Cedella Marley is fighting to make the arts more accessible to kids. The daughter of Reggae legend Bob Marley tells New Victory Theater that creativity is essential to nurturing.
“It’s crucial,” says Cedella. “Music and art are not only creative and emotional, they are mathematic and historic. Music is universal and unifies people of all walks of life. Art is a culture’s visual history that can never be replaced.”
In her efforts to connect kids with visual history, Cedella has created a stage play, Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, that invites children to sing and dance while honoring her father. “He and his work mean so much to so many people in the world. His work is timeless, so we want to further embrace it by adapting his work into new mediums like this show.”
An artist herself, Cedella reflects on her time as a child and how her family exposed her to the theater hence encouraging her to be creative. “In Jamaica, we actually refer to musicals as Pantomimes,” explains the singer. “The first Pantomime I saw was called Brashana O and was based on the legendary Rolling Calf, of Jamaican folklore. The belief is that the Rolling Calf is really a “duppy,” meaning the creature takes on this form of the calf, but has the ability to change if and when necessary into the form of other animals. I LOVED the live theater, filled with energy! It was then that I was bitten by the acting bug.”
Although now an American citizen, Marley makes sure that her kids stay connected with their Jamaican roots. “Two out of three of my boys were born in Jamaica, and our home is a Jamaican household,” says the star. “Additionally my children learn about our heritage through our music and through my stories about growing up in Jamaica.”
Cedella has three children with husband David Minto. Bob Marley’ Three Little Birds is currently showing in New York.
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