icon in developing countries worldwide. A devout Rastafarian, Marley died of cancer in Miami in 1981 at age 36.

Since his death, the music world and Rastafarian community have celebrated the birthday anniversary of the musician, whom some even consider a prophet.