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Sonny Bradshaw: Jamaican Jazz icon Dies at 83

Sonny Bradshaw, Legendary Jamaican bandleader who distinguished himself in a long six-decade career as a musician, bandleader, composer, producer, arranger, and promoter as well as a journalist, teacher, and broadcaster, died in a London hospital on October 10th 2009. The celebrated trumpeter was 83 years old.

He suffered a stroke two months ago and died from further complications at the Queen’s Hospital in Renford. Bradshaw had medical heart condition for nearly 10 years. His wife, Jamaica’s first lady of jazz, singer Myrna Hague in a telephone conversation from her home in London, England with The Gleaner said that the news came as a shock to her and the family.

Bradshaw, a skilled musician who played the trumpet, piano, flugelhorn, clarinet, trombone, and saxophone who also served for many years as the president of the Jamaica Federation of Musicians and he was instrumental in popularizing indigenous Jamaican music, through his Teenage Dance Party radio show, which aired in the 1970s on what was then Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation radio. Bradshaw was the founder and driving force behind the Ocho Rios Jazz festival. He formed the Sonny Bradshaw Seven in the 1950s, which was a training ground for many Jamaican musicians. Bradshaw was awarded the Order of Distinction for his contribution to Jamaican music. Full Story Jamaicagleaner.com CaribWorldNews.com

Brick and Lace nominated for Urban Music Awards

Dancehall sibling duo, Brick and Lace, has been nominated for three awards; Best Duo or Group, Most Inspiring Act and Best R & B Act,  at the 17th annual Urban Music Awards to be held in London on November 2. This event previous winners include Sean Paul, Jay Z, Beenie Man, Shakira to name to name a few. The duo will be also performing at the 17th annual Urban Music Awards. Category winners will be determined by online votes at urbanmusicawards.net beginning October 10 through November 2. Brick and Lace have established a huge fan base tour regularly in Africa, across Europe, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Middle East, Tunisia and Senegal.

Brick and Lace, most successful singles to-date, Love is Wicked and Bad to Di Bone, have garnered them four awards: Favourite Local Music Video, Favourite Group or Duo, Young, Hot and Hype Female (Duo) of the Year and Chart-Topping Song. In 2008 they were also named Best Dancehall Vocal Performance at the Youth View Awards in 2007, (Jamaica) and Breakthrough Artiste of the Year Duo at the Reggae Academy Awards and at the Excellence in Music and Entertainment Awards. Full Story JamaicaObserver.com

Buju Banton Do Not Condone Violence But Woes Continues

Jamaican reggae star, Buju Banton, answered his gay critics by insisting he does not condone violence. Despite the ongoing campaign against Banton his Rasta Got Soul US Tour, with opening acts Gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage, Nikki Burt and Angel Shalome, according to published report; promoters are already calling it the biggest selling Reggae tour of the year.

He faces dwindling options as continuing pressure from gay rights activists force cancellations of his shows in major cities. Promoters have called off shows when they were flooded with calls and e-mails from concerned citizens mobilized by the Center, the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network and other organizations.

Gay activists continue to point to `Boom, Bye Bye` a song he recorded more than 17 years ago, Banton music catalogue has no anti-gay songs, as proof  insist the singer promotes a culture of violence against LGBT people. As the Gay community continue to use Banton as a scapegoat, while ignoring multi platinum artists who have made much more recent anti gay statement and songs their protest have resulted in the cancellation of Jamaican reggae singer’s concert.

The singer insisted `”Throughout my travels as an artiste, I have witnessed first- hand the senseless atrocities being suffered by innocent people around the world, and my heart goes out to them. I do not condone violence against anyone, including gays, and I have spent my career rallying against violence and injustice through music. At this point, I can only hope that my body of work speaks for itself and that anyone still offended by the lyrics of my youth will take the time to explore my catalog or come to one of my shows before reducing my character and entire musical repertoire to a single song,”

Banton performed at a string of successful shows in Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan and Ohio, and has been receiving rave reviews

Champions in Action Cancelled in Canada

Much advertised reggae show Champions in Action which was scheduled to make its debut in Toronto on October 10 was cancelled due to protest by gay groups of Dancehall artist Elephant Man inclusion in lineup. When I spoke with headliner, reggae singer Cocoa Tea on October 9 he informed me of the cancellation. Tea also expressed his happiness for President Obama’s wining the Nobel Peace Prize. Cocoa Tea said he is glad he had the foresight to endorse the greatness in Obama as a man of ‘special character.’

