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Friday, April 30, 2010

Jamaica-based label poised for big haul at reggae awards

A local record label is poised to clean up at Sunday's 29th International Reggae & World Music Awards in Queens.
Artists signed to Jamaica-based VPRecords have been nominated for a stunning 27 awards at the Caribbean music equivalent to the Grammys. VP nominees include performers like Sean Paul, Queen Ifrica and Tarrus Riley.
"We love to use music as a tool to bring people together," said VP co-founder Patricia Chin. "We bring the [island] culture and the music to America."
Music insiders said VP is one of the most important reggae music labels in the world - and possibly the most influential.
That clout, combined with a large Caribbean and West Indies population, has helped to make southeastern Queens a center of the island music scene.
"VP Records are one of the ethnic labels that are constantly trying to promote reggae," said Anthony Turner, a spokesman for the reggae awards show. "They're like the bridge between the ethnic label and the mainstream label."
And he's seeing the popularity of reggae artists grow, he said.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bob Marley's "Legend (Rarities Edition)" Is Released

The rarities edition of Bob Marley and the Wailers' greatest hits album "Legend" was released this week. Bob Marley, in his short lifetime was a magnetic performer and a prolific songwriter- the undisputed King of Reggae music. "Legend (rarities edition)" originally issued as the second disc of the 2 CD deluxe version of the album, is now available on its own.
Released in 1984, 3 years after Marley's death at age 36, "Legend" is reggae's best- selling album ever, selling 20 million copies worldwide.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Reggae Music Releases -- May 2010

New Reggae Music Releases -- May 2010

Reggae Discomix 4Nas and Damian Marley Distant Relatives
reggae discomix 5soca gold 2010

This May, most of the attention in the reggae community will be focused on the release of 'Distant Relatives,' the long-awaited, and well-documented collaboration album from Nas and Damian Marley. The album, which blends hip-hop and reggae against a thematic background of Pan-Africanism, has been on the lips of music fans for months. After seemingly countless delays, setbacks, and rumors, the album will finally drop on May 18, along with a host of other new reggae releases.

Check out the full list of new 
Reggae May releases after the jump.
May 4

Joe Gibbs 12" ''Reggae Disco Mix Showcase Vol. 4'

Joe Gibbs 12" 'Reggae Disco Mix Showcase Vol. 5'

May 18

Damian Marley and Nas, 'Distant Relatives'

Los Cafres, 'Classic Lovers Covers'

May 25

'Soca Gold 2010'

May 27

'Diwali Gold Edition'

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cutting edge meets tradition in German reggae artist Gentleman

A pioneer of the Germaican music scene, Gentleman has diversified his repertoire for a new chart-topping album. But while he applauds change, he says turbo-powered digital society needs a more human approach.

With several international hits behind him and requests to perform in Japan, Israel, and even Suriname, German performer Gentleman is one of the nation's foremost reggae artists. He's also grown roots of respect in the genre's cradle, Jamaica, a place he calls his second home. Born Tillman Otto, he sings in fluent Patois.

In April, Gentleman released his fifth studio album, which shot to Number One. Its title, "Diversity," befits not only the variety of songs on it as Gentleman branches out musically, but also how Germany's most Jamaican-at-heart musician views the genre of reggae as a whole. Deutsche Welle caught up with the award-winning artist who divides his time between family life in Cologne and his Caribbean island of choice.

Deutsche Welle: Why is your new studio album, "Diversity," so different from your previous record, "Another Intensity," released in 2007?
Gentleman: When I'm in Jamaica and turn the radio on, I hear what's getting airplay. It has become incredibly diverse. There are now Europop/dancefloor numbers, classic roots sounds, of course, music with a hip-hop touch, elements of dub, ballads, R&B. And it's all reggae! Naturally, you raise your standards with every album you release, but at the same time, you grow and mature. You become more relaxed, calmer, and don't care so much about the reggae "police." You have to in order to progress.

Monday, April 26, 2010

iFest Closes To An Afro-Cuban-Reggae Beat

Baba Maal

If the first weekend of the Houston International Festival felt like a detour down Canal Street, the second evoked the festival's emphasis on "Spotlighting the Caribbean." Summer picked this weekend to descend two months early, as it tends to do, resulting in increased traffic and a heightened sense of anticipation.
For two weekends of the year, we're reminded of Houston's status as a world-class city, when bands from around the globe converge among the urban silos of downtown to share a glimpse of their homeland. Saturday and Sunday performers saw Houston as we like to be seen.
After Saturday's highlights, including Taj Weekes and Adowa, Zydepunks and the double-barrel finale of George Clinton and P-Funk on the Bud Light World Music Stage and Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women on the Louisiana Stage, with Houston's Texas Johnny Brown and Los Skarnales adding homegrown blues and ska perspectives, respectively, Sunday brought a relaxed mélange of melodies from Africa, Cuba and los dos Americas.
DRUM A.jpg
Jason Wolter
As an aggressive breeze tempered the potent rays, Cuban bandleader and bassist Monte Adentro, vocalist Lourdes Jimenez, and their six-piece combo heated up the RoomStore Latin Stage with Jimenez's Puerto Rican standards as well as songs drawing on the Afro-Cuban sons montunos for which Adentro is known.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

