Ziggy Marley


POSTED: Friday, August 14, 2009

It might surprise some to know that despite his still-youthful vigor, David “;Ziggy”; Marley is already a dad five times over. With the recent additions of 4-year-old daughter Judah and 2-year-old Gideon, the son of Bob Marley continues to look toward family for musical guidance.

Marley returns to Hawaii to promote his latest recording projects, the light and friendly “;Family Time”; and “;B Is for Bob,”; the latter a reworking of some of his father's classic tunes for those young at heart. Besides two concerts here and on Maui this weekend, Marley will be making time to do other promotional visits in Honolulu, including appearances at the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center (see box) and the Hard Rock Cafe, both tomorrow. (The private Hard Rock gig comes after being gifted with a handmade Hawaiian steel guitar from the high school students of the Invention Factory project.)


In previous visits to Hawaii, Ziggy has performed with his extended family, namely as leader of the Melody Makers, with his brother Stephen and sisters Sharon and Cedella, as well as sharing a concert bill with half brothers Julian and Damian. Most of them appear together in a home video of the Marley clan relaxing at mother Rita Marley's home in Florida that's used as the music video for “;Family Time.”;

Marley served as executive producer of “;B Is for Bob.”; He said the project “;was done specifically for children. We did musical reinterpretations of some of my father's more popular songs to make them more heartfelt, tweaking and fine-tuning them here and there. My children know a lot about their grandfather, and they got a lot of his spirit in them. For example, Gideon likes 'Jammin',”; so we beefed up the drums and pushed the rhythm a bit more. A song like 'Three Little Birds' was stripped down to give it a more acoustic, more personal feel. The chorus of 'Small Axe' has children singing on it, and on 'Stir It Up' we edited some of the lyrics to give the song a real different vibe.

“;My inspiration nowadays comes from anything from the kids,”; he said. “;I want the best for children, so I keep the best thoughts and inspiration for my music. Children are the solution to our problems.”;

MARLEY HAS been consistent with that message. He and the Melody Makers offered up “;Give a Little Love”; to the 1991 Disney benefit compilation album “;For Our Children,”; and the artist has added his voice to a couple of acclaimed children's TV programs as well, singing “;Believe in Yourself,”; the theme song for “;Arthur,”; and doing another take on “;Three Little Birds”; for the Dora the Explorer “;World Adventure”; CD.




        » 5 p.m., Borders Ward Centre. Free solo appearance. Call 591-8995.

        » 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Hawaii Children's Discovery Center, 111 Ohe St., with ukulele instructor Roy Sakuma and his students. Free. Call 524-5437.
        » 5 p.m., Waikiki Shell, with opening acts Joseph Israel & the Jerusalem Band, featuring Rovleta Fraser, Zion, Mysterious, Blak Diamon and Mikosweet. Tickets $45 and $55.


        » 3 p.m., War Memorial Stadium on Maui, with opening acts Joseph Israel & the Jerusalem Band, featuring Rovleta Fraser, Zion, Mysterious, Blak Diamon and Marty Dread. Tickets $35, $85 VIP.


» Info: 521-2101 or www.ticketmaster.com




Marley mentioned that even while on the road touring, he does his best to keep in touch with his wife, Orly, and his children back home. “;My children range in ages from as young as 2 up to 20. My oldest, Daniel, is growin' up as a person, you know, so I work overtime watching to see how he's doing.

“;I'm a student of life, so I still think I'm growing up to be a better father. Even though I don't see my family often enough, we stay in touch though the computer or talk on the phone. Right now what we do on the tour is important, because the people can benefit from my message that's wrapped in the music.”;

Fans can expect to hear a wide variety of reggae, “;ranging from my father's stuff, my time with the Melody Makers and to the newer songs. I like to think what I do in concert as more of a spiritual experience, beyond flashy entertainment. It's about substance, not glamour.”;

Marley's latest album, “;Family Time”;—the follow-up to his 2006 Grammy award-winning “;Love Is My Religion”;—features special friends Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, Toots Hibbert and Jamie Lee Curtis, as well as Hawaii's own Jack Johnson and Paula Fuga, who help out on vocals on the freedom song “;Cry Cry Cry.”;

“;I met Jack years ago at a festival we did together, so when I asked him to do the song with me, he requested Paula join us. I'd never met her before, but when I heard them sing together, I thought, ahhh, cool!”;

Proceeds from the sale of “;Family Time”; will benefit Chepstowe Basic School, located in the economically challenged Jamaican parish of Port Antonio, through the auspices of Marley's charity URGE (Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment).




Ziggy Marley



Another project on the horizon is the long-awaited Bob Marley documentary being put together by veteran director Jonathan Demme.

“;Since the family is more involved in this project than others that have been mentioned in the past, people can expect a deeper, more in-depth movie,”; Marley said. “;We plan to make this the ultimate one, where no other documentary before can compare. I'm not sure when it'll be coming to theaters, because we're still working on it and collecting rare footage of my father both on and off stage.”;