Mario Evon's debut album out Saturday
Reggae-soul singer/songwriter, Mario Evon will release his debut album Reggae-Soul Volume 1: M.E. On Love tomorrow. The launch will take place at Redbones Blues Café, New Kingston, starting 8 p.m., and signed copies of the album will be available for purchase.
Entry to the event is free.
The album was recorded at the legendary Tuff Gong Studio in Jamaica and Atlantic Sound Studios in the USA. With the exception of one cover, all the songs were written and produced or co-produced by Evon. Rohan Dwyer mixed and mastered the album, which is already available for pre-order on iTunes.
The already-released singles Soul Tek, You Used 2 Love Me and This Day capture the set's fusion of danceable one-drop grooves, memorable melodies, old-school reggae and contemporary R&B. In addition to the multinational team of gifted musicians, Reggae-Soul Volume 1: M.E. On Love also showcases the best of Jamaica's talent, with artwork provided by Taj Francis and photography by Randy Richards.
National Gallery West exhibition goes public today
National Gallery West, the National Gallery of Jamaica's new branch at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, Sam Sharpe Square, opens the exhibition, Xaymaca: Nature and the Landscape in Jamaican Art, to the public today.
Taking the Taino name for the island of Jamaica (which translates to 'land of wood and water') as its point of departure, the Xaymaca exhibition celebrates the spectacular natural beauty of Jamaica. It is seen through the eyes of Jamaican and visiting artists from the colonial period to the present, but also acknowledges how nature and the land carry the baggage of history and contemporary politics.
The exhibition features major works from the National Gallery of Jamaica collection and comprises four sections. Plantation era art has paintings and prints by George Robertson, J.B. Kidd, James Hakewill and John Eaves. Early and 20th century photography contains work by A. Duperly and Sons, Herbert Hood-Daniel and Robin Farquharson. Paintings and one sculpture from the nationalist school of the mid-20th century features work by Edna Manley, Albert Huie and Ralph Campbell. Paintings and sculpture from the post-Independence generation presents work by Barrington Watson, Eugene Hyde, Colin Garland, Michael Lester, Mallica 'Kapo' Reynolds, Everald Brown, Hope Brooks and Laura Facey.
The exhibition was curated by Dr Veerle Poupeye, executive director of the National Gallery, and O'Neil Lawrence, who is senior curator. It is is funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund.
The opening function of Xaymaca: Nature and the Landscape in Jamaican Art takes place at 7 p.m. today.
IOJ continues Saturday openings
The Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) will continue offering free tours and exhibitions to the public on Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Families can enjoy free access to the exhibitions from the Natural History Museum of Jamaica (NHMJ), the National Museum Jamaica (NMJ) and the Jamaica Music Museum (JaMM).
The NHMJ offers to the public 19 photographic images of diverse and exotic butterflies located in Jamaica, South America, Africa, Asia and other parts of the world. The endemic Jamaican Giant Swallowtail Butterfly is the largest butterfly found in the Western Hemisphere and visitors will have a chance to take pictures of the enlarged image.
The Rastafari and Taino exhibitions are also open to the public on Saturdays. Created by the NMJ, the Rastafari exhibition explores the origin and customs of the Rastafarianism indigenous movement, as well as its contributions to the cultural development of the nation, the region and the global community.
The Taino exhibition allows visitors to reflect on a time before the Europeans came into the New World; when the country was inhabited by the peaceful Taino population.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to view the mini-exhibition, Call & Response: Drums, Masques and Spirits, which was showcased throughout the fourth annual Grounation series hosted by the JaMM earlier this year. The exhibition served as a companion to this year's Grounation theme, Riddim Across the Atlantic: Di Drum in Africa and its Diaspora, and enhances the audience's understanding of the role of the African drum in shaping the cultures of the African Diaspora.
Miss Universe Ja for NY cook-off
Miss Universe Jamaica Kaci Fennell will display her culinary skills as a Celebrity Cook-off contestant at this year's Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival - New York. The annual celebration of Jamaican food, music and culture will be staged on Sunday, July 19, at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens.
Fennell is just as comfortable in the kitchen as she is on the runway and is set to electrify the audience as she creates tasty dishes to impress the judges in the Celebrity Quick Fire Challenge.
"This is always one of the highlights of the day," said June Minto, coordinator of the Jerk Cook-off Pavilion. "Kaci's appearance will be even more exciting this year, as the audience will get a chance to interact with her and cheer her on as she cooks under the pressure of competition."
Other activities include cooking demonstrations by Chef Irie Spice, host of the new PBS show Taste The Islands with Chef Irie, Chef Eddie G, host of the national syndicated show Coast 2 Coast Cuisine, and Grace Foods chef Sam Davis.
New York's biggest Caribbean food festival will again be filled with entertainment. This year's highlights will include a cultural stage, featuring traditional oral and folk performances, the Kidz Zone, including rides, storytellers and face painting, and a Corporate Row offering samples and giveaways from event sponsors.
The main stage will feature performances from crowd-pleaser Sanchez, singer Romain Virgo, Jamaica's number-one party band, Fab 5 Inc, and Carlene Davis, who will anchor a dynamic gospel segment to include other performers. A rare New York appearance by King Jammy's sound system will serve up a solid selection of dancehall anthems and crowd favourites.
St Ann, Trelawny to choose Festival Queens
The 2015 parish coronations of the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition continue this Saturday at the Shaw Park Hotel & Spa, Ocho Rios, St Ann. Singer Romaine Virgo will be the guest performer. Tickets are being sold at the St Ann parish office. Adults are $800 and children under 12 years old, $200.
On Sunday, May 10, Mother's Day, Trelawny does its coronation at the Falmouth Pier, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Trelawny parish office and cost adults $1,000, ($1,200 at the gate) and children under 12 years old $500.
This competition is organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, an agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture. The young ladies will vie for a chance to become a cultural ambassador and represent the parish at the national coronation.
The contestants will be judged on cultural awareness, community involvement and performance. The parish queens will receive cash awards, trophies and gift packages from various parish and national sponsors, including Excelsior, Singer Jamaica, Victoria Mutual Building Society, Confidence, Jergens and This is Really Great Yogurt.
The Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition is the premier forum for intelligent, culturally aware and poised young ladies seeking a platform to make their contributions to nation building and to be selected as cultural ambassadors for Jamaica.