DJ Dean delivers uplifting rhythms at Havana Reggae Festival 2023

Jamaica’s beauty permeates the spirit. Jamaican culture is joyful and peaceful, from its lush tropical scenery to its vibrant people. Spanish and British rulers colonized, oppressed, and wronged the nation.

Rastafarians and reggae helped Jamaica obtain independence from Britain in 1962. After Queen Elizabeth’s death in 2022, Jamaicans and Prime Minister Andrew Holness want to become a republic quickly.

Music has helped Jamaicans overcome hardships and celebrate their culture. DJ Dean, aka Dean Brown, preserves reggae’s heritage while enhancing its contemporary richness.

Brown stresses reggae’s importance in Jamaican culture by recounting his people’s history, their trials, and their delight in religion and community.

Live one-on-one

Brown was attracted with record players in Jamaica. Brown was influenced by a needle pushing against record grooves to generate noises that burst through a column of speakers.

He became a DJ to unite people via music. The DJ must sense the vibe and generate enthusiasm. You lead. “Give people what they need,” says Brown.

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Brown, like many in Tallahassee, came to study and built a house on the city’s accessible streets. Brown was in unfamiliar terrain after earning an MBA from Florida A&M University.

Reggae’s beginnings intrigued radio stations. They didn’t like Brown’s program, which favored gospel music and Reggae’s future. Brown founded Live 11 in the early 2000s after praying. It is living alone with God and yourself, where music and you dwell.

Brown calls his station a ministry. “It was difficult at first and still is, but my focus is not never on numbers; it has never been a business for me,” adds Brown. It has always promoted unsigned artists. Hearing a difference brings the church to the world.”

Havana’s Reggae Festival offers a refuge.

The 13th Annual Havana Reggae Festival will showcase Panhandle Jamaican culture at its finest. Since its inception, DJ Dean has volunteered at the event. He loves sharing his culture via music, cuisine, and people.

“I want people to learn about our culture, and part of that culture is bringing people together,” Brown added. “Reduce the stress, strife, and struggles in your life. Relax, meet new people, listen to wonderful music, dance, sing, and express yourself.”

Brown stresses that gatherings require food. Havana’s Reggae Festival serves true Caribbean, Jamaican, Haitian, Trinidadian, and Bahamian food, non-traditional cocktails, and lemonades.

DJ Dean, Wayne Stutter, The Lions, and more will perform live reggae during the festival. Brown hopes to meet old friends and new ones to make the Capital City region hum all day.

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