Skip to comments.Spotlight on Mento
Posted on 02/02/2017 3:46:40 PM PST by nickcarraway
Mento takes centre stage in this years Groundation series organised by the Jamaica Music Museum.
For curator and director of the museum, Herbie Miller, the decision to focus on mento one of the earliest of Jamaicas indigenous music forms is deliberate, given the importance of the music to the evolution of reggae.
Mento has for a large extent been overlooked, but for the actions of a small group. Not enough people value mento for the role it has played and value it for being fundamental to pop music forms from ska to dancehall. Despite the lack of a spotlight from some quarters, we still hear that mento cadence and syncopation in music today, particularly in dancehall rhythms and gospel music, Miller explained. That is why we have chosen to present mento in such a way in this forum in order for people to not only see the importance of mento, but also to understand its politics, anthropology, its spirituality and its root to elevate the appreciation of the music beyond the music itself.
Mento has its share of high-profile admirers.
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In 1975, American duo Hall & Oates covered Stanley Beckfords risquÃ© mento hit Soldering. The track was also covered by English band The Specials.
Beckford, who died in March 2007, kept mento in the mainstream from the 1970s to the 1990s with a string of hits.
To be staged each Sunday during February Reggae Month at the Institute of Jamaica in downtown Kingston, the series is being presented under the theme Mento: Is How Di Music Sweet So. Miller and his team have assembled a raft of presenters to bring this underserved music form to life.
The Groundation series kicks off Saturday with a reception and premiere of the mento documentary Pimento And Hot Pepper/ The Mento Story.
The principals for this work, Rick Elgood and Bill Monsted, will be on hand to field questions following the screening. On Sunday, the conversations begin with Dr Daniel Neely as the main presenter. His presentation is titled Take Her To Jamaica Where The Rums Come From, which will examine The Mento and Calypso phenomenon in tourism.
A panel discussion will follow with Dr Matthew Smith and Roy Black along with Neely helming the forum. Mento act The Jolly Boys are expected to provide entertainment.
On February 12, mento and sex will be explored by psychologist and sexologist Dr Karen Carpenter. The theme for the day is Mentos Sexual Innuendo: Double Entendre or Downright Slackness. Carpenters presentation is titled Boogo Yagga Gyal, Big Bwoy an Teacher. The group Mento Madness will perform.
For week three of Groundation, February 19, Healing in the Balm Yard: Mento, Obeah and other Jamaican Folkforms and Culture, will form the base of the discussion. The Blue Glades Mento Band will be on the stand, while author Colin Channer will guide the discussion.
The series wraps on February 26 with renowned Jamaican band leader Carlos Malcolm in conversation with journalist Dionne Jackson Miller. The conversation will revolve around Legitimising Mento: From Country Chune to Uptown Music. Malcolms tribute band will provide entertainment.
Ska (And Mento) Ping
Isn’t that some kind of packaged mints?
Does this involve mixing something with Diet Coke?
Mentos are the original zero point thrust source.
Thanks for the ping!
Well this article was a real disappointment. I thought I was going to get the skinny on the mints!
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