Mon | Feb 19, 2018


Published:Friday | September 2, 2016 | 12:00 AM
The Honourable Louise 'Miss Lou' Bennett Coverley.
Sean Paul
Members of the UWI medical class of 2019 at the Black River Public General Hospital, St Elizabeth, which will benefit from this year's production of the annual Smoker.
Steadman (Oliver Samuels) and Irene (Ruth Ho Shing) remember old times in 'Guilt Trip'.
Tanya Stephens performs at We Are Reggae, held at Doctor's Cave Beach, Montego Bay, St James, last Saturday.


Online party for



Miss Lou's birthday


The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) will celebrate the 97th anniversary of the birth of the Hon Louise Bennett-Coverley OM, OJ, MBE, affectionately called Miss Lou, with an online party. It is named Saluting Miss Lou: Aunty Roachy Online Party and will be held on her birthday, Wednesday, September 7.

The online party, which is a two-pronged celebration, will see members of the public posting tribute videos online as well as the live streaming of a tribute concert, which will allow persons from across the globe join in the celebrations.

According to the JCDC's Director of Marketing and Public Relations Stephen Davidson, "Miss Lou is one of Jamaica's most beloved cultural icons and everyone has at least one of her poems which they hold dear. So we have partnered with some of Jamaica's most prominent personalities to bring these poems to life in their own special way."

Davidson explained that some of Jamaica's biggest names in the private and public sectors, as well as the entertainment industry, have been encouraged to celebrate Miss Lou by recording a video of themselves reciting their favourite poem of hers, which will be featured during the online party. He further stated that the general public is not to be left out, and is being encouraged to join in.

"We know that members of the public are also interested in participating via their own Miss Lou tribute and so we are encouraging them to record and send us a 45-second video clip reciting their favourite Miss Lou poem. Their poem may be selected to be aired during the live stream of the party, as well as shared on the various JCDC social media pages." Davidson said.

"We also encourage the public to share their videos on their own social media pages using the hashtags #misslou2016 and #auntyroachyparty and tag the JCDC on Twitter and Instagram using the @jcdcjamaica handle."

Persons interested in having their video clip be a part of the Saluting Miss Lou "Aunty Roachy Online Party" should email the video clip to by Monday, September 5, 2016.


Sean Paul






with Island deal


After being an independent recording artiste for over a year, multi-platinum selling, Grammy Award-winning Sean Paul has signed with Island Records, which falls under the umbrella brand Universal Music Group.

Sean Paul said the deal has given him the space and creative freedom he has grown accustomed to, having been producing with his own label.

Having maintained a chart-topping peak on the Billboard Hot 100 for weeks with the Sia collaboration Cheap Thrills, Sean Paul now sits at number two and is still the featured airplay gainer on the music chart.

Sean Paul says fans can look forward to a new single in November and the official release of his latest collaboration, LUV, with hip-hop sensation Tory Lanez. Also, Sean Paul's Trumpets has been going viral, with fans worldwide posting their choreography videos online to be liked and shared.

Hinting at even more recordings with the likes of famous producer David Guetta and Shakira, as well as Jamaican dancehall artiste Chi Ching Ching, with whom he did Crick Neck which is already out, Sean Paul is feeling refreshed. He told Billboard that he is "loving the resurgence of dancehall. Dancehall has now become mainstream international music, rather than underground where it was for years."

He added "Island is an iconic label. It makes me feel new all over again." Sean Paul said Island Records recognises that he knows what his fan base needs and knows exactly what he wants to put out and doesn't need to help him in that direction, but facilitate people knowing about his work. "That's just a great thing for me," Sean Paul said.

Sean Paul will perform at the final night of Bestival 2016 at the Robin Hill Country Park on September 11, as well as the already sold out Electric Ballroom in Camden, London, on September 13. He is encouraging fans to keep a watch out for an album in 2017.


Perfiction for Black River General Hospital


Each year, the third-year medical and dental students of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, organise the faculty's largest charity initiative, Smoker. Funds from corporate sponsors as well as proceeds from a play written and performed by the students are donated to a type B or C hospital. Additional worthy causes also receive contributions, dependent on availability of funds.

This year, the play Perfiction: An Affliction of Affection will run from September 13-18 at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts (PSCCA), UWI, Mona.

