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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sizzla comes to the rescue of Zimbabwean Fans During Police Beating

HARARE – Jamaican reggae star Sizzla Kalonji on Saturday came to the rescue of his Zimbabwean fans who were being bashed by riot police, soldiers and youths from the Border Gezi Youth training camps.

Sizzla, who was performing during the 21st February Movement gala, appeared on stage under heavy security from the security services who included the CIO.

Sizzla, whose real name is Miguel Orlando Collins, arrived in the country Thursday afternoon at the invitation of organizers of the extravagant event, organized to celebrate President Robert Mugabe’s 86th birthday.

Wild scenes greeted his appearance on stage at 2.15am.

Ecstatic fans broke a men barricade that was formed by the police to have a closer look at the reggae star on stage.

He was the star performer among a line up of local and foreign musicians.
The gala was also broadcast live on ZBC TV.

As he performed, he was surrounded by youths from the Border Gezi youth training camp, derisively known as Green Bombers, and a soldier.

CIO officials l dressed on suits were also on stage to boost security around him.
Suddenly, police started beating up the fans, apparently to control them, The commotion resulted in a brief stoppage of Sizzla’s performance. He pleaded with the police to stop the beatings.

“Please, security, take it easy,” said the musician. “Please stop beating up my fans. All the security please, climb up the stage.”

Agitated fans responded by throwing missiles at the police and were only restrained after the reggae artist appealed for calm.

“You know who brought me here?” asked the Jamaican artist, who did not even spend 30 minutes on stage, “It is President Mugabe. So you have got to be at your best behaviour. Set a good example. This is the 21st February movement. Please do not mess it up.”


Reggae Artistes Blacklisted

GERMANY, Europe's largest economy, has blacklisted 11 dancehall albums between 2008 and January 2010 this year because of their homophobic and violent content.
Albums by Sizzla, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer, Capleton, TOK and Baby Cham are on this list, or "index", compiled by the German Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (BPjM) Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien in German.
Stakeholders counter that up to 35 dancehall albums or songs had been blacklisted since the BPjM's conception including Legalise It by reggae icon Peter Tosh, which was later removed.

The BPjM told the Sunday Observer that it is illegal to advertise these albums or to sell them to minors in Germany, with additional restrictions placed on their sale and distribution. "Breach of ...[the] indexing is punishable by a fine or imprisonment," stated Corinna Bochmann, BPjM spokesperson, in response to Sunday Observer queries.
Ten of the 11 albums were not only considered "harmful to young people" but also contained violent lyrics, according to the BPjM, with lyrics that incite hatred and propagate to kill homosexuals. The BPjM indexed these albums following complaints by certain groups such as the German gay lobby. "The BPjM can only act on the request of other administrative institutions, not by itself. Once an official request has been filed, the BPjM is obliged to act," stated Bochmann.

Ellen Köhlings, editor of German reggae magazine Riddim told the Sunday Observer that dancehall is ironically filliping the gay lobby's agenda. "These lyrics violate German laws which gives the lobbyists legal grounds to successfully censor music and gain media exposure," Köhlings said.
"The gay lobby is looking for cheap forwards just like some artistes look for a cheap forward," she stated.

Köhlings added that artistes could compromise by maintaining their anti-gay stance but avoid the use of violence. "At the end of the day there are much more urgent things to talk about than homophobia, and artistes should leave out, in my mind, the violent bashing of gays."

Riddim magazine has at times assumed the role of dancehall mediator, as the industry has no lobby in Germany: "We have been doing everything we can to restore the image of Jamaica, but we can do only so much. In the long run Jamaica needs to take action," Köhlings noted.

Violent anti-gay lyrics have been a feature of dancehall music for over 15 years with the Buju Banton classic Boom Bye Bye credited as its progenitor. The international gay lobby, in response, has petitioned the German government to ban shows and the sale of records by these artistes. Last year, Banton and Beenie Man were yanked from shows due to the lobby in the US, Australia and New Zealand. Local gay organisation J-Flag told the Sunday Observer that Jamaican deejays are not being unfairly attacked by the international gay community.

"Their music promotes violence, hate and hardship for members of a community that at no time has threatened or hurt them in any way. This is an unwarranted and unprovoked assault on a set of people who have a right to exist," stated Jason McFarlane, J-Flag programmes manager. He added that dancehall artistes who continue to perform "hate-filled music" must be held accountable. "The influence of music on any society must not be under-estimated. What must be understood is that artistes have a right to express what they feel but also must be held responsible for the possible impact they can have on people. Music, in particular Reggae and Dancehall, is universal and so we must be aware of the wide reach of the possible influence of any one artiste."


Saturday, February 27, 2010

After 10 Years; 'King' Sizzla Finally Made it to Zimbabwe at the Personal Requests of the President

By Mtandazo Dube

THE man Zimbabwean promoters have been chasing for the past 10 years is finally here!

Ishe (King) Sizzla Kalonji is in town — it took a personal phone call from the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Robert Mugabe, for him to make the trip — of course not without support from the sponsors, Shumba Instrumentation, the Ministry of Information and Publicity, and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, to mention just a few.

The Jamaican dancehall king arrived in the country on Thursday morning for the 21st February Movement celebrations held last night in the country’s second largest city, Bulawayo, at the ZITF grounds.

The 34-year-old self-confessed mbanje (marijuana) smoker, anti-gay lyricist and champion of the repatriation movement of black people living in Western hemispheres promised “love, happiness, togetherness and righteousness” to music lovers at the ZITF show and the HICC gig today.

Zimbabwean reggae outfit Transit Crew were standing in for Kalonji’s band and will be in action again tonight alongside Mic Inity and many other reggae/ragga singers in the country, in what is dubbed the Youth International Raggae Festival.

The Sunday Mail Leisure caught up with him at a local hotel and this is what he had to say . . .

Q: How did you get to be invited to perform in Zimbabwe?
A: It was all because of the efforts of Nhamo (Chitimbe) who tried to bring me here about 10 years ago. We are good friends but I have been busy and this time I had time plus I was called by the President of Zimbabwe, so I couldn’t turn that down.
I immediately started writing a song for Zimbabwe and I’m going to be performing it for the first time at the birthday celebrations. Actually I gave up some shows in Europe to come here for these shows — so that I can dispel the lies being told about Zimbabwe.

Q: Which other African countries have you performed in?
A: I have been to Ethiopia, Senegal, Gambia and now I’m in Zimbabwe.

Q: Why is it that you guys talk about repatriation but most of you have not set foot in a handful of African countries?
A: It’s the system. A lot of lies are told about Africa and in the end we all just get scared. Plus there are not many reggae music promoters on the continent. We need the money, that’s how we artistes survive; in fact, I think you journalists are not doing your job right.
You need to propagate Africa and conscientise the people, tell them about the Africa you live in, this Africa that I’m experiencing right here.

Q: You have only been here for a few hours. What do you think of the country?
A: Beautiful! Really, it’s an honour for me to be here at the request of the President plus I have seen so much love around. You people are very hospitable — everything is different and I love it.
But let me also point out that I support President Mugabe’s efforts as a black empowerment icon. However, I feel that he should take it further by being a champion of black repatriation for black people living in the Western world.

Q: I understand you were made to sign some documents that forbid you from singing anti-gay songs when you are in Europe. What is your position on gay relationships?
A: The preachings and teachings of the Most High say that it is not right for a man to be with another man or a woman with another woman. All of us wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the union of a man and woman. Family is a basic unit in society.
I support the royal family set-up of a king and a queen.
I did not sign any papers, it is just an agreement I have with certain promoters — it is their system. I cannot stop singing those songs because there is a message in those songs which people should hear.

Q: And the marijuana thing?
A: Yes, I smoke marijuana. I believe it’s a holy sacrament, used long before us for righteous purposes. In fact, I was recently charged for possession of marijuana in Jamaica.

Q: Which Rastafarian church do you belong to?
A: Every one of them. I’m an African and Rastafarianism is all about Africa.

Q: What is your inspiration?
A: Jah, Africa, Bob Marley, Rastafarianism and the domestic life of every human being.

Q: What is your comment on the Buju Banton saga?
A: To tell the truth, I don’t believe anything bad said about Rastaman. Rastaman provides the light to the dark world in the west and they don’t like it so they try to destroy. Buju is a talented and very famous artiste — I don’t like what is being done to him and I know his fans don’t like it either.

