Stan E Smith 2010 Entertainment News

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Deejays, women contribute to gender abuse

BY NADINE WILSON Observer staff reporter

The degrading recordings being produced by local deejays and the reluctance of some women to date men who are considered nice guys were yesterday cited by one male gender expert as two of the reasons for the perpetuation of violence against women        While not condoning the abuse of women under any circumstances, policy analyst and male representative for the Male Desk at the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, Dave Noel Williams, said that men sometimes developed a hard exterior because they do not want to be labeled as being ‘soft’. “You have a girl leaving a man because his standards are too high,” he noted, while adding that “the females also help with the perpetration of violence against themselves”.

He said that some of the recordings being done by female deejays were also of major concern, especially as they condoned and encouraged the abuse being meted out to women. Even more worrying, he said, is the fact that women are singing these songs, and others done by male artistes which are oftentimes degrading.

“I still have a problem with how women respond to these things,” said Williams. “Man fi have nuff gyal and gyal inna bungle. Who are the main supporters? He asked of the popular Beenie Man recording Nuff Gyal.The music now being created, he said, teach young boys to treat women with disregard.

Because of the pressure being placed on them to be a “gyalis” or a “shotta”, Williams, who counsels a number of males, said that some men have developed a “hard exterior.”    “Those that we have who are mentoring our boys now — and we are not talking about direct mentorship, we are talking about indirect mentorship — are the deejays,” he said. Most unsettling for the policy analyst, however, was the fact that some men who treat women well are labeled as homosexuals.

“I speak well, I dress well and you would have a girl who will look at me and ask me if I am homosexual, you know how much that hurts, why? Because I am neat and clean and speak well and am bright, and these are the things that they would say to you,” he said while pointing out that males need more positive role models. Source Jamaicaobserver.com

Rapper EVE caught up in multi-million dollar money laundering scheme

Rapper-actress Eve is caught up in a huge U.S. Senate investigation into a multi-million dollar money laundering scheme involving her on-and-off again boyfriend Teodorin Nguema Obiang. According to ABC News, Senate investigators have spent the past three years tracking millions of foreign dollars flowing into the U.S. from the accounts of Obiang, the playboy son of President TeodorRapper-actress Eve is caught up in a huge U.S. Senate investigation into a multi-million dollar money laundering scheme involving her on-and-off again boyfriend Teodorin Nguema Obiang.

According to ABC News, Senate investigators have spent the past three years tracking millions of foreign dollars flowing into the U.S. from the accounts of Obiang, the playboy son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea.President Mbasogo is described by ABC as a “corrupt dictator whose three-decade reign has been marked by rumors — believed to be falsely spread to incite fear — of cannibalism.”

Investigators believe most, if not all, of the millions in cash came from corruption related to the extensive oil and gas reserves off the coast of Equatorial Guinea. According to the new government report released last week, Obiang used middle men – lawyers, escrow and real estate agents, and in one case, his then-girl friend Eve Jeffers – to allegedly set up shell companies in the U.S. Through those, investigators say, Obiang wired in funds that made him able to purchase expensive cars, a $30 million Malibu estate and place a down payment on a Gulfstream jet.

According to senate investigators, Eve served as president of one of the alleged shell companies, referred to by Obiang as “Sweet Pink, Inc.,” which was evidently set up in late 2005 “to employ individuals at the home [Obiang] maintained before he purchased the Malibu Property and to handle payroll and other matters related to the employment of those individuals,” according to the report.

According to ABC News, it is unclear if the money may have also helped Obiang finance his elaborate efforts to woo Eve, which included setting up a record label and reportedly paying $700,000 to rent Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen’s 300-foot yacht Tatoosh for a romantic Christmas cruise around St. Barts.

Eve has responded to the government report on her Twitter account. “None of that is true,” she wrote. “Please don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. It’s negative and I don’t f*** with negativity. People tryna test me.”  Source CaribbeanFever.com

Shabba reunites with veterans at Reeewind

NEW YORK, USA — 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 artistes.

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, but also bills him alongside his icon and Dancehall forefather, Brigadier Jerry.

Also notably present at the event, will be Dancehall legend Tiger, who will be making his long-awaited return to the US after being away for more than 10 years. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, 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 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, Hit maker and Dancehall legend Admiral Bailey, veteran artistes General Trees and Rankin Joe.

