Mon | Mar 19, 2018


Published:Friday | December 23, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Ras Takura
Iba Mahr (second right) gets in for a photo with Camile Wallen Panton, acting chief executive officer at Linstead Hospital (left), Peter McConnell, managing director of Tru-Juice (second left), and Sustainability manager at Red Stripe, Garth Williams at the lrecent aunch of the Sound Di Alarm Music Festival, slated for the Dinthill Sports Complex, Linstead, St Catherine, on December 31. 
Jack Radics
Aquaponics practitioner Stanley Heron at Rainbow House in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (standing) gets a welcome handshake from vice-president of the Negril Craft Traders Association, Clinton White, as the minister and other officials from the Ministry of Tourism and its agencies visited Negril as part of a winter tourist season motivational tour last weekend.

Iba Mahr's Sound Di Alarm to help Linstead Hospital


Residents of Linstead, St Catherine, will be able to ring in the New Year with the sweet sounds of reggae music at the Tru Juice Sound Di Alarm Music Festival, Dinthill Sports Complex, Linstead.

The concert, put on by reggae vocalist Iba Mahr, his Iba Mahr Foundation and the Harar Music Group, will see Sizzla, Capleton, Anthony B, Chronixx, Queen Africa, Bugle, Etana, Tony Rebel and other strong names in the music industry taking the stage. However the performances will not only be for entertainment as net proceeds from the event will go towards the Linstead Hospital, where Iba Mahr was born.

Iba Mahr said "the Linstead Hospital stands in the middle of several communities and has to facilitate a constant stream of persons seeking medical care. It has not changed much in infrastructure and has not had any major upgrades since 1953. The hospital has needs in the areas of equipment servicing, ambulance repair and replacement as well as general infrastructure development and maintenance."

He also noted that many of the artistes billed for the December 31 event have reduced their performance costs, allowing even more funds to be steered towards the charitable cause.

"It's a great feeling to know that my fellow musicians have come together to support the hospital. Reggae music is about upliftment and there is no better way to uplift people than to ensure they have access to proper health care," Iba Mahr said.

Tickets cost $1000 pre-sold and $1500 at the gate. Sponsors include Tru Juice, Red Stripe, Wisynco, Fontana Pharmacy, Pure National Ice and Rum Bar Rum.

This is not the only charitable act for the newly formed Iba Mahr Foundation. The organisation has also donated fans to the Linstead Police Station and supporting projects at the Cheesefield Basic School, also in Linstead. 


Ras Takura completes US promo tour

Dub poet Ras Takura was invited to perform in Rutland, Vermont, earlier this year. This appearance planted the seed of what has grown to become Ras Takura's Food War album USA summer promo tour 2016, which was further extended beyond the summer period. Prior to appearing in Vermont, Takura performed at the annual Reggae on the Board Walk in Coney Island NYC. He then did the second edition of his annual New York poetry show, dubbed The Return of Ras Takura to NYC Vol. II, at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in Manhattan. This was done with fellow poets Ras Osagefue, MZ Conception, Burnett Coburn, Tehut 9, Ras Atiba, Richi Innocent and singer instrumentalist I-Chell. The event was hosted by Sophia Walsh Newman.

Ras Takura was the emcee for Kabaka Pyramid on his Accurate Tour Vol. I at SOB's and also did an opening performance set for Grammy nominated band Raging Fyah in Philadelphia. The poet performed at the Marcus Garvey Birthday tribute held in Fort Lauderdale, the Ralak Reggae Festival and Dub Wise in Miami.

In Los Angeles, Takura he did a number of performances, including The Wellness Roots & Reggae Festival ft. Incient Roots Man and Empress Akua, Dub Club at the EchoPlex, a Tribute to Fela Kuti at the Leimert Park Art Walk, Da Poetry Lounge in Hollywood and The World Stage Poetry Workshop.