Q: Some of your fans say that you have gone soft in your music and that you are no longer releasing music like you used to. What’s your take?
A: I make a lot of music for different people. My audience is varied so I use different tempos for different music in order to satisfy my many fans. I have not gone soft at all I just try to reach out to as many people as possible.
And to say that I’m no longer churning out music as I used to when I have 60 commercial albums and many other underground products is an insult to me. It’s only that the market enjoys gangster and sex music, and when I don’t give them that they say I’m not releasing. Actually I have increased not reduced the amount of music I release.
I also use a strategy of making people wait for my music — to whet their appetites.

Q: Do you classify yourself as a reggae or dancehall artiste?
A: As players of instruments, it is our duty to reach out and give light to those in the dark in whatever way that we can. All my actions are a fulfilment of all the African music genres — I’m only trying to maintain the culture and the tradition. I am a musician.

Q: Should we expect any collaborations between you and local acts?
A: I’m expecting to be doing something before I leave the country some time next week. Are there any good singers locally?


Marley son forgets book drama to focus on Caribbean Festival

When Ky-Mani Marley, a son of reggae icon Bob Marley, takes the stage Saturday at Bayfront Park's annual Caribbean Festival, he might have more than peace, love and good vibrations on his mind. He's embroiled in a battle with his publisher over his new book, Dear Dad -- Where's the Family in Our Family, Today?, which tells how Ky-Mani, born out of wedlock, was financially shut out by the Marley clan after his famous father's death. He talks to The Herald about the concert (also featuring his brothers Stephen, Damian and Julian, plus reggae stars Capleton, Shaggy and Spragga Benz), helping Haiti, and his feelings about the book controversy.

What can we expect from the show?

``Well, I have this new album I'm working on that's called Evolution of a Revolution, and from my show you can always expect high energy and high intensity, performance-wise. But on this particular show, I'm gonna play about four or five songs that no one has ever heard, which will be featured on my new album. I'll perform about 45 minutes to an hour solo, then join my brothers later for a couple songs.''

The festival has always helped out underprivileged members of the South Florida community, and this year it's also reaching out to Haiti. Do you have personal ties to the country?

``No, but . . . I had the opportunity to visit the island about four or five months ago, which was very refreshing. Actually, it's one of my most memorable moments, because I remember going into Haiti and I went into this one particular neighborhood where the promoter was telling me if I go there I needed security. And I've always liked to be amongst the people, so I decided to tell them I didn't want security. . . . And I walked through this neighborhood, and I tell you that within 10 minutes I had probably two to three hundred people behind me, walking me from neighborhood to neighborhood, showing me their living conditions, showing me where the war took place, where the U.N. had moved in during the overthrow of the president.''

You recently told The Herald that the publisher of your new memoir twisted your words around. Would you like to add anything else to that?

``As far as twisting my words, we went through the book initially, and we had edited it and had a first cover that we agreed upon using. After I brought it to my sister and speaking to her, I felt as though I wanted to make some edits. There were certain things I didn't have an understanding for, and she made it clear to me. At that time, I contacted [publisher] Mr. Farrah Gray and said there were just a few small edits I would like to make in the book. And he decided that he didn't want to make the edits, because what I wanted to change was very controversial and he felt as though that would be the selling point, or one of the selling points, of the book. I told him that I was not willing to participate in the promotion of the book unless I have these changes made. . . . He stopped taking my calls for a month or two.

And I wake up one morning, I think it was Feb. 5, to see this new cover with the caption saying `the book the Marley family apparently doesn't want you to read.' And I was very taken aback by that, being that my family had already read the book. To be honest, I really don't know if he changed anything because I've been so disgruntled by it that I haven't even had a chance to read the new edit.''

Has this drama put a damper on the festival for you, or are you able to forget about it and just enjoy the show?

``I'm able to move forward -- I've been fighting all my life, so this is not new to me. I'm in a place I'm used to.''


Matisyahu Honored to Sing a Song for the Olympics [ESPN REPORT]

Matisyahu loves hockey and was honored to sing a song for the Olympics.

Matisyahu had no idea the hit he had on his hands when he penned his uplifting tune, "One Day."

It wasn't until the call came from NBC late last year that his anthem would serve to be the song that would lift hopeful Olympians, that he really connected the dots. Needless to say, it was a pretty big break for the 29-year-old Hasidic Jewish musician who sings reggae songs, as "One Day" was used in the network's "Countdown to Vancouver" promotional campaign which also featured several Olympic hopefuls, including Apolo Ohno, Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White.

Matisyahu recently performed twice at the festivities in Vancouver, British Columbia, and took a break to answer a few questions about how this song has changed his life, and why he ultimately decided not to pursue playing ice hockey professionally, and instead become a musician.

How was it performing at the Olympics?

"There was a moment I had where we were singing one day, playing one day and I looked out into the audience and saw all the different flags and different countries. I got this utopian feeling, even though everyone is coming together around sports. It was good to see so many different countries coming together. It was a beautiful thing, you know?"

So, did you write "One Day" with the Olympics in mind?

"I wrote the song one day, and I didn't have the Olympics in mind when I wrote the song. But I wrote it for that same kind of purpose. The fact that they're using it, to me, it made obvious sense, you know? It fits really well with the theme of the Olympics."

So do you have a theme song?

"In different times in my life, I had different songs that were forces for me. I think 'One Day' would be my theme song right now! Strangely, I don't listen to too much music, but I've been playing that song a lot: everyday, several times a day. That's my theme song for right now."

This was a large stage to play on, what's the reception been like since?

"When you're in it, you don't always notice until you step back. It's been great, it's been good. We've been going around and working the song and playing the song and getting it out there."

Does it shock you that this song connects with Olympians?

"Pretty much athletes in general, maybe it's a stereotype, but you think of them as healthy-minded individuals and holistic kind of people. It's a spiritual, wellness kind of thing. My music is in line with that lifestyle and that positive message. I've been out here kind of working and making music for about five years or so and there's still a lot of people that don't know about me, but I always pretty much find that every radio station we go to, I have some real die-hard fans. People are really inspired by the music."

Did you play any sports growing up?

"I grew up playing ice hockey, actually. I played basketball and lacrosse. I used to work on a mountain for a couple of years, so I snowboarded religiously for years. But hockey is my main sport. It's cool to follow along and watch America beating Canada and all of that. It's the best sport in the world. No question about it."

So what made you ultimately pick music over ice hockey? You said you were pretty good?

"I made that decision when I got kicked off my hockey team when I was 14 for being a pothead! That's when I decided to go with music. I had a little bit of a bad reputation in high school, and my hockey coach wasn't so into that. At the time it really crushed me, it was really hard for me. Around that same time, I started getting into music and listening to music and I decided I wanted to focus on music. I think it was a good thing. Right?"


Friday, February 26, 2010

Spoiler alert! BBC4 documentary travels to Jamaica and roundly fails to capture its manic musical energy

It has become a cliche of documentary film-making that a project which sets out to capture people's differences will only end up emphasising how alike we all are. How many times must a western crew have voyaged up the Amazon, hoping to capture footage of an undiscovered tribe who ritually sacrifice their first-born to the monkey god, only to find a bunch of loggers crowded around a TV set, beers in hand, yelling at Robinho to pull his finger out?

When Argentinean-American director Luciano Blotta first travelled to Jamaica seven years ago, he came up with the idea of making a documentary about the local underground music scene. This would be a thorny proposition for any outsider; even more so for a film-maker who admits that before touching down in Kingston, the only reggae artist he could name was Bob Marley.

Blotta's blissful ignorance meant he was never likely to get close to the real essence of what makes Jamaican pop so vibrant and distinct. Instead, his film Rise Up Reggae Star – following three wannabe reggae stars labouring under varying degrees of delusion about their potential to make it big – only serves to reiterate that, in any country, cracking it is as much about savvy and contacts as it is about raw talent.

Rise Up's three subjects are archetypes, recognisable from Trenchtown to Camden. Turbulence, a Rastafarian singer, whose brand of rootsy dancehall seems somewhat generic. He's been hammering the local dances for years, and even toured Europe with Sizzla, without getting the breakthrough he feels he deserves.

