Carrying on their father’s tradition of touching humanity with music, Julian Marley and his brothers will conclude the domestic leg of their “Awake” promotional tour in Miami.
Performing on Sunday, Nov. 22 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, Julian Marley and his brothers, Stephen and Damian “Jr. Gong” will join newcomer, up-and-coming international reggae artist Javaughn, who will open for the famous Marley clan. “As Julian Marley says, ‘Music is the universal sound that bridges all barriers of language, culture and color,’ and we couldn’t agree more,” said M. John Richard, president and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center.
“To have this talented family sharing our stage not only brings our diverse South Florida community together for a night of mind-bending soulful music, but also celebrates the heritage of the rich Marley name,” Richard said.
That rich Marley name stems, of course, from the world renowned reggae artist who even in death remains a strong family patriarch, the late Robert “Bob” Marley.
In a telephone interview from Colorado, Julian Marley told the South Florida Times that his father’s presence in his music is unmistakable; his presence in his life is palpable.
“My father is my teacher,” said Julian, 34, the tenth of the elder Marley’s 13 birth and adopted children.
Julian said his father’s message of justice, equality and social awareness is still very relevant and a driving force behind how he lives.
Asked to explain the impact of spirituality in his music, Julian said, “Music is vibration and spirituality is the main ingredient. Then again, I’m Rasta, meaning I’m spiritually inclined.”
Recorded in Miami and Jamaica, the Awake CD was released in May and features strong reggae beats infused with hip-hop and socially conscious lyrics.
The title song says, “When will we wake, we’ve got to wake. For many years, the prophets have spoken but will we hear?… And still, we can’t find no peace of mind. When will we wake? We’ve got to wake… We’ve fought so many battles, for whom. Yet our minds remain in shackles. Open up your eyes and you will see.”
Marley said the tour, which kicked off on Nov. 3 in Salt Lake City, Utah, has been well received. His third studio release, Awake was preceded by Lion in the Morning, released in 1996 and A Time and Place, released in 2003.
Ending the U.S. tour in Miami was by design, Julian said.
“Can’t wait to reach there,” he said of his family’s part-time home.
Julian and his band have performed in Japan, Brazil, Paris, Puerto Rico, Belize and Mexico. He and brother Damian Marley were also featured as part of the Marley Magic North American tour in 1996.
Julian and The Uprising performed during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, and celebrated alongside another Jamaican sensation, gold medal-winning sprinter Usain Bolt.
If he wasn’t carrying on the Marley musical tradition, Julian said that he would still be involved with writing somehow, though he’d find using the written word without music daunting.
“You can hide behind the music,” he chuckled.
Of the songwriting process, he said that frequently the melody comes first, however; “sometimes the music and the melody come together.”
THE MORE YOU KNOW
During a “Giving Thanks With The Marleys” initiative, The Ghetto Youths Foundations is asking attendees to bring non-perishable canned goods to the event. These donations will be given to CHARLEE (Children Have All Rights: Legal, Educational and Emotional) Homes for Children to help feed over 170 young adults who have aged out of foster care, and to provide food for families in need during the Thanksgiving holiday.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Julian Marley and the Uprising Concert
WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.
COST: $24.50 to $44.50. Tickets can be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center box office at 305-949-6722 or online at www.arshtcenter.org.