From a little place in the steep, green hills of Jamaica known as Nine Miles, music was changed forever. People here live off the land and trap drinking water from their roofs. Nesta Robert Marley is from here. You may know him better as Bob Marley, the Jamaican reggae star who would forever change the way people looked at his native island. Marley’s friend and Wailers Artistic Director Neville Garick said it best: “Most of these artists today are not stars, they’re comets. They shine in the sky for a moment and go away. Bob was a star. He shines in the sky forever.”
Marley’s mother was raised in Nine Miles too. Cedella Marley Booker cooked and cleaned for others to buy him shoes and clothes. She recorded a gospel album and her sisters also sang in the church. Today, Cedella, Bob’s grandparents on his mother’s side, and his brother Anthony are all buried there. From this rustic and secluded place, a multi-generational movement of music was born and will be forever adored.
Miami’s upcoming 9 Mile Music Festival was named for the Village of Nine Miles. It was Cedella’s wish to remember her son every year with music and charity – so the 9 Mile Music Festival was started in 1993. Since its inception, the Festival has donated over three million canned goods to Miami shelters. The concert’s 23rd installment is taking place on Saturday, February 27, at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami.
It’s rare for offspring to match or even come close to their famous parent’s genius – but the Marley’s pull it off. Their family tree is ripe with talent. Stephen, Damian, and Julian Marley on stage together is one of music’s great gatherings. They perform their own music and wrap up the set with Bob Marley’s greatest hits. Also on the lineup are Nas, K Camp, Capleton, Konshens, Mr. Cheeks, Protoje, Kabaka Pyramid, Skip Marley and Styleon.
Skip Marley, the son of Bob Marley’s daughter, is the latest talent in a lineage of Marley’s. He was born in Jamiaca, lives in Miami, and says home is wherever the road takes him. He played the Dubwise Miami event at Coyo Taco on December 23, and remembers that “the energy was great at Coyo that night, and the Dubwise event has a nice crowd, but I’m really looking forward to performing with my uncles at the Nine Mile Music Festival. I am looking forward to seeing Nas — he is one of my favorite artists ever.” Last August Skip played the Bob Marley’s Roots Rock Reggae, A 70th Birthday Celebration with his uncles Ziggy and Stephen Marley at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.