Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 'Dexta' for Kaluga Kafe http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/-Dexta--for--Kaluga-Kafe-_18678245 SINGJAY Dexta Daps will be the featured artiste on Red Stripe Beer Wendzdays at the Kaluga Kafe in Old Harbour, St Catherine, tonight.<br /> <br /> Also on bill is top-flight female artiste Tifa.<br /> <br /> Dexta Daps (given name Louis Grandison) got his big break in January with 7 Eleven. The 28-year-old is also creating a buzz with Jealous Ova, featuring Tifa.<br /> <br /> His other songs include Pretty Nicky and This a the Best.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11651912/dexta-daps-1_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, April 01, 2015 12:00 AM &lsquo;Anancy&rsquo; takes six http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/-Anancy--takes-six_18678103 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com Observer senior reporter<br /> <br /> johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com<br /> <br /> CHILDREN'S theatre was the big winner at Monday night's Actor Boy Awards held at the Jamaica Pegasus in St Andrew.<br /> <br /> The production Anancy Chaptaz: Monkey Bizniz by the Independent Actors Movement (IAM) was the night's big winner, taking home a total of six statuettes out of the 20 which were handed out on the night.<br /> <br /> The fourth installment in the series from the husband-and-wife team of Damion Radcliffe and Sabrena McDonald won in the categories Best Choreography; Best Original Song Trapped; Best Original Score, Best Musical, Best Children's Theatre and for Best Ensemble Cast -- one more than the five awards they won last year.<br /> <br /> "Awesome" is how IAM's Radcliffe described the trove of awards copped by his team.<br /> <br /> "This is one better than last year and it is fitting we won for Best Ensemble because this production was definitely a team effort. When I say team, I mean parents, actors, technical crew... everybody just came together for a great effort and it paid off and we are thankful," he said.<br /> <br /> The night's other big winner was the production Echo in the Bone from the School of Drama at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, which won five awards.<br /> <br /> Echo in the Bone took home some of the major awards -- Best Production, Best Director (Eugene Williams), Best Drama as well as the technical awards for lighting and set design.<br /> <br /> One of the much-touted productions, Saving Alligator High, which went in with a host of nominations managed to walk out with three wins. The comedy, which is now playing at the Centrestage Theatre in New Kingston, won for Best Comedy, Best New Jamaican Play and for Best Actress in a Supporting Role -- Camille Davis.<br /> <br /> Dahlia Harris' DMH Productions was a two-time winner. Her plays God Guh Wid Yuh and Her Last Cry won for Best Revue and Best Tragedy, respectively.<br /> <br /> Pierre LeMaire's Wild Alice took home the actor for Best Costume.<br /> <br /> Stage and screen doyenne Leonie Forbes received the night's only standing ovation when she took the award for Best Actress in a Lead Role for her work in David Tulloch's For My Daughter.<br /> <br /> A clearly moved Forbes thanked the cast and crew for their work with her in the production.<br /> <br /> "It was never one of my dreams to land something like this, and as long as I live I will never forget," she told the audience.<br /> <br /> Christopher McFarlane won for Best Actor in a Lead Role for Dream on Monkey Mountain, while Jean Paul Menou won the Best Supporting Actor award for Absent Friend.<br /> <br /> Choreographer Paula Shaw was specially recognised for her work in theatre.<br /> <br /> Despite growing effort on their part, the producers of the awards show are still to master staging a tight, well-managed production. There were too many technical errors which marred the flow of the event.<br /> <br /> CAPTIONS<br /> <br /> 4215<br /> <br /> Singer Bella Blair performs alongside members of the National Dance Theatre Company at the actor Boy Awards at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Monday.<br /> <br /> 4201<br /> <br /> Dahlia Harris accepts the award for Best Revue for God Guh Wid Yuh from Nicarno Williams, while her castmates look on. <br /> <br /> Local Entertainment Wednesday, April 01, 2015 12:00 AM Doodu Boy takes centrestage http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Doodu-Boy-takes-centrestage-_18677837 THOUGH his early years in McIntyre Villa were rough, Stefhen Bryan visits the east Kingston community commonly known as Dunkirk whenever he is in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> His time in Dunkirk inspired Doodu Boy, the one-man play which makes its Jamaican debut this evening at 8:00 with a media show at the Theatre Place in St Andrew.<br /> <br /> Bryan's life in Dunkirk which he describes as 'treacherous' is recalled in the first Act of Doodu Boy.<br /> <br /> "It's a homecoming of sorts, the show is about me and my experiences as a child in Jamaica," he said. "I hate to sound cliche but it's a way of giving back to inner-city kids because I was one of them."<br /> <br /> Bryan, who turns 51 this year, migrated to the United States at age 15. He has lived in Japan since 2011.<br /> <br /> Act two and Act three of Doodu Boy reflect on his time in those countries. He credits his Japanese experience for transforming his life from 'one almshouse to another' to 'one of extreme optimism'.<br /> <br /> Living in Japan also influenced him to write the book, Black Passenger, Yellow Cab, published in 2009.<br /> <br /> That 'erotic memoir' so impressed Debra Ehrhardt, a Jamaican whose early years in Jamaica inspired her one-woman play, Jamaica Farewell.<br /> <br /> Bryan said Ehrhardt encouraged him to write a play about his life which he reluctantly did. Doodu Boy opened in Los Angeles in January of last year.<br /> <br /> To date, Bryan has done 39 shows, with additional dates in San Francisco, New York City and Tokyo.<br /> <br /> No matter the country, he points to Doodu Boy's 'universal message' having a bearing on audiences.<br /> <br /> "It's the story of a boy who is rejected but eventually finds a rebirth in Japan. Its a message of hope."