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Dermot Hussey pays homage to Reggae


Saturday, June 01, 2013

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Either as a broadcaster or author, Dermot Hussey has exposed the edgy side of Jamaican music for 40 years.

For the last 10 years, he has hosted a show on XM Radio out of Washington DC, playing contemporary and classic Jamaican sounds.

Since 2006, Hussey has done similar duties on RIFFIN, which airs Fridays and Sundays on Radio Mona (streamed live on

Recently, he spoke about RIFFIN in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

“The most satisfying aspect (of the show) is being able to pursue a format that seeks to follow the trail reggae blazed internationally, impacting on other music cultures, that I also reflect in the programme, which is a new approach and different to XM,” he explained.

With RIFFIN, Hussey says he gets an opportunity to pay homage to reggae’s heroes including saxophonist Cedric ‘Im’ Brooks who died in May. The show also exposes emerging talent.

“The objective is playing qualitatively the best music, not music based on the lowest common denominator. It’s also being aware of new talent, and giving them support,” says Hussey.

Before taking the job at XM, Hussey hosted eclectic programmes at the (now defunct) Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation and Radio Jamaica.

Those shows featured everything from hard-hitting dub poetry to straight ahead/cool jazz to world beat.

On this weekend’s editions of Riffin, Hussey stays that diverse course by focusing on Here Come The Kings, the new album from Morgan Heritage; the rise of American reggae band John Brown’s Body, and a live performance by Bob Marley and The Wailers from the reissued Kaya album.

-Howard Campbell

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