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 The Deck comes of age http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/The-Deck-comes-of-age_90418 CORPORATE Area ho tspot The Deck celebrated its 21st anniversary with family and friends at its Trafalgar Road headquarters on Wednesday evening.<br /> <br /> The occasion was complete with cake cutting and speeches in party-like atmosphere.<br /> <br /> Co-founder Richard Spence shared the establishment&rsquo;s genesis with the gathering.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It has been quite a journey. It was September 1995 in a discussion with a group of friend that the idea of having our own spot was born... So with the blessings of my wife, Leonie, Friends on the Deck was started on February 9, 1996 under two mango trees at 51 Hope Road, opposite King&rsquo;s House where TGIF is ,&rdquo; Spence reminisced.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Can you imagine the last 21 years without The Deck? Where would we all be right now? Many of us would have different friends ... So let us give thanks and praises to all of who have supported us through the years... There would be no Deck with you,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> Deryck Rose, director of National Safety Limited, spoke on behalf of Phillip Mascoll, former president of the Jamaica Diaspora &mdash; Canada.<br /> <br /> Selectors Gary Kong, Craig Ross, Richie Clarke, DJ Dwey and Clive Buddo provided the evening&rsquo;s soundtrack, much to the delight of the patrons who filled the establishment.<br /> <br /> Weston Campbell, who has been visiting The Deck for more than a decade, said the joint is the place to be.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s like a big family setting... the people are friendly, the music is great, and vibes is nice.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> &mdash; Brian Bonito http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668784/260769_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668779/260772_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668775/260817_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668785/260773_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:00 AM Bacchanal in full plume http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Bacchanal-in-full-plume_90625 By Brian Bonitto Associate Editor – Auto and Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com KNUTSFORD Court Hotel in New Kingston was transformed into a kaleidoscope of colourful costumes at Bacchanal Jamaica&rsquo;s 29th anniversary media launch on Wednesday evening.<br /> <br /> Michael Ammar Jr, a director of Bacchanal Jamaica, shared some highlights of this year&rsquo;s staging.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;2017 will indeed be a year highlighted by innovation and rejuvenation, as Bacchanal Jamaica embarks on a journey to take our carnival to even higher highs and create a carnival season unmatched in our history. In doing so, we will be introducing many new elements to make this carnival new and different,&rdquo; said Ammar Jr.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Bacchanal Jamaica has partnered with Jamaica Tourist Board to promote carnival in Jamaica to potential guests from North America, Europe and the Caribbean. This year, we will be joined on the road by Frenchmen, Unleashed and Exult from Jamaica, as well as Roast International from Barbados, Caesars Army from Trinidad, and Peeny Wallie Mas from the USA,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> The director also shared that for this year&rsquo;s April 23 Corporate Area road march, his team had done more &ldquo;frontline&rdquo; and &ldquo;super frontline costumes&rdquo;, and that they would &ldquo;have more wings&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is the first year we&rsquo;re doing a full sunwear section,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Also, the difference will be seen at our lunch spot at FLOW Golf Academy... we&rsquo;ll have an ultra-premium spa, a repair station, a massage station and a full bar. There&rsquo;ll also be a sky lounge which will act as a moving party,&rdquo; Ammar Jr continued.<br /> <br /> The launch saw Ed Bartlett, minister of tourism, endorsing the event as a foreign exchange earner, while Senator Kerensia Morrison did the same on behalf of Olivia &ldquo;Babsy&rdquo; Grange, minister of culture, entertainment, gender and sport.<br /> <br /> Guests were also treated to a colourful display of costumes slated for its road march.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In Jamaica we are carnival... We are Bacchanal Jamaica,&rdquo; Ammar Jr added.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663400/260265_86688_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663399/260264_86687_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668672/260760_87239_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668676/260754_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:00 AM Smoke Dem, Seasoning drop Bad Mind Dem http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Smoke-Dem--Seasoning-drop-Bad-Mind-Dem_90601 Singjay Smoke Dem is carving out a niche in the dance halls of the Caribbean and South America, particularly Suriname.<br /> <br /> There, he struck a partnership with Next Level Productions, which produced the song Bad Mind Dem, a collaboration with singer Anthony Seasoning.<br /> <br /> The latter is from Red Hills Road and has also performed in Suriname.<br /> <br /> Smoke Dem, previously known as Smoki Benz, credits deejay Fanton Mojah for helping him along his journey. It was he who first took him on tour in 2015, performing in Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana and Brazil.<br /> <br /> During the trip, he made the link with Next Level Productions.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Fantan first took me on a few shows in Jamaica and he saw that I was a bad artiste, so he took me in South America and a few islands. It was a great experience and it really helped to take my career a step further,&rdquo; said Smoke Dem.