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 Portmore prepares to Drink Up http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Portmore-prepares-to-Drink-Up Xynkfence Music Group, a team of promoters, are behind Drink Up, set for Waves Beach in Portmore onOctober 9. <br /> <br /> It is the first time the series is being held outside of Kingston. Kamoy Clarke, a member of Xynkfence, spoke aboutthe concept. &ldquo;We started It&rsquo;s A Drink Up as a celebration for three of our friends who celebrated their birthdays in June. Based on the feedback from patrons and the popularity of the event, we decided to continue,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Xynkfence Music Group comprises Clarke, Rashedee Clarke, Joel Vickers, Audley Allen, Ricardo Henry, Cavell Campbell and Sheviene Taylor. This will be the sixth staging of It&rsquo;s A Drink Up. <br /> <br /> The latest show is is dubbed &lsquo;The Ultimate Drink Up Experience&rsquo;. Coppershot, Xynk Fence Sound, Di Unit, and ZJ Johnny Kool will provide entertainment. The event starts at 2:00 pm.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322431/231696_58638_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, September 30, 2016 12:00 AM Dancing in the fast lane with Bolt http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Dancing-in-the-fast-lane-with-Bolt_75697 By Kevin Jackson Observer Writer Songs from a diverse group of artistes will comprise the soundtrack to the forthcoming documentary I Am Bolt.<br /> <br /> The film tracks the life of sprint superstar Usain Bolt, winner of nine Olympic gold medals and world record holder for the 100 and 200 metres. It is set to premiere in London and Kingston next month, followed by a feature film to be available on Television On Demand and DVD.<br /> <br /> The music of Vybz Kartel, Sean Paul, Damian Marley, R Kelly, Nas, Desmond Dekker, Beenie Man and Major Lazer are featured on the soundtrack.<br /> <br /> According to a highly placed source who requested anonymity, the soundtrack will be released by Island Records.<br /> <br /> Filming on<br /> <br /> I Am Bolt began in May during Bolt&rsquo;s preparation for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. It is directed by Gabe and Ben Turner, the team behind hit documentaries<br /> <br /> Class of &rsquo;92 and One Direction: This Is Us<br /> <br /> I Am Bolt is produced by Fulwell 73, with the executive producer being the Doyen Group.<br /> <br /> In an interview with Britain&rsquo;s<br /> <br /> Guardian newspaper, Bolt said, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m excited to start work on this project. When I met Gabe and Ben and heard about their previous work, I felt they would be the right people to tell my story and capture my journey to Rio 2016. It&rsquo;s going to be a lot of fun.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Bolt is a big fan of dancehall music and an active &lsquo;clubber&rsquo;. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, he performed popular dancehall moves after his three victories.<br /> <br /> He frequents popular weekly dances in Jamaica and is a regular at top clubs whenever he competes in Europe.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13231418/223720_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12804089/193696.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13117385/213985.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, September 30, 2016 12:00 AM Specialist goes Spiritual http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Specialist-goes-Spiritual_75657 Impresario Clifton &lsquo;Specialist&rsquo; Dillon, who has had success with Shabba Ranks, Patra, Ky-Mani Marley, Mad Cobra, Alborosie and OMI, recently signed singer Spiritual to his Oufah Music label.<br /> <br /> Spiritual&rsquo;s first album,<br /> <br /> Awakening, is due in early 2017 on VP Records. Two singles have so far been released to stir interest in the project. They are<br /> <br /> Time Has Come and Stand Up Rasta.<br /> <br /> Raised in Allman Town, Kingston, Spiritual was active in his church choir before embracing Rastafari.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m here to preach and to practise love to all people. Love is the cure for everything. Love makes you healthy and I&rsquo;m convinced that one day, scientists will discover that it&rsquo;s the basis of living, y&lsquo;know? Because we should all be loving people, and that&rsquo;s the key message in my music. It&rsquo;s all about love and progress,&rdquo; he reasoned. <br /> <br /> Dillon, who produced OMI&rsquo;s massive hit song Cheerleader, believes Spiritual has the goods to go all the way.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s really been a pleasure to work with talent such as Spiritual. He brings us back to an era of consciousness, of journeys foretold, and I see it as our responsibility to not only chart our own futures, but to preserve and give respect to the ones who&rsquo;ve laid the foundation for artistes like Spiritual to be heard,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322434/231692_58637_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322433/231691_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, September 30, 2016 12:00 AM St James PC to establish entertainment zones http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/St-James-PC-to-establish-entertainment-zones_75681 BY ACEION CUNNINGHAM Observer writer MONTEGO BAY, St James: The St James Parish Council has mandated its Civic and Community Affairs Committee to establish and structure a plan to demarcate entertainment zones and spots in the resort city of Montego Bay.<br /> <br /> The committee met recently and a sub-committee comprising stakeholder-representatives from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Jamaica Fire Brigade, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and Jamaica Federation of Musicians (JFM) was initiated. The sub-committee has also been mandated to co-opt large and small event promoters to be part of the deliberations.