<br /> <br /> Doodu Boy will also play June 9-14 at the Theatre Place.<br /> <br /> -- Howard Campbell<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11651925/STEFHEN-BRYAN_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, April 01, 2015 12:00 AM Portmore&rsquo;s latest &lsquo;Buzz&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Portmore-s-latest--Buzz-_18677969 RESIDENTS of the dormitory community of Portmore in St Catherine now have a new family-friendly entertainment option in the form of Buzzers, a sports lounge.<br /> <br /> Located at the TJ Building in Naggo Head, Buzzers opened its doors to the public last Wednesday.<br /> <br /> "It's taken one year to bring this business to fruition," Tyrone Williams, marketing director, Buzzers, told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> The facility occupies the lower floor of TJ Building, better known as the home to Famous Night Club. A separate entity, it is split into several key sections to better service its expected target market. The main draw of Buzzers is an arcade, offering an exciting mix of video games for the young and old. For even more variety, there is lounge seating equipped with screens for either Xbox or PlayStation gaming console action. Hard-core gamers can rent private time by the hour in The Vault, with its big-screen TV, multiple gaming systems and living room-like atmosphere. For those seeking some more interactivity, Buzzers boasts Jamaica's first and only 5-D Cinema Simulators, two fixed to the location and a mobile unit.<br /> <br /> While children are having fun, older patrons can take advantage of the End ZZone. Billed a premium sports lounge, it packs a bar, plenty of seating and screens to watch sports on.<br /> <br /> "Portmore needs more businesses like this, a place to take the kids and the whole family. And we welcome Buzzers to Portmore," said acting mayor of Portmore, Councillor Leon Thomas.<br /> <br /> -- Rory Daley<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11651930/Buzzers_7345_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11651928/Buzzers_7392_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11651927/Buzzers_7493_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, April 01, 2015 12:00 AM BACCHANAL 2015 COSTUMES http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/BACCHANAL-2015-COSTUMES  <br /> <br /> Here are some of the costumes you will see for Bacchanal Jamaica&rsquo;s road march on April 12. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11652116/ZZ193A17D0_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11652115/ZZ5E82AB24_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11652114/ZZ616A1BC8_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11652113/ZZ158A7B79_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, April 01, 2015 3:54 AM Tonic Magnum http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Tonic-MAGNUM The Magnum-sponsored Container Beach Party at Sugar Man&rsquo;s Beach in Portmore, St Catherine attracted a large crowd of revellers last Sunday. That, though, was not surprising given that it was the &lsquo;Bikini and Lollipop Edition&rsquo;. <br /> <br /> OBSERVER PHOTOGRAPHER KARL MCLARTY hit the beach and filled his memory card http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11652106/YANIQUE-LEWIS_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11652105/DEXTER-DATS_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11652104/RICHARD--TOWNSEND_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11652102/BOBBY-BROWN-DASHORN-PALMER_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11652085/FAITH-MALCOLM-_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, April 01, 2015 3:38 AM Big finale for Karnival Countdown http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Big-finale-for-Karnival-Countdown_18678537 WEEKLY soca party Karnival Countdown will end its 10-week run at the Constant Spring Golf Club in St Andrew, with a drink-inclusive Final Fete tomorrow.<br /> <br /> "This Thursday, we are doing things a bit different," Chad Williams, event co-organiser, told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Karnival Countdown will be starting earlier than usual, at 8:00 pm ahead of the Good Friday holiday, and the bars will be stocked courtesy of Diageo with their portfolio of products. Partygoers can dance to Trinidad's Dei Musicale and Jamaica's DJ Lantern. The party has been a success since its launch on February 5 where it quickly outgrew its original location, the Mahogany Tree Bar at Devon House, and moved to its current home in mid-March.<br /> <br /> "The new location has been a hit with our patrons who enjoy the luxury of feting in both indoor and outdoor spaces. They get to choose between a club on the inside and the atmosphere on the outer deck," Williams explained.<br /> <br /> With the 2015 Carnival season drawing to a close, Karnival Countdown will return next year. The organisers also plan to expand the brand into other events, such as the now popular cooler fete parties, during the 2016 Carnival period.<br /> <br /> "Soca music has really gained traction here in Jamaica, as is evident by the average 300 to 400 patrons that come out every week," Williams added.<br /> <br /> -- Rory Daley<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11651931/karnivalcountdown_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, April 01, 2015 12:00 AM Back to &lsquo;Black&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Back-to--Black-_18674534 BY SIMONE MORGAN Observer reporter morgans@jamaicaobserver.com GUYANA-BORN roots singer Natural Black is slated to perform at the James R Hallford Stadium in Georgia on May 24.<br /> <br /> The event will be hosted by Guyana Association of Georgia, Inc.<br /> <br /> "It is always an honour to represent my birth country. I am proud to be regarded as a music ambassador," said the 40-year-old Natural Black, who relocated to Jamaica 20 years ago.<br /> <br /> Since then, he has recorded for several producers and released songs including Wanna Tell You I Love You, Don't Play With my Heart and Far From Reality, his biggest hit to date.<br /> <br /> Natural Black caused a stir in May 2012 when he cut his locks, saying he no longer lived a Rastafarian lifestyle.