A night of “One Love” for Sharon Marley and family at the AGO

A building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited; that is about the most basic definition of a museum. Luckily for the people who patronize the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Toronto, the AGO is one museum that is far from a static place as the definition implies. It’s a also place of music, art making and talk.

Sharon Marley_

Last Saturday, the recital hall was packed (standing room only) to witness a performance of one of the many members of Jamaica’s “royal family” – Sharon Marley, the eldest child of Bob Marley.

The 59-year-old, backed by Toronto’s Mountain Edge band, delivered a lively 90-minute concert to a mixed and highly appreciative audience. She mixed in works from her hit singles, such as ‘Steppah” and earlier hits, and a few of the reggae classics like “Guava Jelly” and the reggae anthem “One Love”. The latter got the audience rocking – the young and not-so-young, white and black, and those who fell in between.

Sharon Marley_with support from grandson
Sharon Marley_

It was also a family affair for Marley; her Toronto-based daughter, Donisha Prendergast, her children, and cousins drew close around the stage creating a comfort zone for the singing grandmother.

In accounting for why she seemed to be so relaxed for someone fresh out of Jamaica, she told the Caribbean Camera that in fact she considered Canada her second home. “I lived and went to school in Oshawa for two years, 1979-80, then my father passed away so I went back home.

Sharon Marley

It’s also an extra special night for me and my family considering that it’s my dad’s 79th birthday celebration, and last night we saw my father’s bio pic “One Love”. It was a phenomenal night for the family.”

Sharon Marley will be spending some quality time with her Toronto family, especially her grandchildren before returning to a busy musical season.