Harold Davis bringing flair to Jazz in the Gardens
Musician Harold Davis will be bringing the sound of his orchestra to Jazz in the Gardens on Sunday, August 7 on the lawns of The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, starting at 6:00 p.m.
Davis' talents were fostered by formal training, beginning with classical piano and violin, and then contemporary/jazz piano and voice. This provided his foundational influence, including the work of Nat King Cole, pianists Oscar Peterson and Marjorie Whylie and singers Beres Hammond and Gardener.
His sound is distinctively Jamaican - soothing, recognisable, and continues to be enjoyed by audiences all over Jamaica, the Caribbean, Canada and the United States.
Also performing will be saxophonist Tony Greene; vocalists Gem Myers and Noreta Lewis; violinist Shannon Ramdial; the Urim 7 Band; and other surprise performers. Providing musical direction and backing will be drummer Desi Jones and his musician friends.
The concert is co-sponsored by Power 106/Music 99 and endorsed by Kool 97 FM. Other sponsors include Clear Sound Productions and The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
Benefits from the show is the Best Care Foundation, a privately run institution which caters to mentally challenged children and young adults from ages four to 21 years old. The other charity to benefit is the Voluntary Organisation for the Upliftment of Children (VOUCH), a non-governmental agency developed as a state-of-the-art centre for the assessment of children with special needs at the early-childhood level.
Grange promises great Gala
"It will be exciting, it will celebrate and showcase our culture; and it will be grand!" assured Culture Minister Olivia Grange as she announced details of the annual Independence Grand Gala, which will take place at the National Stadium tomorrow, beginning at 6 p.m..
According to Grange, 1000 performers will participate in the celebratory event, including artistes Nesbeth, Romain Virgo, Gyptian, Kukudoo and Kevin Downswell.
"We will celebrate our nation, we will give thanks for the gift of Independence and the strides that we've made as a people, and the programme will have something for everyone," said Grange.
Popular artistes G Whizz, Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, and the Dragonaires are also down to perform. Additionally, the show will include comedy, dance and a mass choreography, enhanced by lighting and special effects. There will also be fireworks.
Minister Grange said: "Our aim is to bring the nation together with this exciting cultural event and to inspire our people to higher levels of productivity, economic growth and prosperity."
Independence Grand Gala is free to the public. However, patrons will require a ticket to enter the National Stadium. People who are unable to get a ticket are invited to a viewing party at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre or to watch the live broadcasts on TV and online.
Emancipation and Indepen-dence activities this year are being celebrated under the theme, 'Let's Get Together and Feel All Right'.
Final album from Mr Vegas
Mr Vegas, has declared the upcoming This Is Dancehall his final dancehall album. The set is scheduled to be released September 23 on his MV Music record label and distributed worldwide by VP Associated Labels.
Celebrating his 20th year in entertainment in 2017, Vegas admits that it was a tough decision, but says his hand was forced by the current state of the industry.
"The days when dancehall acts were selling albums are basically over. It is very expensive to produce an album, and most times, in this Internet era you take a loss. The business is back to being more single-driven, so that is where I will be concentrating my efforts when it comes to dancehall," he said.
Part history lesson and part tribute, Vegas says the new album was inspired by the recent surge of dancehall-influenced records being played on major platforms around the world.
"I also noticed mainstream artists were tapping heavily into the genre and not giving credit where credit is due," he reasoned.
The lead single, Dancehall Dabb, and it's supporting video currently have over 700,000 views on VEVO. Also gaining traction is Identify My Love, which is steadily approaching 200,000 VEVO views.
Mr Vegas dropped a third song from the album last weekend, Own Leader, an autobiographical tune about the backlash he received for speaking up about issues related to the cultural appropriation of dancehall. Recorded on an update of the Steelie and Clevie rhythm for Tippa Lee and Rappa Robert's 1980s hit, Nuh Trouble We, the song evokes a vintage dancehall sound.
"I was happy to rework it because it's representative of the dancehall era where beats had such great basslines. You had no choice but to move when it was played," Vegas said.