<br /> <br /> "I am not my locks, therefore it cannot slow me down," he said, when asked if his career was affected by that decision.<br /> <br /> Born Mortimer Softly in the town of Linden, Natural Black has not lived up to expectations some in music circles had for him. But he is satisfied with his growth.<br /> <br /> "I am happy with where I am because I have peace of mind, but of course there is always room for improvement. Whoever doesn't think they can keep growing is egotistical," he said.<br /> <br /> This summer, Natural Black will embark on a series of shows in the United States to promote his album, No Prejudice, which was released last year.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11648428/Natural-Black_2_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, March 31, 2015 2:00 AM Tad&rsquo;s gives roots movement nod http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Tad-s-gives-roots-movement-nod_18674544 MUSIC producer and distributor Tad Dawkins acknowledges the neo-roots movement with the Roots Reggae Revivalist Vol 1 album which will be released by his Tad's International Record on April 21.<br /> <br /> The set contains songs by a number of new-wave roots artistes such as Chronixx (Give me a Try), Jesse Royal (Singing the Blues), Iba Mahr (Babylon Debating) and Kabaka Pyramid, who teams with Tarrus Riley on Fly The Gate.<br /> <br /> There are also tracks by older roots singers including Richie Spice with Bad Weather and Jah Cure (Territory).<br /> <br /> Dawkins said the compilation's release is timely.<br /> <br /> "The thought came to mind with the shifting of the genre to a more conscious new sound to reggae. This started to take place around the time when Chronixx, Protoj&eacute; and Kabaka Pyramid's prominence became evident on the music scene. This would be about three years ago," he told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> A former musician on the New York City club scene, Dawkins moved into music production and distribution in the late 1970s. He worked with top lovers rock and roots acts such as Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs and Johnny Osbourne.<br /> <br /> He produced the classic version of Brown's Here I Come, and has released several multi-track compilations from Isaacs' catalogue.<br /> <br /> -- Howard Campbell<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11648440/Jesse-Royal_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11648450/Richie-Spice_1517_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, March 31, 2015 2:00 AM Color Festival 2015 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Color-Festival-2015_18673756 THE first instalment of the 2015 biannual staging of Color Festival at Hope Gardens in St Andrew on Sunday was a blitz of lights, fun, and of course, colour.<br /> <br /> "We want to thank the fans of the festival who came out and made it a success again with their energy," Safia Cooper, event organiser and Pulse's director of sales and marketing, told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> The international event, which was first brought to Jamaican shores this time in 2014, showed its maturity and evolution. The massive screens, frenetic lighting blended well with the pumping varying music styles from each of the four DJs. The festival's overseas Electronic Dance Music beginnings have been officially cast off with only Kyle Desouza sticking with the genre in his set. The remaining DJs, Titan VCD, DJ Sanjay and DJ Kurt Riley played whatever the crowd fancied from the latest Soca, to hip-hop, and dancehall.<br /> <br /> Their music was punctuated by the hourly highlight of the festival, the throwing of the colour powder. Each countdown was greeted with glee from the massive crowd.<br /> <br /> "We are already in the planning stages for September," Cooper explained.<br /> <br /> -- Rory Daley<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11648451/DSC_0066_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11648452/DSC_0001_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11648453/DSC_0068_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, March 31, 2015 2:00 AM Sandz for Cable Hut Beach http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Sandz-for-Cable-Hut-Beach_18674165 THE party series Sandz Ultimate Beach Chill returns to the Cable Hut Beach in Bull Bay, on Easter Sunday, April 5.<br /> <br /> The event is set to transform the Cable Hut Beach into one of Brazil's popular beach destinations 'S&atilde;o Paulo Beach'.<br /> <br /> "Staying true to our beach-hopping trend, we will continue to explore some of Jamaica's finest properties and execute the Caribbean's Ultimate Beach Chill throughout the summer," said Carlton Davy, event coordinator.<br /> <br /> In keeping with the Brazilian theme, females are expected to come out in their sexiest and colourful swimwear to bask in the sunlight with their friends.<br /> <br /> The concept of the event is a cooler fete where patrons are encouraged to bring their own liquor and enjoy the decor and the high-energy music Sandz is known for. In addition, patrons can expect surprises and a number of enhanced features.<br /> <br /> Chromatic sound system, X Factor and Infusion Sound, will take care of the musical offering to ensure the party experience.<br /> <br /> "The music for this staging will be geared primarily towards the ladies. We encourage them to come out in their numbers to dance to various genres including soca, hip hop, dancehall and EDM," said Davy.<br /> <br /> The event is sponsored by Skyy Vodka, Appleton, Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum, and Tutti Frutti.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11648457/Hottie_2_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11648454/crowd_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, March 31, 2015 2:00 AM Izula remakes a dancehall classic http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Izula-remakes-a-dancehall-classic_18673704 LAST year when the Wiletunes label decided to relaunch the revered Far East beat, singer Izula was one of the artistes selected to record on it.<br /> <br /> He covered True Love, originally done in the 1980s by singer White Mice on that 'riddim' for producer Lloyd 'King Jammys' James.