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 It's a Rocky road http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/It-s-a-Rocky-road_19225935 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com SEEING actor Courtney Wilson on stage one expects the loud, larger-than-life character to translate in person. Instead, the 34-year-old comes across almost shy and retreating.<br /> <br /> "I see myself as reserved. I am an underground artiste -- I like being in the public eye, but not in the faces. I really don't like the spotlight unless I am on stage," he told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Wilson plays the lead character, Rocky, in The Baby Scam currently playing at Centrestage Theatre in New Kingston. He is cast as a successful pharmaceuticals salesman whose world turns upside down when he is visited by a female escort.<br /> <br /> He admits the role is a new experience for him, but one he relishes.<br /> <br /> "Rocky stretches me as an actor. It is a different kind of role than what I am used to. It is really big shoes to fill, but I trust my directors Patrick Brown and Trevor Nairne. Wherever they lead I will follow," Wilson said.<br /> <br /> "The hardest part was losing myself in the character, who is so different from Courtney Wilson. I have to ensure that no part of Courtney Wilson comes through in Rocky... from the way he speaks to his eyes and mannerism. There is a big difference, and I have to make the audience see that," he added.<br /> <br /> Despite the challenge of this character, Wilson says he does not want to be typecast.<br /> <br /> "I don't want audiences to always say: 'him a di jokie-jokie one'. I must not be predictable as an actor."<br /> <br /> A former student of Excelsior High School and the performing arts programme at Excelsior Community College in St Andrew, Wilson won an Actor Boy Award in 2005 for Best Supporting Actor in Vibes. He was nominated two years ago for his work in Ladies of The Night.<br /> <br /> It's a Rocky road<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124879/BCC_4492_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124878/BCC_4172_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, August 27, 2015 2:00 AM Junior Reid bridges gap http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Junior-Reid-bridges-gap-_19225883 ON his first studio album in 12 years, singer Junior Reid said he tried to bridge the generation gap between traditional roots-reggae and the contemporary pop market that has embraced his sound.<br /> <br /> If the diverse audience at Tuesday's launch of Junior Reid: The Living Legend is a yardstick, he accomplished that as tributes to the veteran artiste came from elders and youth at his Crescent Court Guest House in Kingston.<br /> <br /> The 20-song set blends roots-reggae songs like Same Boat with uptempo, radio-friendly numbers such as Love You Back, the album's lead single.<br /> <br /> With his latest collaboration (Murda, with rapper Lil Wayne) getting solid traction in the United States, Reid, 52, said the time is right to release 'The Living Legend'.<br /> <br /> "The Lil Wayne track draw a lotta attention to the album. Wi getting calls from all over the world," he told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> In the post-launch show, there were well-received performances from Isha Bel, Bongo Herman and Wild Life. They were followed by Johnny Osbourne and Capleton whose outstanding sets paved the way for Reid who did not disappoint.<br /> <br /> He did songs covering his 37-year career including Foreign Mind, Fit Yuh Haffi Fit (from his Black Uhuru days), Love You Bad and Glory from the new album, as well as the signature One Blood, which closed his 90-minute performance.<br /> <br /> Reid is scheduled to start promotion of 'The Living Legend' in late September with shows in France and the United Kingdom.<br /> <br /> -- Howard Campbell<br /> <br /> (PHOTOS: GARFIELD ROBINSON)<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124881/DSC_0078_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124880/DSC_0131_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, August 27, 2015 2:00 AM Sagitarr banks on Bolt http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Sagitarr-banks-on-Bolt_19225914 Deejay Sagitarr, whose ode to speedster Usain Bolt caught the ear of the sprint king, is calling victory for the defending champion in today's World Championships 200 metres final in Beijing.<br /> <br /> Sagitarr, whose song The Usain Bolt Anthem racked up a staggering 200,000-plus views on YouTube within hours of being posted last month, says he is confident that the 'real big man' will come through and add to his 100 metres gold.<br /> <br /> "He's so fast, so speedy that I have no doubt that he will win in the 200. He might even break his own world record. But even if he doesn't, he is so good that he must. (Justin) Gatlin will hold a little second. The boss will give him a t'ing," said Sagitarr.