Master classes for three bands
The National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ) and the bands of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will be part of a musical event on July 23 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, when world-renowned musician Barry Tuckwell, OBE, will be giving two master classes. The Barry Tuckwell Master Classes are made possible by the British High Commission, Pegasus Hotel, Leora O'Carroll Downer and Richard Downer.
Considered the greatest French horn player in the world, Barry Tuckwell is also revered as a conductor, educator and author. "This is an extraordinary musical opportunity for Jamaican talent to learn from one of the greats," said Leora O'Carroll Downer, director of Jamaica Music Camp, who organised the master classes. Young musicians attending Jamaica Music Camp will also benefit from a master class by Tuckwell at the week before the Pegasus class.
Tuckwell is a three-time Grammy nominee. Born an Australian, he joined the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at 15 years old and then the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In 1955 he became first horn of the London Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for 13 years. He also served as chairman of the board of the London Symphony Orchestra for six years.
He left in 1968 and for the next 30 years carved out a career exclusively as a soloist one of the only horn virtuosos to have done performing with the great orchestras and conductors around the world.
Tuckwell taught at the Royal Academy of Music in London for 10 years, has been artist-in-residence at Dartmouth and Pomona colleges, is a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne and leads the Barry Tuckwell Institute summers in the US.
D-Medz releases Champion
Recording artiste D-Medz has released the single Champion. The song is a part of a six-track EP Empower. D-Medz said "I have been receiving a lot of positive feedback for this single, for which I am extremely grateful."
This passionate 26 year-old is from May Pen, Clarendon. Previously a dancehall artiste, D-Medz now believes that conscious reggae music is his calling. "This song is aimed at confronting the fast changing social trends that are challenging our traditional values," D-Medz said.
D-Medz is now preparing for a summer promotional stint in Canada to support Empower.
Sumfest 2015 opens with Beachfest
The 23rd staging of Reggae Sumfest kicks off this weekend with the Ultimate Beach Party, Beachfest. Set for the Aquasol Theme Park, Montego Bay, on Sunday, the event is expected to attract partygoers to rave to mixes from Chromatic, ZJ Liquid, Crazy Neil, Black Chiney, Mario C & Bishop Escobar.
Robert Russell, chairman of Summerfest Productions, is excited to get the ball rolling. "Everything is coming along really well, things are looking fantastic. The team is in the final mode of preparation, staff-wise everyone is ready, shuttle buses, food, liquor, security are all in place. We have some of the best DJs on our line-up, so the music is sure to be great," Russell said.
The 'Fluffy Diva' Ms Kitty will host the event and add her own excitement and energy to the days' activities.
A strict ID required entry system is being enforced. Admission to Beachfest is $1,300/US$11 presold and $1,500/US$13 at the gate. The gates open at 3pm. Reggae Sumfest is being presented in association with Digicel, JTB, Iberostar, Secrets, Pepsi and Red Stripe.
Crawford encourages cultural documentation
State Minister for Tourism and Entertainment, Hon Damion Crawford, is urging more Jamaicans to dedicate time and effort to documenting aspects of our unique culture. Speaking recently at the official ceremony to mark handing-over of 100 digital tapes containing priceless interview and concert footage from the Legends of Ska documentary project, Minister Crawford underscored the need for more Jamaicans to produce films, features and documentaries showcasing our culture, such as the successes of our cultural icons and musicians.
The Legends of Ska documentary, which was produced by American Brad Klein, captures the growth and evolution of ska as a distinctive Jamaican musical genre. It also examines the impact of Jamaican music globally and gives unique insight into the lives and careers of some of our most legendary ska performers. Klein dedicated over 12 years of his life to creating the film.
In thanking Klein for handing over the tapes to the Jamaica Music Museum, Crawford said "this vast catalogue of archival footage and images is truly a national asset. The significance of this footage resonates with those of us who understand the importance of capturing and preserving aspects of our history for the benefit of current and future generations alike."
Minister Crawford added that "as a country Jamaica continues to captivate the world through our unique culture and music but more Jamaicans need to dedicate the time and effort to telling our own story, to capturing our history and culture on tape so that more people can truly appreciate the achievements of various talented Jamaicans."
Minister of Transport, Works and Housing and noted music aficionado, Dr. Hon. Omar Davies, noted that "even as I express gratitude to Brad on this initiative I hope that within Jamaica we will seek to start doing this in a more systematic way, in terms of documenting the work of artistes and ensuring that the next generation will be aware of this rich piece of our history."
Accepting the footage Herbie Miller, director/curator of the Jamaica Music Museum, which is an arm of the Institute of Jamaica, said "I would like to thank Brad for his very generous and committed donation. In accepting this I do it on behalf of the ancestors and the survivors who we call the Legends of Ska, as well as the Jamaican people."
Entries open for Big Stage
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture, is now accepting entries for the 2015 Big Stage Competition. The competition, being held for the second time, seeks to identify, promote and train talents in the areas of: dance, singing, deejaying, stand-up comedy, novelty acts, signing and miming. The competition is opened to Jamaicans of all ages.