<br /> <br /> "Is a song mi love from long time, from dance days, so is a great feeling fi do it my way," said the 40-year-old artiste.<br /> <br /> Izula's Wiletunes sessions were done last summer. They also yielded Thunderball, a 'spiritual song' which was released in September.<br /> <br /> In addition to Wiletunes, Izula has been working on new songs with the Firehouse Crew, a band responsible for numerous hit songs by Ini Kamoze, Sizzla and Luciano.<br /> <br /> Born Otis Channer, he is from the rural St Catherine community of McCook's Pen. He began recording in 1999, with his first release being Hold it Down, a song with dub poet DYCR.<br /> <br /> Since then, he has recorded and toured Europe with singers Junior Kelly and Lutan Fyah, performing on major festivals such as Summerjam in Germany.<br /> <br /> True Love is considered a dancehall classic and still rocks the dance when it is played. Izula believes his version will have similar impact.<br /> <br /> -- Howard Campbell<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11648458/iZula-1_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, March 31, 2015 2:00 AM 'Leave our girls' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Leave-our-girls_18668295 By Simone Morgan Observer reporter morgans@jamaicaobserver.com REGGAE-DUB group The No-Maddz have come out against the rise in sexual attacks against young girls in Jamaica through their Nuh Guh Deh campaign.<br /> <br /> The musicians partnered with Eve For Life, a non-governmental organisation, which supports women livingwith, or affected, by HIV/AIDS. <br /> <br /> Eve For Life also counsels sexually abused children.We really want our children to have a smooth future so we want the<br /> <br /> older men to leave the young girls alone.  Even if a girl is forcing;herself on you, you should know in yourself &lsquo;Nuh Go Deh," said Sheldon Shepherd, a member of The No-Maddz.<br /> <br /> The song --- inspired by a poem written by Eve For Life director Joy Crawford --- and video for the campaign are expected to be released in April.<br /> <br /> The No-Maddz and Eve For Life have worked together since the latter's launch in 2008. Eve For Life's website (www.eveforlife.org) contains a video with graphic recollections of rape victims.<br /> <br /> This year has seen a spike in sexual and other violent attacks against young women which has sparked outcry in civil society.<br /> <br /> Last week in parliament, prime minister Portia Simpson Miller vowed to push legislation that will punish persons who commit such crimes.<br /> <br /> She said men who attack, or kill, pregnant women will face harshest prosecution.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11645799/NoMaddz_0063_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, March 30, 2015 2:00 AM Queen Lyons rules bacchanal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Queen-Lyons-rules-bacchanal_18667139 BY RORY DALEY Observer writer daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com "What they did is unheard of in my over two-decades of doing carnival," Michael Ammar Jr, a director of Bacchanal Jamaica, told the Jamaica Observer after their performance.<br /> <br /> After their set, the pair told the Observer they have a packed schedule, as their careers continue to swell internationally.<br /> <br /> "We write our own material and have our own studios, so there's no need to rush to get material out for Carnival 2016," said Lyons.<br /> <br /> She said VP Records will be releasing a new album later in the year and she will be touring the Caribbean, Canada and Europe.<br /> <br /> Garlin said he will release an official mix tape within the month and drop a new song with Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishal titled Welcome. He also performed a new song on stage with Richie Stephens called Hall of Fame.<br /> <br /> "We recorded that song a while back. It's a new style Richie is calling SkaTech, which is a mix of ska, techno, and electronic dance music," he said.<br /> <br /> Lyons was the first to hit the stage, and by the second song, Meet Super Blue, she had complete mastery of the audience. She wouldn't relinquish this for the rest of the night, even when Garlin joined her with his stable of mega hits like It's A Carnival, Differentology, and Truck on D Road. She responded with her own 2015 hit Raze.<br /> <br /> They could do no wrong, as everything they touched was golden to the audience from humourous husband-and-wife banter, to their performances of soca classics, pop-music mash-ups and freestyles.<br /> <br /> The old adage that the female is usually the more dominant of the species came to light when Lyons kicked off her shoes and declared the 'stush' segment of the show was officially over. She then proceeded to inject even more energy into the audience, climbing up in the scaffolding and ordering the security to remove the barriers in the front of the stage.<br /> <br /> As they both tried to close off with a medley of their hits, the crowd was unwilling to let them both go as they approached the 3:00 am close off time.<br /> <br /> "I'll pay for the five extra minutes," Lyons said, much to the partygoers delight.<br /> <br /> After another brilliant freestyle, the pair left the stage to thunderous applause.<br /> <br /> Danielia McLean, sponsorship executive at telecoms provider Digicel -- which sponsored the night, was pleased with the show.<br /> <br /> "Bunji and Fay-Ann delivered an extraordinary performance and we know that the appetite of our soca-hungry revellers were filled. Now, as we move further into the carnival season, we can promise our customers that the experience they had last night is just the tip of the iceberg," she said.<br /> <br /> Ammar Jr described Friday night as the end of the regular season for Jamaica Carnival, with April 4's Beach J'Ouvert and April 10's Bacchanal J'Ouvert starting the play-offs.<br /> <br /> "Bacchanal Jamaica Road March, the superbowl of Carnival, is yet to come," he said.<br /> <br /> The road march is scheduled for April 12 in the Corporate Area.