<br /> <br /> He said he had no expectation 'Anthem' would become a hit. He just wanted to pay his respect and also give something to the superstar sprinter's fans.<br /> <br /> "I was just trying a t'ing for all the people out there who really love sports. It's not a wagonist thing."<br /> <br /> Sagitarr, whose given name is Lascelles David Beckford, is looking forward to meeting Bolt.<br /> <br /> -- RJ<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124888/Sagitar_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, August 27, 2015 2:00 AM Dawkins continues the Sojourn http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Dawkins-continues-the-sojourn_19225884 AFTER over 25 years in the music business, singer Michael Dawkins has developed an appreciation for patience.<br /> <br /> So, one year since the release of his debut album Sojourn, he is still promoting songs from it which include covers of The Hollies' He Ain't Heavy and Rain From the Sky, made popular by Delroy Wilson.<br /> <br /> "These songs have longevity. No matter who does them, they're timeless," said Dawkins.<br /> <br /> Sojourn also has original songs such as the title track and Brighter Day, written by Dawkins. The album is produced by John Allen, a veteran Jamaican session musician who lives in New York.<br /> <br /> It is Dawkins' comeback project, having taken a break from music and returning to his 'trades' as an upholsterer and mechanic.<br /> <br /> "I took a break to take care of the family an' was waiting on the right connection to get back into the music. Yuh have to be careful in dis business," he said.<br /> <br /> Dawkins began recording in the late 1980s, his first released song being Nuh Gimme nuh Crack. Other songs, like Thursday Night and Assassin, were done during the 1990s.<br /> <br /> -- Howard Campbell<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124887/Michael_Dawkins_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, August 27, 2015 2:00 AM Smirnoff Mixify &mdash; a good experience http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Smirnoff-Mixify---a-good-experience_19225841 BY ACEION CUNNINGHAM Observer West writer MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; ELETRONIC Dance Music (EDM) enthusiasts and curious patrons filed into popular party spot Margaritaville Montego Bay last Friday to experience a new dimension to club lifestyle -- the first-ever live stream party in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> The broadcast from Los Angeles, which featured popular Australian EDM DJ Tommy Trash, was shown in five other countries.<br /> <br /> In addition to Margaritaville Montego Bay, the broadcast was shown at Ribbiz Ultra Lounge and Regency Bar in Kingston, as well as Margaritaville Ocho Rios.<br /> <br /> The stream started at midnight and saw Trash surrounded by fans in a club setting.<br /> <br /> After giving a 'shout out' to Jamaica he delved immediately into playing popular songs in the genre that had Margaritaville rocking.<br /> <br /> Smirnoff brand ambassadors also kept patrons in party mode with smoke guns, party favours and Smirnoff Vodka mixes.<br /> <br /> The tempo in the club was kept high by Trash, but eventually patrons seemed ready for something else.<br /> <br /> The change was ably provided by Montego Bay-based disc jock Crazy Neil, who took over after Trash's blazing 90 minutes stint.<br /> <br /> Neil seemingly read the audience correctly and launched into a slew of dancehall music, drawing heavily on club bangers from the genre's leading protagonist Vybz Kartel, as well as Popcaan and Mavado to bring fresh energy to the club.<br /> <br /> "Tommy Trash was good, his mixes were awesome. I enjoyed Crazy Neil more, but the true EDM lovers had a ball," said patron Kaydene Thompson.<br /> <br /> From a production perspective, all the variables were on point. Transmission was seamless and clear with no hitches or delay. Trash's 'shout outs' were also personalised, as he hailed Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.<br /> <br /> Smirnoff brand manager Nasha Douglas was happy that the brand was able to bring this "experience of a lifetime" to Jamaica. Douglas said that this event could take the "experience of Smirnoff to the next level".<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124947/Trash_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124941/Patrons_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, August 27, 2015 2:00 AM Charly Black heads to Denmark http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Charly-Black-heads-to-Denmark_19225986 Dancehall artiste Charly Black is heading to Copenhagen, Denmark for his first performance in that European city.<br /> <br /> "I am looking forward to the show because the single Party Animals is creating waves in Central and South America, and my dancehall base is growing in Europe," he said.