Chronixx & The Zinc Fence Band at SOB’s Tuesday September 17th!

I had the pleasure of seeing Chronixx recently at Rototom Sunsplash in Spain. (More on that whole amazing experience later!) He is definitely one of my new favorite artists in the crop of reggae revivalists, along with Iba Mahr, Kabaka Pyramid, Protoje, etc.

The long awaited live NYC debut of rising reggae stars, Chronixx & The Zinc Fence Band, will finally take place for the first time ever at SOB’s, on Tuesday, September 17th!

Growing up under the influence of the likes of Burro Banton, Borris Man, the legendary Gregory Issacs, and, his mentor, Danny Browne, it’s no wonder Chronixx is the rising force in the world of modern Reggae he is today. The young prodigy wrote his first song ‘Rice Grain’ at the age of five and started producing for artists such as Konshens and Munga Honorable and voicing artists at the age of 14. The synergy he found with Romaine ‘Teflon’ Arnett of ZincFence Recordz has given birth to a Reggae singer armed with strong lyrics, accompanying a unique musical sound.

Joining Chronixx for the night will be young reggae songstress, Kelissa! Kelissa’s soulful, rootsy and world beat music provides a reservoir of her life experiences and is driven by her passion to uplift and inspire others. Raised in the inspirational hills of St. Andrew, Jamaica, Kelissa developed a natural inclination for music, largely influenced by a Rastafari upbringing. With her parents as lead vocalists in the original reggae band ‘Chakula,’ creation and appreciation of music were constant features in her home.

In 2006, Kelissa took her music to Africa where she broadened her musical scope during extended periods in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Ghana. During this time, she continued expanding her musical abilities by teaching herself the guitar and collaborating with several musicians and producers.

Kelissa also spent extended periods of time studying music in California, where she was an avid member of the ‘world percussion’ and ‘Brazilian’ ensembles, participated in the college choir and gained exposure on music production and studio recording. Since returning to Jamaica, Kelissa has gained significant footing in the Reggae industry. She teamed up with ‘Zinc Fence Records’ to produce her first EP ‘Rebel In Disguise,’ which was first released during her tour to 6 African countries in August, 2012.

For more info check SOB’s website: 


10th Anniversary Montreal International Reggae Festival 8/14 – 8/16


Don’t be sad if you weren’t able to make it to Montego Bay for Sumfest this year, because Montreal International Reggae Festival (MIRF) is right around the corner!

Friday night, August 16th, features “the royal family of reggae” Morgan Heritage, performing their album, Here Comes the King. They also performed at the first production of MIRF.

Saturday night, August 17th, dubbed Dancehall Night, includes Mr. Vegas, who is known for his hits like Hot Wuk, and my personal favorite, Tek Wey Yuself.   Kes (The Band) featuring brothers Kees, Hans and John Dieffenthaller from Trinidad and Tobego, Beenie man, Tifa, and  Mr. Boombastic himself, platinum-selling artist Shaggy, will be performing!

Sunday night is International Night with a roster that includes stalwarts YellowmanCocoa T and Freddie McGregor – all of whom have been creating memorable reggae tracks for more than 40 years. Head of the Big Ship label for about 25 years, Freddie McGregor recently released a new album, Freddie McGregorDi Captain that includes several reggae classics re-visited.

Committed to the overarching theme “United Against Violence”, this year’s program continues to advance the reggae story with performers from all generations.  MIRF President, Eric Blagrove said, “We are pleased with our track record of bringing thousands of audiences together under the Reggae music banner and this year promises to be even greater as French and English; beginners and veterans perform styles that even go beyond the norms of fundamental reggae.”

As is customary the ambiance at the Old Port will be festive with: activities for children; Caribbean and other cuisine; artisan displays and vendors of all sorts.

More information is available on the MIRF website –


Shining like an Iberostar

Iberostar Jamaica

I had the pleasure of staying at Iberostar Grand Hotel while in Montego Bay, for Sumfest. What an absolutely lovely property!

I was sitting in bed editing photos on my laptop when the lights went off. I thought the hotel had a power outage, so I called the butler. (When you stay at the Iberostar Grand, you have your own butler!) He said, “The lights are motion sensitive and if no movement is detected for 15 minutes, they will shut off automatically.” This is a great way of conserving energy, which is good for the environment.

I asked if he could send up a cat, to scamper around and keep the motion sensors activated, while I work. If I hadn’t said, “Just kidding”, bless his heart I think he really would have tried to find one outside for me!

I’m normally a L’Accor hotel aficionado (Sofitel, Novotel, Ibis, etc.), however, Iberostar definitely won me over with their attention to detail. The best part is, this resort has 3 separate but connected properties on one compound. The Iberostar Grand is primarily a romantic property for couples and does not allow children, while the Iberostar Beach is family-oriented.

The food is absolutely scrumptious. I am craving the lobster ceviche in a coconut, that was served at the dinner buffet.

Room service sent up a complimentary bottle of champagne and a slice of strawberry cheesecake. What a lovely touch.

The all-inclusive minibar includes top shelf liquor, Red Stripe beer and plenty of other beverages.