<br /> <br /> He and Anthony Seasoning ended up working on a project for Next Level. One of the songs they did was Bad Mind Dem.<br /> <br /> Smoke Dem and Anthony Seasoning also team up on Marijuana, a follow-up single for the same producers. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668663/260667_87157_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:00 AM KGN5 Blazed at Southdale Plaza http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/KGN5-Blazed-at-Southdale-Plaza_89914 Two-year-old Smirnoff KGN5 uptown Street Dance is consistently growing from strength to strength.<br /> <br /> Promoter Chavaughn Oneil attributes the event&rsquo;s continued success to a winning formula: great music and solid entertainment.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The thing that stands out most about this event is the ability to bring together both uptown and dancehall patrons, and the entertainment and constant vibes provided,&rdquo; Oneil said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Held last Friday, February 10 at Suzie&rsquo;s car park, Southdale Plaza in Kingston, the event featured intense juggling and hardcore musical vibes from Tony &ldquo;Mentally Ill&rdquo; Matterhorn, Coppershot, and radio jock, ZJ Ice.<br /> <br /> The event saw a large turnout of patrons who partied until the wee hours of Saturday morning.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The target market is both uptown patrons and dancehall partygoers. We had several entertainment personalities in attendance including ZJ Liquid, Shizzle Sherlock, Young Rolaz and the Sandz team. The vibe was awesome,&rdquo; said Oneil.<br /> <br /> KGN5 is held three times annually. Its next staging is set for May 27 at Suzie&rsquo;s Bakery, aka the Terrace Bar and Grill.<br /> <br /> &ndash; Kevin Jackson http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668658/260582_87106_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668657/260583_87107_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668655/260584_87108_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:00 AM Spotlight on Tosh, Andy, Nooks and Lord Creator http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Spotlight-on-Tosh--Andy--Nooks-and-Lord-Creator_90562 PETER Tosh, Horace Andy, George Nooks, and Calypsonian Lord Creator will be honoured at the Bob Marley One Love Fun Day Football Matches at the Tony Spaulding Sports Complex in St Andrew on Ash Wednesday, March 1.<br /> <br /> Conceptualiser Clive &ldquo;Busy&rdquo; Campbell made the announcement at Cuddy&rsquo;z Sports Bar and Restaurant in New Kingston, on Thursday morning.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;These entertainers must be honoured for their contribution to our music reaching a worldwide audience. Every year we honour stalwarts in music industry,&rdquo; Campbell told Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> This year marks the event&rsquo;s 36th anniversary.<br /> <br /> Campbell explained Trinidad and Tobago&rsquo;s Lord Creator&rsquo;s inclusion.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He came to Jamaica in &lsquo;60s and has made it home since then. He resides in Hanover and, at 82 years old, he said if he can&rsquo;t make it, he will speak to us at the event on the phone. He played an import role to Jamaica&rsquo;s music industry with songs like<br /> <br /> Don&rsquo;t Stay Out Too Late, Kingston Town and Evening News,&rdquo; said Campbell.<br /> <br /> Tosh, part of the Wailers which included Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer, was a firebrand reggae singer. He is known for tracks including Coming In Hot, Legalize It and Equal Rights. He co-wrote Get Up, Stand Up with Marley. <br /> <br /> Tosh was murdered at his St Andrew home in 1988. He was 42.<br /> <br /> Nooks and Andy are staples on the local entertainment scene.<br /> <br /> The day&rsquo;s activities include football matches such as Entertainers Invitational, Masters & Celebrities, Tuff Gang Invitational, and Referees.<br /> <br /> Gates are scheduled to open at 3:00 pm.<br /> <br /> &ndash; Brian Bonitto http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584109/236182_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12500177/175537_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13201515/221119_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668624/260697_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668621/260691_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:00 AM Hall of Famer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Hall-of-Famer_90603 Jay-Z, Babyface and the songwriting and production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are among this year&rsquo;s inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.<br /> <br /> The artistes will receive the honour at the organisation&rsquo;s 48th Annual Induction and Awards dinner on June 15 in New York City.<br /> <br /> Jay-Z will be the first rapper to be inducted. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668395/260676_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:00 AM Terro Melody keeping his eyes on the prize http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Terro-Melody-keeping-his-eyes-on-the-prize_90596 After opening for lovers rock heavyweights Beres Hammond and Maxi Priest in the United Kingdom in 2016, singjay Terro Melody has his sights set on establishing himself this year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am taking it one day at a time; I believe everything happens within the time it is supposed to happen,&rdquo; said the St Ann native.<br /> <br /> He is currently pushing the song Shorty Wanna Get High, a collaboration with Kingz Of Vocals, a group from the Isle Of Wight. The self-produced single appears on Terro Melody&rsquo;s label, P K W Entertainment Productions.<br /> <br /> That company did similar duties for his EP, For The World.