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Quickies

Published:Friday | October 3, 2014 | 10:00 AM
Martel Hill, from St Jago High School, performs at the JCDC Performing Arts Speech Festival. Contributed
Ziggy Marley. Contributed
Ce'Cile. File
Denzil Porter. Contributed
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Duane Stephenson goes Dangerously Roots and more

Duane Stephenson presented tracks from his new album, Dangerously Roots, last Wednesday on The Jamaica Pegasus hotel's lawns, New Kingston, to strong support from his label, Kong Star Records, family, friends the media, and fans.

In his third studio effort, Stephenson goes to the roots rock reggae foundation of drum and bass. At the launch, he took listeners on a journey, with an interlude by the band merging tracks from his previous albums, August Town and Black Gold, followed by a selection of tracks from the new project.

The songs presented included Cool Runnings (a tribute to the 1981 work of Bunny Wailer), Good Love and House of Lies featuring Lutan Fyah, who also performed.

Stephenson said he was halfway through the album years ago and scrapped over seven tracks and started from scratch as he wasn't pleased with the direction of the sound. Noted producer Mikey Bennett paid respect to Stephenson's work ethic and Kong Star Records premiered the video of Sorry Babylon.

Stephenson is preparing for an extensive tour of Europe and the US, as part of the promotion for Dangerously Roots.

Ziggy does EP for iTunes

On September 30, six-time Grammy award winner Ziggy Marley recently released a special four-track EP, Lighthouse, as an iTunes exclusive. It features versions of tracks from Ziggy's fifth studio album, Fly Rasta, which was released earlier this year.

Included are live acoustic versions of I Get Up and I Don't Want To Live On Mars, as well as a live full-band concert recording of Lighthouse. The studio version of Lighthouse was released on radio on September 29.

Marley is currently on a tour of Canada and will begin the second leg of his US tour starting October 1 in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. His US dates also include major city stops in Atlanta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; and Dallas, Texas.

Renovation at Bob Marley Museum

The Bob Marley Museum has been open for 33 years, offering an up-close and personal look into the life of Robert Nesta Marley through daily tours.

As the Marley family and members of the Bob Marley Group of Companies seek to preserve the museum's rich heritage, an extensive two-month renovation project is set to get under way at 56 Hope Road, Kingston 6, starting October 6.

During the renovation period, persons are invited to visit Tuff Gong International at 220 Marcus Garvey Drive and take advantage of the special pricing incentives for tours there. The tours run Mondays to Saturdays, with the first tour at 9:30 a.m. and the last at 4:00 p.m.

Tydal does second US promo tour

Reggae artiste Tydal returned to the island last week after a promotional run in South Florida. It was his second such trip to the United States since 2014 for the Master One recording artiste.

"We did clubs in South Florida and this exposed my work to a multicultural audience," Tydal said in a media release. Among the venues he performed at were South Beach in Miami and the Ginger Bay Café in Hollywood, Florida. He also visited several media outlets, including radio stations Hot 105 FM, WAVS 1170, 99 Jams and Starz FM.

Earlier this year, Tydal launched the EP, The Journey of a Young Warrior. He will perform at the CB Pan Chicken Championships grand finals in November. A video for his latest single, Somewhere in Africa, is to be released shortly.

JCDC extends deadline

The deadline for entries in the 2015 National Festival of the Performing Arts has been extended to Friday, October 31.

Persons are invited to submit entries in the categories of speech, drama, music, traditional folk forms, and dance. Entry forms are accessible online at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC) website, www.jcdc.gov.jm, at its head office, 3 - 5 Phoenix Avenue, Kingston 10, and all JCDC parish offices islandwide.

The competition begins with zone finals from November to December 2014, while the parish finals will be held in January and February 2015. The national finals will be staged in March 2015.

The JCDC also stages rigorous development workshops and training for participants, aimed at improving the quality of their performances.

Ce'Cile promotes album in US

Ce'Cile recently released her third studio album, Still Running. This month, she will be in the New York Tri-State area and is expected to make appearances on popular media outlets such as Irish and Chin's Sound Chat Radio, among others.

News of Ce'Cile's latest album will be relayed to 18 stations and media partners in cities in the US, UK, Spain and Gambia.

Ce'Cile said "I look forward to this promotional opportunity and to receiving the feedback from my fans. A lot of work was put into it and I strongly feel my fans will love the musical experience I showcase throughout my album."

J'can rapper wins Unsigned Hype

Aspiring hip-hop artiste Denzil Porter captured the top prize at the first staging of Source Magazine's Unsigned Hype contest in New York City recently. Porter was up against 29 other contestants, who came from all over the US.

"I was surprised that I ended up in first place. The whole thing was surreal. I was up against people like Kris Kassanova, Euroleague and Narubi Selah. In my eyes, these artistes are very big on the hip-hop underground circuit. It was a really competitive field. I'm just happy I came out on top," Porter said.

The rapper, who calls Negril home when he's in Jamaica, will soon join illustrious hip-hop names such as Notorious BIG, the Wu Tang Clan and Eminem, who were all featured in the Unsigned Hype section of Source Magazine when they just started out. Porter will be featured in the Unsigned Hype section of the Man of the Year/Rookie of the Year edition of the magazine, which will be published in December.

The Unsigned Hype feature is published each month in the magazine, which has been a significant part of the hip-hop community for more than 20 years.

Porter also secured a spot on the line-up for the Source 360 concert which was held at Barclays Centre in Brooklyn on the same evening he won the contest. The event, which was attended by more than 15,000 patrons, featured headline acts the Wu Tang Clan along with Lil' Kim, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Curren$y and Dom Kennedy.