Ice Anastacia is the obnoxious uptown kid with the ludicrous ghetto poses, whose posse are too busy leeching off his parents' credit cards to tell him he sucks. For Ice, read Victoria Aitken, Flash Louis or any hateful celebrity/toff offspring who's mumbled vacuously about starting a band.

Thirdly, there's Kemoy, the painfully innocent farmgirl with the voice of an angel who in the UK would be chewed up and spat out by The X Factor machine.

Depressingly, it looks for a while like Ice – who's able to buy face time with competent producers – is the likeliest of the three to achieve his dream of fame. Instead, it's Turbulence who has a eureka moment: switching his producers, venturing into a more aggressive MCing style, and scoring a genuine worldwide hit with the thrilling Notorious.

So Rise Up gets its happy ending. But do we learn anything about Jamaican music? Not really. The elephant (man) in the room throughout the documentary is dancehall, the lewd, crude and sonically fierce sound of young Jamaica that Rise Up – save for a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene of a "ghetto sting" – roundly ignores. Suffice to say, those few seconds are more exciting than most of the rest of the film put together.

Sizzla Jets in for 21st Feb Bash

Harare — REGGAE icon Sizzla Kalonji arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday (February 25th) to a rapturous welcome by his multitude of fans.

In our entertainment section we had said he was arriving this morning.

Sizzla will perform at the 21st February Movement gala at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair grounds in Bulawayo tonight (February 26th) to celebrate President Mugabe's birthday.

Reggae fans thronged the Harare International Airport to welcome the renowned Jamaican reggae star who is on his maiden visit to Zimbabwe.

Sizzla said he was honoured to be in Zimbabwe to grace birthday celebrations of a great revolutionary leader and Pan-Africanist who is fighting to uplift the livelihoods marginalised Africans -- President Mugabe.

"I'm on a back to Africa mission by myself and it is an honour to be in Zimbabwe for myself (and), the government of Jamaica and I couldn't refuse such an honour of being invited to perform at the President's birthday," he said.

Welcoming the Jamaican, Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu said Sizzla, who already has a track called Zimbabwe, was walking the same road that the late Bob Marley walked in 1980.

The legendary Marley performed at Zimbabwe's Independence Day on April 18, 1980.

"You are coming to perform for a man who stands for all the down-trodden people around the world. A man who symbolises the spirit of Pan-Africanism and like Bob Marley who made a record for our country, you have replayed his song," Minister Shamu said.

Born Miguel Collins, Sizzla's trip was made possible by the collaborative efforts of Shumba Instrumentation frontman Nhamo Chitimbe, the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

Relevant Links
Southern Africa
Chitimbe said his company was on a mission to bring many reggae artists to Zimbabwe.

"Sizzla had to forego lucrative shows in Europe just to be with us.

"On behalf of Shumba Instrumentation, I thank all the people who came to welcome our brethren and this is just the start. We won't be stopping in our efforts to bring the best of Jamaica's artistes," said Mr Chitimbe.

Sizzla will perform at the gala with a number of local artistes including Josphat Somanje, Zexie Manatsa, Mai naBaba Charamba, Tanga Wekwa Sando, Cde Chinx, Iyasa among others.

Regional artistes who will grace the occasion include the Soul Brothers and Mzwake Mbuli (SA) and DRC groups Real Sounds and Beaux Gosses.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sizzla to headline Mugabe's birthday celebration

JAMAICAN reggae superstar Sizzla has been enlisted by President Robert Mugabe’s supporters to kick-off a weekend of celebrations in Bulawayo to mark the veteran leader’s 86th birthday.

Sizzla will headline a night of celebration at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Grounds on Friday, joined by a host of regional and local stars including South Africa’s Soul Brothers and acclaimed poet, Mzwakhe Mbuli.

Mugabe turned 86 on February 21, and celebrated with a dinner in his honour organised by the Chinese Embassy.

On Saturday, Mugabe will arrive in Bulawayo to join thousands of his supporters for a lavish party organised by the 21st February Movement, an outfit established in 1986 as “a welfare organisation for youths, and as a medium to inspire youths to be well behaved through emulating the exemplary character of their patron, President Mugabe”.

The organisation of Friday’s concert alone is expected to cost well in excess of US$150,000 – expenditure which many poor Zimbabweans find obscene in the midst of poverty.

The celebrations are being put together by a retired army major, Anywhere Mutambudzi, who told state media Sizzla was expected in Harare on Thursday lunchtime, with Mbuli and the Soul Brothers flying in on Friday.

Also expected to perform are Congolese rhumba groups Real Sounds of Africa and Beaux Gosses, as well as a host of local artists including Jeys Marabini, dance queen Sandra Ndebele, Josephat Somanje, Dino Mudondo, Willom Tight, Chase Skuza, Roki and Iyasa.

Major Mutambudzi said: “We are urging Zimbabweans to come in large numbers to celebrate the life of our leader ...”

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Steel Pulse Brings Proper Roots Reggae to Revolution on March 10

One of the longest-running roots reggae bands around, Steel Pulse now boasts a list of former members as twice as long as that of its current lineup. Only two of its current players have appeared on all 11 of the band's studio albums: keyboardist and backing vocalist Selwyn Brown, and lead guitarist and vocalist David Hinds. That's been enough, though, to hold up the band's strong musical and lyrical backbone.

At its inception in the mid-'70s, the band of Jamaican expats in Northern England caught wind of the musical current coming from the island: ever-slowing tempos and ever-more direct lyrics about spirituality and social unrest. At the beginning, Steel Pulse was a fairly radical act for the U.K., espousing Rastafarianism, joining the Rock Against Racism movement early on, and touring with punk bands like the Stranglers.

But where their peers later descended into tirades of fire and brimstone, Steel Pulse has always kept things musical enough to preach with relative subtlety. Eschewing the lure of dancehall-style studio tricks, the band has always kept things strictly roots, pulling up the people with an trance-building blend of steady, spaced-out rhythms and sweet vocals.

It's been some six years since the band's last studio effort, African Holocaust. A new one is said to be in the works for release later this year, and as always, it should prove to be topical. An early taste came in the form of the 2008 "Barack Obama Song," the band's contribution to his campaign. True to form, it was a melodic, midtempo number full of squishy dub layers and a straightforward political message. Perhaps the finished disc will include a presidential progress report.

Steel Pulse, with Fourth Dimension. 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 10. Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $25.50; age 18 and up; 954-727-0950;

Marley in the Mountains to offer reggae happiness

Music festival brings community together

Express Staff Writer

The second annual Marley in the Mountains is back to celebrate reggae music legend Bob Marley and mountain living.

"Idaho has never seen anything like this," said Danny Walton, festival organizer and founder. "We are spreading mountain niceness to benefit the Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center's education programs."

The festival includes a raffle, which has thousands of dollars in prizes especially for the mountain enthusiasts. Prizes include three season passes from Sun Valley Company, two Horizon Air tickets courtesy of the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber and Visitors Bureau, Grand Targhee Resort lift tickets and accommodations, Payette River Company Canyon River trip for seven people, a guided fishing trip with Sun Valley Outfitters, three golf lessons with Dominick Conti, a PGA professional at Sun Valley Resort, First Ascent Dream duffle full of gear, Mammut backcountry package with beacon, pack, probe and shovel, one yurt night from Sun Valley Trekking, K2 Skis, two-month membership to Zenergy and more.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Wiseguys, The Sub Shack, Lefty's, Paul Kenny's, Rickshaw, the Ketchum-Sun Valley Chamber and Visitor Center, Zenergy, The Brickhouse, Roosevelt, Sawtooth and Mahoney's. The raffle will take place at 7 p.m. in between music acts.

"Last year the town came together to make the event a success," Walton said. "Marley celebrations happen in 140 countries and this is an Idaho original."

The music begins on Saturday, Feb. 27, with a performance featuring Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band, which will take place from 5-7 p.m. on the Simplot Lot across from the Ketchum Post Office and future home of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts.
Music continues with Grammy Award-winning recording artist Michael Rose from 7:30-10 p.m. Rose sang vocals in the well-known reggae band Black Uhuru. He is known for his dancing and vocal style. The event is free and will feature a music festival atmosphere.

After the outdoor show, more Jamaican live music will take place at Whiskey Jacques' in Ketchum with a Jamaican dancehall show featuring Ken Serious, Lions Den Sounds, DJ Vision, African Abstract Sound System and guests. Tickets are $10 at the door and the show will begin at 10 p.m.