Cherine Anderson climbs Billboard with Michael Franti

The Michael Franti and Spearhead hit Say Hey (I Love You) featuring Jamaican singer Cherine Anderson moved to # 18 spot Billboard Hot 100 singles chart the week end (10.12.09).The last Jamaica female artiste to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 was in 2004. The Sasha/ Sean Paul remake of ‘I’m Still in Love With You’ with peaked at # 14. Millie Small was the first Jamaican female artist to enter Billboard in 1964 with ska single My Boy Lollipop (peaked at #2) Her followed up was ( I love) Sweet William which (peaked at # 40). In 1989, Marcia Griffiths dance remix of Electric Boogie at # 51 on Billboard Hot 100.

In 1992 Chevelle Franklin vocals on Shabba Ranks’ Mr Loverman a remix (Deep Cover movie) peaked at # 40 on the chart. In 1997 Franklin’s collaboration with Beenie Man on Dancehall Queen (soundtrack for the movie of the same name) peaked at #90.

Patra has been the most success female Jamaican artist on the Billboard. In 1994 she paired w/ Shabba Ranks on Family Affair which peaked # 84, charted with solo single on the Billboard Hot 100 with Romantic Call and Worker Man. In 1995 Patra again scored with a remake of Grace Jones ‘Pull up to the Bumper’ in 96 her collaboration w/ American R&B singer Aaron Hall on Scent of Attraction, peaked at # 82.

Dawn Penn’s Steelie and Clevie produce, remake of No No No (You Don’t Love Me) peaking at # 58 on the Hot 100 chart. In the 1990s Diana King charted four times on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart: Shy Guy sold gold 1995 and peaked at #13. Her other charted singles were remakes of Ain’t Nobody (Love Me Better), I Say a Little Prayer, and Lies.

Another female who made noise on the Billboard chart; Lady Saw/Vitamin C in 1999 with Smile (sold gold) and peaked at # 18.  In 2002, she and Gwen Stefani led punk/reggae group No Doubt charted at #3 on the Top 10 with as Underneath it All.  Full Story JamaicaObserver.com

Reggae artiste Major Mackerel slashed in NYC

Jamaican reggae artiste Major Mackerel real aka Garfield Dixon has been slashed in the head, arm and hand by a Brooklyn man wielding a 26-inch sword. Police say the musician’s neighbours were arrested and the sword recovered yesterday morning.

He was hospitalised for several hours and left with bandages crowning his dreadlocks and wrapped around his left hand, his wrist and elbow, the New York Daily News reported. His girlfriend, Novia Watson, says that the neighbor claimed Dixon was harassing his wife. But Watson says that was untrue. Dixon also denied harassing the man’s wife. The 37-year-old neighbor faces charges including assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon. Source Associated Press

Reggae DJ Mikey Jarrett drops Swine Flu single

Brooklyn-based reggae singer Mikey Jarrett along with J.D. Smooth have released H1N1 or swine flu virus in song titled `Swine Flu.  The Trench Town Jamaica born, Jarrett, told Whatz Up TV that he is trying hard to educate people on the disease through his music.

Swine flu rates across the U.S. have increased leading to some deaths The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people, according to the Center for Disease Control, include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, including 2009 H1N1 and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. Severe illnesses and deaths have occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus. Full story: CaribWorldNews.com

NY Mets Caribbean Day celebrations features Gramps Morgan

Citi Field Stadium, home to the legendary New York Mets baseball team celebrated in New York City, celebrated Caribbean Day at the Mets vs Houston Astros game. Reggae crooner Gramps Morgan delivering a sizzling pre-game performance filled the ball park with the sounds of reggae music.   He performed his single Don’t Cry for Jamaica from his solo album, 2 Sides of My Heart Vol 1. The song was well received by baseball fans who gave him a thunderous applause. NY Mets Community and Group Sales & Services spokesperson Michael Renzulli said, “We are very pleased to have a taste of the Jamaican culture here today at the Citi Field as we celebrate Caribbean Day here at the game.”

Gramps has been on a major US tour with Grammy winner India.Arie and John Legend. In August he performed at two sold-out back-to-back events at the Buju Banton & Friends at Madison Square Gardens and Irie Jamboree in New York. He’s joined the US leg of reggae star Buju Banton Rasta Got Soul Tour. Full Story JamaicaObserver.com

Bounty Killer banned from Entering Trinidad

Jamaican dancehall star, Bounty Killer flew to Trinidad to perform on the ‘Ceasefire’ a face off between the Killer and rival Vybz Kartel but the ‘Warlord’ was denied entry at Piarco International Airport into Trinidad and Tobago. The concert went on as schedule on October 3 at King George V Park in Port-of-Spain. He returned to Jamaica.