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11645803/DSC_4192_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11645802/DSC_4037_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11645800/DSC_3781_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, March 30, 2015 2:00 AM Saturday Night at the Fight http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Saturday-social Accompanied by a backing band of diverse business interests, namely Digicel, Caribbean Producers Jamaica, CENITECH Engineering Solutions, Clearsound Production Services, and Supreme Outdoor Advertising, genre prizefighters and friendly rivals, soca and dancehall, entered the ring yet again under the auspices of the impresario tetrad of Mark McDonald, Clava Mantock, Kervin Santokie, and Akil Strachan, two Saturdays ago. <br /> <br /> Cooler- and bucket-bearing revellers invaded the lush Hope Botanical Gardens to witness the inevitable title-tie of the duelling duo via the expert turntable skills of Lantern MD, Richie RAS, and the visiting Trinbagonian Private Ryan.<br /> <br /> Saturday Social sounds the opening bell on the latest edition of the Soca VS Dancehall party series! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11646344/DSC_0011_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11646343/DSC_0009_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11646342/DSC_0029_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11646340/DSC_0041_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11646323/DSC_0024_w300.jpg Local News Monday, March 30, 2015 5:02 AM Queen Ifrica takes up Jackson's challenge http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Queen-Ifrica-takes-up-Jackson-s-challenge_18652430 REGGAE singer Queen Ifrica said she will be taking up a challenge that American A-list actor Samuel L Jackson issued via social media recently. The result will be borne out in a Negro spirtual-flavoured single entitled Swing Low.<br /> <br /> "During the recent Ice Bucket Challenge, Samuel L Jackson gave out a challenge to artistes around the world to sing a song about black people not being killed and abused anymore," she told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> "I saw it on YouTube and I am taking up the challenge," she continued.<br /> <br /> Queen Ifrica was speaking with the Observer at her 40th birthday party held at the Opa! Greek Restaurant and Sky Lounge on Old Hope Road in St Andrew, last Wednesday.<br /> <br /> "I am supposed to be recording it in the studio on Friday. It's about the struggle. 'We ain't gonna stop till people are free,' was what Samuel Jackson sang as the chorus. What I did was to write the verses around that chorus. We'll be sending a copy to him when it is completed," she said.<br /> <br /> Queen Ifrica, whose given name is Ventrice Morgan, said she will be working on the project with respected producer Clive Hunt.<br /> <br /> The singer said she was elated to reach her 40th. However, she was also in a reflective mood as this wasn't the case for many of the island's children.<br /> <br /> "At 40, I'm begininng all over again. To live to 40 is like reaching a 100 years old because of what is happening in our reality. In 2015, before January ended, there were <br /> <br /> 15 deaths and most of them were our kids. So it's a very trying time we're living in. So I'm... I am humbled to live to see 40," she said.<br /> <br /> A large gathering attended the singer's celebration party and included several members of the entertainment fraternity: King of the Dancehall Beenie Man, his female counterpart Lady Saw, top-flight deejay Bounty Killer, singjay Mr Vegas, singers Tinga Stewart, Nadine Sutherland, No-Maddz's Sheldon Shepherd, Danni-I and producers Donovan Germain and Clive Hunt.<br /> <br /> Also sharing in the festivities were Peter Bunting, minister of national security; Angella Brown-Brown and Councillor Venesha Phillips.<br /> <br /> -- Brian Bonitto<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11645835/Queen-Ifrica_2182_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11645829/Bounty-Killa_2424_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11645826/Lady-Saw_2216_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, March 30, 2015 2:00 AM &lsquo;FULL 100&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/-FULL-100-_18654982 FULL-FIGURE model Tajai McPherson has landed international contracts with New York's Muse Model Management and London's Milk Management.<br /> <br /> A student of Excelsior High School, the 6-ft tall McPherson placed third from a field of 41 in the Saint International Fashion Face of the Caribbean last weekend.<br /> <br /> Deiwght Peters, Saint International CEO, said the move is a historic one as McPherson is the first Caribbean <br /> <br /> plus-size model to earn international modelling contracts.<br /> <br /> "This is unprecedented, and once again Saint International leads the way in changing the face of modeling; creating real international opportunities for the plus-size model," said Peters.<br /> <br /> The Saint CEO said he introduced the plus-size category to his competition last weekend as there is a growing demand in the marketplace.<br /> <br /> "When I saw her photo, I knew she was extraordinary and she had to be confident to make the submission to Saint," he said.<br /> <br /> "Like any part of the industry, the model has to be special, and I knew from the first moment I saw Tajai that she was the one," Peters continued.<br /> <br /> Fashion designers are now tapping into the earning potential from plus-size clothing, and have been using plus-size models for their advertising campaigns and catwalks.<br /> <br /> Brands including Calvin Klein and Jean Paul Gaultier have featured full-bodied women in their campaigns.<br /> <br /> Sports Illustrated broke tradition in February 2015 by featuring plus-size model Ashley Graham.<br /> <br /> Former plus-size model Becca Thorpe, who founded the plus-size division at Muse Model Management, was elated at signing McPherson.<br /> <br /> "I cannot tell you how excited I am to begin working with this girl," <br /> <br /> she said.<br /> <br /> Conor Kennedy, owner of long-time New York Saint-affiliate Muse Models, gave McPherson the thumbs up.