<br /> <br /> Terro Melody first got national attention in 2015 with his cover of Michael Bolton&rsquo;s Said I Loved You But I Lied, produced by Syl Gordon of Cell Block.<br /> <br /> His songs, he points out, carry a consistent theme.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Music that has a lot of love, joy and peace. My songs are here to uplift others.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668394/260658_87109_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:00 AM INT&rsquo;L BRIEFS http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/INT-L-BRIEFS_90598 Nick Cannon has welcomed a new baby boy.<br /> <br /> The America&rsquo;s Got Talent host posted a picture of himself Wednesday on Instagram holding son Golden &ldquo;Sagon&rdquo; Cannon. He writes in the caption, &ldquo;No matter how hard the world may hit you, God always reminds us of our purpose!&rdquo; He adds: &ldquo;Welcome to Earth, Son!&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The 36-year-old Cannon announced in November that he was expecting a baby with his ex-girlfriend, Brittany Bell, a former beauty queen.<br /> <br /> The baby is Cannon&rsquo;s third child. He also has 5-year-old twins with ex-wife Mariah Carey.<br /> <br /> PHILADELPHIA (AP) &mdash; A judge will let only one other accuser testify at Bill Cosby&rsquo;s sexual assault trial to bolster charges that the actor drugged and molested a woman at his estate near Philadelphia.<br /> <br /> The pivotal ruling Friday by a Pennsylvania judge means prosecutors cannot call 12 other women to try to show that the 79-year-old comedian has a history of similar &ldquo;bad acts&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Cosby is set to go on trial in June over the 2005 complaint by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who is now a massage therapist in Toronto.<br /> <br /> Prosecutors reopened the case in 2015 after newly released court documents showed Cosby admitting he gave drugs and alcohol to young women before sex over a 50-year period. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13181926/219423_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13668656/260659_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:00 AM Tosh Alexander &lsquo;ready fi dem&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Tosh-Alexander--ready-fi-dem-_90475 By Kevin Jackson Observer writer True to her roots, Tosh Alexander knows the importance of adding that Jamaican flavour to a song. The rhythm and blues singer did just that on Ready Fi Dem, her latest single.<br /> <br /> Ready fi Dem is a dancehall track co-produced by Ward 21&rsquo;s Andre &ldquo;Suku&rdquo; Gray and Craig Jackson of dancehall duo Voicemail.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was fun to get back into the studio after all these years. Everyone seems to love Ready Fi Dem and the beat is infectious. I was always doing rhythm and blues and pop, but I realised the importance of involving the culture in my music,&rdquo; Alexander told Splash.<br /> <br /> Raised in Kingston, Alexander migrated to Florida in her early teens. She was a member of girl group Xclusive which was managed by Makael Manley, former guitarist for The Commodores.<br /> <br /> After the other two members relocated to New York, Xclusive broke up. Alexander carried on as a solo act.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My brother built a little studio and I continued working to hone my talent. We would spend up to 12 hours a day working on a song to get it right. Then our father built us a legit studio and the work continued,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Named for Peter Tosh, her mother&rsquo;s favourite singer, Alexander attended Immaculate Conception High School before moving overseas.<br /> <br /> She gained national exposure three years ago when she appeared in a LIME television ad (What A Time) featuring Konshens.<br /> <br /> Alexander, who holds a bachelor&rsquo;s degree in international relations and communications from Florida International University &mdash; has worked with top dancehall producers including Tony Kelly.<br /> <br /> She is currently in studio with Natasia Hammond. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13666232/260422_86911__w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, February 24, 2017 12:00 AM Ras Indio keeps it natural http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Ras-Indio-keeps-it-natural_90477 BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer Belize-based artiste Ras Indio brings a message of hope through his songs, which he says honours the tenets of roots reggae.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am a Rastaman. A natural human being and not about the hype and excitement surrounding this musical world as, for I, music is life. It is as natural as the everyday life we live,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Born in Los Angeles to Belizean parents, he moved to Belize at age four.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Musically, I was raised by my father and I began playing the drums at age seven and moved on to the keyboards at age 14. I was the official keyboard player of his Tribal Vibes Band for almost seven years until branching out on my own,&rdquo; said Ras Indio, who performed at the Rocabessa Herbs and Music festival in Oracabessa, St Mary, last week.<br /> <br /> His forthright message has earned him the Belizean Best Reggae Artist award two straight years (2006 and 2007). To date, he has released two albums --- Jah Bless and One Of A Kind.<br /> <br /> Jah Bless has collaborations with Turbulence, Lutan Fyah, Chezidek, and Luciano. Ras Indio recently worked with Pressure, Ginjah and Fantan Mojah.<br /> <br /> He is promoting the songs Psalm 1 and Love Is The Way which feature Turbulence.<br /> <br /> Ras Indio wants to reach a wide audience working with diverse acts.