We wrapped filming in Jamaica late last week and our interview team jetted home for some much needed rest. Just a short hiatus for one crew member before he heads to Europe to link up with our Explorations Director, where they will set out for another African adventure in Madagascar.
Vibes are high in Kingston, Jamaica. Everyone’s on a slow ride, and our team eased into the mellow moods. Kingston, Trench Town in particular, is the birthplace of Reggae music, with Ska and Rocksteady coming just years before.
Bob Marley and The Wailers are likely the most recognizable name in Jamaican music, blending ska, rocksteady, and reggae rhythms with the clear vocals and lyrics of frontman Bob Marley. The band paved the way for the many talented Jamaican musicians who would follow.
We spent time at Marley’s studio, Tuff Gong, named for Bob’s nickname. The Studio formerly located at his home, which is now the location of the Bob Marley Museum, is still operational at 220 Marcus Garvey Drive. Murals and statues to commemorate the artist are scattered though out the city, especially around his home and studio!
Bongo Herman (Herman Davis)
To know him is to love him. His smooth, melodic voice soaks all the way in, right to your bones. We heard stories from the beginning of his career as a hand drummer in Jamaica. The time when Reggae music was born. Steady rhythms, powerful lyrics, and a feeling of peace when you let the groove take hold of you. Bongo showed us how it’s done and he even tossed a little “gimme the beat” into a song for us.
As a multi-instrumental musician Desi Jones got his start like we all did. With a recorder. Now, I’m sure he wasn’t playing hot cross buns like the rest of the world, but it’s true!
Desi quickly graduated from the recorder to the conga drums at the Institute of Jamaica Junior Centre. His love of rhythm grew and grew through his childhood while watching local drummers like Horsemouth Wallace hit the skins.
For Desi, drums provide an opportunity for people to shift their mood. His inspiration has come from touring six continents, all but Antartica, and sharing his stories through song.
Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace
Legendary. That’s the only way to put it. Leroy Wallace, nicknamed Horsemouth by his sister, is a hard hitting Jamaican Legend. Horsemouth spent a few years working at Studio One and has played with an incredible roster of artists. His playing has influenced many up and coming artist, including our previous guest Desi Jones. We cant wait to share this interview with you, it’s a goldmine of interesting perspectives, and some good laughs.
June 6, 2019 – Amsterdam
There is so much history in Amsterdam. 75 years ago today on June 6, 1944, here in Amsterdam, Anne Frank wrote in her diary “Is this really the beginning of the long-awaited liberation?”
It was D-Day, and today is the 75th anniversary of the Allied Invasion of German-occupied France, the beginning of the end of WWII.
Our crew departs Amsterdam today, but we won’t forget our time here, or what went on here all those years ago. Anne would have been 89 years old.