Ziggy Marley Poised to Release Wild and Free
Reggae singer Ziggy Marley is set to release of his album Wild and Free on June 14 on his family’s Tuff Gong Worldwide label.
According to Marley, “we need personal revolution, social and group revolutions that change who we are as people.” Themes of marijuana and hemp runs through the album as well as the idea of using the cannabis plant for environmental, industrial and nutritional reasons to benefit the planet..
Ziggy’s Marijuana Man action figure story is about utilizing all the properties of the plant. He does not think people understand how much good it can do.
Tony Anthony leads Canadian reggae award nominations
The fifth annual Canadian Reggae Music Achievement Award is set for Saturday, June 4 at the Jamaica Canadian Centre in Toronto. Leading the pack of nominees are singer Tony Anthony — Best Male Vocalist, Best Reggae Single — Million Chance, Best Reggae Album — Million Chance and Artiste of the Year Singjay Tasha T has copped three nominations with Tanya Mullings nominated in two categories.
Beenie Man, Sizzla, Junior Kelly, and Queen Ifrica, Barrington Levi and Gyptian to Headline for 2011 Barbados Reggae Festival
The seventh annual Digicel Barbados Reggae Festival, which ran from Monday April 25 until Sunday, May 1, was headlined by top Jamaican Reggae stars Beenie Man, Barrington Levy Gyptian, Queen Ifrica, Junior Kelly, Lady Saw Boris Gardiner, Ken Boothe, Eric ‘Oh Cherry Oh Baby’ Donaldson and Cultural Chanter Sizzla Kolongi and the three band, Fire House, Gumption and the Fabulous 5 Band. The festival also featured Wyclef Jean of Fugees fame and a host of Barbadian reggae artistes.
Beenie warns Barbados to stop pressuring Jamaicans
According to a published report in the Barbados Nation newspaper dancehall deejay Beenie Man aka ‘the Doctor’ warned Barbados immigration officials on the island stop pressuring Jamaicans. On stage at the Reggae Beach Party in Brandons Beach, St Michael he said “Ease up Jamaican. Stop pressure Jamaican,” I have friends who come over here and end up in jail for four days for no reason.” Beenie Man added that he was arrested on his last visit to Barbados but that he bore no grudge? Thank you Barbados,” he said.
Popcaan– takes on Tobago and Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana
Hotskull deejay and “Gaza” artist Popcaan gave a performances in Caribbean islands of Tobago ( Trinidad & Tobago) Guyana Suriname and French Guiana where he had the fans begging the for more. Popcaan next went to Dominica alongside Gaza Slim on May 5th. He returned to Jamaica
Beyonce samples Pon De Floor for first single
Beyonce will sample the Vybz Kartel track Pon De Floor for her lead single off of her up-coming fourth studio album.
Smiley Culture’s supporters March in England
Thousands marched through the streets of Westminster, England demanding justice for the still-unexplained death of DJ Smiley Culture on March 15 while the police raided his flat.
Smiley Culture died of a single stab wound during a police search of his house. Officers who mounted the early morning raid claim that he stabbed himself to death while alone in his kitchen as he made a cup of tea.
Family, friends and campaigners are skeptical and have referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Smiley’s advocates were out in force to demand a public inquiry, as they marched to Scotland Yard, where the demonstration was addressed by Smiley Culture’s nephew.
Recovery Japan Launched – Jamaicans Asked To Reach Out To Disaster-Stricken Country
Ai Irisawa, chairman of Recovery Japan and other interested parties, all spoke about the March 11 Japan earthquake and tsunami and what could be done through Recovery Japan to assist the victims in Japan.
Over 10,000 persons have been found dead and more than 17,000 have been reported missing since disaster struck the country. Recovery Japan will be staging a number of charity events. Among the activities planned is the Kingston Rock Concert on April 24, featuring Lukie D, Konshens, Carl Dawkins, Junior Reid and more at Studio 38
Morgan Heritage Family Replace Luciano at Miami Reggae Festival
Morgan Heritage will be replacing Luciano and the Jah Messenger band tour package with Warrior king and Bonnie Casey at the Miami Reggae Festival to be held on Saturday, April 30, 2011.due to unforeseen conditions. Luciano’s Management have been unable to resolve pressing immigration issues as it relates to the artist being able to travel to or perform in the United States. “The late delivery of this news will cause much disappointment to all the supporters waiting to see his appearance for the festival.” stated Alfonso D’Niscio Brooks, event producer.
