Music has become child’s play for Ziggy Marley these days.
In March, the oldest son of the late reggae legend Bob Marley released his first “family music” album “Family Time,” a guest-filled set (Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis) produced by ex-Detroiter Don Was. Marley, 40, is donating proceeds from “Family Time” to the Chepstowe Basic School in Port Antonio, Jamaica.
And he also oversaw the compilation of “B is For Bob,” a collection of his father’s music remixed and in some cases rearranged and rerecorded to children’s music conventions.
“I never really thought about doing music for children before,” says Marley, who joined his siblings in the group the Melody Makers before going solo in 2003. “I kind of realized why I’m being led into this world of family/children’s music is because we have to speak to the children now. The children have the open-mindedness. They’re going to grow up and make the world a better place, so it’s them we have to have some kind of discussion with.
“So this is what these records are about, really ... the beginning of a discussion with children and families to make the future a better place for ... the ‘world’ family. But it starts with our own families.”
Tapping into the family legacy that is Bob Marley’s music was challenging, he says. But it did give the younger Marley the chance to reinvent familiar songs such as “Three Little Birds,” “Jamming” and “Redemption Song,” even using alternate vocal recordings to freshen them.
“It’s a very different vibe,” says Marley, “but still real Bob. It’s not like fake Bob. It’s Bob singing and I’m playing, like an acoustic session almost. Anything I did on this record is soulful
and musical. There’s no gimmicks. I’m
keeping true to the spirit of my father, to
the spirit of his music.”
Ziggy Marley performs with 311 at 6:30 Friday (June 19) at the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Pkwy., Sterling Heights. Tickets are $35 pavilion, $27.50 lawn with a $86 lawn four-pack. Call (586) 268-5100 or visit www.freedomhill.net.
Send your thoughts and comments to