Sun | Dec 16, 2018

Marley brothers unite on stage for WTJ cruise

Published:Wednesday | December 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMSimone Morgan Lindo/Gleaner Writer
Julian Marley
Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley was the first of the Marley brothers to hit the stage.
A rare appearance of five Marley brothers on one stage. From left: Damian, Ky-Mani, Ziggy, Stephen and Julian on the Welcome to Jamrock Cruise.
Ky-Mani Marley
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When DJ Bambino announced that the Marley brothers were about to take centre stage, the cheers and salutes aboard the Welcome to Jamrock (WTJ) Cruise on Monday night became almost deafening.

It was 9:45 p.m. when Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley's voice emerged over the microphone followed by Ky-Mani, Stephen, Julian and Ziggy Marley, and for the next 90 minutes, the passengers were taken on a musical journey with songs that dated back over four decades.

The songs of their father Bob Marley took over the stage. With songs such as Kaya, Rastaman Vibration, Running Away, Heathen, and Rebel Music, among many others, all the audience needed to hear was the intro of each track for them to take over and make it their own.

His first time on the Jamrock Cruise, Ziggy Marley had the more than 3,000 guests in a musical trance as he churned out the lyrics to some of his father's hits, including I Shot the Sheriff and Justice. Their performance had many highlights, but the numerous spliffs in the audience came alight when Julian chanted the lyrics to Boom Draw, Ziggy's Rebellion Rises and during Ky-Mani's rendition of his father's Satisfy My Soul.

The Gleaner caught up with Julian after the set, and, like the audience, the singer said he enjoyed every minute of his time onstage with his brothers.

"This performance was really electrifying for me and easy-going as well. I got more brothers singing, so I got more time to dance and rock. It is always a nice and fun thing to be around my brothers. We rehearsed a few things, but most of it is organic because we all knew the songs, so it would be like, 'You should sing next', but it was a natural flow," he said.

Reflecting on the growth of reggae, Julian said he was very pleased to learn that the genre has recently secured a coveted spot on the United Nation's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

"This is something that we knew - that the music is really a great thing - so it's really a good feeling to know that it is recognised by UNESCO, as well as the rest of the world. We do give thanks for the recognition, and it shows that reggae music is still the people's music," he said.

Following on the heels of the Marleys' performance was singer Jah Cure, who has become a fixture on the cruise since its inception in 2014. The entertainer touched his fans with powerful and captivating vocals and had them singing with outstretched arms to songs like Only You, Unconditional Love, Call On Me and Longing For.

Returning to the Jamrock Cruise for the fifth consecutive year, Bounty Killer's performance was hot enough to ignite a flame on the chilly voyage. As the cruise made its way from Ocho Rios to the Port of Falmouth, Bounty warmed the hearts of many with songs like Sufferer, Fed Up, Wutliss Bwoy and Stucky.