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The need for a comprehensive plan and structure to guide the execution of events, especially parties in Montego Bay, is important, in light of the growth in not only the entertainment sector in Montego Bay, but the other sectors as well, such as tourism,&rdquo; explained Suzette Brown, chairman, Civic and Community Affairs Committee, St James Parish Council.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;With clear definitions on operational procedures, promoters can function unencumbered within the remit of the new guidelines to be laid out regarding the entertainment zones and spots. The committee will determine the specifics, especially as it relates to the areas, spots, and times,&rdquo; Brown further explained.<br /> <br /> She added that the regulations will be guided by the Parish Council Act, Town and Country Planning Act and the Local Improvement Act.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are cognisant of the economic impact that this sector has on Montego Bay, it brings revenue to the hairdressers, clothing stores, nail technicians and so many others. In order to protect it, we must bring about equity within the sector. If we have established guidelines, then we are protecting the small promoters, who invest heavily in staging events and at times incur losses based on the restrictions placed on them as opposed to promoters of major events,&rdquo; Brown argued.<br /> <br /> Mayor of Montego Bay Glendon Harris also spoke to the protection of the entertainment sector in Montego Bay and the need to have established guidelines.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Montego Bay is the entertainment capital of Jamaica and we have to encourage that, it is a part of our city, so we have to ensure that the process is smooth. We are in dialogue with the police, venue owners and other related agencies. Once we have signed off on the acceptable places conducive for night events we will proceed to establish the zones,&rdquo; Harris stated. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322769/231789_58742_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, September 30, 2016 12:00 AM January date for Kalado http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/January-date-for-Kalado_75701 Entertainer Kalado will next appear in court in early 2017 as his ongoing assault battle continues.<br /> <br /> The dancehall deejay, whose given name is Eton Gordon, was arrested and charged with assault following a reported incident with a woman in June. He pled not guilty when he appeared in the Kingston & St Andrew Parish Court in Half-Way-Tree earlier this month.<br /> <br /> It is alleged that the complainant was walking along the roadway when the deejay lunged from his vehicle and attacked her.<br /> <br /> He is expected to return to court on January 16, 2017, when the matter is set for mention.<br /> <br /> Kalado is known for tracks including<br /> <br /> Personally, Cold In A Mind, Hot Ride, and<br /> <br /> Never Punk.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13176966/218684.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, September 30, 2016 12:00 AM More &lsquo;Freedom&rsquo;songs from Carlene http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/More--Freedom-songs--from-Carlene_75614 Carlene Davis was living in Toronto, Canada in the 1970s when Bob Marley was emerging as reggae&rsquo;s first major star.<br /> <br /> She first met him in 1976 at a press conference in Toronto after his show at Maple Leaf Gardens. Seventeen years later, she recorded Songs Of Freedom, a collection of Marley songs in tribute to the singer/songwriter who died in May 1981.<br /> <br /> First released in 1993, Songs Of Freedom was recently reissued by the Marley-owned Tuff Gong International and Capital Records.<br /> <br /> It was originally released by EKO Records (a label owned by Davis&rsquo; husband Tommy Cowan) and VP Records. The album was produced by Cowan, who worked several years as a marketing man for Marley and Tuff Gong.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was both myself and Tommy&rsquo;s idea to do this album. Tommy was a close friend and worked with Marley for years, and I&rsquo;ve always had high respect for his music,&rdquo; Davis told Splash.<br /> <br /> The Songs Of Freedom reissue has a new jacket with an additional song &mdash; Coming In From The Cold. Keyboardist Tyrone Downie, who recorded and toured with Marley for seven years, played on the track.<br /> <br /> The Songs Of Freedom track list is completed by Satisfy My Soul, Running Away, Three Little Birds, Time Will Tell, Talking Blues, Love And Affection, So Much Trouble, Waiting In Vain, One Drop, Soul Rebel, and Redemption Song.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13321979/231609_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, September 30, 2016 12:00 AM Sol returns with Machiavelli http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Sol-returns-with-Machiavelli_75684 Deejay Sol, whose song Weatherman was a summer hit, follows up with Machiavelli. It is one of several songs on the Diamond League rhythm produced by Supa Hype.<br /> <br /> Machiavelli is from Climate Change, Sol&rsquo;s first mixtape, which was released on September 8.<br /> <br /> The 14-track Climate Change includes Wul Out and Waste, both produced by Horatio Spec Rowe who was also behind Weatherman.<br /> <br /> Dem Nuh Waan Mi Reach Nuh Wey, produced by First Class Records, is also on the mixtape.<br /> <br /> Sol (born Andre Rowe) is from Spanish Town, but lived several years in the United States where he recorded as a hip hop artiste.<br /> <br /> He returned to Jamaica last year and hit the charts soon after with the catchy Weatherman.