"I am a skier and doing this for my town," Walton said. "People are coming from all over and it's going to be a great time."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Selena Gomez Says Next Album Will Have 'Reggae Sound'

Selena Gomez is currently working on a slightly harder follow-up to her 2009 debut album, Kiss & Tell. The album, which she released with her band The Scene, was a pop record and Gomez recently told MTV News that for her sophomore effort she wants to go a bit funkier and a bit edgier.

"We were gonna do a deluxe edition of my album, but we started on some songs, so we figured, 'Why not? Let's just go for a second one,' " she explained. "It's kind of different — older — and it's kind of got, like, a reggae sound."

Gomez is only in the early stages of the album-making process. Currently the band is trying to "fill it out," but she knows she'd like to see if she can re-create the vibe from her single "Naturally" — but she's unsure if she's willing to take on the pressure of being the album's main songwriter. "I don't want it all to be on me," Gomez said.

So what about possible collaborators? "Well, I want to work with the producers who did "Naturally' [Antonina Armato, Tim James and Devrim Karaoglu]. They are so sweet," she said. "I'd love to work with Dr. Luke. I think he's awesome," she added about the "I Kissed a Girl" hitmaker.

Gomez noted that on her first record, she made sure she picked tunes that her fans could easily relate to. "I wanted to make sure, A, I can relate to it and B, my fans can relate to it, and it's something that I went through," she explained. "And all of those songs are things that I went through, and that's why I put that all together."

Buju Banton Nominated For Three International Reggae & World Music Awards

NEW YORK - Buju Banton, has been nominated for a trio of 2010 International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA): Recording Artist Of The Year, Best Album for Rasta Got Soul and Best Crossover Song for "Can't Be My Lover," his recent hit collabo with R&B star, John Legend.

Banton and the Gargamel Music family sincerely thank IRAWMA founder Mr. Martin Ephraim, the entire IRAWMA staff, and of course, the fans for the love and continued support at this time.

The 29th Annual International Reggae & World Music Awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 2nd at York College Performing Arts Center in Jamaica (Queens), New York. Fans may cast ballots online at the official awards website: WWW.IRAWMA.COM.

New Release

In other Buju Banton music news, the one-off single, "Time And A Place"(John John) on the scorching Coming In From The Cold riddim has skyrocketed to #1 on both the New York Top 30 Reggae Chart and South Florida Top 25 Reggae Chart. The album Rasta Got Soul is currently #2 on both the New York Top 20 Albums Chart and the South Florida Top 15 Albums Chart. The new "Optimistic Soul" single (plus bonus instrumental) will be released digitally on March 23rd.


Ragga Muffins Flock To Long Beach For Reggae Festival

Report by Samuel Ortega Jr., journalism student at Long Beach City College
Photos by LBCC student Christian Millan

10:00am | The 29th annual Ragga Muffins Festival, formally known as the Bob Marley Festival, returned on Saturday, Feb. 20 and Sunday, Feb. 21 to celebrate the birthday month of the musician.

The musical celebration is an anticipated event for fans and spectators of the reggae culture. Music artist Alborosie performed for the first time in southern California. Acts such as Barrington Levy, Don Carlos, Shaggy, and Gregory Isaacs were among the 24 artists that performed during the two-day festival.

The festival attracted groups of all ages. Behind the Long Beach Arena, a food court was set up for vendors. Once stepping inside, the smell of smoky grilled chicken dominated the food court. Authentic Jamaican cuisine and other foods were offered for sale.

Merchandise vendors were also present at the event selling Jamaican influenced products. The three colors of the Rasta flag – red, green, and yellow – were lively displayed throughout the room.

The event will return in February 2011 to host its 30th annual festival. Any further information may be attained at the festival’s website,


The culture of reggae band 'Culture'

A Black History Month look back at Culture, one of reggae’s most influential and ‘conscious’ groups. Culture set themselves apart by insisting on reporting on Jamaican social conditions, above all else.

The sound of reggae derives from the nyabanghi rhythms of West Africa which form its basic structure. The electrified, rocked up reggae which reached North America ears was a long way from the primal rhythms of the Jamaican hills. So to was the lyric content and in the fullness of time, reggae arrived at the inevitable schism between the commercial and the authentic.

Ranked against the ranking blingers led by Marley and Tosh, a true believin’ triumvirate of Winston (Burning Spear) Rodney, Bunny Wailer and Joseph Hill.
Break it down further and Hill and Culture fitted somewhere between the Bunny Wailer’s country rootsman and the “Mystic Revelator” Burning Spear. More accessible than Bunny, less overbearing than Spear, Hill pitched the most fiery of messages clothed in the most groovalicious melodies and sweet, seductive arrangements.

Culture was very much a band of Kingston’s volatile streets. Born in 1976 into a vibrant, politically charged Jamaican reggae scene., Culture made a name meshing solid harmonies with sharp social commentary and grooves galore. The vocal lineup of Hill, Kenneth Dayes and Hill's cousin Albert Walker performed mostly material penned by Hill and indicative of his keen sense of the connection between Jamaica’s history and its social and pollitical climate at the time. Hill was hip that the message went down best hooked to a catchy beat, a sensibility not lost on the nascent UK punk scene. The Culture band at one time or another included genre luminaries like Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespear, Ashton Barrett and Skinny Lindo.

Bunny Wailer and Burning Spear retired to country compounds to live an Ital lifestyle and leave Babylon to its sins and distractions. To Hill this was preaching to the converted. He was of the opinion his place was to speak truth in the belly of the beast. Culture stood up and addressed oppressed and oppressor alike and only Hill’s ready wit and straight-up rep kept him from harm’s way.

At once teacher and fellow sufferer Hill’s songs today would read like urgent blogs from a battleground eyewitness. Dubbed the "Keeper of Zion Gate, he became one of Rastafari's most respected voices, if not always the favourite of the island’s police force. Hill stance was part teacher, part fellow sufferer as he commented on Jamaican history and current political issues. In his lyrics, Hill often explored how the legacy of slavery continued to have an influence on Jamaican citizens.

Onstage Hill’s performances were a savvy mix of truth telling and booty shaking, MC and professor, the man with ‘conscious’ reggae’s most golden tones. During the seventies the group had a string of hit singles for producers Joe Gibbs and Sonia Pottinger including 'Two Sevens Clash' which hit in Jamaica, the UK and the U.S.. It was named by Rolling Stone magazine in 2002 as one of the '50 Coolest Records' - the only single artist reggae album to make the list. The group also hit internationally with 'Stop Fussing and Fighting', a song directly addressing the politically fuelled gang wars of the Seventies, with specific reference to the attempt to whack Bob Marley.

No matter who was in government, Joseph Hill was there to keep an eye out and speak truth to the powers. Hill and Culture played only a handful of Canadian tours during one of which he told a Toronto reporter: “ I have much respect for Canada because it shows nuff respect for others. It shows acceptance for different ways and is not a beat down culture that pushes everybody into the mainstream”.

Hill died suddenly from renal failure during a European tour in 2006. He’d lived long enough to garner a number of his country’s highest honours including an induction into the Jamaican Reggae Walk of Fame and a 2005 Independence Award presented by the Prime Minister of Jamaica. In 2006 the group continued to draw good reviews, especially for their performance at 'Bob Marley 61st Birthday Celebration' in Ghana.
At his funeral in September 2006, Hill was eulogized by, amongst others, then Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller who lauded him for his contributions to Jamaican Culture and ambassadorship to the world.

Even the passing of Joseph Hill in 2006 hasn’t stopped the spread of Culture. The current evolution of Culture is fronted by Kenyatta Hill, Joseph’s eldest son and is enjoying renewed success due to recent re-release of many of the group’s classic albums.

Monday, February 22, 2010

New York Premiere of Reggae Film "RiseUp"

On Thursday, February 25, 2010, ImageNation Cinema Foundation and the Film Society of Lincoln Center present a Black History Month celebration of reggae music and culture, with the New York Premiere of RiseUp, at the Walter Reade Theater.

RiseUp is a cinematic journey into the heart of Jamaica,†where artists fight to rise up from obscurity and write themselves into music history. Directed by Luciano Blotta, RiseUp features reggae legends Lee "Scratch" Perry, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, and many rising stars including Turbulence.