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not as easy for a roots reggae artiste to get attention as it is for these other local genres of music, but I along with a small few have been able to break barriers and change our musical world, along with a host of new upcoming artistes who have new sounds and styles, including hip hop and even Belizean rock bands,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13666259/260420_86812_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, February 24, 2017 12:00 AM Downswell showers fans in song   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Downswell-showers-fans-in-song_90515 By Richard Johnson Observer senior writer INTERMITTENT showers sought to disrupt the final in the Reggae Wednesday series, but gospel music artiste Kevin Downswell was having none of it.<br /> <br /> The popular act was just into his set when the threatening downpour made its appearance. As patrons scampered for cover and the technical crew brought in tarpaulins to cover sensitive equipment, a defiant Downswell would not be moved by the elements, bursting into prayer and praise, asking that the rains cease... and it did.<br /> <br /> Despite a shortened set &mdash; it took time for the audience to resettle &mdash; Downswell gave another inspiring set, dropping the favourites that many gathered at Mandela Park wanted to hear. He capped his presentation with the well-known If It&rsquo;s Not You and You Make Me Stronger, much to the delight of the audience.<br /> <br /> The final in the series observing Reggae Month was dedicated to gospel music and saw a number of exponents taking the stage.<br /> <br /> Powerhouse singer Kimola Brown-Lowe brought the house down with her big voice booming through the park. Her original works Lift Him Up, Standing In Your Mercy and It Is Done went over well. Katalys Crew brought their inspirational roots music, including His Grace, which utilises the melody of Bob Marley&rsquo;s Rat Race, to great effect.<br /> <br /> But it was up to the night&rsquo;s final performers, George Nooks and Stitchie, to warm the hearts of patrons.<br /> <br /> Nooks was in his element. Making his way into the audience, he interacted with fans as he delivered from his gospel arsenal:<br /> <br /> How Great Thou Art, I Remember Mama, God Is Standing By, and a medley of popular choruses including<br /> <br /> Christ So Real To Me, Send Down The Rain, and Someday I&rsquo;ll Go Where Jesus Is. He had Mandela Park hanging on to every note.<br /> <br /> Despite a difference in musical style, Stitchie was just as entertaining. Despite a switch to gospel, he has not lost the fast-talking style that made him popular during the 1980s and even performed Natty Dread and Wear Yuh Size from his secular catalogue. But it was Man A Pastor &mdash; his take on the recent incidents involving men of the cloth in incidents of carnal abuse &mdash; which was met with rousing approval. He related how to turn down the sexual advances of a female as a minister of religion.<br /> <br /> A fair-sized audience witnessed the event. Dub poets Sheldon Shepherd and Latoya Hamilton, as well as the Akwaaba Drummers, also performed. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13666209/260510_86971_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13666210/260505_86969_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13666207/260511_86973_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13666211/260508_86970_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13666212/260513_86972_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13666213/260512_86967_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13666214/260507_86968_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, February 24, 2017 12:00 AM Jah Bless spreads his wings http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Jah-Bless-spreads-his-wings_90470 Singer Jah Bless is ready to spread his wings by taking his music outside of his hometown, The Bronx.<br /> <br /> Born Kory Brooks in New York to Jamaican parents, the 20-year-old artiste keeps in tune with Jamaica&rsquo;s music scene through social media.<br /> <br /> Although he has been singing for 10 years, it was not until three years ago that he made his recording debut with<br /> <br /> Who Dat.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The feedback to my debut was really good and that gave me the motivation I needed to continue,&rdquo; said Jah Bless.<br /> <br /> His latest song, Tabaka, is produced by TallGenius. Jah Bless is working on an EP to be released soon.<br /> <br /> &ndash; Kevin Jackson http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13666326/260421_86838_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, February 24, 2017 12:00 AM VODA set for Jollys Farm http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/VODA-set-for--Jollys-Farm-_90493 WITH a promise to transform the Jollys Farm Estate into the best all-white party experience, patrons are in for a treat at VODA (Vibez On Di Acres) on Sunday. It takes place at Bernard Lodge Estate in Portmore, St Catherine.<br /> <br /> It is scheduled to run from 3:00 pm to 12 midnight.<br /> <br /> VODA is Dre Jolly&rsquo;s birthday celebration, and he has enlisted a cadre of DJs to provide the non-stop party experience and high-energy vibes.<br /> <br /> Billed to throw down the latest party jams are DJ Craig, DJ Narity, DJ Cyrus and rising newcomer Cool Shade Chris.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The name VODA came to me one day while I was on my farm, and I linked my bredrin Nick Lue from SkunkNation and shared with him the idea. He said to work with it,&rdquo; explained Andre &lsquo;Dre Jolly&rsquo; Dowdie.<br /> <br /> Although he has promoted events before, including pop-up bottle parties, VODA is the premiere event that Dowdie is planning to make an annual affair.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Last year for my birthday we had a pop-up bottle party which was food-inclusive and the road was blocked. This year we decided to take it to the farm and spread my wings,&rdquo; he shared.