Professor Matt Jenson / Professor Kwabena Nketia Presentations Print

Bob Marley - His Music; Music Is More Than Music!

(Presentation: Prof. Matt Jenson, Berklee College of Music / Prof. Kwabena Nketia, ICAMD)

Bob Marley was quite intent on the fact that his music was (and of course, is) a lot more than just music because, on one hand, it teaches the people by bringing to consciousness certain truths, yet, on the other, he would say (translated) "If I were educated, I'd be a damn fool!" In this session, Jenson will discuss how music, and Bob Marley's music in particular, serves vitally in an educational role because of its CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING INTENT that was born in and continues to thrive in an atmosphere of positive vibration and LOVE. Professor Jenson will compare and contrast this with the lower level belief system, based on fear, hate, domination politics and financial gain (greed), that unfortunately steers the actions of many if not most institutions (and a great many individuals) on the earth, and even finds its way into the educational mind set. The discussion will take a close look at how Bob Marley's music was directly informed by the circumstances in his life and how he distilled a universal message of resistance, cross-cultural inclusion, and REAL FREEDOM into his poetic lyrics and, with the aid of the fine musicians in his band, into the feel of the music itself.

Professor Jensen’s presentation brought into the open a number of interesting questions from the participants around the topic of promotion of African artists. This they felt is extremely difficult and costly. Also discussed was the need for musicians to spend time practicing their craft and not expect to get to the top without hard work. As Prof Jensen pointed out, “when we see those musicians on stage performing, they work hours and hours and hours on their craft. In his class he teaches that the students must take what they are learning about Bob Marley’s life and how to play the music and bring their own spirits into it so that later on they can write their own lyrics. As Bob said “say something” to the rest of the world.

We then had a presentation by Professor Kwabena Nketia from The International Centre for African Music and Dance (ICAMD), University of Ghana. He pointed out that having read Nana Rita's book, he was now more aware of the context of the music. He was very supportive of the scholarship being offered by the Foundation as the music of the continent is the music of the world.

View Professor Matt Jensen's entire Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)