Recently awarded the Best Music Documentary at the AFI/Discovery Silverdocs Festival, some are calling RiseUp the Jamaican-music version of "Hoop Dreams" and the best reggae film since "The Harder They Come."

This special premiere opens with a live performance by Judah Tribe and ends with a director Q&A and discussion on reggae music and its global influence, with reggae scholar and author of Black to the Roots, R.A. Ptahsen-Shabazz, Ph.D.

Often compared to reggae legends such as Steel Pulse, Peter Tosh, and Bob Marley the evening’s featured band, Judah Tribe, offers a variety of music from love songs to political anthems. The band is led by singer/guitarist Josh David who currently tours with Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest and has played with renowned artists such as Prince, Stevie Wonder and Common.

In the spirit of reggae, Judah Tribe is a truly Pan-African effort with members hailing from Africa, Jamaica, France, Haiti and the USA.

This program is part of Lincoln Center Celebrates Black History Month 2010. Partial proceeds will benefit relief efforts for Haiti and will be collected at the event. For tickets to this Black History Month celebration, please call 212-340-1874 or visit

ImageNation Cinema Foundation is a Harlem-based media arts organization, founded with the goal of establishing a chain of art-house cinemas, dedicated to progressive media by and about people of color. ImageNation uses entertainment to inspire people to better themselves and the world.†Through a variety of public exhibitions and programs, ImageNation fosters media equity, media literacy, solidarity, and cross-cultural exchange and highlights the humanity of Pan-African people worldwide.

The City of New York has awarded ImageNation space in the Mart125 Building on 125th Street --directly across the street from the Apollo Theater -- to open Harlem’s first and the nation’s only minority-run art-house cinema dedicated to Black and Latino independent films.

America’s pre-eminent film presentation organization, The Film Society of Lincoln Center was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, to recognize and support new filmmakers, and to enhance awareness, accessibility and understanding of the art among a broad and diverse film going audience.

The reception is at 6pm and the program at 7pm, at Lincoln Center in the Walter Reade Theater,
165 W. 65th St., New York, NY 10023-6595.

Tickets: or call 212-340-1874

Mr. Vegas Banned from Performing in Grenada

Jamaican Dancehall sensation Clifford Smith AKA Mr. Vegas, with mega hits Heads High, I Am Blessed and Do You Know, is the second Jamaican Artists to be banned from performing in Grenada by the 19-month old NDC administration, in less than a year.

The popular entertainer was scheduled to perform in Grenada for the first time in just under two years at the popular Karma night club in St. Georges Grenada, on Sat Feb 27th 2010.

According to the promoter of the event Steve Duncan, this one came as a shock. No specific reasons were given by the Ministry of Labour for the refusal of the work permits.

Inside sources has hinted that the refusal may have been as a result of one particular song from the Artists which contains derogatory remarks about women that behave in a negative manner.

Mr. Vegas has recorded over four popular dancehall/reggae Albums to date.

Duncan also stated that over $30,000.00 was already invested in bookings and promotions for the event, and that no indication of a problem was hinted when the application for the work permit was made some four weeks ago.

When asked about how this development was going to impact on his business in these difficult times, his response was simply “devastating”. “If this Government is placing a ban on a particular number of Caribbean Artists, then that should be public knowledge and should be brought to the attention of the promoters when the application for the work permit is made, says Duncan, one of Grenada’s most popular event promoters and owner of the Islands largest nightclub, Karma. “I sought to get an explanation from the Minister of Labour, Honorable Carl Hood, and to explain my plight, only to have the phone hung up on me. This is not the first time that this has happened”.

Just recently a similar complaint was given by manager of a local night club in the south of the island.

SOURCE: weefmgrenada

Jamaican reggae star to rock Ghana in what is called "Sizzla Kalonji Reggae Concert"

International reggae sensation, Sizzla Kalonji is expected to perform to thousands of reggae lovers in Ghana in a show dubbed "Sizzla Kalonji Reggae Concert".

According to Ghana News Agency, the Jamaican born star who is one of the most commercially and critically successful contemporary reggae artists will perform in two separate venues in Ghana. He is also well-known for his unusual productivity

The first show is scheduled to take place on March 5 at the Ohene Gyan Sport Stadium in Accra and the other at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.

Sizzla, born Mignel Orlando Collins is expected in Ghana on March 2. He has already released 45 solo albums and over 15 combination albums, crossing different genres of reggae and 20 of his albums have also made it onto the Billboards' Top Reggae Charts worldwide.

He will also launch his new album on March 6 which happens to be Ghana’s Independence Day.

The show is also to mark the 53-year of Ghana’s Independence celebrations and is sponsored and organized by Paa K. Holbrook-Smith, a creative show producer, in collaboration with two other music production firms, Lalibela Music Productions and Aduanaba Promotions.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Everything is now in place for the start of the Reggae Film Festival 2010 to be held at the Hilton Kingston Hotel with a Gala Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, February 24 of the music documentary RUFFN’ TUFF: FOUNDERS OF THE IMMORTAL RIDDIM featuring Lynn Taitt, Lloyd Parks, Gladstone ‘Gladdy’ Anderson, Leroy Sibbles, Bob Andy, Gregory Isaacs and many more. Films will be screened each night in the Hilton Hotel Ballroom Cinema, and during the day in the Jonkanoo Lounge where the After Parties will be held each night.

Guest Speaker at the Opening Ceremony will be Beverly Anderson-Manley, whose film acting career included a special role in “The Harder They Come” and a long professional relationship with Director Perry Henzell. The 6-day event starts on Monday February 22 with a Make A Film In 24 Hours competition, moderated by leading film and TV producer/director Rick (“Me and Mi Krew”) Elgood. Several entries have been received from young Jamaican film makers trying for prizes from SuperPlus and Breezes Runaway Bay Hotel.

Among the special film premieres in Reggae Film Festival 2010 are two filmed-in-Jamaica features from the USA including the World Premiere of “A DANCE FOR GRACE” about a US school dance team who fly to Jamaica to learn authentic dancehall steps for a competition to raise funds for a sick teacher. The festival is also pleased to screen the first Jamaican showing of ‘WAH DO DEM’, winner of the Los Angeles Film Festival Best Narrative Feature award, which tells the amusing story of a young man who gets off a cruise ship in Ocho Rios, misses its departure and has to find his way to the US Embassy in Kingston for help. Both films feature Jamaica’s beauty and the generous spirit of the Jamaican people.

This year the Reggae Film Festival is proud to showcase 10 films by Jamaican-based film makers in the New Jamaican Cinema programme. These include ‘NOT TO ME’. the first feature film by noted videographer Ras Kassa, the gritty inner-city feature films CONCRETE JUNGLE, KINGSTON 12 by Kurt Fuller and 9 DAYS TO LIVE by Allan ‘Endless’ Tennant; as well as documentaries THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DANCEHALL MUSIC by Reginald Campbell, the Kimala Bennett documentary COMBING THROUGH THE ROOTS OF BLACK HAIR and Peter Dean Rickards report on THE LAST DON.

The international film community continues to document Jamaica’s music culture with loving insight. This year’s entries include rare footage of Lee Scratch Perry in the International Premiere of ‘ICH SENDE AUS DEM ALL (I Am Transmitting From the Universe’) by Producer/Director:Peter Braatz of Germany. The Reggae Film Festival is also honoured with the World Premiere of REGGAE IN THE RUFF — a series of interviews, live performances and reasonings with Rasta musicians about the essence of reggae and what it means to those who create it, made by Discovery Channel director Don’McConnell. UNSUNG by Pepe Urquito features R.C. Tomlinson – one of Reggae’s unsung heroes, while the adventure documentary ll MILES TO PARADISE with a reggae soundtrack, is the Reggae Film Festival’s first entry from Hawaii.

Of special interest is the ground-breaking animated film KINA SKY by Jamaican/Swiss film maker Coretta Singer which was selected Top Ten in the 2009 Nickelodeon TV competition. The Jamaican Diaspora is represented in CRUNCH, a feature film made in England by Jamaican/British film maker Wayne G. Saunders, the story of a young, new immigrant.