<br /> <br /> He shared what patrons can expect on Sunday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I mean, if persons know about Jolly&rsquo;s, there is one thing they are sure about is a good time. And it&rsquo;s no different. So, patrons can come out and see how me and the Jolly&rsquo;s team transform Jolly&rsquo;s Farm Estate into an All-White party experience like no other,&rdquo; said Dowdie.<br /> <br /> Sponsors on board include Jolly&rsquo;s and Cecil&rsquo;s restaurants and GEM Spring Water. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13666244/260571_87019_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, February 24, 2017 12:00 AM Valentine love http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Valentine-love_90419 Affection was heavy in the air on February 14 at the Valentine party dubbed &lsquo;Must be love&rsquo; held at Charlie Smith High in Kingston. Soul Tone provided the music with able assistance from Boom Boom, Harry Hype and Glen Stinger. OBSERVER PHOTOGRAPHER KARL MCLARTY captured the red hot action.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665887/259770_86871_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665878/259767_86874_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665880/259775_86867_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665886/259774_86868_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665879/259773_86869_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665883/259769_86872_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665885/259768_86873_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665882/259765_86876_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665884/259764_86877_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665881/259762_86879_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665876/259761_86880_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665889/259772_86870_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665890/259763_86878_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13660721/260060_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13665891/259766_86875_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, February 24, 2017 12:00 AM John Akpata for Poetry In Motion http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/John-Akpata-for-Poetry-In-Motion_90471 Canadian poet John Akpata is one of the featured performers on Poetry In Motion, scheduled for Sunday at Manchester Golf Club.<br /> <br /> Akpata, whose parents are Nigerian and Guyanese, is a member of the Northern Griots Network (NGN), a collective of Canadian spoken word artistes.<br /> <br /> Host of Monday Night Scribes on radio station CHUO 89.1 FM, he was recently featured in the anthology, The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry.<br /> <br /> This is the 14th annual Poetry In Motion, founded by dub poet Yasus Afari. In addition to Akpata, peformers include Dr Herbert Thopmson, Myrna Hague, Marjorie Whylie, Dufton Shepherd, Steppa, Annmarie Wilmot, Ruth Nadolny, Osheen Wright, Delcia Wiggan and Shamoya Samuels. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13666766/260417.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, February 24, 2017 3:00 AM Grub Cooper honoured http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Grub-Cooper-honoured_90362 VOCALIST and music producer Asley &ldquo;Grub&rdquo; Cooper was honoured by the Rita Marley Foundation for his contribution to Jamaica&rsquo;s musical heritage at a function held at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, recently.<br /> <br /> Stephen Marley, son of reggae legend Bob and Rita Marley, presented the award to Cooper.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with the Marley family, and it gave me great opportunity to expose my art and brought me to the attention of many globally recognised artistes with whom I had the pleasure to work. I hope this award will be an inspiration to musicians everywhere to keep grinding away and never give up. You never know what breakthrough may be waiting just around the corner. I promise to continue to be a musician of excellence, worthy of the award. Everyone should know that despite the Marleys&rsquo; fame and success, they have not forgotten their roots and remain anchored and approachable, always remembering where they came from and who took part in their journey. Again, Rita, despite my acclaim as a songwriter and lyricist, words cannot express my heartfelt appreciation. I am truly humbled,&rdquo; he said after accepting the award.<br /> <br /> Cooper performed a melody of Rita Marley tunes including One Draw, Harambe, That&rsquo;s The Way, A Jah Jah. <br /> <br /> An established songwriter, Cooper has penned several international hit songs, including Rita Marley&rsquo;s One Draw, Harambe, That&rsquo;s The Way, and Love Iyah; and Fab 5&rsquo;s All Night Party, Jamaican Woman, Mini Mini, Freeze, and Yu Safe. He played on American singer Johnny Nash&rsquo;s album I Can See Clearly Now.<br /> <br /> He has worked with I-Three, Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers, and the Grace Thrillers. He provided background vocals for British musician Boy George&rsquo;s single Believe In It All. Six of his musical arrangements for singers Eric Donaldson and Roy Rayon won the National Popular Song Contest (formerly Festival Song Contest). http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663160/259977_86673_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:00 AM Bacchanal&rsquo;s new flavour http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Bacchanal-s-new-flavour_90345 BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor – Auto and Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com WITH a new venue and a new road march route, organisers of Bacchanal Jamaica are hoping to leave patrons attending this year&rsquo;s staging &ldquo;Spellbound&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> The announcement was made at the carnival&rsquo;s 29th anniversary media launch held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday evening.