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,” said Garfield ‘Chin’ Bourne of Irish and Chin. “Reeewind is the only event that offers artiste entertainment from start to finish.

“The audience will get a taste of deejays and singers in rare form. While the event 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 reconnecting reggae artistes with sound systems, we are anticipating that Reeewind & Come Again will surely exceed expectations,” Chin declared.

Toots’ donates to Wolmer’s Girls

Veteran Reggae artiste Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert donated US$2,000 to the Enid Smedmore Foundation of the Wolmer’s Girls school. The presentation  was made during a small media briefing, which was hosted by Norma Brown-Bell, chairperson and trustee of the foundation. The foundation, which was started in September 1998, gives academic and financial support to the girls at the high school.

REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL FOR AUSTRALIA

Reggea music forms the centerpiece of a week-long film festival held in Australia. The festival was staged under the theme Yard! Dub and Reggae on Film at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).

According to Richard Sowada, head of film programmes at ACMI, Lisa Palermo and Kate Welsman the films featured ranged from Ted Bafaloukos’ 1978 Rastafarian classic ‘Rockers’ and Franco Rosso’s 1980 underground classic ‘Babylon’ to Gus Berger’s recent Duke Vin and the Birth of Ska and 2009’s Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae.
Richard Sowada noting the importance of the genre said “Politics and music are a big part of our film programmes, so when opportunities arise for us to explore both at one time it is difficult to resist. The enormous global impact of reggae, the characters, the powerful aesthetic and the experimentation are inspiring — and the music… well, it just soars.” collaboration as a show of solidarity with the people of Haiti and around the world who are in need.

World premiere of Haiti benefit ‘Hear The Call’ Feb 23

The Handel Tucker produced project LISTEN 2 THE CALL involves over 30 of Jamaica’s top artistes and musicians who gave their bond to work. On project are Toots Hibbert, Jimmy Cliff, Marcia Griffiths, Beres Hammond, Sly & Robbie, Dean Fraser, Harry T, Damian Marley, Maxi Priest, Cherine Anderson, Terry Lyn, Beenie Man, Barrington Levy, Bounty Killer and Mavado.

Media around the world and across the Internet website at www.listen2thecall.com were invited to participate in the simultaneous global premiere of the song on Tuesday February 23, 2010 at 4:53pm Haiti Time to remember the victims and encourage the survivors five weeks after the 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti.

The project will help support FOR JAMAICA Inc – a South Florida charity organization which works with other charities in the areas of health and education. All proceeds will be donated to the relief effort.

NEW ALBUM FROM LEGENDARY PRODUCER LEE “SCRATCH” PERRY

MEGAWAVE announced an August 10th release date for the newest album from Lee “Scratch” Perry, to be titled “REVELATION”. This will be the third of a series of collaborations with UK multi-instrumentalist Steve Marshall.  Recording of the final tracks began at Lee’s mountain-top studio in Switzerland last October, at the same time that a documentary film was being produced, according to label president John Palmer.  “The sessions had a life of their own and new directions were introduced from what had been planned.  The Biblical reference of its title track was a natural choice for the album.  And again, I expect that we will have some great guest artists to announce as we complete this 12-song project in the next few weeks.”
REVELATION follows the controversial SCRATCH CAME, SCRATCH SAW, SCRATCH CONQUERED, featuring Keith Richards, George Clinton, Reuben White, Tim Hill, Erica Iji, Mark Mason and Sheridan Tandy, and the Grammy® nominated THE END OF AN AMERICAN DREAM, all on the MEGAWAVE label.
Reggae Month — Musicians, Artistes Respond To The Call

It is often said that Reggae is a spiritual music. So far, the events celebrating Reggae Month this year are proving that the above statement is more than a cliché. The music fraternity collectively, led by the musicians and artistes, have rallied together to freely contribute their talent, time and resources in the staging of all the events held to date.

A few members of the media, with their own personal axes to grind, have been attempting deviance amplification of the obvious weaknesses in the lead-up promotional campaign. Those who belittle and ridicule our sterling efforts should be exposed for their tangential and parasitical relationship to the industry. The artistes however, have positively responded in a philanthropic manner, to the paucity of private sector sponsorship received for the month’s celebration activities. In fact, this has become the real big, yet untold, story of Reggae Month 2010. I guess doing good is neither sensational nor newsworthy to some.