The Reggae Film Festival showcases 6 films about Rastafari in the Red, Gold and Green Screen programme on Saturday Feb 27, including DESTINATION JAMAICA whose director Jungle George is attending his 3rd Reggae Film Festival. Students from 5 Kingston schools will attend the Children’s Films Programme on Friday Feb 26, that includes the documentary BUSCON from Argentina about baseball scouts recruiting talented children of Jamaican parentage; UNDER MY GARDEN from Italy – winner of the Spike Lee Babelgum Festival 2009, and the Jamaican feature KIDS PARADISE – SHASTA RUNS AWAY starring Storm, Nile and Shasta Saulter, Elise Kelly, Judy Mowatt and Makonnen Blake Hanna.

At a Seminar moderated by UWI lecturer Dr. Michael Barnett, panelists Marcia Forbes, Ras Kassa, Coretta Singer, Sandra-Rose Guisine and Kurt Fuller will discuss the Jamaican Film industry and its development needs. The Reggae Film Festival will close on Saturday, February 27 with the presentation of Awards in several categories and the induction of a new Pioneer Member of the Jamaica Film Academy.

The Reggae Film Festival 2010 is presented by the Jamaica Film Academy in association with the HILTON KINGSTON Hotel. The event has been organized by a Planning Committee chaired by Barbara Blake Hannah, including Mikey Barnett, Lloyd Laing, Dr. Michael Barnett, and Lesley-Ann Welsh, with sponsorship from IRIE-FM, PHASE 3, Stanley Motta Rentals, Breezes Runaway Bay, SuperPlus Stores, Caribbean Producers Ltd., Blackwell Rums and Jamaica Media Productions.

SOURCE: baiganchoka

Sanchez live reggae: Now and Forever Tour hits New York City

Sanchez is continuing his 20-year reggae, lovers rock, and gospel singing career with his Now and Forever tour, which celebrates his recent album of the same name. Sanchez will perform in a 3-borough tour from May 7 through May 17. The Now and Forever tour features Sanchez and friends and is sponsored by JAMROCK Magazine and Linkup Radio 93.5 FM.

Sanchez’s Now and Forever tour begins on Friday, May 7 in Queens and continues on Saturday, May 15, in Brooklyn. The final event in the tour is Sunday, May 16 in the Bronx. The Now and forever tour is brought to you by Rock with Squeeze, JAMROCK Magazine, Jammins Entertainment, LinkUp Radio, King Crown, and Stinga Movements.

Sanchez stands as a reputable entertainer whose career began in the early 90’s. His presence on tracks, stage and in music videos always left his fans with feel good reggae vibes. A trip down memory lane with Sanchez will leave you with favorites like Brown Eye Girl, Tears on my pillow, and Every time I close my eyes. Never forgetting his fans, Sanchez is back with a new album (in stores now) entitled Now and Forever. His sultry voice over tracks like Feel Good All Over and Longing to Come Home, and Won’t Surrender reminds his listeners that this all-time favorite singer can keep up with time. Entertainer writer Howard Hendrick, describes Sanchez’s voice as “a supernatural gift from a loving God that can out sing any Nightingale, and he possesses one of the sweetest male voices in popular music”.

Don’t miss out! Purchase your tickets for the following New York Dates:

May 7th
Managoville / 187-30 Jamaica Avenue, Queens NY

May 15th
C-PAC / 1020 East 48th Street, Brooklyn NY

May 16th
Mingles / 4012 Boston Road, Bronx NY

Tickets are $35 if purchase before April 30th.

For online purchase please visit www.ticketmaster,,,

For more information contact 1800-681-4220.

SOURCE: Dub & Reggae

Friday, February 19, 2010

Worship Pastor Pens ‘Unofficial’ Reggae Anthem for Superbowl Champions, New Orleans Saints

ST. PAUL, MN (February 19, 2010) – A song written by Ryan Daniel, the worship pastor at Gallery Covenant Church, has become one of the unofficial anthems for the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.

The YouTube video of “The Saints” posted months ago has received more than 200,000 hits, and other users have made videos using the hip-hop song in tributes to the team.

Daniel did not write the song in honor of the Saints, who happened to end the Super Bowl hopes of his favorite team – the Minnesota Vikings. But he says the song captures the spirit of New Orleans residents, who continue to persevere and rebuild their lives following Hurricane Katrina.


Find more videos like this on mytings

Daniel says he has no idea why the video has become so popular. He did not put a lot of work into creating it.

Daniel is no stranger to music or having it recognized, however. In 2006, Daniel and his group, The Spirit of David, was nominated for the Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Awards in three categories - Music Video of the Year, Pop Recording of the Year and Ethnic Recording of the Year. His song “One Time” debuted at number 39 on the Billboard Gospel chart and appeared on Holy Hip Hop Volume 1, a compilation that was nominated for a Grammy Award.

At Life Light Festival, the largest Christian festival in the country, Ryan shared the main stage with the likes of The Newsboys, Rebecca St. James, Go Fish and Audio Adrenaline, Third Day and many others. In 2004, Christianity Today named Daniel among "The Best of 2004: 10 Independent Artists You Should Know."

Daniel has been called "the Reggae Hip-Hop Sensation." The reggae-infused style comes naturally to the 35-year-old artist, who grew up in the Caribbean island of Trinidad. He moved to Minnesota 12 years ago. More of Daniel’s music can be heard on his MySpace account.

Daniel was worship pastor at the 1,200-member River of Life Church in Elk River, Minnesota, before joining Gallery Covenant’s staff. Daniel was attracted to the Gallery because of its commitment to reaching out multiculturally and being “ambassadors for reconciliation.”

“I think that Brad (Kindall) has really set a good tone for our approach to reaching out to the community,” Daniel says in the current issue of "Imprints," the Northwest Conference newsletter. “As a worship leader and reggae hip hop artist, I believe that if Christ is truly lifted up, (individuals and communities) will be drawn to him. God wants to reach this community (us included) more than we do. Our prayer is that he uses us mightily in every opportunity.”

Copyright © 2010 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

Olympic glory for Matisyahu's 'One Day'

Commercials give Matisyahu's "One Day" wider exposure

After seemingly fading out from the mainstream music scene in recent years, Jewish reggae star Matisyahu is back in the spotlight thanks to the 2010 Winter Olympics.


Reggae artist Matisyahu kicks off a four-island concert tour in Honolulu on Thursday.
View Large Version >>
His single "One Day," off the 2009 release "Light," has been used extensively in commercials for the Games, and Matisyahu himself flew to Canada to perform at concerts in Whistler and Vancouver this week. Those shows came on the heels of a trip last week to Israel, where he headlined a concert in Tel Aviv on Feb. 11.

Matisyahu kicks off a four-island concert tour at Pipeline Cafe on Thursday; he'll follow up with a Feb. 27 show on Kauai, Feb. 28 show on Maui and March 1 performance on the Big Island.

The Star-Bulletin caught up with the singer Tuesday, minutes after he landed in Colorado. He said he had "about six more stops" before arriving in Honolulu next week.


With local openers the Throwdowns:
Where: Pipeline Cafe, 805 Pohu- kaina St.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Cost: $29 and $65

Info: 589-1999 or

Web site:

"The whole idea of moving beyond for a higher cause is a good idea. To have a song that speaks to that idea is a good thing (because) the Olympics is about more than just sports."

QUESTION: Before "Light" came out last year, it really seemed like you disappeared from the music scene for a bit.
ANSWER: I guess you could say that. I basically kept doing the same stuff. I think that's the way it goes for the most part -- it's like a wave. I took about a year off to record my record ... (and) I continued to play shows, mostly in America.

Q: What do you think of American television network NBC using your song "One Day" to help promote the 2010 Winter Olympics?

A: I think it's a cool thing to be a part of, (and) that countries can come together even though they have squabbles and might not always get along. The whole idea of moving beyond for a higher cause is a good idea. To have a song that speaks to that idea is a good thing (because) the Olympics is about more than just sports.

Q: Your appearance in Canada came just a few days after you performed in Israel. What was that like?

A: It was a pretty cool experience. Israel is a place that's close to home for me. I feel very connected to it, so it's great to get in there (and perform).

At the same time it's its own place -- a lot of American Jews have a sort of nostalgia for Israel, but it also has its own culture.

For me it's been more about trying to connect with Israeli people and to kind of get a feel for the inside of Israeli culture.

Q: I read that you also performed with Infected Mushroom, who released an electronic remix of "One Day."