<br /> <br /> "Clients are desperate for her type of beauty," she said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11645837/Tajai-McPherson_145203-1-_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, March 30, 2015 2:00 AM Jah-Shawn aims to top the 'game' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Jah-Shawn-aims--to-top-the--game--_18667956 AFTER seven years living and working the Cayman Islands' tiny dancehall scene, deejay Jah-Shawn is determined to make a mark in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> The Seaview-reared artiste returned home four years ago and has been recording steadily for different producers.<br /> <br /> Top a wi Game with singjay Jahvinci and Mi Money Nuff are his latest crack at the local breakthrough.<br /> <br /> "Wi jus' a concentrate pon put out some good tune 'cause wi really waan do good a yard," said Jah-Shawn.<br /> <br /> Though he has been recording since he was 12 years old, most of his success has come in Cayman where he recorded for local producers and performed on shows like the Cayman Jazz and Blues Festival.<br /> <br /> While he kept busy in Cayman, the 30-year-old entertainer said the going is slow there for reggae artistes.<br /> <br /> "Dem love reggae an' dancehall bad but the marketing not there. The people love the music but dem not going go out an' buy it," he told the Observer.<br /> <br /> Jah-Shawn (Andre Cousins) grew up in a community that produced a number of dancehall heavyweights, including Shabba Ranks and Bounty Killer.<br /> <br /> His biggest influence, however, was his uncle, a little-known deejay named Mr P who is from Bog Walk in St Catherine.<br /> <br /> Money wey wi Want and Gideon Bus Now are among his previous songs.<br /> <br /> -- Howard Campbell<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11645838/jah-shawn_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, March 30, 2015 2:00 AM Gappy Ranks SALUTES elders in Generation http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Gappy-Ranks-SALUTES-elders-in-Generation_18667941 BRITISH deejay Gappy Ranks went back to the drawing board for Generation, his latest song. He says it is a salute to music he grew up listening to which made a difference in the lives of he and his peers.<br /> <br /> "Without previous generations I would not be able to deliver such stories in my music, hence Generation. I wanted to take the listener back to the times when music was full of education and lessons to learn," he told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Generation is produced by Kemar 'Flava' McGregor, known for his work with acts including Gyptian, Etana and Richie Spice.<br /> <br /> The song is the precursor to an EP of the same name, also produced by McGregor. It contains duets with Marcia Griffiths, Sugar Minott and Barrington Levy.<br /> <br /> Gappy Ranks, who is in his early 30s, welcomed the opportunity to 'voice' with these acts. He says they influenced him as a youth in Harlesden, a London community with strong West Indian ties.<br /> <br /> "The respect for pioneer artistes is above all because of the platform they built for people like myself," he said.<br /> <br /> Gappy Ranks (given name Jacob Lee Williams) was born to a Jamaican father and Dominican mother. He is one of Britain's top deejays, and has worked with Jamaican artistes such as Delly Ranx and toured as opening act for Bermudian reggae star Collie Budz.<br /> <br /> He has four albums to his credit. His previous set, Gappy Ranks Meets Dub Club, was released last year.<br /> <br /> -- Kevin Jackson<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11645836/gappy-ranks_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, March 30, 2015 2:00 AM EYE OF THE STORM - MARCH 30 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/SATURDAY-SOCIAL-_18646298  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Storm Saulter's semester visit to the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies -- as both filmmaker-in-residence, and guest lecturer of the Creative Writing for Screen course in the University's Department of Literatures in English -- cumulinated in a Neville Hall Lecture Theatre-venued public talk, conducted by the auteur and cinematographer, two Friday evenings ago. The lecture titled 'Towards a New Caribbean Cinema' attracted a cadre of industry hotshots, academics, creative types and cinephiles eager to indulge in Saulter's world and engage with the promising second coming of West Indian cinema. The visual artist peppered his presentation with an introductory showreel, and emphatic clips from his flicks Watching Him Kissing Her, one of the shorts from the Saulter-executive-produced Ring Di Alarm anthology, and his household name-making debut film Better Mus' Come. The Saturday Social eye pans across the well-subscribed amphitheatre.<br /> <br /> -- Curt Cawley<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11646322/DSC_1051_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11646308/DSC_1009_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11646289/DSC_0996_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11646270/DSC_1020_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11646248/DSC_1029_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11646247/DSC_1005_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, March 30, 2015 2:00 AM Film fest aiming at A-Listers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Film-fest-aiming-at-A-Listers_18655538 TODAY marks 100 days to the inaugural staging of the Jamaica Film Festival. The event is set for the Corporate Area July 7-11, and the organiser -- investment engine JAMPRO -- is moving full steam ahead.<br /> <br /> Carole Beckford, JAMPRO's manager for the creative industries and film commissioner, is optimistic about the progress she and her team are making to pull off the first event of its kind organised by the agency.<br /> <br /> "It is a festival for persons in the local film industry to meet and connect with persons in the international set. We are close to our sponsorship target of US$400,000 to stage a good first festival... Our theme is art meets business and we want to show that Jamaica is more than just a backdrop for a film. We want to show that our content providers are as good as anywhere else; that we have writers and directors and a whole technical team. We have stories to tell so co-production deals are also part and parcel of what we are promoting with this event," she told the Sunday Observer.