For instance, at the Dennis Brown tribute which was staged at 135 Orange Street, popularly called ‘Big Yard’, on Sunday, January 31, all the performers, the sound systems, the suppliers of technical equipment and temporary infrastructure, provided their services gratis.

Mostly through ghetto telegraph, the free concert achieved overwhelming support and the musical treats were appreciated by the patrons. The audience packed the streets, stretching all the way down to St William Grant Park at Parade. It was estimated by the police that the attendance was in the region of eight thousand people.

In this regard, I wish to single out the following musicians and artistes, Lloyd Parkes and We the People Band, Sangie Davis, Bongo Herman, Stranger Cole, Tinga Stewart, Derrick Harriott, Horace Andy, Errol Dunkley, Big Youth, George Nooks, Ken Boothe, Tappa Zukie and John Holt and Beres Hammond, who both did an incredible – once in a lifetime – spontaneous stint together on stage, which left us all mesmerized for days after.       On Wednesday, February 3 at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts’ amphitheatre, the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association staged the first in their series of weekly shows featuring Maroon drumming, folk music, Mento and Ska. The event started with a tribute in dance to Professor Rex Nettleford. This was performed by a duo from Professional Moves Dance Theatre, Sodanne Browne and Conray Richards. They deserve special commendation because they agreed at very short notice and without remuneration, to perform this most moving piece in tribute to our cultural guru and icon who had passed just the previous evening. It always lifts my heart to see young people display a social conscience. Volunteerism is the fabric on which this nation was built. “Be not selfish in your doings, pass it on.” (Bob Marley and the Wailers).

Nexxus Performing Arts Ensemble, Charles Town Maroon Drummers, Gilzene and the Blue Light Mento Band, drummers Philip Supersad and Calvin Mitchell, Ibo Cooper and the EMC Music School, as well as the hot and vivacious songbird, Cherine Anderson, all contributed to making the night a wonderful one, filled with fraternity, love and good music.

Last Friday, February 5, I saw Keith Lyn performing at the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates’ tribute to Bob and Dennis. The man’s voice and dancing skills seemed as strong as they were in the 1960’s, leaving me to wonder how he has accomplished this consistency.

Wednesday February 10 was another night to cherish for all ages. On this evening, all the elements seemed to come together. This show was dedicated to Dub, Dub Poetry and Rockers. As was the case with the other two events, all the performers gave their services free of cost, to the venture of chronicling our musical history, heritage and evolution through narrative and performances. Special mention must be made of Oku Oonura who has not been on the live circuit for many moons, but thought that the objectives of the programme were sufficiently laudable to honor us with his presence as the original dub poet. His set however, was too short. I certainly hope that audiences in Jamaica and around the world will get more opportunities to see the inimitable Oku in the near future. He indicated to me that he is working on some new material.

Most of all though, Sly Dunbar and an aggregation of stalwart musicians including Lloyd ‘Obeah’ Denton, Robbie Lyn, Daniel ‘Axeman’ Thompson, Winston ‘Bo-Pee’ Bowen, Alvin on percussions with singers Winston ‘Electric Dread’ McAnuff and Prilly Hamilton of Inner Circle and Third World fame, dug deep into our Dub and Rockers catalogues to the absolute delight of the audience. They simply would not let the musicians leave the stage and the more they played, the sweeter they sounded. Unique Vision, History Man, Ras Takura and Uprising Band also volunteered their services and delivered excellent performances to round out the night. I urge you all to look and listen out for Raquel Jones — she is the real thing and in my view, has a bright future in show business.

Except for Wisynco and some companies within the music industry, the one downside of Reggae Month activities is the lack of adequate sponsorship support from the private sector. On Friday, February 12, both RJR Group of Companies and Irie FM led the way by making significant commitments to assist with advertising the events being organized for the rest of the month.

It is not too late for others to come on board or to attend. There are still two weeks of events left in Reggae Month, including the weekly concert at Edna Manley on the 17th with Ken Boothe, Barrington Levy and Freddie McGregor, highlighting Rocksteady and Reggae; the International Reggae Studies Conference from February 17-20; the Jamaica screening of the documentary on the life and career of Danish Reggae star, Natasja, and Jamnesia, both on the 20th. We hope others will join in now that the music industry has demonstrated its independence and determination to make Reggae Month a successful celebration of this great musical legacy which belongs to all of us Jamaicans. Source; Gleaner.com

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