by Christy Rodriguez de Conte
DJ Dean invites the community to experience the blends of bass and patterns of pitch at the 13th annual Havana Reggae Festival on the farm on May 20.
Jamaica’s beauty invades the veins and fills the soul. Jamaican culture is one of joy and serenity, from its luscious tropical landscape to the vivacious vibes reverberating from its people. The nation’s history reveals a too familiar story of colonization, oppression, and injustices at the hand of both Spanish and British monarchs.
In 1962 Jamaica gained its independence from Britain as a nation, thanks partly to the Rastafarian movement and the reggae music it birthed. Jamaica remains a commonwealth, but with the passing of Queen Elizabeth in 2022, the Jamaican people and their Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, call for a speedy move toward becoming a Republic.
Through it all, music has been a grounding spiritual connector to the land by its people to turn turmoil into joy and celebrate Jamaican culture. Dean Brown, better known as DJ Dean, has built a legacy that honors the roots of reggae while still elevating the new bounty it blossoms.
Brown emphasizes the intricate part reggae has played in Jamaican culture by providing a history of where his people have been, the struggles they have overcome, and the joy that comes with faith in and with the community.
Back in Jamaica, Brown was fascinated by the features and functionality of a record player. The magic of a needle pressing against the vinyl grooves to produce the sounds that blast through a column of speakers proved influential for Brown.
He soon began spinning and entertaining as a DJ with the goal of creating connectivity through music that elevates. “You have to feel the vibe and come [up] with the energy yourself as the DJ. You are the pied piper. You have to give the people what they need,” says Brown.
Like many in Tallahassee, Brown came to Tallahassee to pursue an education and built a home within the city’s uniquely accessible streets. After receiving a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Florida A&M University that culminated in a Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Brown was in unchartered territory.
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