<br /> <br /> &mdash; HC http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322628/231781_58702_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, September 30, 2016 12:00 AM D-Medz presses on http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/D-Medz-presses-on_75670 Singjay D-Medz and Sizzla have teamed up for Press Button, a song from his pending mixtape, From A Boy To A Man.<br /> <br /> Produced by Rural Area Productions, Press Button is done on the classic Far East rhythm first recorded at Studio One in the 1960s. A slower, more popular version was recorded at Channel One during the late 1970s.<br /> <br /> D-Medz cut the songs on From A Boy To A Man &mdash; which will be released this year &mdash; on Studio One beats.<br /> <br /> Nuh Falla, an earlier track, was done on the Real Rock rhythm.<br /> <br /> He said From A Boy To A Man will evolve into an EP of the same name, produced by Rural Area Productions. Eppjam Productions are executive producers.<br /> <br /> It will be the Clarendon-born artiste&rsquo;s second EP. His first,<br /> <br /> Empower, was released in 2014.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12642481/184919_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, September 30, 2016 12:00 AM Richard &lsquo;Bruckie&rsquo; Lee&rsquo;s 60th http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Richard--Bruckie--Lee-s-60th_75610 Although Richard &lsquo;Bruckie&rsquo; Lee marked his 60th birthday last Friday with a party at his boyhood home in Seiveright Gardens, the celebrations ran into Wednesday this week, when he and some of his friends relaxed in the backyard at the party venue, imbibing from what seemed an endless supply and enjoying good food that they all contributed to preparing.<br /> <br /> OBSERVER PHOTOGRAPHER KARL MCLARTY was, of course, called to service.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322223/231501_58602_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322230/231496_58607_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322231/231498_58604_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322225/231500_58603_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322227/231497_58605_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322226/231494_58612_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322229/231493_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322228/231492_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322224/231643_58619_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322222/231502_58601_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322233/231495_58609_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, September 30, 2016 12:00 AM Beenie Man Unstoppable on Billboard http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Beenie-Man-Unstoppable-on-Billboard_75505 By Kevin Jackson Observer Writer Beenie Man&rsquo;s Unstoppable, his first studio album in 10 years, debuts at number five on the Billboard Reggae Album Chart. The set, released on September 16 by VP Records distribution arm VPAL, sold 244 copies in its first week.<br /> <br /> Unstoppable contains 22 songs. It features collaborations with Sizzla, Bounty Killer, Agent Sasco, J Gunn, Christopher Martin, Akon and Tarrus Riley.<br /> <br /> Producers include Major Lazer, Tony Kelly, Mario C, Jordan McClure, Seanizzle, Jeremy Harding and Don Corleone. <br /> <br /> Some of its tracks are Come To Me, Blue Lights, We Run Road (remix), Mash It Up and Bun It Up.<br /> <br /> Unstoppable is Beenie Man&rsquo;s 11th title to chart on Billboard. Six have gone to number one.<br /> <br /> Elsewhere on the chart, New York reggae dub outfit Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad debuts at number one with Make It Better , which sold 483 copies. Rebelution&rsquo;s Falling Into Place is at number two with 403 copies, which takes its tally to 27,067 since its release 18 weeks ago.<br /> <br /> Former chart-topper Nothing More To Say by New York reggae act Frightnrs is down to number three after just three weeks. The album sold an additional 341 to bring its total to 2,582.<br /> <br /> Last week&rsquo;s number one, Fireflies by John Brown&rsquo;s Body, is number four, while Keep It Together by Bumpin Uglies slips to number nine.<br /> <br /> Stephen Marley&rsquo;s<br /> <br /> Revelation Part II: The Fruit, is number seven, with a nine-week tally of 8,360 copies. His brother Ziggy moves up two places to number eight with his self-titled album. After 18 weeks, it has figures of 11,621 copies.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319558/224209_58408_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:00 AM Alex jumps Outta Di Boxx http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Alex-jumps-Outta-Di-Boxx_75495 IN October last year, word came that after more than two decades, dancehall quartet T.O.K was calling it quits. Since then, former members Rushaun &ldquo;Bay C&rdquo; Clarke, Craig &ldquo;Craigy-T&rdquo; Thompson, and Xavier &ldquo;Flexx&rdquo; Davidson, have got their solo careers off the ground. <br /> <br /> But Alistaire &ldquo;Alex&rdquo; McCalla has been slow getting out of the blocks. He has dropped his debut solo single, which is titled<br /> <br /> Tek a Whine. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Basically, I just had to take the time off. I don&rsquo;t really know about anyone else, but if I&rsquo;m doing something I have to take the time to do it right, and I just had to do that after the group broke up. I have also had to refocus, to think more like a solo artiste as opposed to being one member of a group. I now have more freedom to express my creativity,&rdquo; he told the Jamaica Observer. &ldquo;There is no longer the debate and discussion. I now have to rely on myself for everything; everything falls on my shoulders.