FiWi Jamaica trains masters-in-residence
FiWi Jamaica, a project of the University of Technology (UTech), Jamaica, introduced its Masters-in-Residence Global Competitiveness Training Programme on August 10 to a capacity audience of music legends, industry leaders and enthusiastic applicants at the university's Papine campus.
In his spirited welcome, FiWi Jamaica's music and cultural consultant Mikie Bennett explained, "We have taken a cue from our colleagues in track and field, where the culture of mentors and one-on-one coaching has mined gold, and will be training songwriters, performers, sound engineers, producers and managers." Bennett and project director, Professor Rosalea Hamilton, expressed their appreciation for the presence and support of several veterans of the Jamaican music, including Bob Andy, Pam Hall, Boris Gardiner, Leroy Sibbles, Allah Lloyd, Ibo Cooper, Clive Hunt, Stephen Stewart, Desi Young, Gussie Clarke and Lydia Rose.
In the context of negative international attention to Jamaican popular music, the goal of the programme is to build on a growing trend that promotes the humanity of all, underlined by important themes of love, respect, unity, and oneness. This is to not only improve the music's international appeal and reputation, but also open up more and new opportunities for Jamaica's creative and cultural industry.
From more than 120 applicants, the programme will offer training to some 80 individuals from all over Jamaica. Successful applicants will be assigned to the four areas of focus and taken through a comprehensive capacity-building training that will include interactive sessions, one-on-one coaching, mentorship, and hands-on experiential learning. On August 13 and 14, the performance cohort had their first two sessions with performance coach Teisha Duncan. The songwriting segment of the programme started on August 19, while training for sound engineers and managers is scheduled for September.
The project was recently recognised in the congratulatory message to Jamaica on its 54th anniversary of Independence by US Secretary of State John Kerry, on behalf of President Obama and the people of the USA.
Garvey poetry contest open to students
On Marcus Garvey Day 2016, Wednesday August 17, Mayor of Kingston Angela Brown Burke launched a poetry competition for secondary schools under the theme 'Proud of My Black Skin'. The competition, which is sponsored by the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC), was launched on Marcus Garvey Day because of the date's symbolism. The Rt Excellent Marcus Garvey also served as a city councillor in the Corporation.
Awards will be made to the top five entries during National Heritage Week in October.
In announcing the competition, Brown Burke remarked, "Our black skin is the embodiment of the greatness, royalty and heritage of our forefathers, and this competition is expected to stimulate the creative thinking of our young and their celebration of our rich cultural heritage." She said the programme would help to reinforce, instill or re-instill racial pride in ancestry, history and courage.
The competition will commence on September 1, just ahead of the new academic year, and will end on September 30. Poems are limited to a maximum of 100 words and entries can be submitted either by a group as a class project or by an individual student.
Entry forms will be available from the KSAC's website, www.ksac.gov.jm.
Songs of Bob Marley pulled from Masters Vault
Tuff Gong International has continued its Masters Vault series with the digital release of Songs of Bob Marley by Carlene Davis. It features 12 cover versions of classic Marley songs. Songs of Bob Marley has been out of print since the mid-1990s, but the album continued to be in demand with collectors. It has been remastered and is available now on all digital retail outlets worldwide.
The Tuff Gong Masters Vault series features remastered recordings that have never before been available digitally. The series was launched in 2015 with the release of So Much Things To Say - the Bob Marley Interviews and was followed by Totally Tyrone by the late Tyrone Taylor and Rub A Dub X-Mas. More titles from this series are to be released.
Songs of Bob Marley track listing:
1. Satisfy My Soul
2. Running Away
3. Three Little Birds
4. Time Will Tell
5. Talking Blues
6. Love & Affection
7. So Much Trouble
8. Waiting In Vain
9. One Drop
10. Soul Rebel
11. Redemption Song
12. Coming In From The Cold
Stephen Marley releases fourth studio album
Stephen 'Ragga' Marley released his fourth studio album, Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life, on July 22. It has been at number one for two weeks on the Billboard Reggae Album chart, and it is distributed in Jamaica and the Caribbean by Tuff Gong International.
Produced by the Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist, Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life is the second instalment of his two-part series, following Revelation Part I: The Root of Life (2011). While The Root of Life is more of a traditional roots reggae album, The Fruit of Life utilises a diversified sonic palette to express the far-reaching impact Jamaican music has had on various genres, especially hip-hop.
Produced by Marley, Fruit of Life boasts 18 new tracks. It features a variety of guest collaborations with Rick Ross, Pitbull, Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley, Iggy Azalea, Waka Flocka, Dead Prez, Rakim, DJ Khaled, Busta Rhymes, Wyclef Jean, Shaggy, Black Thought (of The Roots), Bounty Killer, Sizzla, Capleton, Ky-Mani Marley, Jo Mersa, among others.
"The Fruit is about the different branches. There are many pages within my mind, many colours and ideas," said Marley. "We come from a versatile generation that can't be put in a box."
Stephen 'Ragga' Marley is the second eldest son of reggae legend Bob Marley and Rita Marley. He was raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and started singing professionally at seven years old with his elder siblings Ziggy, Sharon and Cedella as The Melody Makers. He has consecutively landed in the top on the US Billboard Reggae Album Chart for all of his solo albums and has earned eight Grammys for Best Reggae Album.