Curator fieldwork results in new institutional relationship

In May, Daniel Piper, PhD, MIM’s curator for Latin America and the Caribbean, traveled to Jamaica to begin working with Jamaican institutions, musicians, and producers in anticipation of bringing new popular music content to MIM’s Jamaica display.

During his trip, Piper met with Herbie Miller, director of the Jamaica Music Museum (JaMM), and the Honorable Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, which opened the door to opportunities for cultural exchange. In the coming months, MIM and JaMM, a division of the Institute of Jamaica (the country’s main cultural, artistic, and scientific organization), will discuss loans from JaMM to display at MIM and potential new acquisitions.

While in Kingston, Piper visited Jamaica’s historic recording studios, including Studio One, Randy’s Studio 17, and the original site of Tuff Gong Studio in Bob Marley’s house. Also, meeting with Jamaican sound-system engineers and researching live DJ performance contexts, Piper was able to generate substantial momentum for new Jamaican content.

MIM’s updated Jamaica display will include an area dedicated to the innovative era of Jamaican popular music in the 1960s–1980s, during which the successes of ska, reggae, dub, and dancehall helped inspire global interest in Jamaican music and served as a foundation for new genres (including hip-hop) and the contemporary era of DJ-based music.

Stay tuned for these updates in MIM’s Latin America Gallery.