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This year, Bacchanal Beach J&rsquo;Ouvert will be moving to its new venue at Grizzly&rsquo;s Plantation Cove in Priory, St Ann, on Saturday, April 15. The new venue will allow for upgraded parking and safety features, a great beach experience, and an ideal setting to jump-start carnival week 2017,&rdquo; said Michael Ammar Jr, a director of Bacchanal Jamaica.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For years we&rsquo;ve been having problems with Beach J&rsquo;Ouvert being able to facilitate parking especially, and James Bond Beach in Oracabessa just can&rsquo;t hold any more. And as we continue to grow it becomes a bigger and bigger problem. So we had the opportunity to talk to Robert Bryan, who owns Grizzly&rsquo;s, and we sat with him and designed a whole new area and it&rsquo;s being built right now. This is a long-term thing, because even if we triple the size of J&rsquo;Ouvert, we wouldn&rsquo;t run out of space. So this is something for the future... the next generation of carnival,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> In addition to its live performances by top soca stars, the annual Bacchanal Beach J&rsquo;Ouvert party sees revellers gyrating to the intoxicating sounds of carnival music while decorating each other with paint. The event goes on until late into the night.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Destra, Farmer Nappy, Nuphoric, DJ Richie RAS, and [DJ] Smoke will provide world-class vibes as we give you more fete, more paint and more Bacchanal,&rdquo; said Ammar Jr.<br /> <br /> The director told Jamaica Observer given the US$50-m construction of a Marriott hotel and BMW showroom at X Oasis on Lady Musgrave Road, former Bacchanal Jamaica lunch stop, the road march route had to be adjusted.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;On Sunday, April 23, the streets of Kingston will blossom in a display of beauty and colour as the Bacchanal Road March hits the road. This year we are changing our start point, our route, lunch stop, and final fete to upgrade our world-class product even more.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> According to the director, the new route begins at Sovereign Centre in St Andrew then moves along Hope Road, along Lady Musgrave Road, down Worthington Avenue across Oxford Road to the FLOW Golf Academy on Knutsford Boulevard, where they break for lunch.<br /> <br /> The march continues up Knutsford Boulevard, then onto Trafalgar Road. From Constant Spring the procession make its way to Half-Way-Tree then back to the Golf Academy.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;On the road, Bacchanal revellers will be treated to the best entertainment ever. Kes, Nuphoric, Private Ryan, Smoke, Sinistar, Ryan Sayeeed, Creep Chromatic, Lantern, Sanjay, Back2Basic, and Harrie Hype will thrill all day,&rdquo; said Ammar Jr.<br /> <br /> The launch saw Ed Bartlett, minister of tourism, endorsing the event as a foreign exchange earner, while Senator Kerensia Morrison did the same on behalf of Olivia &ldquo;Babsy&rdquo; Grange, minister of culture, entertainment, gender and sport.<br /> <br /> Guests were also treated to a colourful display of costumes slated for its road march.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In Jamaica we are Carnival... We are Bacchanal Jamaica,&rdquo; Ammar Jr added.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663396/260267_86689_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663395/260269_86691_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663400/260265_86688_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663398/260268_86690_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663399/260264_86687_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:00 AM Barrington Levy to drop new single http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Barrington-Levy-to-drop-new-single_90368 Reggae singer Barrington Levy is promoting his latest single GSOAT (Great Survivor of All Time).<br /> <br /> The track is a collaborative effort among Levy&rsquo;s Black Roses Label, Platinum Camp Records and Controlled Substance Sound Lab, and is expected in stores on March 10.<br /> <br /> According to Levy, GSOAT is about what it means to be unrelenting in the face of adversity. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We all have faced some difficult times in our lives. This song is for those people who have not crumbled under defeat; this song celebrates those who have the strength to carry on and be strong,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> An accompanying video is set to be released at the end of this month. Shot on location in Half-Way-Tree and Arnett Gardens in the Corporate Area, it will feature cameo appearances of renowned personalities including Sly and Robbie, Jah Screw, and George Phang.<br /> <br /> Levy, whose career took off in the 1970s, has one of the strongest catalogues in dancehall/reggae. His numerous hits include Under Mi Sensi, Black Roses, My Woman, Looking My Love, on The Telephone, and Work.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663164/260242_86672_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:00 AM Minor jump for Grammy nominees http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Minor-jump-for-Grammy-nominees_90350 BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer Five of the six albums nominated for Best Reggae Album at the recent Grammy Awards have enjoyed a minor sales spike. This is reflected in the latest Billboard Reggae Album chart.<br /> <br /> According to sales monitor Nielsen Music, Ziggy Marley&rsquo;s self-titled set, which won the award, posted the biggest sales, jumping from 23 to number eight. It sold 167 copies, up from 25 the week prior to the Grammys.<br /> <br /> To date Ziggy Marley has sold 13,269 copies.<br /> <br /> Even though it fell two spots to number four, Rebelution&rsquo;s Falling Into Place moved 483 copies compared to 267 the week before. It has sold 33,551 copies.<br /> <br /> Raging Fyah&rsquo;s Everlasting moved up from number 18 to number 20, selling 56 copies compared to 28 the previous week. Its total sales stand at 1,478.