Rototom Sunsplash is proud to be holding its twentieth edition in Spain from August 17th to 24th however we are very pleased to kick start proceedings this year in the home of reggae - Jamaica.
The choice of Jamaica serves a dual purpose: (i) it enables Rototom to participate in the International Reggae Conference, which is being held on the University Of West Indies' campus in Kingston (from February 14th to 16th next) and (ii) it also allows Rototom to take advantage of the wide range of important musical and cultural events that take place across the island during Jamaica's well supported and popular 'Reggae Month'.
'Reggae Month' and the associated international conference come hot on the heels of the 'Rebel Salute' festival and celebrations for both (dear departed) Dennis Brown and Bob Marleys' birthdays. Marley - who is still alive and well in so many ways - would now be 68 years old! This series of events also coincides with 'Black History Month' - the annual remembrance period for important people and events in the history of the African Diaspora. In short, Rototom is delighted to avail of this opportune musical, cultural and historical window, enabling our festival's representatives to promote our Sunsplash, whilst at the same time keeping in touch with new and emerging Jamaican singers, trends and events.
It is traditional for the Institute Of Caribbean Studies and the University Of West Indies to organise a prestigious series of meetings and readings during the 'Reggae Month'. Based on the theme: "International Reggae: Traditional and Emerging Expression in Popular Music", Rototom Sunsplash's invitation to participate in this event is yet another external and important affirmation and exciting reward for the international impact and worldwide drawing power of our festival.
Rototom Sunsplash will host two specific sessions at the aforementioned conference. The first input is entitled: "An Introduction to Rototom Sunsplash", in which Sabrina Trovant (Rototom's Art Director) will present (with Giovanni Vinci, Rototom's Booking Manager, Gina Sensesi, Rototom's Production Assistant and the Rototom's Reggae University staff) on the long history and unique characteristics of the Rototom Sunsplash festival. This input will also feature the informed and interesting documentary film "Rototom pa'l mundo".
In the second phase of proceedings, the curators of Rototom's renowned Reggae University (David Katz, Ellen Koehlings, Peter Lilly and Pier Tosi) will deliver what promises to be a classic session - as they review the music's roots and continuity through Jamaica's rich heritage. The legendary guitarist Earl Chinna Smith, the popular Protoje and the up and coming Jah9 will serve as practical exponents of the popular genre, whilst Dutty Bookman - the prominent writer and cultural activist - will also feature.
In addition, the conference will play the acclaimed reggae movie 'Jamaica Mon Amour'. This features a host of dramatic music-related and scenic shots from across Jamaica, as it traces and tracks the musicís origins and impact on its motherland. Rototom's conference input will conclude with the colourful photo exposition "Sunsplash Music Sunshine People", in which 130 pictures will go on display, telling the extraordinary story of the festival and the union between reggae music with the the aspirations and practical initiatives taken in the search for a better world.
And finally, 'big thanks' to the generous Rototom public who - during our last Sunsplash edition - raised a sizeable sum on behalf of the legendary and (musically influential) Alpha Boys School. This has been donated by the Rototom representatives during their working sojourn in Jamaica.