The main beneficiary of Smoker 2016 will be the Black River Public General Hospital. After extensive research, the Smoker 2016 Executive Committee isolated three potential recipients based on need and number of persons served. These were the Falmouth Public General Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital and Black River Public General Hospital. After in-person tours of these hospitals, the observations made by the Smoker executive were presented to the Class of 2019. The final decision was made by class vote.

The executive members found themselves most profoundly affected by Black River Public General Hospital, a converted old-time barracks in the 'bread basket' of Jamaica. The executive was greatly humbled by the compassion and dedication shown by the nursing personnel, who often bought necessary supplies out of pocket. Most hampered by issues were the Accident and Emergency Unit and the Maternity ward. Though all three hospitals shared numerous plights, the class was forced to be realistic about which hospital they were in the best position to serve.

In March 2016, Class of 2019 members visited the future beneficiary. The patients and staff partook in traditional 'bun and cheese' and were led through devotion and entertainment. The Easter visit was supported by the Honourable Floyd Green, M.P., who is also committed to making changes at the hospital and within the surrounding community.

Through interacting with the patients, class members were reminded of the simple truth that the patients would soon be their responsibility, and privilege, to care for. The class is asking the general public to help achieve its goal of raising $4 million in an effort to live up to this responsibility.

For more information or to donate to the cause, please e-mail Follow the project on Facebook (Smoker 2016: Perfiction), Instagram (mbbsddssmoker2016) and Snapchat (Smoker2016).


Oliver Samuels



tours with Guilt Trip


Oliver Samuels is returning to South Florida for his annual Labour Day tour as the star of Guilt Trip, a comedy stage work written by Basil Dawkins and directed by Douglas Prout and Toni Kay Dawkins. The play is about betrayal, revelatory confessions and, as the name suggests, guilt. It is a domestic drama full of palpable intensity, shocking revelations and a great amount of comedic relief. After South Florida, he will then perform in three other locations.

Samuels plays the father Steadman Hall, alongside Ruth Ho Shing (Irene Jackson) and Dennis Titus (Morgan), who play mother and son respectively. They are entwined in a fierce battle with a past decision's consequences, which has been plaguing the family.

Patrons can expect laughter across six cities in nine days, starting with Miramar on Saturday, September 3, at the Everglades High School and moving on to Coral Springs at the Coral Springs High School on September 4, then West Palm Beach at the Royal Palm Beach High School on September 5. Guilt Trip plays in Tampa Bay at University Area Community Centre on September 9, Palm Bay at Eau Gallie High School, Melbourne, on September 10, and Orlando at Wekiva High School, Apopka on September 11.


Tanya Stephens delivers at We Are Reggae


Tanya Stephens delivered a remarkable set at The Sand Bar, Doctors Cave Beach, Montego Bay, during last Saturday's We Are Reggae concert. There was a near capacity audience, despite heavy showers earlier in the day.

Stephens, whose music is both empowering and revolutionary, with her band in tow took the overwhelmingly female audience on a musical journey from her earliest recordings to the present, while allowing access to her innermost thoughts, fears and muses.

She lived up to her reputation of being a brilliant 'show-woman' with masterful storytelling leading into most tracks. Her honesty, quick wit and seasoned audience interaction gave onlookers a glimpse into her mind.

Coming on stage to a standing ovation, Tanya Stephens' musical feast began with her 1997 Yu Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet. From there it was a non-stop assault of musical pleasure. Her performance was intimate, yet explosive, a constant swirl of different emotions throughout her two hour and 43-minute performance. It's A Pity, Boom Wuk, These Streets, Tek Him Back, Little White Lie, Unapologetic and Still A Go Lose Him were among the standouts.

Earlier in the night, Thurston and The Mini-Bus Band started the proceedings.

Entering the stage promptly for the promised 10 p.m. start, Peter Lloyd, the 'dub poet' did pieces that were clever and connected well. On the heels of Thurston, Evin Lake entered the stage to screams of delight. Lake proved himself a polished performer. By the time he did his a cover of Teddy Pendergrass' Come Go With Me, the screams were deafening. Evin Lakes interaction with the We Are Reggae patrons was that of a seasoned veteran.