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What many people don’t know is that since the 1950s, inventions in Jamaican music—born out of the “do-it-yourself” ingenuity pulsing through the ghettos of Kingston—have laid the foundations for most modern-day urban musical genres, giving rise to such fixtures of todayʼs musical lingo as “DJ”, “sound system”, “remix”, “dub”, etc.

Often blurring the lines between distinctions—spiritual or nonreligious, rural or urban, a soundtrack for Rastafarian wisemen or rude boys from the ghetto—Jamaican music is anything but one-dimensional.


The Jamaica Jamaica! exhibition seeks to acknowledge this history, reconsidered through the prism of the postcolonial conflicts and encounters that led to a unique and universal movement—a virtual “sound clash” between Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Lee Perry, King Tubby, Studio One, the Alpha Boys School, Haile Selassie I, Marcus Garvey, etc., through musical styles as varied as burro, revival, mento, ski, rocksteady, reggae, dub and dancehall.

It brings together rare memorabilia, photographs, visual art, audio recordings and footage unearthed from private collections and museums in Jamaica, the United States and Great Britain. Also providing a platform for young Jamaican artists, the exhibition is a powerful wail that has been ringing out internationally for decades through its music.

  • Paintings and murals created on site by Danny Coxson, the Jamaican street artist invited by the Cité de la musique – Philharmonie de Paris and the Institut français.
  • Interactive installations: a sound system and tracks that visitors can operate, and discos inside the exhibition every Friday evening.
  • One-of-a-kind instruments: Peter Tosh’s M16 rifle guitar, vintage sound systems, King Tubby’s customised mixing desk, etc.
  • Reconstructions of legendary studios such as Studio One, the Black Ark and King Tubby’s.

Exhibition, from 4 April to 13 August 2017
Self-guided visits
• Tuesday – Thursday: 12am to 6pm
• Friday: 12am to 10pm
• Saturday & Sunday: 10am to 8pm

Cité de la musique – Philharmonie de Paris
221, avenue Jean-Jaurès
75019 Paris