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FEBRUARY 16

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Not all celebrities are created equal. On the one hand we have those whose privilege is more a product of public bloodthirst than their own doing. This tragicomic kind of stardom embraces the deliriously inept, the spectacularly mortal, and the former cast of Empty Nest. The other hand holds our heroes, individuals with reputations beyond reproach. These are the fearless celebrities who have managed through sheer will to transform their own lives into universal emblems. These are individuals who appear much, much shorter in person than we had imagined. Consider the late Robert Nesta Marley. Here is a man who delivered to the world the rich lore and language of Jamaican folk culture, fortifying them with the Rastafarian airs of redemption and emancipation and a pinch of the pan-African. For good measure, he set it all down in a ragged, exuberant, rhythm-rich sermon that declared a war on injustice and moved two feet for every mind. But what really impresses me was that this heavyweight-by-hero-standards measured 5-foot-7. But this Sunday’s “Iron Lion Zion: Bob Marley Birthday Tribute” stands tall as our best bet to lively up the Capitol Ballroom for some time to come. The all-day festival will feature Jamaican cuisine, vendors of all walks, a Youth Stage, the “Talkin’ Wall” (leave messages for Bob), and plenty of music, including performances by the Nile Ethiopian Ensemble, Nyrabinghi Drummers, Ancient Vibrations, and the D.C. debut of Nasio Fontaine. From 2-6 p.m. at the Capitol Ballroom, 1015 Half St. SE. FREE. For reservations call (202) 287-2060. (James Morris)