According to C News reports the reason for his barred entry was not clear and the order barring the singer was issued on behalf of the Ministry of National Security. On Killer’s last appearance in Trinidad he was charged with using obscene language on stage. Killer received a Grammy for his collaborating with No Doubt on the song `Hey Baby. `

The reason for his barred entry was not immediately clear but C News reports indicate that the order barring the singer was issued on behalf of the Ministry of National Security. The singer’s last appearance in Trinidad resulted in Bounty being charged with using obscene language on stage.

Upon his arrival twin-island republic by Immigration officers advised Bounty that he would not be allowed to enter the country and was forced wait 12 hours for the next available flight to Jamaica.

The push back was immediate website, Newsday.co.tt, quoted Ken ‘KMC’ Charles a Trinidadian artiste as saying, “The promoter should sue the State because that is just, no doubt, disrespectful … There was no reason given. The concert was geared towards bringing peace again in the country, to show the young men and women that violence is not the way and that what they sing was just on an entertainment basis and not a lifestyle. But the authorities prevented this from happening ….” On the Trinidadexpress.com website, a representative from Jacho Entertainment, a source close to the promoters of the event was quoted as saying, “They tell us nothing. They just deport him and that was that.” At the September 17, press conference hosted by Jacho Entertainment, the concert organiser, Vern Extavour, of 99.1FM said, “The idea of bringing these artistes for a concert in Trinidad is to show… the artistes re entertainers. They have agreed to put aside their differences to promote peace.” The pairing of warring rivals Vybz Kartel and Bounty Killer was to show as a symbol of unity.

SERANI TO RELEASE ALBUM “NO GAMES”

New York, NY As “Pop-Dancehall” artist Serani second single “She Loves Me” continue to climb the Rhythmic and Top 40 Radio and his hit single “No Games” is still going strong his  first U.S. full-length album titled No Games set for the release October 27th 2009.  The hit single “No Games” has enjoyed incredible momentum with multi-formats radio play that includes Urban AC, Urban, Rhythmic and Top 40 and over 30,000 spins! The video for “No Games” is on rotation on BET, BET J, MTV Jams, MTV U, MTV2, VH1 “Island Soul” and Music Choice “Hit List” on demand, where it picked with 30,000 views a week during May/July 2009.

No Games consists of 14 tracks, including a wealth of new material, and heavily features Serani himself as a producer. Upcoming hot Jamaican production outfit Chimney Records, along with Keepleft Record’s Leftside further represent the Jamaican sound on the album with Miami-based Blackout Movements (Mim’s This is Why I’m Hot) and fast-rising new US producer Canei, protégé of Just Blaze (Ti & Rihanna Live Your Life) closing out the production credits. No Games is in stores and available on iTunes and all other official online outlets October 27 and there’s never been a better time to support and buy Jamaican music! She Loves Me” video went for adds at national channel the second week of October. Full Story Yardflex.com

Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga -Dancehall Music Lacking

BY ROLAND HENRY

Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga yesterday damned the recordings fuelling the ‘gully vs gaza’ debacle, saying the tracks lack any form of musical standards. “My love for Jamaican music does not incorporate the latest form – dancehall,” Seaga told the Observer’s weekly Monday Exchange meeting of reporters and editors. “Dancehall music lacks components of classical music, which includes lyrics, melody and rhythm.”

Seaga has long been a cultural expert, having pioneered various anthropological efforts that relate to the arts, religion and politics. Speaking to what has become a steadily rising and potentially volatile sub-culture spawned from a lyrical war between rival dancehall artistes Vybz Kartel and Mavado, Seaga outlined that their brand of music, though undeniably powerful, is verbal nonsense.
“Things come and go, but I don’t know why, for the love of me, this one won’t go,” he added. Seaga noted, though, that dancehall music remains incredibly popular because of its enduring appeal to youth.

“It doesn’t have melody, and forget lyrics, but what it does have is rhythm and that has made it hugely popular,” Seaga pointed out, alluding to the ‘riddim-driven’ culture that obtains in contemporary Jamaican music.

The gully/gaza conflict recently received international attention after the world’s fastest man, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, endorsed Vybz Kartel during an interview with New York radio station Hot 97. There is, too, the ubiquity of graffiti strewn across Kingston that heralds the fictitious locales of ‘gully’ or ‘gaza’.

“Our music is very powerful. We can just hope that somebody comes up with a tune once again,” Seaga told the meeting, “and every now and then you get it.”