'Holding on to Jah', The Genesis of a Revolution

"Holding on to Jah" a unique film about the history & culture of Roots Reggae music & the Rastafarian movement in Jamaica, as told by world renowned Reggae musicians & historians.
Holding On To Jah details the history of Jamaica, Reggae music, and the Rasta movement, bringing into focus the critical roles played by Marcus Garvey, and the 225th Emperor of Ethiopia, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie.
Reggae is the sound track that sets the history and struggle of the Rasta people, and of all Jamaicans, to music. Candid interviews with some of Reggae's greatest singers and musicians (some of whom are no longer with us) tell a collective story of hard times that were endured and overcome because of their great faith. The Rastafarian story is one of police brutality, long jail sentences, deprivation and physical abuse. The film is a testament to their faith, which for them often meant being disowned by family, shunned by friends and dispossessed by society......VIEW TRAILER BELOW

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Levi Roots, Dragon's Den star sued over Reggae Reggae Sauce recipe

Dragons’ Den star Levi Roots is being sued by an old friend who claims that he is the real inventor of the entrepreneur’s famous Reggae Reggae Sauce.

Tony Bailey, who worked with Mr Roots for 17 years on a food stall, has filed a claim in the High Court for more than £300,000.

He alleges that Mr Roots, 51, stole the sauce’s recipe from him before he appeared on the hit BBC programme three years ago.

Mr Roots won £50,000 backing on the show after he impressed tycoon Peter Jones with a recipe he said had been devised by his grandmother.

Just 24 hours after the broadcast, Sainsbury’s offered to stock the sauce and it was soon outselling Heinz Tomato Ketchup.

It is understood that Mr Bailey claims that Mr Roots invented the story about his grandmother as a ‘marketing ploy’ to persuade the Dragons to back him.

Last night a source close to Mr Bailey said Mr Roots only learned of the sauce’s ingredients when he worked with Mr Bailey at a takeaway food stall in Brixton, South London.

The source said: ‘The recipe for the sauce was definitely Tony’s.

'Levi did tell Tony that he was going to go on Dragons’ Den but Tony was amazed when he then lied about the provenance of the sauce.
‘After the programme Levi made some payments to Tony which were never really explained.

'At first it didn’t seem right to take legal action but Tony is angry at how things have turned out.’

Last night Mr Roots said: ‘I am driving and you know how dangerous it is to be on the phone when you are driving. I can’t talk to you.’
When asked by The Mail on Sunday last December about the dispute with Mr Bailey, he said: ‘I don’t want to say anything.’


Damian Marley's Appearance at WOMAD, Abu Dhabi Cancelled

ABU DHABI — For reggae lovers, the closing of WOMAD Abu Dhabi was somewhat disappointing.

Damian Marley, the youngest son of the legendary Bob Marley, who made a name for himself by fusing hisJamaican musical roots, particularly reggae, with alternative and contemporary music styles, cancelled his performance in Abu Dhabi.
“Until an hour ago we kept trying to bring him over, but he could not make it. He said he felt sick,” Abdullah Al Ameri, director of Culture and Arts at Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, organiser of the three-day WOMAD festival here.
“We are not going to replace his concert with another group,” he pointed out. The organiser did add another group to the performances though, which was not in the original programme — Takht, a new Emirati band with one task in mind: spicing up Emirati traditional music with contemporary, jazz and even other ethnic styles.
On Friday night, Abri, another UAE band, opened the evening on the Abu Dhabi Corniche with a soulful blend of R&B, jazz and even some Arabic notes.

Politics Stymies Support for Guyana Artistic Music Awards

Coordinators of the Guyana Artistic Music Awards said politics and “other things” entered the discussions prior to the staging of the show tomorrow night, but despite the lack of support the event is on and will honour a number of artistes based here and overseas.

Some of the overseas-based artistes who are slated to perform at the Guyana Artistic Music Awards.

Sherlock Shepherd, a Canada-based Guyanese, is coordinating the awards show and he disclosed yesterday that general support for the show has been fleeting.
He said sponsorship and corporate backing was something which was denied because he refused to “play a game of politics.” Shepherd said the sole aim of the show was to promote and recognise pioneers in Guyanese music, noting he intends to do that when the awards are held at the National Cultural Centre (NCC).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sizzla Denies being offered land in Zimbabwe

Sizzla Kalonji has refuted claims by some officials in Zimbabwe that he has been offered a farm to do Zanu PF public relations.