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Tek a Whine is also the first production from his Outta Di Boxx label and production company. The track came out of a session with sound engineer and producer Richie Loop.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The best of artistes and professionals know that they must be able to take advice as we don&rsquo;t know everything. I was able to find this in Richie Loop. We just knocked heads, came up with one line and the rest is history,&rdquo; Alex explained. &ldquo;He pushed me to express myself vocally in a way that I had never done before. I am even deejaying on this track and I am not a deejay. But that&rsquo;s what Outta Di Boxx really represents. The music will not be typical.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> He is putting the finishing touches on his first album Next Levelution which is set to drop in 2017, but no definitive date has been set. <br /> <br /> Alex is optimistic about his future, noting that during his T.O.K years he had put a few things on hold which he plans to take up. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The truth is, I never expected the break-up. But you just have to roll with the punches. Now I can do some of the things I have always wanted to do, such as acting. I had put that on the back burner and I now have the opportunity to explore that and see what happens,&rdquo; he said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319035/231327__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319037/230675__w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:00 AM Cecil Cooper sent off with musical tributes http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Cecil-Cooper-sent-off-with-musical-tributes_75575 THE chapel at The University of the West Indies, Mona, was filled yesterday with members of the artistic community as they gathered to pay their final respects to artist, teacher and musician Cecil Harvey Cooper.<br /> <br /> Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who read the first lesson, and culture minister Olivia &lsquo;Babsy&rsquo; Grange headed the list of dignitaries at the thanksgiving service.<br /> <br /> The two-and-a-half-hour-long service opened with a string of musical tributes to the late tenor. Carole Reid with I Want Jesus to Walk With Me; Commander John McFarlane delivered John Denver&rsquo;s You Fill Up My Senses; Keisha Patterson offered You&rsquo;ll Never Walk Alone; and the University Singers performed the anthem Give Me Wings. However, the most touching moment was a performance of My Way by Dem by Three Jamaican Tenors. This group started 12 years ago and featured David Reid, Steve Higgins and Cooper. Higgins said he had promised Cooper to keep the trio going and had roped in Rory Baugh and Commander John McFarlane. For this performance it was Baugh, Higgins and Cooper&rsquo;s vocals cleverly mixed into the track. That would not be the last time time the congregation would hear the voice of the late tenor, as recordings would further punctuate the service of thanksgiving.<br /> <br /> Representing the family, Pastor Charles Brevitt remembered Cooper for his sensitivity, compassion, wisdom, and scholarly pursuits and summed up the man by quoting American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson<br /> <br /> &ldquo; &lsquo;...To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.&rsquo; I do believe Cecil has been a success.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Former student and visual artist Ebony Patterson remembered her late tutor for his ability to push his students to limits they did no know they were capable of attaining.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He was a mountain of a man whose presence filled a room&rsquo;s corners. He was a generous teacher who gave his students so much and always demanded more. This was because he saw you going beyond the potential you had set for yourself. I hear him everyday when I am sharing with my own students,&rdquo; she recalled.<br /> <br /> Cooper&rsquo;s friend for nearly four decades Robert Gregory reflected on his personality, noting that he was an opinionated straight-talker. &ldquo;He says what he means and means what he says, charismatic, wore his heart on his sleeve but was no bleeding heart, did not suffer fools gladly.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Cooper, who died on September 15 after a brief illness, is survived by his widow Rose, daughters Alissa, Alexis and Jamila, stepson Adrian as well as five siblings. He was 70 years old. His death came one week after he invested into the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander, for his contribution to the arts.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Richard Johnson http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13320142/231435_58537_repro_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, September 29, 2016 2:00 AM Safara Mona keeps a &lsquo;Monitor&rsquo; on the youth http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Safara-Mona-keeps-a--Monitor--on-the-youth_75485 Having mentored a number of youths in some of Jamaica&rsquo;s toughest communities, Safara Mona knows it will take more than lip service to keep them on the straight and narrow.<br /> <br /> The deejay reaches out to marginalised youngsters in the song Monitor, which was recently released by her Black Slave Pinnacle label. According to Safara Mona, there was a time when her ability was questioned.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Dem used to sey mi not marketable &lsquo;cause mi a fat artiste. But my mother tell mi from mi little sey, &lsquo;There is nothing yuh can&rsquo;t do&rsquo;, an&rsquo; that is what I&rsquo;m trying to tell these youths.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &lsquo;These youths&rsquo; are in areas like her native Spanish Town, Arnett Gardens, Rema, Tivoli Gardens and Jacques Road. While she tries to connect with them, Safara Mona also empathises with older residents.