The Harder They Come Remake
The 1972 Jamaican movie classic The Harder They Come will be remade using the production companies of United Kingdom-based Zingu Films and Canada-based Conquering Lion with producer Justine Henzell.The original film was written and directed by Perry Henzell, Justine’s father. Conquering Lion’s producer Damon D’Oliveira described the remake as “a re-imagining that will move to contemporary reggae and reggae-influenced grooves.”
In an interview, D’Oliveira said “The Harder They Come was the first film to bring the real Jamaica to the world, and that spirit informs this new version.”
The original film starred Jimmy Cliff, Janet Bartley and Carl Bradshaw. Its plot involved a Reggae singer pushing his sin
ging career in the city, but finding it harder than he thought.
Producer Justine Henzell said that for the first time, she is confident that they will have a team that will simultaneously honor the original while creating a new narrative worthy of the legacy.
The new remake will be set in Jamaica and London. The screenplay will be written by Chris Salewicz who also wrote Third World Cop.
The draft script will be ready for Cannes and the principal photography will begin in 2012, according to the producers.
With the Trinidad & Tobago Easter festivities now behind him, dancehall deejay Ryno (Blak Ryno) is all set to make his official debut at the annual May Fest 2011 in Dominica.
Ryno appeared as the headliner for International Night on May 1st at the Marigot Fisheries Complex. Fellow Jamaican act Voicemail performed as did local bands: X-Plus Band, Burning Flames and Triple Kay International among others.
The May 1st activities forms part of the larger four-day event now in its 5th staging and is organized by the Marigot Development Corporation. The festival is also the largest village tourism and musical undertaking in Dominica.
Shabba Ranks to perform on Best of the Best Weekend 2011
Reggae artiste Shabba Ranks has officially been added to the Best of the Best Weekend 2011 concert at Bicentennial Park from May 26 to 30. The event will see top acts in reggae, hip-hop, dancehall and soca, such as Stephen and Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, DJ Khaled, Vybz Kartel (who will appear with his band live via satellite from Jamaica), Tarrus Riley, Alison Hinds, Trina, Assassin, Etana, Sanchez, I-Octane, Ace Hood, Stephen McGregor, Chino, Richie Loop, Demarco, Gappy Ranks, Romain Virgo, Big AC and ZJ Liquid.
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry: Over 75 Years
Lee “Scratch” Perry is releasing an album and starring in a documentary called The Upsetter. The film takes a biographical look at the eccentric mastermind behind dozens of classic reggae and dub songs by Gregory Isaacs, The Clash and Bob Marley.
Vybz Kartel releases Coloring Book on iTunes.
Sophia Brown – Lovers Rock
Sophia Brown Lover’s Rock Reggae compilation from her Music Mecka Records now available on iTunes. In heavy rotation throughout Europe it features Sophia Brown, Gin-jah and Fire Star.
Chris Martin EP Still Going Strong: Christopher Martin EP, featured on Itunes for the fourth week running. Included in this release are several mixes of his latest hit I’m an African (coincidentally, martin recently returned from a series of shows in Kenya) as well as the anthem This Year. This is truly an all around enjoyable release from one of Jamaica’s rising stars.
Chino to release self titled album
Reggae and dancehall artiste, Chino, will release his self-entitled United States album Chino in five weeks. “It won’t be just one genre and that’s in an effort to cater to not only the US market, but also the European and Caribbean territories,” he said. The album will be available online and in stores on May 24
UK Ska Festival Showcases Jamaican Talent
Veteran organist Ansel Collins of Double Barrel joined forces with Dave Barker in England to headline for two nights at The London International Ska Festival on The Clapham Grand Theatre in London.
Reuniting for the first time since the 1970s, Dave and Ansel Collins are also celebrating the 40th anniversary of their United Kingdom number-one song, Double Barrel. Dave Barker, a session vocalist, and Ansel Collins, an organist-keyboards player, were working for producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry in Kingston, Jamaica in the late 1960s, and joined forces in 1971, for Double Barrel.