<br /> <br /> Fifteen productions by Jamaican film-makers are currently being finalised to premiere at the festival in what Beckford calls the 'script to screen' project.<br /> <br /> The call was issued in November of last year and 54 pitches were put to the festival's panel of adjudicators over three days, out of which came the final 15. These will be screened at eight venues in the city during the festival which will culminate with a glitzy awards event.<br /> <br /> In addition to the film screening, the festival will also see a number of workshops with topics including The Business of Film-making, Financing in Film and TV, Pitching, Distribution, a bankers' forum as well as a session about the use of music in films.<br /> <br /> "The local film community is excited about this event and have been showing great interest. However, we need our business community to see this as an opportunity for investment. The returns from the creative industries have a significant multiplier effect. Jamaica has a distinct competitive advantage, so this is a win-win situation for everyone concerned," said Beckford.<br /> <br /> Part and parcel of the success of any film festival is the major industry players who are in attendance and Beckford gets excited when this matter arises. However, she is tight-lipped and refuses to name-drop.<br /> <br /> "We are definitely going for the A-Listers. We will have some big-name producers, directors and actors from TV, film and comedy coming through the event," she said.<br /> <br /> "I just want everything to be confirmed before I call names."<br /> <br /> Beckford recently returned from hosting a reception in Los Angeles attended by film industry players in an effort to engage the Hollywood community with a focus on collaboration and partnership.<br /> <br /> "LA was a great bridge to connect Hollywood to Jamaica. The event was co-hosted by Jamaican consul Lorna Johnson and author/film-maker/media entrepreneur Paula Madison in Beverly Hills, and served as a kick-off for the festival. We had a number of players in attendance including film directors Robert Townsend and Bill Duke; actors Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter; and studio executives Bruce Evans and Talitha Watkins," she said.<br /> <br /> Film fest aiming at A-Listers<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11644161/Better-Mus-Come_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, March 29, 2015 2:00 AM DJ Marshmello setting the record STRAIGHT http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/DJ-MARSHMELLO-setting-the-record-STRAIGHT_18654803 BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer BREAKING the glass ceiling is no longer unique, but in Jamaican music women still find it difficult to compete in certain mediums.<br /> <br /> Marshae-Dojn McAnuff, better known as DJ Marshmello, she is making her mark as Jamaica's only female vinyl selector.<br /> <br /> Marshmello appears regularly at vinyl-only events including a slot on Vinyl Thursdays, held at Veggie Meals on Wheels in Cross Roads.<br /> <br /> These shows, she told the Sunday Observer, have helped introduce the format to younger audiences.<br /> <br /> "There is actually a resurgence of vinyl right now and there is a growing number of youth that are gravitating towards stages where vinyl is presented and are really loving and appreciating the original medium," she observed.<br /> <br /> Marshmello has also performed at Enrico la Familia's Mitsy's Bar in Portland; the weekly Jamaica Vinyl Record Collectors' Association's party, and a quarterly event at Tuff Gong studio, both in Kingston.<br /> <br /> These hot spots for vinyl lovers give 'spinners' like Marshmello an opportunity to show their personal catalogue and fine-tune their playing technique.<br /> <br /> "What appeals to me most about vinyl is firstly the warmth and richness of the sound that it produces, especially when played through a well-rounded speaker system, and secondly the durability of the vinyl material itself," she said.<br /> <br /> With the emergence of the compact disc in the mid-1980s, the vinyl record beat a hasty retreat, though sound systems and music producers maintained healthy collections.<br /> <br /> Even as the digital format gets increasingly popular, vinyl has enjoyed a revival in Europe and Japan where there are vibrant sound system communities.<br /> <br /> Late last year, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported that vinyl records surpassed the million sales mark in the United Kingdom for the first time in 18 years.<br /> <br /> The niece of roots singer Winston McAnuff, Marshae-Dojn McAnuff appreciated the vinyl product even while she was attending St Andrew High School in the 1990s, when the CD was in vogue.<br /> <br /> Like most vinyl 'selectors', Marshmello is also a collector.<br /> <br /> "My personal collection is pretty diverse, I have from Handel's Messiah to Vybz Kartel on vinyl. My collection is growing as I collect from individual artistes as well as producers locally and internationally," she said.<br /> <br /> DJ Marshmello is also a singer. She recently recorded a cover of Phyllis Dillon's Ready Now for producer Everton 'Caveman' Moore's The Remake of The Classics album.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11643728/DJ-Marshmello_2030_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, March 29, 2015 2:00 AM Spreading HYPE in the UK http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Spreading-HYPE-in-the-UK_18654835 A DEAL between local cable channel HYPE TV and London's CaribBe TV, will give Jamaicans in the United Kingdom easier access to programmes from home.<br /> <br /> According to HYPE TV's managing director, Johann Dawes, the alliance will expand his company's brand.<br /> <br /> "Despite the high number of first, second and third generation West Indians who call the UK home, there is still a distinct lack of quality TV programming from the Caribbean," Dawes said. "Our strategic alignment with CaribBe TV will expand our distribution to over 20 million smart TV devices and will add another 30 million in the near future. There are also plans to add Android, iOS tablets and smartphones, and more connected TV devices."