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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Northwest World Reggae Festival

The sixth installment of the Northwest World Reggae Festival (NWWRF) delivers roots musicians from nine countries and three continents. Featuring Don Carlos, Twinkle Brothers, Ozomatli, Dezarie, Niyorah, Tippa Irie, Heavyweight Dub Champion, Humble Soul, Garaj Mahal, Albino! and 20 more acts on the Main Stage.  Through out the weekend enjoy the Latenight Dancehall Dome, Yoga Dome, Family Friendly Areas, Drum Classes and more.
This site is located 20 minutes north of Eugene, Oregon (near Marcola) in the foothills of the pristine Cascade mountain range. Bob's Ranch is a private irrigated campground boasting free heated showers, on site spring water,  2+ miles of shady hiking trails, many types of great camping areas and a lush green natural amphitheater with a view for all.

Family and friends will experience the roots of mystical guidance created through morning yoga, African dance classes, visual arts, community spirit, conscious music from around the world, delicious organic food, fair trade/sustainable businesses, non-profit organizations and fair trade crafts from more than 50 vendors to inspire your mind and energize the soul. This family oriented event encourages and makes great efforts in conscious business practice, sustainable living, mindful commerce, education and global awareness.

Beres Hammond, Returns To North America “For The Love Of It” Summer Tour [Complete Dates/Locations Inside]

Jamaican musical legend and Grammy nominated singer, songwriter, and producer Beres Hammond’s “For The Love Of It” 2010 Tour kicked off in Florida last week and will continue throughout the U.S. and Canada making stops in 35 cities including Atlanta (July 30), Washington, DC (August 1), New York (August 6,7 & 8), San Francisco (August 27), Los Angeles (August 29) and wrapping back in Florida’s West Palm Beach (Sept 12). Joining Hammond on the tour will be Kenyatta Hill & Culture and Inner Circle.
Known to many as the originator of “lover’s rock,” Hammond has been writing, producing and pouring out his smoky-sweet voice over every kind of riddim track for over three decades. He continues to top the charts, most recently with the 2008 release A MOMENT IN TIME which Allmusic called “another fine album from one of Jamaica's finest singers” He has sold out some of the country’s largest venues including New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
The single “I Feel Good” from A MOMENT IN TIME has remained in the Top 5 on reggae charts since the release. Hammond can also be found on the summer’s must-have reggae compilation REGGAE GOLD 2010, along with other chart toppers as Damian Marley and Nas, Shaggy, Etana and Gyptian. VP Records recently reissued Hammond’s 1979 JUST A MAN, which has been praised as a “triumphant reissue.”

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Experience JAMBANA™

One of the largest 'Fun For The Family' events on Ontario's summer calendar, JAMBANA™ kicks off at 1PM on Monday August 2nd, 2010 inside Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Road in Toronto with  8 ½ hours of entertainment; music, comedy, dance, food, dominoes, and so much more.
Explore the 7 Villages throughout the day while you celebrate the magnificent diversity and culture JAMBANA™ offers with tastes from Jamaica, the Caribbean and Latin America. Dance to the sounds of Reggae, Soca, Jazz, and Gospel from internationally acclaimed reggae bands andJUNO award winnersfor only $5 in advance, $7 at the gate. 
Children and under are FREE. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Album review: Gyptian's 'Hold You' [A Washington Post Report]



Jamaican reggae singer Gyptian is the owner of the summer's most compelling dance hall hit, "Hold You (Hold Yuh)," a featherweight ballad so smooth it makes Usher's slickest slow jam sound like a Mel Gibson phone call.

Gyptian has kicked around for a while, even had minor hits, but it wasn't until "Hold You (Hold Yuh)," the ear worm of a track so nice they named it twice, that anybody noticed. "Hold You" has everything -- an insistent melody, a gentle beat and an ability to be both bland enough and supple enough to lend itself to the necessary remixes (Major Lazer and Nicki Minaj have done good ones).

Oh, and there's an album accompanying "Hold You." It's called "Hold You," and it's pretty incidental, existing only because it must. It's equal parts filler ("Rendezvous," "All in You") and really good filler (the rollicking "Nah Let Go," the sleepy closer, "Selah"), everything whipped up from familiar ingredients: pianos, Auto-Tune (Gyptian really loves Auto-Tune) and synthetic-sounding strings, with the singer's guileless voice usually dead center in the mix.