<br /> <br /> Black has performed at a show in Colombia in June and will return for a major festival in Colombia in September. His single, Party Animal is doing well on dancehall charts. The single, produced on the Techniques Records label, hit number six on a chart in Costa Rica, and number four in Chile.<br /> <br /> Charly Black has been breaking new ground in several new overseas markets. He performed for the first time in countries such as Israel and Mauritius, and he is also doing well on the African continent.<br /> <br /> Recently, the artiste pulled a cheering throng of over 10,000 patrons to a show dubbed the Heroes Sunsplash, held at Long Cheng Plaza in Zimbabwe on August 8.<br /> <br /> The 30-year-old Black, whose real name is Desmond Mendez, was performing in Zimbabwe for the first time. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124890/Charly-Black_3-WA0008_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, August 27, 2015 2:00 AM Khago sets to Tun Up Di Thing http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Khago-sets-to-Tun-Up-Di-Thing_19225674 IT has been a while since dancehall singjay Khago sat atop of the charts. This, according to him, will change in short order with the release of his latest single Kip It Real Wid Mi Friend.<br /> <br /> "Mi sure it is gonna be a hit. Mi jus' feel it. It is about real friends that stay with you through thick and thin... It is like another Nah Sell Out Mi Friend Dem," he told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> The single is produced by LMR Productions and slated to be released in the "next couple of weeks".<br /> <br /> Khago said he has had a busy roster with several American gigs, but uses the time wisely to do some soul-searching.<br /> <br /> "Mi just step away fi di moment... move myself from the company and do some self-evaluation. Things nuh bother me again. Mi feel mi grow musically too, wid even some better melody. Right now, thing a forward back. The Khago syndrome a ketch on," he said.<br /> <br /> "Look out fi artiste Baydan. He come from Trinidad and him a gwan good in a New York."<br /> <br /> The singjay said he is not perturbed by people who think he is living in the shadow of his smash hit Nah Sell Out Mi Friend.<br /> <br /> "Look at Omi, it a go hard fi him top cheerleader which was done in 2012. Look at Half Pint wid Greetings... and I could go on and on. A just so the music thing set up... but just watch. You haffi patient. Mi a do music fi last, not music fi loss," he said.<br /> <br /> As for the local music industry, he helieves it's on a better plane than previous years.<br /> <br /> "There's no gimmicks, right now. It a run much smoother. Mi like what me seeing with Sizzla son and the conscious music. People soon waan hear more Beres (Hammond) and Luciano... nuh gal and gun tune," he said.<br /> <br /> Khago (real name Ricardo Gayle) got his first taste of the spotlight by placing third in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's Popular Song Contest with If you Know in 2006. In 2010 he got national recognition with his breakout hit Nah Sell Out. The following year, the Tun Up Di Thing singer was nominated for Best Reggae Act in the MOBO (Music Of Black Origin) Award.<br /> <br /> "For me, I just a continue to do good music. So when the people ready, mi inna di line stand up," he said.<br /> <br /> -- Brian Bonitto<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12121217/KHAGO_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, August 26, 2015 2:00 AM Etana to unplug in MoBay http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Etana-to-unplug-in-MoBay http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12121265/Etana_1_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, August 26, 2015 4:29 AM The musical Wonda http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/The-musical-Wonda_19225713 BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer HAITIAN music producer Jerry Wonda said he was over the moon when he was approached to guest judge on Digicel Rising Stars talent show.<br /> <br /> The Grammy-winning producer and musician, who helped take The Fugees to international fame, was in Kingston last weekend as a guest judge on the popular televised talent show.<br /> <br /> "Jamaica is a melting pot of undiscovered, real talent that should be on a global stage. This is my opportunity to see them and help because of the artistes I have worked with in the past. I've been coming to Jamaica for the last 20 years and know all the top talent," Wonda told the Jamaica Observer. "You know I have produced so many songs in this country. It inspires me, the people, the passion, the music."<br /> <br /> Wonda, whose real name is Jerry Duplessis, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. At age 14 he began playing bass guitar and lists Wailers 'bassie' Aston 'Family Man' Barrett among his biggest influences.