The former prime minister’s comments come at a pivotal time – during National Heritage Week – when many are questioning if the recent deaths of several of the island’s cultural icons will mean a redefinition of national identity.

Asked if he felt confident about the next generation of cultural guardians, Seaga could not give a definitive answer. “There must be people around who will eventually mature to take up the mantle, but I can’t readily think of anyone,” he said adding that, “it’s not every day society experiences icons like those.”

The cultural community has lost music producer Wycliffe ‘Steely’ Johnson, who died on September 1; playwright Trevor Rhone, who died on September 15; media professional and elocutionist Wycliffe Bennett on October 5; and the most recent master trumpeter Sonny Bradshaw, who died on Saturday. Source: JamaicaObserver.com

CaribWorldNews Publisher to be Regular Guest on WWRL Radio

CaribWorldNews publisher, Guyanese-born journalist Felicia Persaud, is set to become a regular guest on WWRL 1600 AM radio`s Caribbean line-up. The New York station returned with a Caribbean format from Oct. 3rd and Persaud will be part of the regular additions to the new format as of tomorrow, October 10th.

Persaud will join veteran broadcaster Rennie Bishop on `The Caribbean Corner,`( 5-7 p.m) at 6 p.m. on Saturdays for a 15 minute segment that will discuss Caribbean news and issues and offer analysis.
Persaud is CEO of Hard Beat Communications, the only minority-certified Caribbean-American ad, PR and news agency in the U.S. The company`s CaribPR Wire brand is now the official Caribbean wire service of the PR Newswire while Hard Beat, the agency, serves as the company of choice for top Caribbean companies and brands seeking to enter the U.S. marketplace and US companies seeking to tap the demographic through ad buys or event promotions. Source: CaribWorldNews.com

Bonner Cornerstone Music Set To Drop New Single for Snatcha

Richie Spice and Spanner Banner Bonner Cornerstone Music the family owned artist management/music Production/ bookings Company dropped No More War, a single by Snatcha brother of Richie Spice and Spanner Banner. The single is produced by the Bonner Cornerstone Music production team and co-arranged by Paul ‘Limey’ Murray No More War, will be released by the end of October via the internet through ITunes. It will also be released on vinyl and will be distributed by Bonner Cornerstone Music.

While Richie Spice, Spanner Banner return to Jamaica after a highly successful four-week tour of the United States (US) west coast.

The tour began on September 27 in Chico, California, at the BMU Auditorium. They did sold-out venues across California, Colorado and Seattle, the move to Canada for dates in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. Both artistes are working on individual recording projects then they are of for a series of one-off shows across the Caribbean. Source: Yardflex.com

Bunny Wailer’s Daughter Cen-C Love Expecting First Child

Cen-C Love, daughter of the only living Wailer, legendary Bunny Wailer is expecting her first child and her father is reported to be very happy.  Love says she will still continue to write but will keep stage performances to a minimum.  She says the father of her baby is into music and writes songs. Source: Yardflex.com

Andrew Tosh Convicted Of Marijuana Possession

Andrew Tosh, the Grammy-nominated singer and son of the late Peter Tosh, the reggae legend who promoted the legalization of marijuana has been convicted of possessing the drug.  Andrew aged 42, was found guilty late Monday, September 28th of possessing a small amount of marijuana. The court in St. Catherine parish ordered him to perform 200 hours of community service, according to court documents.  “Make Place For The Youth.”  He is currently working on an album titled ‘Focused’.  Like his father, he is a Rastafarian, a religion whose followers worship Ethiopia’s last emperor, Haile Selassie, and often smoke marijuana as a sacrament. Full Story: WestIndianTimes.com

Esco Escape kidnap attempt

Esco – Deejay/producer Esco (formerly of Leftside and Esco) was almost kidnapped by armed thugs along Central Avenue in St Andrew. According to published Esco was attacked while at Bling Kutts, a barber shop owned by fellow deejay Bling Dawg. Esco gave thanks to the whole music fraternity including the fans for the support he received in the aftermath of the attack.

VEGAS RACKS UP 150,000 VIEWS ON HIP HOP WEBSITE

MR. VEGAS BEATS SEAN PAUL, SERANI WITH BUZZ AROUND NEW GALLIS/SASSA STEP VIDEO. Worldstarhiphop.com. the ‘CNN of Urban Video’, generates millions of hits per day, and features videos dedicated toward hip hop, rap music, mixtapes, and beefs between rap acts. Internationally known singjay Mr. Vegas’ latest video Man a Gallis/Sassa Step is generating a lot of excitement on the Internet, generating over 150,000 views on the hip hop website, worldstarhiphop.com.: Full Story:Outaroad.com

Mavado shoots video with Wyclef Jean

Mavado and Wyclef Jean s shot the video in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard in New York for “Hold On (Crossroads)” – the first single from multi-platinum artist new album that features the Dancehall megastar. Wyclef’s album is set for release in February 2010.