Released on Techniques Records, part of the Trojan Records label, it topped the Jamaican and UK charts in March of that year. It was the first record the celebrated drummer, Sly Dunbar, ever played on.
The London International Ska Festival featured 37 bands and DJs from 11 countries, showcasing the very best Ska has to offer from its roots in American rhythm and blues, to the Jamaican originators, their progression into rock steady and Reggae, through 2 Tone and right until today with 21st century Ska sounds. Other artistes included Ken Boothe, Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths and the English Beat just to name a few.
Ras Penco “Be By My Side” Hits Canadian R&B chart
Reggae star Ras Penco breakout single “Be By My Side has single recently peaked at # 8 on the popular R&B top 100 countdown s
how in Canada. “The video for “Be By My Side” is also receiving rotation play on popular MUCH Music TV in Canada. The video is also in rotation on BET Jazz. Ras Penco’s song ‘Thousand Miles Away’ was in rotation on VH1, and Bet Jazz, Sly a Robbie to release tribute to Japan
Sly and Robbie to release tribute to Japan
Rhythm twins Sly and Robbie have released their tribute to Japan song, titled Sly & Robbie with Friends: Let Us Pray – Another Song For Japan for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that occurred on March 11th in Japan. Kaz Asonuma from the Sly and Robbie camp said a large group of musicians including T.O.K, Cherine Anderson, Belinda Brady, Leba, Pam Hall, Savone, Scantana, UNITZ, KGN 21, Robbie Lyn, Danny Browne, Rory Baker, Bulby York and Shane Green along with the Japanese classic strings players. One hundred per cent of the proceeds will be going towards Japan. The song involves the Japanese Classic Strings Players who recorded their part at one of the biggest studios in Japan – the Onkyo House, which provided free studio times for the song. The song will be made available on iTunes soon.
Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne Featured On Barrington Levy Upcoming Album
Reggae veteran Barrington Levy’s upcoming album titled “It’s About Time,” will be his first studio album in two decades. The album release date is unknown. He recently completed a major tour of the US with Stephen Marley and is expected to start shooting his roles in the upcoming movie Gangster.
Shaggy’ Charitable Ambitions & International Humanitarian Award
Save Bob Marley, Shaggy is reggae’s most commercially successful artist. Known for his philanthropic work through his ‘Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation’ he is the recipient of this year’s 2011 International Humanitarian Award by the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) their 7th Annual Peacock Soiree at Jungle Island in Miami, Florida.
Shaggy told Peter Bailey of NBC Nitecap that his involvement with charity in Jamaica is by “chance.”“I don’t think you being a person with any kind of conscience could see what I saw and did nothing about it,” he said. Shaggy is the brain behind the ‘Shaggy and Friends Concert’ since 2009, which has drawn international stars such as Boys to Men and Macy Gray to the shores of Jamaica.
The event was hosted by former American Ambassador to Jamaica Sue Cobb and the president of the American Friends of Jamaica. Proceeds from the 7th Annual Peacock Soiree will go to benefit Jamaican charities in education, health care and economic development. The Jolly Boys provided the entertainment. Shaggy also hosts his annual Christmas treat at the Bustamante Hospital for Children
Bunny Wailer, Maxi Priest, &the Commodores for St. Kitts Music Festival
The St. Kitts Music Festival is a showcase for several musical genres including rhythm and blues, jazz, hip-hop, Reggae, soca, calypso, gospel and contemporary music. Bunny Wailer and British reggae acts Maxi Priest, former UB40 lead singer Ali Campbell joins the American R&B group the Commodores in the line-Up to perform at the 15tt annual St. Kitts Music Festival which will take place from June 23 to 25. Bunny Wailer has been named by Newsweek Magazine as one of the three most important musicians in world music while Maxi Priest is considered to be one of the most successful reggae fusion acts of all-time.
Could Vybz Kartel to Take Legal Action against the State – For loss of Income?
Deejay Vybz Kartel is threatening to take legal action following the cancellation of his Coloring Book Party at the LIME Village in the Sunshine City, Portmore Jamaica. He received a permit to stage the party prior to the event only to have it revoked at the last hour. Kartel was told by the Greater Portmore St Catherine South police that based on the headline act; there was the strong possibility that the show would attract criminal elements.
