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Pompano Beach Cultural Center Celebrates Reggae With Photo Exhibit and Concert

Photo by David I. Muir
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David I. Muir has a favorite among the 26 photos that will be on display during his upcoming exhibition, "Reggae Reel: Moments in Music." It’s a picture he snapped of incarcerated reggae artist Buju Banton sitting onstage at Bayfront Park Amphitheater in 2011 when the singer was out on bail. Muir (not to be confused with ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir) couldn’t have asked for better lighting or a better spot by the stage. And the intimacy of the moment struck a chord with the longtime reggae concert photographer.

The prized photo of Banton, along with images of fellow reggae artists such as Marcia Griffiths, Tarrus Riley, Mavado, Koffee, and Sevana, will be on display at the Pompano Beach Cultural Center  August 10 through September 30. A video installation and signage with song lyrics will accompany the still shots. The Jamaican-born Muir says the collection is “a visual representation of the music I love so much.”

The photos in the exhibition are from the past ten years, and most were taken in South Florida.

“I hope the non-Jamaican guests are exposed to our music, culture, and the messages found in reggae music,” Muir says of the exhibition. “I hope Jamaicans are able to take pride in the visual representation of this music originating from our country. I hope everyone can appreciate the beauty exposed about reggae culture and concert photography.”

Buju BantonEXPAND
Buju Banton
Photo by David I. Muir

In honor of Muir’s exhibition, Rootz of Music, a nonprofit based in Fort Lauderdale that works in schools, will present a concert, the American Roots of Jamaican Music, at the cultural center August 26. The show will chronicle the merging of Jamaican and U.S. music and feature singing and dancing.

Muir, who left Jamaica for New York in 1996 and moved to Florida after the September 11 terror attacks, has spent much of his life around music. He’s worked as a DJ, talent manager, concert promoter, and concert photographer.

“I love reggae because it carries messages of love, hope, and unity, plus it typically advocates for both peace and justice,” Muir says. “The music — particularly the bass, percussion, and horns — is amazingly soothing and quite hypnotic. I enjoy most other music forms as well, but reggae concerts give me a sense of belonging.”

"Reggae Reel: Moments in Music." August 10 through September 30 at Pompano Beach Cultural Center, 50 W. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach; 954-545-7800; ccpompano.org. Admission is free.

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