A: They're America-based, and they're really pretty popular around the electronic scene.

I saw them perform at a festival in Baltimore a few years ago and ended up sitting in with them, and we ended up staying in touch.

That remix is No. 1 on radio in Israel right now, so I think it was a good move.

Q: Are you satisfied with the overall reaction by fans and critics to "Light"? How does this album compare to "Youth"?

A: They're a little bit different. I would say it's just a continued evolution of my sound -- as a songwriter, lyrically, musically and production-wise.

Everything is a step further than the last album. The songs are a little more crafted. I spent more time on the writing process and the recording process, (and) I feel you get that when you listen to the record, for better or worse.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

'Dear John', the Movie which unseated 'Avatar' from No.1 has Something Particular for Reggae Fans

"Things & Time" by legendary group The Wailing Souls is featured on the soundtrack for the #1 movie in America

Dear John, the new romantic drama which has unseated Avatar has something particular for fans of reggae music. "Things & Time" by legendary group The Wailing Souls is featured on its original soundtrack. This will be good news for VP Records and Greensleeves Publishing who own this title in their catalogue.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Reggae Legend Jimmy Cliff Among Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees for 2010

NEW YORK - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation has confirmed the reggae Legend, Jimmy Cliff is among the artist inductees for 2010. Jimmy Cliff will be joined by ABBA, Genesis, The Hollies and The Stooges.

Also being inducted this year as individual recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award will be David Geffen and songwriters Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Elle Greenwich, Jeff Barry, Jesse Stone, Mort Shuman and Otis Blackwell.

The ceremony will take place on March 15, 2010 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and will air live on Fuse, Madison Square Garden’s national music television network, as part of the three-year broadcast deal between the Foundation and Fuse.

“We are very happy to present this year’s inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as they represent a great cross-section of artists that define the broad spectrum and history of rock and roll and people that have contributed immeasurably to our business” says Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President & CEO Joel Peresman.

The 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performer inductees were chosen by over 500 voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. Artists are eligible for inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twenty-five years after their first recording is released.

Very few single albums can be said to have changed music forever. Jimmy Cliff’s The Harder They Come is one. The album – and the movie that spawned it – introduced reggae to a worldwide audience and changed the image of the genre from cruise ship soundtrack to music of rebellion and inspiration. “Sitting in Limbo,” “The Harder They Come,” “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” and “Many Rivers to Cross” made Jimmy Cliff the first international reggae superstar and created the model that Bob Marley would soon follow. A beautifully gifted singer and a uniquely influential songwriter, Jimmy Cliff has made a profound impact on rock and pop music all over the world for 40 years.


Reggae Artist Delly Ranx Kicks off his US promotional tour for his CD “Good Profile”

HOLLYWOOD - The REGGAE Soulcial will host Itation Record’s premiere reggae artist/producer Delly Ranx for his first US promotional live show for his new cd “Good Profile” on Monday, February 22, 2010 at Ginger Bay Café, 1908 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, Fl.

The appellation for his current cd “Good Profile is parallel to that of his inimitable person, bold, urban and passionate. Stemming from the success of his European tour with Buju Banton, Delly Ranx is set to heat up the stage, accompanied with a live band performing songs from “Good Profile” and a few surprise singles of music that Delly Ranx is working on.

The cd is a playlist favorite among numerous dj's and podcasts and a mainstay among music lovers internationally.

Arguably one of the fastest rising talents out of Jamaica who has truly created a blueprint for independent reggae artists, Delly Ranx is standing on his own talent and displaying enough promise become omnipotent in the entertainment industry. The buzz surrounding his new cd “Good Profile” has been building and has secured Delly Ranx’s position as a premiere artist. This roots and culture flavored cd has something for all music lovers. His flavored voice has the ability to explore a range of emotions and transfix audiences from every corner of the world. Delly Ranx has truly designed a plan that has kept his musical creations inspired and allowed him to flourish as an artist.

Delly Ranx has been a staple on the Jamaican dancehall reggae scene for some 15 years. Over these years, he has recorded for major producers in the industry including veterans Sly and Robbie and Steelie and Cleevie. He has performed at numerous international reggae festivals and shows in the Caribbean, Europe and the United States and in summer 2007 completed a tour in the United Kingdom with Freddie McGregor, Chino and Natural Black. Among his more popular songs are Pon di Corner with Mega Banton, Redbull and Guinness, Ghetto Whisky, Solid and the remake of Love and Devotion with Jimmy Riley.

He has also collaborated with some of the finest artistes Jamaica has to offer including Beres Hammond, Elephant Man, Voicemail, Da'Ville, Wayne Wonder, Lukie D, among others. Delly Ranx has flexed his skills as both an artiste and a producer.

To his credit, he has a production on Sean Paul's platinum-selling debut album Dutty Rock and produced the Billboard hit for Mavado's Weh Dem a Do on the Redbull and Guinness riddim. This riddim also won him (and Stephen McGregor), the Irie FM riddim of the year for 2006.

In 2007, recognition of Delly Ranx's productions led to a nomination for producer of the year at the 26th annual International Reggae and World Music Award


Reggae star Buju Banton set for April trial

TAMPA - Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton is scheduled to stand trial on federal drug charges in April, court documents show.

Authorities say they videotaped Banton trying to purchase cocaine in a Sarasota warehouse in December. Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, claims he is a victim of entrapment.

Banton was nominated for best reggae album at this year's Grammy Awards but did not win.

His attorney, David Oscar Markus, filed a motion asking for a definite April trial date to give witnesses time to make arrangements to fly to Tampa from Jamaica and to allow Banton's Miami defense team to make hotel and flight reservations.

U.S. District Judge James Moody granted the motion and scheduled the trial for April 1. In addition, U.S. Magistrate Thomas Wilson has scheduled a hearing March 4 on several motions filed by Markus.

Voodoo Souljah's: Homegrown Colombian reggae live in Bogota

While the cloudy skies and landlocked mountain landscape of Bogota may not remind anyone of Jamaica, the rhythms of the Caribbean island have inspired a thriving reggae scene in the Colombian capital nonetheless. One of the scene's leading lights, Voodoo Souljah's, plays live in Bogota this Saturday, February 20th.

The band has been "skanking" around clubs and festivals in the city since 2001, when it formed out of the ashes of various hip-hop, dancehall, and traditional reggae bands. The resulting mixture blended all of these sounds together into a highly danceable and bilingual reggae party.

According to the band's website, Voodoo Souljah's also practice and preach the time-honored reggae messages of peace, love, harmony, tolerance, and appreciation of all things African-descended. So you might learn something too!


Swaziland will not host One Love Reggae Festival. Instead......

The One Love Reggae Festival will not be held in Swaziland this year. The festival which was launched last year by Makhulu Concerts and Café Lingo will be held in Maputo. However, Café Lingo isn’t involved this year.

This was announced by Makhulu Concerts Director Rodger Dunn and confirmed by Café Lingo’s Tanya Aab. Similar to last year, the festival will be held on May 1.
During an interview, Dunn simply said it wouldn’t make business sense to host the festival in the country.

“We identified Mozambique as a suitable location for a festival of this nature and magnitude”, Dunn said. Aab agreed with Dunn and said the business community as well as music lovers would be more receptive towards a festival of this scale.

International artists incorporated into the festival’s line-up last year included 340ML, Jah Seed and Admiral, Ras Tony & Maputoland, Word, Sound and Power, Axicundos, Centraline and Short Cirkit amongst others. Multitudes converged at the old Greyhound stadium to witness a musical spectacular.

Music lovers travelled from all over the SADC region to attend the festival. The One Love Reggae Festival was organised against the backdrop of instilling love and unity amongst the people of the region in times of difficulty.

Not only that, it also sought to bring to focus the plight of many orphaned children in the country and their immediate needs for survival. In fulfillment of this quest, 20% of the profits generated from proceeds during the festival were channelled towards All Out Africa Foundation to assist disadvantaged children with their school expenses.

On another note, the Swaziland National Council of Arts & Culture (SNCAC) partnered with Makhulu Concerts and Café Lingo last year.

The national arts body’s involvement in the festival was to identify local acts which can be incorporated into the festival’s lineup.

Groups under the Association of Swaziland Theatre Groups (ASTG) and the Swaziland Traditional Music Association (STAMA) were eventually chosen to perform.