The Greater Portmore St Catherine South police, according to a published report declined to comment on the revocation of the permit. Vybz Kartel stated in a interview with OutAroad.com. “I will be suing them for loss of income in a court of law”. The other acts scheduled to appear were Macka Diamond, Lady G, Terror Fabulous, Venjance, Macho Kid, Johnny, Amanda Cat and Kibba Ranks. Late last year Kartel‘s Gaza events that took place in the Buildin Night Club including the Gaza Celebration Party were ended prematurely by the police.
Legalize It and Equal Rights, Peter Tosh’s landmark albums for Columbia Records, will be reissued June 21 by Columbia/Legacy Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music International.
A statement from Columbia/Legacy said Legalize It: Legacy Edition and Equal Rights: Legacy Edition, revisit two of the most powerful statement albums in popular music, complete with liner notes, previously unreleased demos and out-takes from their recording sessions.
It is the second time in 12 years that Columbia/Legacy will reissue the albums, which were first released by Columbia Records in 1976 and 1977, respectively. They will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) of which Tosh was a supporter. A public service announcement Tosh did for NORML in 1976 will also be broadcast on radio this year. Columbia/Legacy are to re-release seven-inch vinyl singles of Legalize It and Equal Rights.
Tosh, a founding member of The Wailers group along with Bob Marley and Bunny ‘Wailer’ Livingston, was murdered at his St Andrew home in September 1987 at age 42. Legalize It was his first most ambitious project since leaving The Wailers in late 1973 following an acrimonious tour of Britain. The album contained the ominous title track, Burial, Brand New Second Hand and Igziabeher.
Tosh secured the deal with Columbia through Lee Jaffe, the American harmonica player who had befriended The Wailers in the early 1970s. In a May 2003 interview, Jaffe said Tosh had a controversial concept for his major label debut. “He had written a song, Legalize It, and I felt from an American point of view that was a big issue and would draw a lot of attention,” Jaffe recalled. It was Jaffe who took the photograph of Tosh in a ganja field in the town of Bluefields, Westmoreland, the singer’s home parish.
Interestingly, CD two of Legalize It: Legacy Edition is Tosh’s final mix which was presented to administrators at Columbia. One year later, the equally provocative Equal Rights was released. In addition to the title song, it included The Wailers standard Get Up, Stand Up, Downpressor Man, Stepping Razor, African and I Am That I Am.
The Columbia/Legacy reissues come at a time when there is a Peter Tosh renaissance. Roots singer Bushman recently covered several of his songs on the Bushman Sings The Bush Doctor album. Last year, Tosh’s son Andrew, paid tribute to his father with Legacy: An Acoustic Tribute To Peter Tosh. That set was nominated in the Best Reggae Album category at this year’s Grammy Awards. Peter Tosh left Columbia after the release of Equal Rights and recorded for Rolling Stones Records, EMI America and Capitol Records. The last of the three released No Nuclear War, his last studio album, in 1987. No Nuclear War won the 1988 Grammy for Best Reggae Album
Lupe Fiasco, Sean Paul Headlines UCLA Jazz Reggae Festival
Lupe Fiasco and reggae sing-jay Sean Paul will headline the 25th Jazz Reggae Festival at the UCLA campus during Memorial Day weekend. The three-day concert Jazz Reggae Festival (May 28-30th) is looking to make this year’s event its biggest celebration to date. The Festival will be held at the UCLA Intramural Field. Fiasco will perform on May 29, Jam Day, while Sean Paul is scheduled to hit the stage on May 30, Reggae Day.
Bob Marley & the Golden Age of Reggae Photo Exhibition – 7th April – 15th May, London, England
Proud Camden presents Bob Marley & the Golden Age of Reggae, an exhibition of photographs by celebrated photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker. This exhibition is a stunning visual record of the “golden age of reggae” to mark the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley’s death this May.
During 1975 and 1976, renowned underground photo-journalist Kim Gottlieb-Walker and her husband, Head of Publicity at Island Records Jeff Walker, documented what is now widely recognized as the Golden Age of reggae. Over two years of historic trips to Jamaica and exclusive meetings in Los Angeles, Kim took iconic photographs of the artists who would go on to define an era and captivate a generation. During 1975 and 1976, renowned underground photo-journalist Kim Gottlieb-Walker and her husband, Head of Publicity at Island Records Jeff Walker, documented what is now widely recognized as the Golden Age of reggae. Over two years of historic trips to Jamaica and exclusive meetings in Los Angeles, Kim took iconic photographs of the artists who would go on to define an era and captivate a generation.
