On Oct. 19, after much anticipation from the Jamaican community and the world at large, late Reggae Legend Peter Tosh was honored with the opening of a new museum dedicated to his life and impact on the music industry, and a benefit concert which brought out a wide array of reggae acts including Tosh’s original backing band “Word, Sound and Power,” the late star’s son Andrew Tosh and grandson Dre Tosh, granddaughter Jahzarah Tosh, Marcia Griffiths, Chronixx, Luciano, Etana, Kabaka Pyramid, Tarrus Riley, and many more!
The museum officially opened to the public Nov. 1, and its hours of operation are Monday – Friday: 10:30 am to 7 pm and Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm at Pulse Centre, 38A Trafalgar Rd., New Kingston, Jamaica.
The project came on what would have been Tosh’s 72nd birthday, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his solo album “Legalize It.”
In a five-day celebration, which included a VIP Cocktail Event, a Symposium, the Grand-Opening, Benefit Concert, and the Peter Tosh Memorial Garden Excursion – distinguished guests included Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who spoke at the opening stating “Many years ago, you maybe would not have had this profile and composition of a gathering for Peter Tosh… my, how things have changed.” He continued “I want to say how very important it is for us to put in place the institutions that will protect and preserve, but also project our history, and that is what this museum will do.”
The museum showcases personal artifacts including tour jackets, Tosh’s passports, telephone and radio, audio and video recordings featuring the superstar, as well as the famed M16 guitar and his beloved unicycle. Exclusive merchandise was also available for sale to the public.
“This is an important turning point in the preservation and advancement of my father’s legacy, and the museum will allow my father’s message of equal rights and justice to be heard by generations, both young and old,” Niambe McIntosh, daughter of the Grammy winner and administrator of the Peter Tosh Estate has recently said.
Minister of Information, Youth, Sports & Culture Olivia Grange, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, Opposition Spokesman on Tourism Dr. Wykeham McNeill, Opposition Spokesman on Youth & Culture Lisa Hanna, former Minister of Finance & Planning Dr. Omar Davies, and Opposition Spokesman on National Security Peter Bunting also attended the event. The museum project is a joint-venture collaboration between the Peter Tosh Estate, Pulse Investments Ltd., and Andrea Marlene Brown.
Pulse Chairman Kingsley Cooper, who produced the 1983 Pulse Superjam Concert, which became Tosh’s last performance, and who led the initiative for the museum’s establishment said, “The great Rastafarian campaigner for equal rights and justice, for the abolition of apartheid and for the legalization of marijuana, who did not get his due in life, will now be duly honored by this important addition to his legacy.”
Following the opening, the symposium — held at The University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica — continued the celebration of Tosh’s life and legacy with panelists including renowned reggae historian and archivist Roger Steffans who said, “To see the type of work that this man left us, it warms my soul. It’s a wonderful accomplishment. The idea that Peter Tosh is now being given his due, having received the Order of Merit a few years ago and now with this wonderful museum, is something that frankly I never expected to see in Jamaica.”
The Museum Benefit Concert brought some of the most talented artists on stage together to pay tribute by performing Tosh’s music from son Andrew’s renditions of “African,” “Coming in Hot” and “Buckingham Palace” to granddaughter Jahzarah Tosh’s touching prerecorded audiovisual tribute to her grandfather, Mermans Mosengo performing Mama Africa with “Word, Sound and Power,” Chronixx’s set including “Arise Blackman Arise” and “Stop That Train,” and a rousing finale by Denroy Morgan who was joined by rocker Zak Starkey — son of The Beatles’ Ringo Starr — and singer Shhh Liguz for “Get Up Stand Up.”
A self-taught guitar and keyboard player, Tosh and The Wailers became pioneers of the burgeoning reggae scene in the late 1960’s, and together they toured the world for more than 10 years. He left the band in 1973 to pursue his solo career and earned huge success with “Legalize It” and later solo releases. The project will now officially give fans a deeper look into the man behind the music.