Fri | Jan 19, 2018


Published:Friday | June 24, 2016 | 12:00 AM
GATFFEST director, Professor Ian Boxill (left), with filmmaker Marcia Weekes.
David Gumbs' 'Water and Dreams' (2016), a still from the video on view in the digital exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica.
Heavyweight Rockaz
Mary Isaacs
Keisha Patterson


GATFFEST awards ceremony on Sunday


The grand award ceremony of the fourth annual GATFFEST takes place on Sunday June 26.

Interest spiked in the pathbreaking community initiative locally and regionally and the number of international entries reached record numbers.

"We are proud of GATFFEST's achievements," said Ian Boxill, professor of Management Studies and Director, Centre for Tourism and Policy Research. "It is through perseverance, hard work, and most importantly, a dedicated and focused team, which has made us grow strength to strength every year."

Events included an opening gala and film premiere and premiere of a documentary on Trench Town.

The festivities move to Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) today, Friday, June 24. Two free workshops, anchored by United States film-maker Judy Chaikin and Colombian filmmaker Jhon Narvaez Escudero will delve into the theme 'Telling Your Story Workshop'. This evening, EMCVPA will host a selection of local and international films with a nominal admission cost of $800.

Tomorrow at the Courtleigh Auditorium, New Kingston, a panel discussion will look into Movie Techniques and The Filmmaker's Trials and Tribulations. At UWI's Western Jamaica Campus, Montego Bay, Jhon Narvaez Escudero will give Tips for the Independent Filmmaker.

Both events are followed by film nights, at the Courtleigh Auditorium in Kingston and the Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay.

Sunday's awards ceremony will recognise and reward the top films.

"We are not merely a film festival," Prof Boxill said. "GATFFEST is fast becoming the catalyst and the medium for storytellers converging in Jamaica, exchanging thoughts and ideas and critically advancing the filmmaking techniques at par with the best in the world."


Last Sundays features Heavyweight Rockaz, David Gumbs


The National Gallery of Jamaica is presenting a special edition of its Last Sundays on June 26 for the 2016 Kingston on the Edge (KOTE) urban arts festival. The programme features music by Heavyweight Rockaz and in collaboration with New Local Space, an interactive video performance by the Martinique-based artist David Gumbs. There will also be opportunity to tour the current exhibition, Digital, and view the permanent exhibitions.

Since meeting in early 2000 while still attending college, Wayne 'Unga Barunga' Thompson and Jason 'WelshBass' Welsh have been in studio producing one-drop, dub-style and dancehall rhythms. They have both worked with Jesse Royal and Tanya Stephens. Unga has toured with Jimmy Cliff and Beres Hammond, while WelshBass has worked with Stephen Marley and Jah Cure.

They always wanted to perform together live and in December 2014 at Wickie Wackie Live debuted as Heavyweight Rockaz. Their collaboration with Nattali Rize from Australia, a joint EP titled New Era Frequency], was released late 2015, following their North American tour in June of that year.

David Gumbs challenges the 'Perceptions Off-screen' the unseen, the cycle of life, the nature within, and digital rhizome macroscopic universes across a dynamic multimedia oeuvre which includes painting, photography and experimental video. He studied at the Visual Arts School in Fort-de-France, Martinique, and majored in interactive multimedia conception at Les Ateliers, L'ENSCI in Paris.

His work has been shown internationally and since 2009 Gumbs has taught multimedia, trans-media and motion design at the Visual Arts School in Fort-de-France, Martinique. He recently completed the Davidoff Art Initiative's Beijing Residency and is one of the artists featured in the Digital exhibition.

As is now customary for Last Sundays, the doors will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The musical performance by Heavyweight Rockerz will start at 1:30 p.m. and will be followed by Gumbs' interactive performance. Admission and guided tours will be free.


Patterson, Isaacs for Jazz in the Gardens


Two of Jamaica's exciting female vocalists will showcase their vocal power among their male counterparts at the Jazz in the Gardens Feast for the Senses concert on Sunday in the gardens of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston.

The sassy divas are vocalist Keisha Patterson and Mary Isaacs. Among the male performers on the show are Orville Hammond, keyboard player and educator; vocalist, songwriter, producer and bass guitar player Benji Myaz; Al Third from the group One Third, and vocalist Asante Amen.

Keisha began performing in the Kidstuff Theatre Group and the Jamaica Junior Theatre, the youth arm of the Jamaica Musical Theatre (JMTC) where she did lead and supporting roles.

She has toured with Grammy-nominated singer Sinead O'Connor and the Grammy award-winning reggae duo Sly and Robbie. Keisha worked as a backing vocalist on O'Connor's album Throw Down Your Arms, appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Mary Isaacs has a wide repertoire from various genres of music, having launched her career while living in New York City where she gained extensive exposure as lead female vocalist of US-based Caribbean band People's Heritage. While a member of the group, she released her first single You and I, produced by the late Geoffrey Chung.

After enjoying years on the road, performing at the Apollo Theatre, Madison Square Garden's Paramount Theatre, Lincoln Centre, Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Waldorf Astoria, among others, as a solo artiste Isaacs released Come Back.

At Sunday's concert drummer Desi Jones and his musician friends will play for the performers. 

The concert is co-sponsored by Power 106/Music 99 and endorsed by Kool 97 FM. Other sponsors include Clear Sound Productions, Signorama, Concept Promotions and The Jamaica Pegasus. Samples from Hamilton's Smoke House will be on offer.

VP Records welcomes Jah9

VP Records has welcomed of Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer Jah9 to the family. Today she unveils Humble Mi, the first single from her label debut 9, slated for release on September 9, 2016.

"This song was inspired by my whole journey and life unfolding, teaching me that knowing is not the journey, because you will always have to know more. The journey is peace, love and balancing the energies within," explains Jah9.

VP Records CEO Chris Chin expressed enthusiasm about the signing. "We are excited to share Jah9's fusion of reggae, jazz and spoken word to the world. She exemplifies the meaning of multitalented, boasting sharp songwriting and production skills matched with her soulful voice and exudes a presence and spirit that resonates with the listener. She has something unique and special that will carry on for generations to come," Chin said.

Jah9's relationship with VP Records has blossomed in recent years. Her track Feeling Irie was a highlight of 2015's The Biggest Reggae One Drop Anthems and this year Jah9 contributed Bloody City to We Remember Dennis Brown, a tribute album to the Crown Prince of Reggae.

The product of a strong upbringing, by two hardworking, culturally and politically engaged parents, Jah9 is also a university graduate, multidisciplinary yoga instructor, a youth at risk counsellor and dub poet.