Reggae Music is stereotyped One Love organisers

The One Love Reggae Festival organisers believe Reggae music is stereotyped in Swaziland.

That is just one of the many reasons the organisers felt it would make business sense to host the festival in the kingdom.

During an interview, Café Lingo’s Tanya Aab who was involved in the festival last year noted that securing sponsorship to host the festival last year was an uphill struggle.

“What we noticed is that Reggae music is just stereotyped.

Companies wouldn’t like to associate themselves with a festival of this nature. Perhaps, if it was a Gospel or Jazz festival, we would have gotten a better response”, she said.

The stereotypes that exist about Reggae musicians is that they smoke marijuana just to mention a few.

Although, Café Lingo isn’t involved in the festival this year, she further said that Mozambican companies have shown a willingness to come aboard. She added that they had dig into their pockets to host the festival last year.

“We made a loss and we didn’t get the support we had anticipated”, she went on to say.

Makhulu Concerts Director Rodger Dunn said it was unfortunate that they had to reach this decision but added they were working on hosting a festival of a much smaller scale than the One Love Reggae Festival in 2011 or even 2012.


Ragga Muffins festival cancels Capleton's appearance

LONG BEACH - Capleton, the Jamaican Reggae singer has been removed from the bill of this weekend's Ragga Muffins Festival, organizers said.

Capleton was scheduled to appear on Sunday's portion of the two-day concert, which takes place at the Long Beach Arena. Advance tickets are $38 and $55, and Saturday and Sunday tickets are $45 and $60.

"We can't put people on the show who are advocating violence against any group of people," said Moss Jacobs, co-producer of the Ragga Muffins Festival.

Following Jacobs decision, other reggae promoters have cancelled Capleton concerts scheduled for Feb. 15 in San Diego and Feb. 20 in Oakland, Jacobs said.

Capleton, 42, born Clifton George Bailey III, has been criticized for lyrics his lyrics against homosexuals.

Ragga Muffin organizers first considered Capleton - who performed at the 2008 festival - for this year's Long Beach show about four or five months ago before signing him to a contract in December, Jacobs said.

At that time, organizers "did due diligence. We thought he passed
the scrutiny test," Jacobs said.

Since late January, activists have been pushing for Capleton's California concerts to be expunged. Those activists include England's Peter Tatchell, who works with the Stop Murder Music campaign, which watchdogs reggae music for gay hatred, and San Francisco blogger Michael Petrelis, have been pushing for Capleton's California concerts to be expunged.

SOURCE: Press-Telegram

What Happened To Reggae?

Believe it or not, this year mark’s the late Bob Marley’s 65th birthday. That’s right. Arguably the most socially significant musician of the 20th century would’ve been eligible for Medicare. Let’s all take a moment to let that sink in.

But while the commemorative articles and concert events have already begun unfurling around the world, everyone seems to be ignoring the enormous dreadlocked elephant in the room—namely, the fact that contemporary reggae is on life support.

I, for one, think it’s beyond tragic.

How bad have things gotten? The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is reportedly considering removing the reggae category from the Grammys. The last genre that got axed by the Academy? Polka.

The Academy’s reasoning (which seems sort of legit at face value) is that the award suffers from a lack of competition, as evidenced by the Marley family domination over the past few years. Two Marleys, Stephen and Ziggy, were nominated this year, and the laws of probability favored the clan once again, as Stephen came home with the gold.

But is it reggae that’s thin on competition, or is reggae just underrepresented in Grammy voting?

Cristy Barber, formerly of the label VP Records in New York, thinks it’s the latter, and has launched a campaign to raise awareness among Caribbean voters who are eligible, but usually don’t vote due to deadline barriers that render it virtually impossible—or, at the very least, inconvenient—to send in a ballot to Los Angeles.

Grammys, for whatever reason, just don’t carry the same weight in Jamaica and the Caribbean that they do in the US, and the rest of the world. Eligible voters, then, have grown somewhat apathetic, and, as a result, much of the world remains in the dark about contemporary reggae and dancehall altogether.

And that, I think, is the biggest squandering of Marley’s legacy from which the genre could suffer.

The adjective “universal” gets thrown around way too much in music circles nowadays. But Bob Marley straight up defined universal music. His work spoke with equal power to disgruntled stoners in suburbia and emaciated emigrants in Ethiopia. Others achieved the same global appeal, but without the same sense of social consciousness and political passion that fueled the Original Rude Bwoy.

Now, sadly, reggae has become nothing more than a niche.

So is there any good reggae today? I sure as hell think so—but I’m definitely biased. I’ve long adored the genre, and continue to follow it religiously. I love the raw simplicity that others deem “boring.” And even though I’m staunchly committed to stripped down, roots reggae, I still enjoy hearing it evolve and weave hip-hop and more contemporary dance tropes into its ever expanding tapestry.

Unfortunately, the only reggae headlines you’ll read nowadays are probably negative. Buju Banton’s cocaine trial, Capleton’s homophobic lyrics, Sizzla’s run-ins with the law--you name the brand of bad publicity, and reggae’s brightest stars have likely attained it.

While everyone is talking about admittedly important, but definitively non-musical stories, Damian Marley is about to release what I think will be a groundbreaking collaborative album with Nas. A hot new artist named Alborosie is starting to garner worthy critical acclaim in the UK. But you won’t hear about either of them, because the dark clouds cast by their higher-profile counterparts stamp out every glimmer of innovative brightness elsewhere.

So don’t give up on reggae. It hasn’t been able to reach the same heights of cultural relevance it did when Marley, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff were recording and skanking. But trying to fill those shoes was a daunting task for anyone—including Marley’s own, wildly talented offspring.

So as the world looks back on Robert Nesta Marley’s legacy, we shouldn’t forget to look forward, as well. He may have popularized the genre to unforeseen heights, and he may have changed music. But just because there isn’t another Bob Marley on the horizon doesn’t mean we should pull the plug on it just yet. There will never be another Bob. But there will still be reggae--and there will still be reggae worth listening to.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shabba Ranks to Reunite with Veteran Artists at 'Reeewind & Come Again'

NEW YORK - After a sold-out staging of "Reeewind....Past Meets the Present" in October 2009, Dancehall tastemakers Irish and Chin are back with "Reewind & Come Again" on Saturday, March 27 at Club Amazura in Queens, New York.

This time around -- the grassroots foundation series, which features the legendary King Stur Gav sound, will be headlined by "The Grammy Kid" Shabba Ranks, one of Reggae Dancehall's most accomplished artists. Shabba's performance at "Reeewind" will be extra special for more reasons than one.

Not only does this rare "rub-a-dub" appearance mark the first time that Shabba has performed on a live sound in more than a decade, it also bills him alongside his icon and Dancehall forefather, Brigadier Jerry.

Notably, "Reeewind & Come Again" will be Dancehall legend Tiger's long awaited return to the U.S. after being away for more than ten years. In the late 80's and early 90's, Tiger dominated the Dancehall industry with his bold fashion and string of hits. Tiger's energy has certified him as one of dancehall's greatest performers.

"The Mellow Canary" Barrington Levy, who boasts more than three decades of timeless hits, will also headline "Reeewind & Come Again." Although Barrington Levy hails from the sound system culture, this will be the first time that fans will get to experience him performing in a "rub-a-dub" style. Other top acts confirmed on the fiery line-up include "Jamaica's Stevie Wonder" Frankie Paul, "Hitmaker" and Dancehall legend Admiral Bailey, veteran artist General Trees and Rankin Joe. "Reeewind & Come Again" will be a night of historic magnitude.

If you missed the sold-out first staging of "Reeewind" -- imagine thousands of people vibing to their favorite artists toasting over foundation riddims at a hot and heavy session that's incident free and chock full of good music and vibes.

"One of my reasons for developing the 'Reeewind' brand was to reinvent modern day dancehall by offering patrons a positive environment and more entertainment for their money," says Garfield "Chin" Bourne of Irish and Chin. "Reeewind is the only event that offers artist entertainment from start to finish."

The audience will get a taste of deejays and singers in rare form. While "Reeewind & Come Again" will be nostalgic for the mature patrons, it will be a straight Reggae 101 experience for the younger crowd. Also built on the premise of re-connecting Reggae artists with sound systems, "Reewind & Come Again" will surely exceed expectations.

SOURCE: South Florida Caribbean News