A Publicist for Sizzla, Olimatta Taal told Zimdiaspora that it was a lie that Sizzla who performed at Zimbabwe’s 30th independence events, bartered his services for land. A story by Zimdiaspora reporting that Kalonji has been offered a farm, was based on reports by Zimbabwean lands officers who still insist that they have been instructed by their seniors to look for land for the reggae star.

Taal also denied that Sizzla is on the run from Jamaican authorities or being investigated for crimes.

“Sizzla is not under investigation. He is not on the run from Jamaica and is on an African Tour, He also performed in Ghana for their 50th independence day celebration and in South Africa,” he said.

Taal said Sizzla will return to Jamaica in a few weeks time and accused the media of > trying to discredit and criminalize the reggae star.

Rototom Sunsplash Press Conference in Kingston, Jamaica

The press conference for the seventeenth edition Rototom Sunsplash in Kingston has aroused much media interest on the island of reggae.

Besides the Daily Gleaner and Observer, representatives from numerous media outlets including The Jamaica Star daily paper, Sky and music channel Juice TV, plus Roots FM and Bess 100 FM radio were present.

The artists were out in full force: with the various eras of reggae represented by Alborosie, Marcia Griffiths, Bob Andy, Capleton, Etana, Brian Art, Twin of Twins, Teflon, Ernie Smith and Mitchie One.

In addition to Alborosie's and Capleton's managers, figures from outside the world of music were in attendance.  These includes Carolyn Cooper and Sonjah Stanley Niaa from the University of the West Indies, the filmmaker Nando Garcia and Barbara Blake Hanna's Film Academy.

Sabrina Trovant and Giovanni Vinci gave a speech thanking the Government of Jamaica and the island's music scene for their support of the Rototom Sunsplash Festival through the years to its rebirth in Spain.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What Better way to Celebrate Earth Day than with some Reggae?

A new Reggae in the Valley festival will be part of Napa’s Earth Day celebrations Saturday. 
Performers include David Kirton from Barbados, Ras Indio from Belize, Ishi Dube with special guest, Rocker T, Mystic Roots, Million 7 Crew, Napa Valley’s own reggae band, C.R. Vibes and Midnight Sun. 
The event, which takes place at the Napa Valley Expo’s Chardonnay Hall, benefits Arts Council Napa Valley’s Arts Education Programs. 
 “We plan to turn this valley into a music mecca,” Event producer James Byrum said. 
The doors will open at 
4 p.m., and the nonstop dance music goes from 4:30 to 11 p.m. 
This all-ages family event also features Caribbean food, soft drinks and water, Rasta arts & crafts vendors, and a raffle for a chance to win a hot air balloon ride. 
Headlining the show is Barbadian singer, songwriter David Kirton. 
His newest album, “Time for Change,” got three nods from the Barbados Music Awards, winning Reggae Artist of Year, Reggae Song of Year and Best Video with his hot track “Green Camouflage.” 
Also performing is Ishi Dubeis, a talented and determined artist with a profound love for reggae music. 
A singer and songwriter, Dube is also a producer, musician and sound engineer, involved in nearly every process of production.
Rocker T, a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, DJ, performer and producer, will make a guest appearance. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Toots & The Maytals - Flip & Twist : US Tour Dates and Locations Inside

Reggae legends Toots and The Maytals are happy to announce the release of the band’s latest record Flip & Twist, released today digitally and in stores May 18. In honor of today’s national holiday, Toots is releasing a special, 4/20-themed limited edition package, which includes a joint-shaped USB drive loaded with Flip & Twist, a Toots Stash Box, the physical CD of the album, and a variety of other gifts. The package is available via the band’s website along with digital copies of the album. Lucky fans will also be able to purchase a limited special bundle for $500 that includes a dinner and private acoustic performance by Toots on May 


Title: Flip & TwistRelease date: May 18, 2010Record label: William Morris EntertainmentSingleOfficial websiteToots and The Maytals
Buy at: Amazon
One of reggae’s founding fathers, Toots Hibbert has been one of the leading figures for over four decades. Rising to prominence in the ’60s alongside greats like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, Toots’ soulful voice has earned him comparisons to Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and Wilson Pickett making him one of the most respected and versatile artists in these genres. And on Flip & Twist, Toots delves into his soul and R&B influences, creating a record that’s as much Kingston, Jamaica as it is 1960s Detroit. The album’s opener “Almighty Way,” is a modern day gospel-soul classic. “Fool For You” finds Toots at his most vulnerable, creating a soulful ballad a la The Four Tops. Toots also tackles Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” turning the song into a contemporary reggae classic. And on “Jungle” and “Maybe Yow” Toots delves into dance music, building catchy melodies catchy hip-hop beats.