<br /> <br /> Moving up from 41 to number 28 is Live In Virginia by SOJA. The set moved 28 copies, a slight bump from 12 one week ago.<br /> <br /> Another nominee, Rose Petals by J Boog, is back in the chart at number 29 with 27 copies sold, compared to seven two weeks prior. To date it has sold 4,929 copies.<br /> <br /> Back on the Reggae Album chart, Fortunate Youth debuts at number one with its self-titled album which opened with 1,714 copies. This is the group&rsquo;s fourth &lsquo;charter&rsquo; and its second number one, following 2015&rsquo;s Don&rsquo;t Think Twice.<br /> <br /> Last week&rsquo;s chart-topper, Lost In Paradise by Common Kings, is number two. It sold 517 copies, down from last week&rsquo;s 3,100 copies. <br /> <br /> Christopher Martin&rsquo;s Big Deal opens at number three with 500 copies sold.<br /> <br /> The various artistes compilation Get Soca 2017 debuts at number five with 338 copies, while Rebelution&rsquo;s Live At Red Rocks is at number six with 198 copies sold to bring its total to 4,899.<br /> <br /> Stick Figure&rsquo;s Set in Stone is down to number seven, while J Boog&rsquo;s Wash House Ting is at number nine.<br /> <br /> Completing the top 10 is Stephen Marley&rsquo;s Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life, which sold 138 copies, up from 71 last week. Marley&rsquo;s album has to date sold 11,510 copies.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13641769/258081_84918_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490492/246097_72509_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13637260/257857_84599_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:00 AM Eljai pays homage to reggae royalty http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Eljai-pays-homage-to-reggae-royalty_90227_duplicate By Howard Campbell Observer senior writer Belizean<br /> <br /> singer Eljai pays tribute to reggae royalty on <br /> <br /> Together Forever<br /> <br /> , which blends two classic songs.<br /> <br /> Produced by Murdaben,<br /> <br /> Together Forever was released on February 6, Bob Marley&rsquo;s birth date. It came out five days after the birthday of Dennis Brown.<br /> <br /> With February also recognised as Reggae Month in Jamaica, Eljai thought it would be appropriate to release his homage.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;<br /> <br /> Together Forever combines Bob Marley&rsquo;s<br /> <br /> Forever Loving Jah and Dennis Brown&rsquo;s<br /> <br /> To The Foundation (Get Myself Together) in one song. It is a testament to the artistes that they were and the crucial catalogue of music they gave us, earning them the titles of the King and Crown Prince of Reggae music,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Forever Loving Jah is from Marley&rsquo;s album,<br /> <br /> Uprising, released in 1980, one year before his death from cancer at age 36.<br /> <br /> To The Foundation, produced by Gussie Clarke, was initially released in the late 1970s. Another version came out in 1984.<br /> <br /> Brown died in 1999 at age 42.<br /> <br /> Based in Los Angeles, Eljai started his career in the early 1990s as a member of Rhythm and Blues trio Belize.<br /> <br /> The Other Side Of Eljai, his third album, was released last April. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663159/260232_86674_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, February 23, 2017 3:00 AM Strong line-up for Rainforest Seafood Fest 2017 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Strong-line-up-for-Rainforest-Seafood-Fest-2017_90356 MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; A line-up of some of Jamaica&rsquo;s top- flight artistes is set to deliver performances at the highly anticipated fourth staging of the Rainforest Seafood Festival on Ash Wednesday, March 1, at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay, St James. <br /> <br /> The show, which returns to Montego Bay&rsquo;s entertainment landscape after a one-year hiatus, has popular acts such as Bounty Killer, Tifa, Ding Dong, Romain Virgo, Cocoa Tea and Kevin Downswell down to perform. <br /> <br /> Popular comedic duo Ity and Fancy Cat will host the event. <br /> <br /> Organisers are hoping to raise more than $10 million from this year&rsquo;s staging for donation to the We Care Foundation, which provides financial support to the Cornwall Regional Hospital. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our goal this year is to raise $10 million. In 2015, the last time we held the event, we were able to give $8.5 million, but we want to push and give a solid $10 million,&rdquo; said Bethany Young, a member of the organising committee. <br /> <br /> She noted that since the inception of the family event in 2013, some $25 million of its proceeds has been donated to the Cornwall Regional Hospital. <br /> <br /> In addition to the entertainment package, patrons will be treated to an array of seafood by more than 20 vendors from across the island, including Little Ochi Seafood, Gloria&rsquo;s, and Sharkies, as well as lionfish dishes courtesy of the Montego Bay Marine Park and the Fish Pot Truck. <br /> <br /> Children will be entertained by the Sesame Street characters and a petting zoo. There will also be a fireworks on display. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13662986/260222_86660_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13662983/260224_86662_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13662984/260223_86661_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13662982/260225_86663_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:00 AM Splendid goes salsa with Wukie Wukie http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Splendid-goes-salsa-with-Wukie-Wukie_90346 DEEJAY Splendid continues to record on non-dancehall beats with Wukie Wukie, his new salsa single.<br /> <br /> It is co-produced by Daley Works Entertainment and Miketerhon Music.<br /> <br /> Wukie Wukie is the follow-up to the Toronto-based artiste&rsquo;s cover of the calypso classic Big Bamboo, released last year.