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A lot of dem made drastic decisions in life and it turned out for the worst. So, yuh have to be there to help guide dem,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Safara Mona (real name Shockera Pinnock) is from the Tryall Heights section of Spanish Town. Influenced by Sister Nancy, Lady Ann and Sister Carol, most of her songs, including her 2008 debut Harder Times, address social issues.<br /> <br /> I Am Not A Toy and Cruff Life are two of her other songs. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319939/231288_58338_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:00 AM Vijahn revisits his roots http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Vijahn-revisits-his-roots_75489 Vijahn salutes the Motherland on his latest song, Kunta Kente, produced by Mango Tree Entertainment.<br /> <br /> He believes there are not enough songs produced in Jamaica that hail the black majority&rsquo;s African ancestors.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Jamaica needs songs that empower us as black people and keep the ancestral spirits alive,&rdquo; said Vijahn. <br /> <br /> Kunta Kente was a pivotal figure in Roots, American writer/historian Alex Haley&rsquo;s epic book and television mini-series.<br /> <br /> Vijahn&rsquo;s next song, Mash Down Rome, another Mango Tree Entertainment production, is scheduled for release soon.<br /> <br /> Born Anthony Edwards in Kingston, Vijahn grew up in Rock Hall, Portland and attended Titchfield High School. In 2004, he converted to the Rastafarian faith, re-christening himself Vijahn.<br /> <br /> His breakthrough song was Black Flag, produced by Dave Mitchell of Beego&rsquo;s Production.<br /> <br /> Recently, he signed a management and production deal with Mango Tree Entertainment. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319619/231297_58344_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:00 AM Weary &ldquo;Ninja&rdquo; heads back to court http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Weary--Ninja--heads-back-to-court_75379 Ninjaman is scheduled to return to the Home Circuit Court in Kingston on November 28. The entertainer, along with his son, Jahneil, is charged with the March 2009 murder of Ricardo Johnson in Marl Road, Kingston.<br /> <br /> The case was transferred to a recently established special court, designed to deal with cases on the books for more than five years.<br /> <br /> According to Ninjaman, the drawn-out process has affected his career.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There is hardly any work in Jamaica for an artiste because a mostly parties keep and di few promoters who keep stage show nuh like pay Jamaican artiste good money,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Because of dis case I have travel restrictions and have to be turning down lots of events. The legal fees are very costly and is eight years now mi a go through dem tings here.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The artiste, whose given name is Desmond Ballentine, is worried he may be given another court date when he appears in November.<br /> <br /> Ninjaman is laying tracks for his upcoming 16-track album. The yet-titled project is slated for release in January 2017.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Simone Morgan-Lindo http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317087/231086_58179_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM Etana takes it all back http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Etana-takes-it-all-back_75376 Facing backlash over her support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Etana has apologised to Jamaicans for endorsing the controversial real estate billionaire.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My recent remarks were made against the background of the real fear of terrorist attacks and acts of random violence that are so pervasive in the US right now. But I realise now that<br /> <br /> I cannot give in to this fear...we cannot build walls to lock ourselves in and other people that we fear, or we run the risk of isolating ourselves and losing our humanity, a quality we must protect at all costs. We must not allow fear to allow us to lose the best part of ourselves, the ability to love unconditionally, and to connect with our fellow men and women, regardless of their beliefs, religion, or ethnicity,&rdquo; the singer said in a statement. <br /> <br /> In Monday night&rsquo;s first debate against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in Hempstead, New York, Trump was repeatedly challenged about his controversial claims that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.<br /> <br /> Interestingly, the 33-year-old Etana is known for songs such as Wrong Address and Roots which tackle forms of racial profiling and promote black pride.<br /> <br /> She migrated to the United States in 1992. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13316605/231084_58176_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM Gunter serves a bellyful of laughs http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Gunter-serves-a-bellyful-of-laughs_75375 For almost 10 years, Rohan Gunter has kept fans in South Florida laughing with a distinct brand of Caribbean humour. He has also helped promote Jamaican culture in the region which has a massive West Indian population.<br /> <br /> Gunter is one of the nominees for South Florida Entertainer of The Year at the October 2 International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA). Last year, the organisation selected him as its Comedian Of The Year.<br /> <br /> From Franklin Town in East Kingston, Gunter said the Caribbean comedy scene has picked up in South Florida during the last five years.