The rooms come with bathrobes and slippers, like you would expect from a five-star resort.

The toiletries in the Iberostar Grand are Gilchrist & Soames, from London.

I have stayed at Half Moon, Wyndam, and Secrets, but Iberostar is the most luxurious property in Jamaica.






Sumfest Reaches Dubai

Hello everyone,

It’s been far too long since my last blog!

I thought you might like to see that one of my images of Jazmine Sullivan at Sumfest was published in United Arab Emirates newspaper, The National. Talk about *boom* to di worl!

Stay tuned for some blogs posts about Sumfest 2013, the greatest reggae show on Earth. 😉


Boys Night Out

It was a boy’s night out as Bounty, Shaggy & Ele held the vibes at BB Kings in Times Square, NYC. The official after party for the Hot 97 On Da Reggae Tip event at Hammerstein Ballroom, was followed up by a free party hosted by Hot 97’s Bobby Kondors, Jabba, and Mr. Cee. Serani, Beenieman, Busta Rhymes and Spliffstar were also in the building.



‘No Woman No Cry’ Songwriter Vincent Tata Ford Died

‘No Woman No Cry’ Songwriter Vincent Tata Ford Died
By: Brittany Somerset, Intrepid Reporter
Vincent Tata Ford, the songwriter credited with composing the Bob Marley roots reggae classic mega-hit “No Woman, No Cry” died in a hospital in Kingston, Jamaica, on Sunday, December 28th. He was 68. Ford suffered from a life long struggle with diabetes,  lost both his legs to the disease and required the use of a wheelchair. A spokesman for the Bob Marley Foundation stated that Ford had died from complications caused by diabetes.
Despite his disability, he remained a gentle, upbeat, caring soul. Ford, known affectionally as Tata, ran a soup kitchen in his native Jamaica. He was frequently seen at the Bob Marley Museum and at various events  held in Bob’s honor.
Ford’s timeless, international classic hit song ‘No Woman No Cry’ appeared on Marley’s Natty Dread album in 1974 and was re-released on the 1975 album, Live!  No Woman No Cry’ garnered further international acclaim when it appeared on Bob Marley’s greatest hits compilation, Legend in 1984. Legend remains the best selling reggae album of all time.
Ford is also credited with three songs on Marley’s album, Rastaman Vibration, released in 1976:
1. “Positive Vibration” (Vincent Ford) – 3:33
2. “Roots, Rock, Reggae” (Vincent Ford) – 3:38
3. “Crazy Baldhead” (Rita Marley/Vincent Ford) – 3:11
While Marley is the most world renowned, revered performer of reggae music, and is credited for helping spread Jamaican music on a global scale, Ford lived in relative anonymity until his death. He discontinued writing songs after Marley’s death in 1981.
Both Marley and Ford were friends who lived in the Trench Town ghetto in Kingston in the 1960s, when Marley was still performing with the original Wailers. Some detractors claim Marley wrote No Woman No Cry himself, for his wife Rita, but gave Ford the songwriting credit to ensure that his friend would be financially supported by the song’s royalties.
That rumor is unlikely; however, considering Ford is also credited as the writer for “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” on the soundtrack to the dismal 2003 J.Lo and Ben Affleck flic Gigli. Vincent Ford also dabbled in acting, appearing as a team captain in the 1986 movie, “FDR: A One Man Show.”
Vincent Ford is survived by his two children.

Massachusetts Decriminalizes Marijuana

Massachusetts Decriminalizes Marijuana

By: Brittany Somerset, Intrepid Reporter.

It was a NORML day in the new year, when in a major step towards repealing marijuana prohibition in the United States, Massachusetts decriminalized marijuana, hash and THC, as of January 2nd, 2009.

The Sensible Marijuana Policy Initiative, also known as Massachusetts Ballot Question 2, was an initiated state statute, i.e., a  new law that a state adopts via the initiative process, that replaces current criminal penalties with civil penalties on adults possessing an ounce or less of marijuana. The Question 2 initiative appeared on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Massachusetts. Question 3, the initiative to ban greyhound professional dog racing, was also approved on the same ballot.

These citizen-initiated ballot questions, which were placed on the November ballot by collecting signatures from the public, are now newly enacted state laws. In laymen’s terms, the people of Massachusetts, a state rich in revolutionary history, stood up for their right to not be treated as criminal offenders for puffing the la and they won. Marijuana users caught in the act, or with pot in their pockets, will not be treated as criminals; although, they will be subjected to citations and fines of $100.

As of right now,  a person smoking a joint on a sidewalk in Somerset, can not be issued a summons, the way a person drinking a beer would; although government and police officials made it clear that wouldn’t last long as they will immediately seek to ban cannabis use from public areas, especially where children congregate.

Had Question 2 passed last year, High Times Associate Publisher Rick Cusick and NORML founder Keith Stroup, would never have been arrested for sharing a joint at the Boston Freedom Rally.  This year’s rally will no doubt have people lighting up en masse, which will send a message to the 49 other states in the union,  where pot is still prohibited, that smoking an “L” is fine, in 2009.

(And off the record, how cool is it that you can smoke in SOMERSET!!!!!!!!!)