The Caribbean Students Alliance of the University of Colorado invited the poet for the second time to perform at their annual event in commemoration of the anniversary of the Coronation of H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I. He also performed at Da Base Camp, Colorado's Rasta merchandise and gift shop. Takura also performed at the Malcolm X Centre in Omaha, Nebraska Ft. The Eye Priestess Egypt. He also presented alongside Shomari Huggins in the Omaha North High School, Omaha Northwest High School, Omaha Health Centre and at Verbo-gumbo, the Omaha spoken word spot.

He also made appearances at Massive Monday's, Spoken Word at Da Village with Dr Oridge and did MC duties for Etana's Reggae Forever Tour, featuring Iba Mar, Fya Kin and Pressure Buss Pipe.

Takura also did an episode with DJ Buntin at the Bullwinkles in Minneapolis, which could be classified as dub poetry in dancehall style. 


Jack Radic's record label sponsors Atlanta greenhouse

Sound Faculty LLC, the independent record label founded by Jamaican recording artist Jack Radics, has officially sponsored Rainbow House, an Aquaponics greenhouse project run by Clayton County based teacher and scientist Stanley Heron.

Aquaponics is the scientific system of fusing aquaculture (the raising of fish) with hydroponics (the soilless growing of plants), that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the growing plants, while the plants provide a natural filter for the water that the fish live in.

According to the Jamaican born Heron, who has been developing aquaponics as an effective source of farming in Jamaica and in the Atlanta area for several years, the system is "a rare phenomenon - a true gift of nature which is, as a whole, greater than the equal sum of its parts."

"Aquaponics systems use up to 98 per cent less water than conventional farming methods and produce up to 10 times more vegetables and crops in the same amount of space and time. They also require roughly half the labour involved in other food producing farming methods and virtually eliminate weeds, pests, diseases and other pathogens in both aquatic and plant life alike."

Sound Faculty's sponsorship of the aquaponics facility will allow Heron to expand the introduction of the system to schoolchildren in Clayton County and the Atlanta area.

According to Sound Faculty president Michelle Knight, "our motto at Sound Faculty is 'Engaging Mind over Mouth'. When Jack Radics founded the label the central premise was to actively support development of ideas, music and other creative human endeavours, rather than just talking about them. This is exactly what Mr. Heron is doing with aquaponics and his focus on the Atlanta area youth and Sound Faculty is therefore honored to offer our full endorsement of his efforts." 


$80m for Negril artisan village

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has assured craft traders in Negril that $80 million has been allocated to construct an artisan village in the area.

"I am pleased to announce to you today that we are going to proceed with the development of the infrastructure for the craft entrepreneurs in Negril by way of building out the artisan village here in Negril," Minister Bartlett told the craft traders when he met with them on the weekend. This was as Bartlett and other officials from the Ministry of Tourism and its agencies visited the area as part of a winter tourist season motivational tour.

He told the gathering at the Negril Green Island Planning Authority that details of the $80 million project will be outlined to them by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) early in the new year.

"Some aspects of the design are already completed and we will have to work with you for full buy-in, because one of the things that we want to ensure is that you have very commodious setting and comfort," he noted.

Five artisan villages are slated to be built across the island. They will be one stop shop facilities where visitors can see the creation and merchandising of craft items, while enjoying authentic Jamaican entertainment and leisure activities. It will also provide an avenue for Jamaican artists and craftsmen to expose and express their creativity by producing unique indigenous items, thus limiting the volume of imported craft items that are being sold in the industry.

Using his preferred reference to them as craft entrepreneurs, Minister Bartlett said the craft sub-sector has a special and key role to play in building out the experience of the Negril destination. "We need to build for you the infrastructure, the regulatory and the legislative framework that will give you the space to grow, expand and to prosper," he said. Advising them that their job was to grow, Mr. Bartlett said there had to be dialogue on how they were going to make that happen.

He reiterated a desire to see the sector producing creative Jamaican art and craft at a very high standard and in quantities that can meet big commercial orders. He therefore outlined that craft traders will be trained under a memorandum of understanding now being finalised with the Edna Manley Collage of the Visual and Performing Arts, the details of that partnership to be disclosed in January.