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Stand-up comedy is growing in South Florida with the help of some local talents such as Pastor St Hope, Ray J and Marley who are performers and promoters from the islands pushing the laughter. I have hosted four events since migrating and helping to push it also,&rdquo; he told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Through his production company, Projex Mygreat, Gunter produced two new shows &mdash; Dinner And Laffs and Gigglez &mdash; The Laugh Continues &mdash; this year in West Palm Beach and Miramar, respectively.<br /> <br /> The audience attending his productions are largely Caribbean immigrants, but Gunter said his base has become more diverse as topics transcend West Indian issues.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They are still growing with the help of the plays which have been crossing culture lines. It&rsquo;s a mixed audience and I am focused on crossing over, so I have been paying attention to the wider market while still representing my Jamaican culture,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> The popular themes are mainly Jamaican. Some involve the country&rsquo;s most famous sportsman.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A company decided to make gold condoms in honour of Usain Bolt&rsquo;s victories in Rio. The sales were very weak and they even had to discontinue the production. They were curious why this was so. They sent a reporter to do research on the matter and the Jamaicans would complain that although they love Bolt with all their heart, when they use the Bolt Gold condoms they always come first and in less than 10 seconds. They are seeking Justin Gatlin now.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The IRAWMAs will be held at the Coral Springs Center For The Arts.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Howard Campbell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13316641/231083_58175_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM Reggae stars Pam Hall for library charity in Kenya http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Reggae-stars-Pam-Hall-for-library-charity-in-Kenya_75385 Eric Donaldson, Pam Hall, Half Pint and Leroy Sibbles are currently in Nairobi, Kenya for a charity show, funds from which will be used to build libraries in the East African country.<br /> <br /> According to the Kenya Star, the quartet is scheduled to perform on the Rise Up Festival Saturday at Carnivore Grounds in Nairobi.<br /> <br /> The two libraries will be built in the cities of Kibera and Bondo.<br /> <br /> The Kenyan Star reported that Donaldson, Hall, Sibbles and Half Pint were recruited by the Having Purpose organisation to perform on the inaugural event.<br /> <br /> Kenya is one of the vibrant markets for Jamaican artistes in Africa. A number of dancehall/reggae acts have appeared there including Busy Signal, Konshens and most recently Jah9.<br /> <br /> Donaldson, best known for &lsquo;Festival&rsquo; winners Cherry oh Baby and Land Of My Birth, has had a following throughout Africa for over 40 years. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317113/231103_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317110/231102_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317112/231101_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM No worries for Frankie Paul http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/No-worries-for-Frankie-Paul_75391 Frankie Paul, who had part of his right leg amputated in January, has denied rumours that his health has deteriorated.<br /> <br /> The singer set the record straight after an unflattering photograph of him was circulated on the Internet.<br /> <br /> Posted on Facebook, it shows a thin, shirtless Paul sitting on a bed. The image triggered rumours that he has serious health issues.<br /> <br /> Paul said the photo may have been taken without his permission by someone he was recording a dub session for.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;People have been calling me and asking what is going on but I didn&rsquo;t know what was going on. People, I am recovering by God&rsquo;s grace and your prayers. I have been stronger than ever and my voice has been beautiful as ever. Keep praying for me because my life depends on music, love and peace,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Paul, a diabetic, underwent surgery in late January. Early that month, he performed on the Startime event in Kingston, sitting in a chair.<br /> <br /> Born visually impaired, Paul, whose given name Paul Blake, is a giant of 1980s&rsquo; dancehall. His hits include Cassanova,<br /> <br /> Worries In The Dance, I Know The Score and Sarah.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Simone Morgan-Lindo Local Entertainment Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM After 12: Stay Fly Sudeen http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/After-12--Stay-Fly-Sudeen_75337 It was a birthday bash for Sudeen, and the name, &lsquo;Stay Fly&rsquo;, had some guessing. But what was not in doubt was the revelry and good vibes enjoyed by all last Thursday. Naturally, KARL MCLARTY, the OBSERVER&rsquo;s nocturnal shutterbug, was there.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317094/231025_58208_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317098/231029_58205_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317088/231028_58206_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317093/231027_58207_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317100/231024_58209_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317097/231022_58211_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317092/231023_58210_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317089/231021_58212_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317095/231020_58213_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317096/231018_58214_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317099/231017_58215_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317091/231014_58216_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13317086/231013_58217_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:00 AM Earlington looks to the Stars http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Earlington-looks-to-the-Stars_75293 ON Sunday night, 24-year-old Elton Earlington became the seventh male to win the Digicel Rising Stars title. He beat 16-year-old Monifa Goss in a keenly contested finale inside the Courtleigh Auditorium in St Andrew, and brought the curtains down on season 13.