The lecture will be delivered by Dr Matthew J. Smith, senior lecturer in the Department of History and Archaeology, UWI, Mona. His presentation is entitled ‘Bob Marley and the Wailers Live! Performance and Politics in the Touring History of the Wailers’.
Dr Smith has a wide range of research interests, most notably Haitian history and politics. He has much experience in the study of Jamaican popular music and is considered an authority on the music of Bob Marley and the Wailers in particular. For three years (2003-2006), Dr Smith was a co-host of the popular world music radio programme, Okombosi, on Radio Mona. On the radio, he interviewed several musicians and performers and produced radio documentaries, including one on Bob Marley in 2005, entitled, ‘Soul Adventurer: The Music and Career of Bob Marley.’ Dr Smith has also written several articles and reviews on reggae music and Bob Marley and the Wailers for magazines including Distant Drums, Skywritings, and the Reggae and African Beat, for which he has contributed feature articles on Bob Marley.
An avid reggae collector and researcher, Dr Smith has delivered lectures on Bob Marley and Jamaican music to the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Michigan, Berklee College of Music in Boston, and the Society for Ethnomusicology. He also appeared in the Channel 4/PBS documentary on ‘Songs that Changed The World: I Shot the Sheriff.’ Among his current projects is a study of the impact of travel and migration on the development of Caribbean popular music.
The lecture will examine the live performances of Bob Marley and the Wailers in Jamaica and abroad, over their long history of touring. It explores the impact of the cultural, social and political conditions in Jamaica in the 1970s that shaped Bob Marley as a performer and contributed to his massive success as an international superstar.
Wide range of issues
The Bob Marley lecture series is an initiative of the Institute of Caribbean Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Education, UWI, Mona, which has the responsibility for Reggae Studies. The lecture series focuses on a wide range of issues relating to reggae music and Jamaican society and culture. This year’s lecture will be the 14th in the series which began in 1997. Past presenters include: Professor Carolyn Cooper (More Fire: Chanting Down Babylon From Bob Marley to Capleton); Dr Leachim Semaj (Bob Marley: National Hero or National Icon?); and Dr The Honourable Omar Davies (Reggae and Our National Identity: The Forgotten Contribution of Peter Tosh).
The public is invited to attend what promises to be a most entertaining and enlightening lecture.