First Singapore Reggae Festival November 28, 2009

The first Singapore Reggae Festival is scheduled to take place at Siloso Beach, Sentosa Island in Singapore on November 28th 2009. The music fest will showcase seasoned reggae acts from different parts of the world including Jamaica, UK, Asia and Africa.  scheduled to perform include Beenie Man, Coco Tea, Bushmen, Pure Vibration, Brick & Lace, fast rising Nigerian acts like Steel and Gxploits, Michael Ross, Steven & The Coconut Treez, Kai-jo Brothers, Jiang Liang, Krazy Kulture, Ras Muhammad. Mrs. Rita Marley is the reggae ambassador of the night. There will also be a half hour musical tribute to celebrate the 64th birthday of Bob Marley

It’s not an easy road

Charles HE Campbell

The customary summer tours for Reggae and Dancehall artistes are now over. The general trend which began from the spring, intensified during the mid to late summer. From talking to a number of industry sources, the information reaching me confirms that the global recession is adversely affecting concert tours and festivals in Europe, North, South and Central America, the Caribbean and Asia. What is more, this applies to all categories of artistes, from the most popular and internationally famous, to the young emerging acts.

There is a well known but false perception that I hear constantly from laypersons. They say that the entertainment industry is accustomed to troughs in the economic cycle. While this may have been so in the past, during the current recession, nothing could be further from the truth.

The industry is impacted on three main levels. Firstly, since the start of the year, there has been a significantly lower percentage of carry through on queries. This means, that after the initial contact by a promoter or his booking agent, to the management of the artiste or musician, it has become much more difficult to convert that interest into a firm offer. Consequently, the number of offers for concerts, tours and festivals, has also fallen sharply. On the third level, this has led to fewer confirmed dates. Many promoters even pay the mandatory, non-refundable deposit and after having further checked their market place, and the viability of the concert or tour, they write off the deposit and cancel the contract with the artiste.

This was the worst summer we have seen in five or six years. In fact, maybe the last time we experienced such fallout was between 1995 and 1997. Many festivals were cancelled or drastically downsized. Some events that were normally staged or planned for 4,000-seater amphitheatres or stadiums were or have been moved to smaller venues like 400 to 700 capacity nightclubs. In an effort to reduce their overheads, promoters in their negotiations to fulfill artistes’ production rider requirements, are demanding that artistes’ cut their travel party. Many concert tours, have been cut short by weeks, as well as suffered from cancelled dates throughout. Therefore, in order to sustain their performance careers, some top artistes who have traditionally frowned on performing to tracks, have now had to resort to this means for their musical accompaniment. This is yet another blow to many of our senior musicians and touring bands, who under normal circumstances, are exclusively contracted to specific artistes. The unfriendly economic environment has found them short or out of work, and many are shopping around for temporary jobs to supplement their income.

In the last ten years or so, our industry standards and practices have improved enormously; however, this organizational level that has been achieved is being dangerously compromised on the altar of expediency. Artistes, who traditionally rely on one booking agency to conduct all their affairs, have suddenly put themselves on the roster of numerous agencies and persons. Although, this is quite understandable in some cases, objectively, this practice is a step backwards, organizationally, and is in the long run, unsustainable because it creates confusion in the market place and will make major foreign promoters shy away from doing business with certain of our top acts because they are never sure who really has the authority to speak on their behalf in this area of their career. We have been down this road before. This is one of the weaknesses that ultimately prejudiced Dennis Brown’s career.

In this scenario, what is even more perplexing is that some of our more popular and experienced artistes are virtually shooting themselves in the foot, by refusing to reduce their performance fees in keeping with the shrinking global market and lower demand. Happily for our industry, however, the smarter ones have compromised, taken a pay-cut and continued touring. During this summer also, many musicians toured for per diems only. They had to sacrifice and save out of these meagre earnings so that they would be able to take something home. It nuh pretty out deh. The situation is so delicately poised that I have deliberately refrained from giving specific examples or identifying any of the artistes and musicians affected, for fear of further prejudicing anyone’s career. “It’s not an easy road, Yuh see the glamour and the glitter and yuh tink a bed a roses.” (Buju Banton) Who feels it knows.

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