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am highly overwhelmed by my win. But I won&rsquo;t be celebrating, because this is just the beginning for me and I can&rsquo;t celebrate the beginning as if I&rsquo;ve already made it. I am just going to try and get settled and try to make this more than what it is now. I am happy and grateful to have won. But I need to get out there and become bigger and better. The best is yet to come,&rdquo; Earlington told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.<br /> <br /> For him, winning was the crowning moment after auditioning nine times.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I auditioned nine times for Rising Stars. I was very happy when I made it to the live studio rounds. I just kept trying because I knew that this is something that I always wanted,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> He spoke about his most memorable moment in the Rising Stars competition.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My most memorable moment was when (show) producer Sharon Schroeter told me that I was going to perform the song that gave me the most votes during the competition. That song is When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge. I was so shocked but yet happy because I always loved that song,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Digicel Rising Stars began in 2004. The first winner was Portland native Cavan. Other males who have won the competition include singers Christopher Martin, Romain Virgo, Dalton Harris, T-Rizzy, and musician Verlando Small.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This has been one of the most intense seasons we&rsquo;ve had. The contestants were the youngest we&rsquo;ve ever had but they have amazing talent and I hope to see them all on an international stage in the future,&rdquo; series producer Schroeter told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> At Sunday&rsquo;s grand finale, a number of contestants from this season shared the stage. Other performances came from Razor B, Alaine, and Dalton Harris.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Kevin Jackson http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314737/230934_58079_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Checkmate for Harambe http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Checkmate-for-Harambe_75285 By Kevin Jackson Observer writer Harambe, a song by African hip hop artiste Saba Saba and Jamaican deejay E-Dee, is featured on the soundtrack to the film, Queen of Katwe.<br /> <br /> The single is co-produced by Sean &lsquo;Due&rsquo; Lashley and American Jesse &lsquo;Belief&rsquo; Shatkin. Lashly&lsquo;s parents are Jamaican (he was born in New York and lived in Patrick City, Kingston, for several years). Shatkin is best known for producing Sia&rsquo;s monster hit Chandelier.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Harambe is featured on a &lsquo;riddim&rsquo; we did in 2009 called Weapon. Beenie Man&rsquo;s Woman was the only song on the project that we released on iTunes,&rdquo; Lashley told the Jamaica Observer. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m excited about this. This is more than I could have ever imagined. I have another song featured in a film from Lions Gate that&rsquo;s coming out soon.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Songs by Tifa, singer Jimmy Cozier and Vybz Kartel are also on the Weapon.<br /> <br /> Co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures and ESPN Films, Queen of Katwe is directed by Mira Nair with the screenplay by William Wheeler. It stars David Oyelowo, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong&rsquo;o, and Madina Nalwanga.<br /> <br /> It is based on the life of Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan chess prodigy who grew up in Katwe, one of that country&rsquo;s poorest areas. She began competing at nine years-old and has since excelled in numerous international tournaments.<br /> <br /> Queen of Katwe screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314740/230931_58073_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314739/230929_58075_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314742/230930_58074_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314736/230928_58076_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Thurston takes the Minibus http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Thurston-takes-the-Minibus_74971 EMERGING singjay Thurston is predicting his debut single, Minibus, will be a hit, especially among the commuting public.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s gonna be a banger. It&rsquo;s the introduction to who Thurston is,&rdquo; he told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Minibus will be released the end of this month on the Natural High Music label.<br /> <br /> He shared what the single was about.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The song is about me travelling on a minibus with a bag of books to distribute to some children. However, everyone on the bus thinks I&rsquo;m travelling with marijuana. It&rsquo;s an upbeat and fun song, but there&rsquo;s an underlying message... I want to encourage the children to read again,&rdquo; said the 28-year-old.