Jamaica’s Music Museum (JaMM) has called on industry stakeholders to donate antique instruments to its collection, which showcases local and international achievements in music.
JaMM Director, Herbie Miller, has encouraged musicians to donate anything from setlists to apparel to the museum. Miller said: “I encourage those musicians, even if it is a setlist… that list that you play from at some fancy concert… a tunic, or a garment that was already worn, [to donate these],” adding that people often throw away things without knowing their value.
JaMM, which is a division of the Institute of Jamaica, maintains a collection of more than 18,000 artefacts relating to Jamaica’s history, from Pre-Colombian to the present day. The collection includes rare musical recordings, oral histories of reggae, photographs, films, research files, business records and musical instruments belonging to famous Jamaican musicians.
Miller said that the museum had been “overwhelmed” with record collections but remained interested in antique instruments. The museum recently acquired a 200-year-old three-string upright bass, which Miller said needed restoration. The JaMM collection also includes apparel worn by famous female artists and headwear and colourful outfits worn by deejays and male singers during the 1970s and 1980s.
JaMM maintains a permanent exhibition, supporting study in areas of the country’s secular, sacred, folk, mento, jazz, rhythm and blues, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dancehall, gospel music, opera and concert music, as well as dance. Miller noted that the museum received many calls from people who had antique items belonging to family members who were musicians.