Jazz festival begins in Kgn, Portland
Freddy Loco fell in love with music at eight years old when he heard his grandfather play the trumpet. Although he became a professional boxer, the soul of the trumpet still haunted him and led to a musical journey which started in 2002. He was even further mesmerised when, in that same year, he drew close to the stage of a performance by The Skatalites and came face to face with his musical icon, Kevin 'KB' Batchelor, an American saxophonist and vocalist who fell under the influence of ska 40 years ago when he left the Berklee College of Music to join the legendary Skatalites.
Today, Freddy Loco has been baptised in the name of ska, having formed a very successful band 12 years ago, dedicated to the traditional brass sound of ska and rocksteady. The band has performed in more than 450 shows throughout Belgium, France, Luxemburg, England, Germany, Spain, Holland, and the United States. Freddy has collaborated with Sidney Mills of Steel Pulse on his second album TABA, also featuring the masterful trumpet skills of Kevin 'KB' Batchelor.
On Sunday, May 29, the Freddy Loco Ska Band performs on the 26th Annual Jamaica International Ocho Rios Jazz Festival's Kingston Harbour Cruise, departing from the Port Royal Street Pier, downtown Kingston, at 4 p.m.
The four-hour all-inclusive cruise also includes a meal and music from popular DJ Gladdy of Wild Bunch. New sponsors are the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, hosts to performers in the festival who will entertain their guests between May 30 and June 3.
Other sponsors are Chung's Catering, Stage Records, KOOL 97 FM, Labels and Supplies; The Gleaner Company and Courtyard by Marriott Hotel. Tickets are available at the Derrick Harriott's One Stop Record Shop in Twin Gates Plaza; Music Mart, South Avenue; and the Jazz Centre (tel 927-3544).
Super Cat, Mavado, Nesbeth for NY concert
The third annual Oracabessa Festival takes place on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York
Nesbeth, popular for My Dream, raised his international profile at the Prime Minister Andrew Holness' swearing-in ceremony at Kings House. 'Gully Gaad' David 'Mavado' Brooks is expected to create excitement with Delilah, Gully Side, On the Go (Faster Than Bullet), Star Boy, Stulla, and current single, My League, which is a staple on radio stations in the concert's reach.
Eight years after he performed with Gargamel Buju Banton and reggae canary Barrington Levy at a Mother's Day Reggae Festival at Madison Square Gardens, dancehall deejay Super Cat the 'Don Dadda' returns to the Big Apple for his only New York area performance this year. With hits like Cry fi de Youth, Don Dada, Ghetto Red Hot, Dem No Worry We (which featured Jamaican born US rapper Heavy D) and Boops, he has the catalogue to set the park ablaze.
Other popular recording artistes set to perform include Ken Boothe, the Mighty Sparrow, and Vershon.
Grace J'can Jerk Festival heads to Washington
The producers of the highly successful and popular Grace Jamaican Jerk Festivals in Florida and New York have announced plans to stage the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival - DC in association with VP Records. The event is set to take place on Sunday, June 19, in downtown Washington on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, between 12th and 14th streets, from noon to 9 p.m.
June is celebrated as Caribbean-American Heritage Month and the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival DC will highlight the food, music, and culture of the Caribbean.
Vendors will offer a variety of jerk cuisine dishes such as chicken, pork, fish, and lobster, as well as the unusual jerk ice cream and jerk popcorn. Celebrity chefs will demonstrate tasty dishes and compete in a jerk cook-off for bragging rights and the coveted Dutch Pot Trophy.
The entertainment package will feature Freddie McGregor, Christopher Martin, Ikaya, Edwin Yearwood, the No-Maddz and DC's popular Image Band, along with DJ G-Nice.
A cultural stage will showcase a number of artistic and literary performances celebrating folk traditions and will feature the group Sounds of Culture, Pan Lara Youth Steel Orchestra, Malcolm X Drummers and Dancers, author and playwright Judith Falloon-Reid, Richards Carnival with masqueraders in 2016 DC Carnival costumes plus popular comedian Michael Campbell.
The interactive Kidz Zone will offer activities to keep the young ones amused and engaged. A special children's menu will be available, with jerk burgers and hot dogs, as well as treats such as ice cream, cotton candy, and other goodies.
The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, DC is produced by Jamaican Jerk Festival NY, LLC in Association with VP Records and the Institute for Caribbean Studies. The festival is sponsored by Grace Foods, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Digicel and Power 106.