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want everyone to know that marijuana on an empty mind leaves an empty soul. I want to uplift and enlighten the youths to amplify their potential,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> He said a video for Minibus is in the works.<br /> <br /> Thurston (full name Thurston Gordon) is a native of Montego Bay, St James. He attended Herbert Morrison Technical High in the parish as well as Northern Caribbean University in Manchester. He holds a degree in psychology and social work from the latter.<br /> <br /> He feels the recent flare-up of violence in Montego Bay is a result of the breakdown of the family and values.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Children are having children... They have lost the ability to express themselves, so they turn to music. Listening to good music is the first step on getting them back on track,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Having performed at the recently concluded High Vibes Roots and Reggae Festival and We Are Reggae concerts, both in Montego Bay, he said he&rsquo;s encouraged by the reception.<br /> <br /> His other upcoming singles are Tears and Idols.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Aceion Cunningham<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314572/230349_58027_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Kenyata banks on Sheblelep Wednesdays http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Kenyata-banks-on-Sheblelep-Wednesdays_75274 There is no shortage of weekly dances in Kingston, and several of them take place in the Cockburn Gardens area. The new kid on the block is Sheblelep Wednesdays.<br /> <br /> The event was launched a month ago at York Avenue in that community by singer Kenyata. He told the Jamaica Observer that his objective is to expose his music as well as that of homegrown artistes.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Wi have a different thing than Whoppings Thursday an&rsquo; All Star Thursday &lsquo;cause our thing have a stage show vibe. Wi waan highlight Kenyata, di artistes &lsquo;roun&rsquo; mi an&rsquo; di community.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &lsquo;Whoppings&rsquo; and &lsquo;All Star&rsquo; are held in Cockburn Gardens and nearby Olympic Way, respectively. Along with Belpaz Tuesday, another York Avenue gig, they have revived the community&rsquo;s dance scene which was vibrant during the 1980s through the Stur Gav sound system.<br /> <br /> Kenyata, 31, expects tomorrow&rsquo;s show to be Sheblelep&rsquo;s biggest yet. It has special guest acts in singers Junior Reid and Nature.<br /> <br /> The gangly Rastafarian was actually born in Clarks Town, Trelawny. He moved with his family to Cockburn Gardens in 1997 and began recording three years later.<br /> <br /> His first song, Down Inna Di Slum, was produced by his mentor Norbert Barnswell. The latter, a deejay known as Dilligent, is also a Sheblelep Wednesdays regular.<br /> <br /> Kenyata believes most of his songs have not made an impact due to lack of promotion. With Sheblelep Wednesdays, he expects new singles like One Aim, One God, One Destiny (produced by Marcus Myrie) to gain some mileage.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Wi use to sit down an&rsquo; wait pon people (producers) who tell yuh sey &lsquo;next week or next month&rsquo; it get release. Wi can jus&rsquo; do our own thing now.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &mdash; Howard Campbell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314679/230909_58028_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Isha Blender&rsquo;s Epiphany http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Isha-Blender-s-Epiphany_75195 ISHA Williams was a toddler in the early 1990s, a period of cultural awareness in dancehall led by a phalanx of artistes, including her father, Everton Blender.<br /> <br /> Strongly influenced by his message, she followed his path into music as Isha Blender. Her first EP, Epiphany, will be released in October.<br /> <br /> It contains seven songs with Don&rsquo;t Be Used, an acoustic number, being the lead.<br /> <br /> Blender first recorded at age 12. That song was Bad Boy, produced by her father for his Blend Dem label.<br /> <br /> She continued to record sporadically while attending Garvey Maceo High School in her native Clarendon. Shortly after graduation, she migrated to the United States, settling in South Florida where she is a registered nurse.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Because my dad&rsquo;s an entertainer, people think you have to do the same thing, but it doesn&rsquo;t have to be,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I kept going away from music, but I was pulled back like magnet to steel.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Epiphany also contains Testimony, a duet with Capleton, Tonight, Joy and Babymother.<br /> <br /> Capleton and Everton Blender were part of the roots renaissance of the 1990s that was led by Yasus Afari, Garnet Silk and Tony Rebel. Everton Blender had a series of big hits back then such as Lift Up Your Head, Family Man and Blend Dem.<br /> <br /> While she counts the &lsquo;old man&rsquo; among her biggest influences, Isha Blender says she gets a different vibe listening to different genres. Neo-soul artistes Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, as well as homegrown acts Nadine Sutherland, Etana, Tessanne Chin and Ikaya are also favourites.<br /> <br /> She is hoping Epiphany will be a career definer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want to be an household name as Isha Blender. At the same time I want my songs to uplift and motivate like my Dad.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13312581/229922__w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, September 26, 2016 12:00 AM