The JCDC has partnered with the Ministry of Justice, through its National Taskforce Against Trafficking in Persons, to incorporate the issue of Trafficking in Persons in the 2015 JCDC Big Stage Competition. The competition will provide a platform for participants to creatively and artistically express the issue, while spreading the message to children and adults.
Special cash awards and other incentives will be offered to the top entrant in each category. Entry forms and other details for the competition can be accessed from the JCDC's website at www.jcdc.gov.jm, its social media pages, the head office at 3 - 5 Phoenix Avenue in Kingston and parish offices islandwide.
The Big Stage Competition which has evolved from the Popular Cultural Expressions/Pop and Variety Contest and Star Search Competition, seeks to unearth and showcase several talents during the Emancipation and Independence celebrations.
Richie Spice to headline Reeewind
The Reeewind stage show offers a rub-a-dub style format. The event's promoters, Irish and Chin, are hosting singer Richie Spice on the next Reeewind for his career-first rub-a-dub performance. Spice, who has been delivering conscious reggae music hits since the mid-90s, will have a chance to put his inspiring lyrics to work freestyle.
Richie Spice will join a powerhouse line-up of Reewind newcomers, including Freddie McGregor, Shinehead, Josey Wales and Carlton Livingston. Crowd-pleasing favourites Brigadier Jerry, Charlie Chaplin, General Trees and Cocoa Tea are billed for the high-profile event.
It takes place on Saturday, July 18, at the Amazura Entertainment Complex in New York.
"There is no other artist in the industry who sounds like Richie Spice," Garfield 'Chin' Bourne of Irish and Chin said. "His unique style and conscious focus fall nicely in place with Reeewind's rub-a-dub theme. Each year, we aim to 'spice' up the line up with artistes that fans love and/or those with impressive careers."
As sound system culture comes alive the performers will have a chance to go back in time to a historical and groundbreaking time, when star sound systems were headlined by artistes (often up and coming talent).
Richie Spice boasts 20 years in the reggae music industry, doing Earth a Run Red, Youth Dem Cold, Marijuana and My Girl, among other popular songs.
Let's Go Dancin' in Santa Cruz
The Kiwanis Club of Santa Cruz will present their inaugural Let's Go Dancin' ... For Charity fund-raising oldies party at the Alpart Sports Club in Nain, St. Elizabeth on Saturday, August 1 (Emancipation Day). The party will be presented in association with Monymusk Plantation Rums (White Overproof, Special Gold, Classic Gold and Whispering Breeze Coconut Rum), Kool 97FM, Seals & Engravables, Tropics View Hotel, Rusal Alpart Jamaica and Devon Bourne's Rubis Gas Station in Kingston.
Music will be provided by the 'dynamic trio' of Kool 97FM'S Michael Barnett and Stokey Love, alongside Senor Daley of the legendary Classique Disco.
Doors open as early as 5.00 pm and there are 'early bird' prizes of $10,000 cash from Seals & Engravables and 10 gallons of gas from Devon Bourne's Rubis Gas Station in Half-Way Tree, to be drawn at 9.00 pm. In audition, there is a special gate prize of a weekend for two at Tropics View Hotel, the south coast home of Let's Go Dancin' in Hatfield Mandeville, to be drawn at midnight.
Presale tickets are $800 each, available at A1 Lounge in Junction, Camric Hardware in Santa Cruz, St. Bess Pharmacy in Black River, Tropics View Hotel in Mandeville, Devon Bourne's Rubis Station in Half-Way Tree, Kool 97FM and Kiwanis Club of Santa Cruz Club members. The cost at the door is $1,000.
All proceeds go to the Kiwanis Club of Santa Cruz to fund outreach programmes and charities.
Ja Poetry Festival celebrates Roots and Youth
SenYAcum - Edutainment Promotion, in association with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), is presenting the fifth annual Jamaica Poetry Festival: The Poetree Feast, on Sunday August 9, at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre, 36 Hope Road, St Andrew.
The day commences with creative writing workshops at 10 a.m. which finish at 2:00 p.m. to make way for the 7:00 p.m. showtime.
Jamaica Poetry Festival 2015 will feature special guest Boris Gardiner alongside Yasus Afari, Gervanna Stephens, Richie Innocent, Ras Haughton, Kai Falconer, Tomlin Ellis, Charmaine Gooden-Monteith, Dexta Malawi, Ras Ja Ja, Skripcha and Viv Morris Brown.
The event pays tribute to the Poetry Society of Jamaica, Calabash Literary Festival, Poetry in Motion, Poets in Unity and Seh Sup'm Poetry.
Tickets are available at Bookophilia, 92 Hope Road; New Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant; Liguanea, JCDC, Phoenix Avenue; Fontana Pharmacy, Barbican; and Veggie Meals on Wheels, Cross Roads. Adult tickets are $1000 presold and $1500 at the gate. Children tickets are $500 presold and $800 at the gate. Patrons can contact the ticket hotline at 978-5248/398-8616/ 390-4843.
Sponsors are Irie Life, Anguilla; SanKofa Wellness Center & Spa, Mandeville; Mona Graphic Printers Company Limited, JCDC and SenYacum Limited.