<br /> <br /> Splendid plans to visit Jamaica soon to step up promotion for the song.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m getting prepared to come to Jamaica in April to shoot the video. I also plan to do a lot of promotion while I&rsquo;m there and voice some new songs,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Splendid (given name Alphonso Jones) was born and raised in Charles Town, St Ann. He moved to Canada in 2000 and kicked off his recording career there two years later with Down Low. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663404/260179_86584_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:00 AM Eljai pays homage to reggae royalties http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Eljai-pays-homage-to-reggae-royalties_90227 By Howard Campbell Observer senior writer Belizean singer Eljai pays tribute to reggae royalty on Together Forever, which blends two classic songs.<br /> <br /> Produced by Murdaben,Together Forever was released on February 6, Bob Marley&rsquo;s birth date. It came out five days after the birthday of Dennis Brown.<br /> <br /> With February also recognised as Reggae Month in Jamaica, Eljai thought it would be appropriate to release his homage.<br /> <br /> &ldquo; Together Forever combines Bob Marley&rsquo;s Forever Loving Jah and Dennis Brown&rsquo;s<br /> <br /> To The Foundation (Get Myself Together) in one song. It is a testament to the artistes that they were and the crucial catalogue of music they gave us, earning them the titles of the king and crown prince of reggae music,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Forever Loving Jah is from Marley&rsquo;s album Uprising, released in 1980, one year before his death from cancer at age 36.<br /> <br /> To The Foundation, produced by Gussie Clarke, was initially released in the late 1970s. Another version came out in 1984.<br /> <br /> Brown died in 1999 at age 42.<br /> <br /> Based in Los Angeles, Eljai started his career in the early 1990s as a member of Rhythm and Blues trio Belize. The Other Side Of Eljai, his third album, was released last April. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13663159/260232_86674_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:00 AM David Bowie lauded http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/David-Bowie-lauded_90375 LONDON (AP) &ndash; Britain's music industry saluted chart-topping talent and departed icons at Wednesday's Brit Awards, where nominees include Drake, Beyonce and David Bowie.<br /> <br /> Bowie, who died in January 2016, was named British male artist of the year and is also nominated in the album of the year category for valedictory release "Blackstar"<br /> <br /> Bowie's award was accepted by Michael C Hall, star of "Lazarus," a stage musical based around the late artist's songs.<br /> <br /> "If David Bowie could be here tonight, he probably wouldn't be here tonight," Hall said of the famously elusive musician.<br /> <br /> Organizers said the Brits, the U.K. equivalent of the Grammys, would also include a tribute to George Michael, who died on Christmas Day at age 53.<br /> <br /> The flashy show at London 's O2 Arena opened with girl group Little Mix giving a thunderous performance of "Shout Out to My Ex," backed by a troupe of silver-pained dancers. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13664516/260260_r400_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:00 AM JCDC&rsquo;s gospel finalists chosen http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/JCDC-s-gospel-finalists-chosen_90231 THE top-10 finalists in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission&rsquo;s (JCDC) Jamaica Gospel Song Competition are scheduled to face-off at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St Andrew, on Sunday, July 23.<br /> <br /> The finalists were selected from 23 semi-finalists at an event held at Olson Memorial Chapel on Hope Road, last Sunday. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;This year&rsquo;s impressive crop of semi-finalists each brought something extra to the competition in their own unique way; it was hard for the judges to select the best 10,&rdquo; said Stephen Davidson, JCDC director of marketing and public relations. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;But the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition facilitates growth in the music industry, and continues to provide opportunities both locally and internationally for a lot of persons who have entered, even those who were not the winner on the final night,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> The finalists are: St Ann&rsquo;s Raheim Betty (Jesus I&rsquo;m Sold Out to You); Portland&rsquo;s Shaughna-Lee Steel (<br /> <br /> Arise); (Through the Storm) Chevanese Thomas; and (God is Real) Derona Nunes, both from Manchester. Three finalists represented Clarendon: Dannareo Fearon (Order My Steps); (The Blood) Shanoya Haley and (Too Late) Vylmark Hamilton. The Kingston and St Andrew comprised: Dycinta Nunes Holgate (Bawl Out), Tevon Brown (Christ Put a Praise in Me), and (Hold the Faith) Flavia Bradshaw Beswick. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The finalists will now begin preparation for their journey to the finals which will include voice, music and industry based developmental workshops, recording the album and performances and outreach across the island. All this will be captured in a reality television series leading up to the Grand Finals,&rdquo; said Davidson.<br /> <br /> Since its inception in 1987, the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition has become an iconic presentation of indigenous gospel music in Jamaica and attracts over 200 artistes, producers and writers of original gospel music each year. This competition is also seen as another avenue for the unearthing and growth of writers, and vocalists through training with the best within the industry. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13660660/259970_86451_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, February 22, 2017 12:00 AM