A quick look at entertainment happenings
Digicel and the Bob Marley Group of Companies officially launched the 2015 birthday celebrations for the Reggae legend on Tuesday, January 13, at Digicel's regional headquarters, downtown Kingston.
There were performances by Tuff Gong's 70th Birthday Celebration ambassadors No-Maddz and Kabaka Pyramid. The Jamaica Junior Theatre also performed an excerpt of the musical, Nesta's Rock. Bob Marley's son, Rohan, participated in the launch via web chat.
"I think it's very important for us to be here celebrating Bob Marley," said Dr Wykeham McNeill, minister of Tourism and Entertainment.
"Bob Marley is a huge part of Jamaica's culture and musical legacy - two areas that Digicel is very keen on supporting and helping to preserve in Jamaica," said Peter Lloyd, marketing director of Digicel.
"So we are very happy to be partnering with the Bob Marley Group of Companies, for the fifth year, to preserve Bob's legacy."
The formal celebrations will start at the Bob Marley Museum, 76 Hope Road, St Andrew, on February 6, featuring discussions on topics including Reggae Music, Reggae and Fashion and Marijuana and the Economy. A major free concert will be held on the downtown Kingston waterfront on February 7.
Digicel will also be offering its customers exclusive mobile content to in the form of Digicel InTunes, ring back tones and wallpaper. The month-long celebrations will also include a road show and the One Love celebrity football match.
Richie Stephens and Morgan Heritage are the latest additions to the 2015 Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, January 29-31 at the Trelawny Stadium. The Pointer Sisters and former Chicago frontman, Peter Cetera, were added to the roster.
Walter Elmore, the festival's producer, said, "Richie Stephens and Morgan Heritage are class acts. They possess distinct styles of music and performance wise, they are exceptional."
The festival will be staging a Ska-teck dance competition. Dance crews have been invited to compose their own routines to Richie Stephens' Everybody Dance. Email the video to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ten finalists will participate in a showdown on January 16, where a winner will be crowned and given the chance to perform live on the Jazz stage with Stephens.
Jamaica Jazz and Blues 2015 also features Mariah Carey, Magic, Charlie Wilson, Soja, and Arturo Tappin.
The first release for Bob Marley's 70th birthday celebrations will be available on February 17. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Easy Skanking in Boston '78, features two live shows from Boston's Music Hall on June 8, 1978. The album will be available on Blu-Ray/CD combo pack as well as DVD/CD and stand-alone CD versions.
Newly created animated material will also be a part of this release, marking the first time the family has incorporated this technology into any official Marley releases.
The video footage was shot with a hand-held camera by a fan that Marley had allowed to sit right in front of the stage. The result is remarkable imagery that captures Marley from just a few feet away. The cinematographer was shooting with film and had to change rolls of tape, the gaps in the live footage have been augmented with specially created animation over the existing audio.
The 46-minute video includes seven of the 13 songs in the full set. Highlights of the performance include a lively Jammin' and The Heathen.
This year's fourth staging of the annual Grounation series, commemorating Black History and Reggae Month, will be held each Sunday in February under the theme, Riddim Across the Atlantic: De Drums in Africa & its diasporas. It will explore the idea of African retentions and the spread of innovative cultural expressions through the ethos of the African diaspora.
The Jamaica Music Museum's (JaMM) director/curator, Herbie Miller, said Grounation 2015 will include the specially curated exhibition, Call & Response: Masques, Masquerades and Drums.
"Through stunning examples from the outstanding collection of African objects from National Museum Jamaica, a Division of the IOJ, along with others on loan from private collections, we are delighted at the prospect that the exhibition will give visitors a new perspective on African art in dialogue with musical trends across the diaspora," Miller explained.
Miller said, "by focusing on the innovations of people from Africa and its diaspora, Call & Response: Drums, Masques and Spirits will illuminate for audiences the seminal role of the drum as an idiomatic source in the shaping of cultures of the Black Atlantic and highlight the important influences Afro New World vernacular has on contemporary expressions."
In addition, Grounation 2015 will show how these innovations lead to a synthesis in the shaping and defining of diverse black diaspora philosophies, rituals, visual traditions, popular music and other art forms recognised globally for their dramatic aesthetics.
Grounation is held at the IOJ's Lecture Hall, East Street, downtown Kingston, starting at 2 p.m. each Sunday. As customary, admission to Grounation is free and contributions are welcomed.
In 2014, Kabaka Pyramid did a nine-week tour of Europe, three weeks on the US West Coast, performed on several major festivals and did successful shows in Jamaica, among them Sting 2014, With songs like No Capitalist, Never Gonna Be a Slave, Liberal Opposer, Mi Alright (with Chronixx), Warrior (with Protoje) and Lead the Way, tonight Kabaka Pyramid and the Bebble Rockers band are set to perform at Rebel Salute 2015.
Kabaka Pyramid promises a performance full of energy and entertainment. Most important he states, "the people will leave Priory, St Ann, with a powerful message from Kabaka Pyramid."
With his recent release, Lock Down Di Place, on the Elastic Rhythm, Kabaka clearly takes a stand against the current state of the dancehall and negative lifestyles.
He is gearing up for the full release of his next single, Well Done, produced by Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley. Well Done is a direct message to 'Mr Politician Man', giving a round of applause for doing a great job of tearing down the country.
Miss St Catherine Festival Queen 2014, Danene Cruickshank, launched her community project, a Literacy Project, at the Children's First Achievement Centre in Spanish Town, St Catherine, earlier this week at the Children's First Achievement Centre office on Adelaide Street.
Cruickshank began volunteering at the Children's First Achievement Centre in 2013, offering guidance and counselling services to students and assisting in teaching basic reading and writing skills. The Children's First Achievement Centre is a non-government organisation, which caters to at-risk youth, 10 to 16 years old, as well as their families.
The project will be rolled out January 23 and run until the remainder of the school year. It will also assist teachers with helping parents to better support their children academically.