Island in the Sun: Chris Blackwell x New York Public Library

Words by Jesse Serwer

chris-blackwell-with-marley-in-bkgd

Back in August, we told you about Keep on Running, Rizzoli Books’ coffee-table tome on Island Records. Timed to coincide with the massively influential and still very much active record label’s 50th anniversary, the book is an illustrated history of the first major international exporter of reggae music and one of the primary companies responsible for positioning the LP album cover as a forum for fine art. (Take that, MP3 folder jpeg). Fittingly, Island founder and Keep on Running co-author Chris Blackwell has been making the rounds lately, discussing the book–and his role in music history–in the sorts of places where the highest of high art is discussed. Tonight, he’ll visit one such venue, the New York Public Library, for a “conversation”โ€”you know, one of those Actors’ Studio-type sitdowns where an academic asks heavyweight philosophical questions for an hour before opening the floor to the audience (and the real juicy stuff). It would seem that the timing of this event probably has something to with the fact that today is the 30th anniversary of the death of Island’s most celebrated talent, Bob Marley, so some heavy-duty reminiscing should come with that $25 admission charge ($15 if you’re a student).