The Rapidian

Marley movie and its local connection

The new Bob Marley documentary has a strong Grand Rapids connection with musician Don Kinsey.
Don Kinsey (front) with Bob Marley

Don Kinsey (front) with Bob Marley /Courtesy: Don Kinsey and Garry Zack

Underwriting support from:

Marley Movie in Grand Rapids

Friday, April 27, 8 pm

Wealthy Theatre

Tickets $6, $5 for WT members

Doors open at 7 pm

Movie poster for Marley film

Movie poster for Marley film

The movie "Marley," a documentary biography of reggae musician Bob Marley, opens Friday in art house theaters across the U.S. It will debut in cities like Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Miami and Grand Rapids.

It comes to Grand Rapids and to play at the Wealthy Theater because of a local connection. A few months ago, when the date of release was announced, Don Kinsey called his friend Garry Zack. "He wanted the movie to show in Grand Rapids," said Zack, an independent music promoter. Kinsey had good reason to want the two and a half hour film to show here. Kinsey, a Grand Rapidian, was a member of Bob Marley's band in the 1970s along with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. He is interviewed in the film along with members of the Marley family- Bob's wife Rita, eldest son Ziggy and others who knew the musician and the man. Kinsey is expected to attend the local showing Friday.

Kinsey's guitar licks can be heard on three Bob Marley albums and six by Tosh.

Zack, who has been working with Kinsey as a music promoter, seized the opportunity. "I followed up with Magnolia Entertainment who is releasing the film and then called the folks at the Wealthy. The date was available so we booked it." he said.

Kinsey, who has lived in Grand Rapids for two years, is the son of Blues legend Lester "Big Daddy" Kinsey. He currently tours with his brothers as part of "The Kinsey Report."

The film was directed by Kevin Macdonald, who also directed "The Last King of Scotland" and "One Day in September. It made its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival and its North American premiere at SXSW. The trailer is here.

The film has received generally good reviews including in The Chicago Tribune and The New Yorker.

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