Proud Galleries has worked with Kim Gottlieb-Walker to create an exhibition of candid and intimate photographs of the artists and producers who brought the reggae sound to the international stage, including Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Toots Hibbert, Burning Spear, Lee “Scratch” Perry and, of course, Bob Marley. This exhibition includes never-before-seen photographs and is a stunning photographic record of one of the most exciting moments in recent musical history, with a warmth and intimacy born out of the respect between Kim Gottlieb-Walker and the artist.
I-Octane featured in Vibe Magazine
Cultural reggae act I-Octane is featured in the international April/May issue of VIBE Magazine.
Marie-Claire — fusing reggae with opera
Italian-trained, Dominican-born, and Bronx-bred classical soprano singer Marie Claire in Jamaica working on a groundbreaking musical album project, it is a fusion opera with reggae, dancehall and hip hop to create this new sound. The album is titled ‘Dreamland’.
The government of Dominica and the Dominican private sector along with some business interests in the United States are funding the production of the album this dream project.Bob Andy one of Jamaica’s finest singers/songwriters along with musicians/producers, Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith and Glen Browne lend their musical talent and expertise to the project. Andy contributed the song called Constellation. This is the first time Claire, who made her debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York Grand Opera Company is actually singing an original song blending the two genres, mixing opera with reggae. Marie Claire has chosen Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Rasta man Chant (Fly Away Home) complete with Nyiabinghi drummers to be included on the album to be treated by her operatic virtuosity.
Third World’s 23rd album “Patriots” was released on the band’s newly formed label Third World Music Group, in association with VP Associated Label Group (VPAL), the recently launched subsidiary of the Queens, NY based reggae independent VP Records. Third World is utilizing VPAL’s marketing and distribution; while its bookings are handled by Third World Music Group, and Triple 7 Entertainment LLC is doing the group’s publicity. (Third World secured digital distribution through Jamaica based Zojak Worldwide prior to finalizing their VPAL deal) surged past 3,000. The band has sold 779,000 albums in the U.S. since 1991 according to Nielsen Sound-Scan, although their career total is certainly much higher. They’ve charted 8 albums on the Top 200; their signature hit “Now That We Found Love” peaked at no. 47 on the Hot 100 in 1979. in June, VPAL/Third World Music Group will promote a second single, Stephen and Damian Marley’s hip hop flavored Auto-tuned remake of Third World’s classic “1865 (96 Degrees in the Shade)”.
Reggae Grammy: SAFE
The Grammy for the reggae category could be in jeopardy after the current overhaul undertaken by the Academy. The local music fraternity breathed a sigh of relief last week following the announcement that the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album was not one of the categories being axed by the US-based NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences).
NARAS who presents the annual Grammy music awards recently announced that it will slash the number of its trophies from 109 to 78. The changes — the first restructuring since the academy founded in 1959 will also revamps the voting process. There will now be single awards in the best Pop, R&B and Country singer categories, and not broken down in male and female groups, NARAS said in a statement.
Already we see the merger of several R&B and Rap categories as well as the elimination of some international categories. The number of awards currently stands at 78, down from 109, with the changes taking effect at next years ceremony.
Additional changes include the suspension of a category for a year if fewer than 25 submissions are received for that category. This many industry professionals argue may put the Award for the Reggae category at risk. Three consecutive suspensions will lead to the permanent elimination of a category. The Reggae Grammy was launched in 1985 and saw Black Uhuru taking home the first Reggae Grammy.
Over the years several big Reggae/dancehall stars have secured a Grammy under their belt, including Beenie Man, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Shabba Ranks, Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer, Sly & Robby, Ziggy Marley, Damian Marley, among others. Incarcerated Reggae star Buju Banton won this year Reggae Grammy for his critically acclaimed album ‘Before The Dawn.’In order to save the Reggae Grammy, we will need to submit more votes on the Academy website www.grammy.com
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Entertainment Writer, Westindiantimes.net (Norfolk Beach VA)
Contributing Editor, Everybodys Magazine (NYC)
Music Writer, Jahworks.org (Oakland CA)