"Hold You" envisions him as an uncomplicated and thoroughly unironic Luvah Man; even its song titles read like a series of PG-13 text messages ("L.U.=V.E.," "Call Gyptian"). Gyptian fluctuates between silky and unctuous, a more believable and only slightly less effective Ne-Yo, if Ne-Yo lived on an island, and had ample access to Auto-Tune.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

First Person: Jimmy Cliff on how he came to The Harder They Come

Jimmy Cliff, as told to Ben Kaplan, Weekend Post · Friday, Jul. 16, 2010
When I first went to Kingston, reggae music was not yet formed. Jamaica was into jazz, R&B and calypso. We had Latin music from Cuba, but the musicians in Kingston weren’t getting any respect. It was when we were searching for our identity that the music took form. Out of what you might say was anger, Kingston’s singer-songwriters started doing our own thing. They’d say, “You’re Jamaica’s Four Tops, Jamaica’s Motown.” I never want to be Jamaica’s anybody — I wanted to be who I am. That’s the way reggae music was formed.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

RIP Lincoln “Sugar” Minott

Our condolences to the friends, fans and family of reggae superstar and dancehall legend Sugar Minott who reportedly passed away yesterday at the age of 54. His new album New Day was set for release on 21 July. No word on cause of death, but he had been suffering from a heart conditiondiagnosed back in May that prevented him from making scheduled appearances.
This song, “Rub-a-Dub Sound”, produced by reggae superproducers Sly & Robbie, was released in 1984 & is considered highly influential to the creation of the style known as ragga. Sit tight and listen keenly as we remember Sugar Minott.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jimmy Cliff: 'Tunnel vision' propels reggae master

Jimmy Cliff never seemed to understand how impossible his dreams were.

"I couldn't see anything else," he said. "It was tunnel vision."
A skinny kid from a Jamaican village, he wanted to be a music star. He even changed his surname from "Chambers" to "Cliff," to reflect the highest point in his homeland.
Then it all came true. It peaked this spring when Cliff - alongside Abba, Genesis and more - was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"The evening's stand-out performance was Jimmy Cliff, who won over the crowd from the moment he squeezed his eyes shut and rolled out his velvety voice," Rolling Stone wrote.
Now his first American tour in five years, including a Common Ground show, is drawing praise. "He kicked, danced and shimmied across the stage with infectious glee," the Billboard trade paper said.
That's not what you'd expect from a 62-year-old, but Cliff has defied all reggae patterns.
"In school, I loved the arts," he said. "My parents loved me, but they were pious Christians" and didn't like the rowdy reggae sound.
At 14, his dad took him to Kingston Technical School, where he was supposed to learn how to repair radios and TV sets.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Prospect man's large collection honors Bob Marley

Joe Jurgensen's Prospect basement looks like the reggae section of a record store.

Walls are lined in framed prints and albums by Bob Marley and the Wailers. Shelves are lined with plastic crates filled with records and CDs. But keep looking and there's more.
Over the years, Jurgensen has amassed tens of thousands of items promoting Bob Marley, including a salt shaker in the shape of Marley's head, hundreds of books, vinyl records, eight tracks and even a couple of skateboards bearing his likeness and shoe horns etched with his name.
As a kid growing up in Chicago in the '80s, Jurgensen, 35, listened to a lot of rap music. But one year he got a Ziggy Marley cassette tape for Easter, which introduced him to the world of reggae.
He learned of Bob Marley from his son's music, and he became a serious collector after reading an article about another collector in People magazine.

Good to Go takeout: Jamaican Patties, Sorrel & Reggae Music @ Patty Boom Boom

Say what you like about Jamaican patties. They can be dry. They can be heavy. But for a long night of drinking and perhaps the morning after, the spicy stuffed pies are just what you need to keep on moving.

So it made sense that the brains behind Marvin and the Gibson on U Street would open a carryout specializing in the savory pastries on the ground floor of their new reggae club, Patty Boom Boom. The cafe recently extended its hours from lunchtime till late at night.

The space is functional. There are a few reggae posters on the walls, slim counters that run along the windows and some wooden stools. Even at midday, the music is loud enough to give the joint a clubby vibe.

The menu is as spare as the decor. Since opening last winter, Patty Boom Boom has experimented with varieties of patties ($3.75 each) and now offers spicy or mild ground beef, jerk chicken, pimento chicken, guava goat and vegetarian. Besides patties, the only items sold are Jamaican drinks such as Red Stripe beer, coconut water and a traditional Jamaican sorrel, a kind of hibiscus tea that can be mixed with ginger or mint syrup ($1.50, plus 25 cents to add a flavored sweetener).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Reggae legends Toots & The Maytals head to Bristol O2 Academy

Reggae fans will be pleased to learn that seventies legends Toots and the Maytals will soon be appearing at the Bristol O2 Academy in July.

This is a gig not to be missed. Ska and reggae artists The Maytals will be performing tracks from their brilliant back catalogue - and with hits like ‘Pressure Drop’, ‘Monkey Man’ and ‘Funky Kingston’ to name just a few - there is no way you’ll be able to resist getting up and having a boogie.

If the chance to see these living reggae legends on a lovely summer evening in our own fair city wasn’t enough, they are being supported by some of the crème de la crème of Bristol’s own musical talent.

Also performing are Jazz Reggae Sessions (from the creators of Dub from Atlantis, one of Bristol’s best know reggae artists), and the brilliant Yes Sir Boss!, a hotly tipped funky reggae six piece who are rumoured to be in the early stages of recording their new album. So get in there before they get big! Reggae/hip hop DJ Mr Benn is also on the bill.

Doors open at 8PM on the night, and standard tickets cost £20. Expect a lively, fun and upbeat evening, with skankin’ aplenty!