Fri | Apr 19, 2024

Marley family to host birthday celebration concert for Jo Mersa

Published:Monday | March 4, 2024 | 12:09 AM
Jo Mersa Marley was poised to make significant strides in the industry before his sudden passing, due to acute asthma exacerbation, in December 2022.
Jo Mersa Marley was poised to make significant strides in the industry before his sudden passing, due to acute asthma exacerbation, in December 2022.

The reggae and dancehall community is set to converge in Nine Mile, St Ann, Jamaica, this Saturday to pay tribute to Joseph ‘Jo Mersa’ Marley.

The celebration, produced by the Marley family, will feature live performances to honour the life of the first child of Stephen Marley and grandson of the legendary Bob Marley. Jo Mersa was poised to make significant strides in the industry before his sudden passing due to acute asthma exacerbation in December 2022.

This staging is the second tribute to Jo Mersa’s life/work and will be hosted days before his 33rd birthday on March 12.

Last year’s concert featured prominent names of the reggae and dancehall scene and friends of the Marleys such as Sizzla, Spragga Benz, and Capleton. The Marley brothers and second-generation Marley talent will also perform in the small, rural community, which is the birthplace of Bob Marley and where both the reggae icon and Jo Mersa are interred.

Twice as many acts are confirmed to attend and pay tribute this time around with Kabaka Pyramid, Jahshii, Lutan Fyah, Bugle, Christopher Ellis, and Black Am I among the performers. The event will also feature juggling from Bass Odyssey, Rasarella, and Rory Stone Love. Ron Muschette will host the proceedings.

A promising reggae singer-songwriter, Jo Mersa Marley continued the legacy of his family in the music industry on the Ghetto Youths International — a Marley label imprint. His collaborations with his father, uncles, and recording artistes like Etana and reggae group Morgan Heritage showcased his talent and dedication to the craft. His passing sent the tight-knit reggae community into shock.

Jo Mersa Marley’s musical journey began in 2014 with the EP C omfortable, which had the memorable Rock and Swing. Between 2014 and 2022 he released several singles that garnered attention and acclaim within the industry, including Burn It Down, with his brother Yohan Marley in 2019. Made It was a standout collaboration with labelmate Kabaka Pyramid, on his 2021 EP Eternal, which also featured Yo Dawg with Busy Signal and No Way Out, featuring Black Am I.