KINGSTON (Reuters) – Jamaicans celebrate the 70th anniversary of the birth of late reggae legend Bob Marley on Friday with a jamming session at his former home and a free concert as the Caribbean island continues to wrestle over his place in its pantheon of heroes.
Marley, who was born in Nine Miles, northwest Jamaica, died on May 11, 1981, in a Florida hospital from cancer age 36.
A “mini-jam session” is scheduled at Marley’s former home at Hope Road, north of Kingston, as well as discussions on reggae, a popular genre that began in Jamaica in the 1960s with strong influences from calypso and jazz and lyrics of social protest.
A free concert on the Kingston waterfront on Saturday is expected to draw crowds, and local reggae artists, including one of Marley’s sons, Ky-Mani, are set to perform. Police have announced traffic detours and street closures in anticipation of the throngs.