<br /> <br /> HYPE TV (How You Picture Entertainment) started 16 years ago. In 2005, the channel began broadcasting in the United States and the Caribbean via Direct TV. Last October, it launched in South Florida.<br /> <br /> Dawes believes the deal with CaribBe TV shows Hype TV has come of age.<br /> <br /> "HYPE TV revolutionised the perception of local cable and Jamaican pop culture being packaged as television content for the local and export market. We are the first 24/7 entertainment station in Jamaica, first Jamaican station to broadcast on Direct TV as a full channel, first Jamaican station to simulcast to the Caribbean region,",Dawes explained.<br /> <br /> Through the new link, the channel's programmes, which include Up and Live, Pree Dis, the Entertainment Hub, VTX and The Release, will have a new audience in the UK.<br /> <br /> "We have a reality series which showcases Jamaica in a positive non- stereotypical way that will begin airing shortly. We also have a travel and destination show, a live series as well as a local theatre series. There's a lot from Jamaica that will be on show for the world to see," Dawes said.<br /> <br /> HYPE joins rival RE TV as the second Jamaican cable to be shown on CaribBe TV which has similar deals with CaribVision in Barbados and Tempo which operates out of New Jersey.<br /> <br /> Spreading HYPE in the UK<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11643731/Johann-Dawes_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, March 29, 2015 2:00 AM New voyage for Jackie Mittoo in Africa http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/New-voyage-for-Jackie-Mittoo-in-Africa_18654733 AT his musical peak, Jackie Mittoo recorded outstanding Afrocentric songs like Drum Song. Africa had a lasting impact on the keyboardist/arranger.<br /> <br /> Mittoo travelled to the west Africa country of Ghana in 1985 with British reggae group Musical Youth, who were riding high at the time with the hit song, Pass the Dutchie.<br /> <br /> While there, he led recording sessions at Black Note studio in the capital Accra which yielded the album, Jackie Mittoo in Africa.<br /> <br /> The album was released in 1997, seven years after Mittoo's death from cancer at age 42. Tony Owens, Musical Youth's former manager who co-produced the 14-track set, is preparing to release it digitally.<br /> <br /> "I remember we did shows in Kumasi, Accra and Togo but with some of the money we got, we went into this eight-track studio and did some songs," Owens recalled.<br /> <br /> Patrick Waite of Musical Youth played bass on the songs, which featured local musicians. Some of the cuts, like All Night in Accra and No Show in Togo, were inspired by the visit.<br /> <br /> A prodigy while at Kingston College, Jackie Mittoo was a founding member of the legendary Skatalites band. He became musical director at Studio One, playing on a number of classic songs such as Autumn Breeze, Hot Milk, Ram Jam and Full Up which inspired Pass the Dutchie.<br /> <br /> Mittoo migrated to Canada in the early 1970s, and helped develop the reggae scene in Toronto.<br /> <br /> The Kingston-born Owens has lived in the United Kingdom since 1965. He has worked as manager and booking agent for a number of reggae acts including Bob Andy, Dennis Brown, Freddie McGregor and Buju Banton.<br /> <br /> He was in Jamaica recently recording songs for an album by Kaya, a singer from Cape Verde based in The Netherlands.<br /> <br /> -- Howard Campbell<br /> <br /> New voyage for Jackie Mittoo in Africa<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11643726/Jackie-Mittoo_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, March 29, 2015 2:00 AM Major Mission http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Major-Mission-_18645573 By Kevin Jackson Observer Writer Electronic music maestro Major Lazer releases its third album, Peace is Mission, on June 1. It will be released by the Mad Decent label.<br /> <br /> Similar to 2009's Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do and 2013's Free the Universe, Peace is Mission has collaborations with several Jamaican acts.<br /> <br /> Among them are Tarrus Riley, Chronixx, Mad Cobra, Elephant Man, Jovi Rockwell and former Brick and Lace member Nyla.<br /> <br /> Trinidadian soca star Machel Montano, British soul singer Ellie Goulding -- who recently topped the British pop charts with Love Me Like You Do -- are also featured. So too DJ Snake (who last year scored a big hit with Lil Jon called Turn Down for What), Ariana Grande, rappers Pusha T, 2 Chainz and Travi$ Scott and Danish singer MO.<br /> <br /> European act Ellipant is also featured on Too Original with Rockwell.<br /> <br /> Lean On Me, the album's first single features MO and DJ Snake. It is already on charts in New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Denmark and France.<br /> <br /> Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do contained the hits Hold the Line which featured Mr Lexx and Santigold; Keep it Goin Louder by Nina Sky and Ricky Blaze, and Pon Di Floor featuring Vybz Kartel. Each entered Billboard's Dance Music Club Play chart.<br /> <br /> That album reached number four on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart; number seven on Top Electronic Albums chart; and 169 on the Billboard 200.<br /> <br /> Free the Universe made 10 European charts and peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200 and UK album charts.<br /> <br /> Among its hits were Bumaye (Watch out For This) with Busy Signal, the Flexican, and FS Green; Jah No Partial featuring Johnny Osbourne; Bubble Butt, a collaboration with Bruno Mars, American rapper Tyga and Mystic and Keep Cool featuring Shaggy and American singer Wynter Gordon.<br /> <br /> Major Lazer was created in 2008 by American DJ and record producer Diplo and English DJ Switch. The latter left in 2011, and producers/DJs Jillionaire and Walshy Fire (of Black Chiney sound system) have since joined.<br /> <br /> The group last performed in Jamaica in December.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11635863/Major-Lazer-1_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11635923/mad-cobra_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11635866/Elephant-Man_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, March 27, 2015 12:00 AM