<br /> <br /> He migrated to the United States at age 16.<br /> <br /> A cousin of former Fugee, Wyclef Jean, Wonda produced The Fugees' 1996 album The Score which sold over six million copies in the US. He has worked with Jamaican acts.<br /> <br /> "I started working with Beenie Man and Bounty Killer around the time I was working on The Fugees album which sold 30 million around the world and went on to win three Grammys. I have worked with Mavado, Shaggy, Assassin, Tifa, Elephant Man, Samantha J, Buju Banton and the Marleys," said Wonda.<br /> <br /> One artiste he is eager to work with is lovers' rock king Beres Hammond.<br /> <br /> "I have spent years working with Jamaican talent. One person I would really love to get in the studio with is Beres Hammond or any other new hot artistes creating a buzz," he said.<br /> <br /> Wonda's credentials are impressive. Among the hits he has produced are U Smile by Justin Bieber, You Know What It Is by TI, No Substitute Lover by Estelle and My Love is Your Love by Whitney Houston.<br /> <br /> Along with Wyclef and Andrea Guerra, Wonda co-produced and co-wrote Million Voices, the theme song for the movie Hotel Rwanda, which was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2005.<br /> <br /> In 2009, Wonda began producing music on his own. He founded Wonda Music which scored its first major with U Smile.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12121216/Johnny-Wonda_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, August 26, 2015 2:00 AM VOH bring harmony to a classic http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/VOH-bring-harmony-to-a-classic WHEN harmony group, Voice of Harpers (VOH) decided to do a cover song for their EP The Beginning, they agreed the original should suit their doo-wop-inspired sound. The song they chose was Bob Andy&rsquo;s Too Experienced, a classic from the rocksteady era of the late 1960s. <br /> <br /> Their self-produced version is one of five songs on The Beginning, which was launched in May in Kingston. Group leader Marville Williams told the Jamaica Observer that VOH wanted to put their stamp on Too Experienced, making it different from the original and Barrington Levy&rsquo;s 1988 version which is similar. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;What we did was reinterpret the song, strip the music a bit and put more harmony,&rdquo; said Williams. &ldquo;It shows where we are coming from musically.&rdquo; VOH&rsquo;s sound is steeped in gospel and jazz which is evident on The Beginning. <br /> <br /> The quintet produced three of the EP&rsquo;s songs, the others being Anything for You and Ellie my Love. Saxophonist Tony Greene guided them on Till I See You Again and This Feeling. VOH, which also includes Williams&rsquo; younger brother Mikhail, Benaudo Hall, Nickoy Shand and Donovan Leon Jnr, emerged from the Church of God and Saints of Christ in Kingston. <br /> <br /> They started out as an acappella group in the mould of American acts Boyz II Men and Take 6, performing mainly at gospel events. In 2011, they entered the Digicel Rising Stars contest with the song Green Pastures. &mdash;Howard Campbell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12121263/VOH2_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12121264/VOH_2_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, August 26, 2015 4:25 AM Pool party! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Pool-party- The Smirnoff Summit Pool Party held on Sunday, August 23, 2015 at East Kirkland Heights was a hit! <br /> <br /> Partygoers were out in their numbers clad in approprite beachwear ready to shake a leg, while drinking responsibly. <br /> <br /> Observer photographer KARL MCLARTY was out and about capturing images from the event http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12121596/DSC_6456_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12121594/DSC_6328_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12121593/DSC_6446_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12121592/DSC_6357_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12121591/DSC_6419_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12121578/DSC_6399_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, August 26, 2015 5:07 AM Delightful sets served at Pan-X http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Delightful-sets-served-at-Pan-X_19225494 BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer Islandwide drought notwithstanding, gospel artiste Goddy Goddy 'rained down' showers of blessings on patrons attending last Saturday's CB Pan X Regional Eliminations held in the UDC parking lot in Portmore, St Catherine.<br /> <br /> The St Catherine-based entertainer proved that he can still keep a crowd entertained, although not currently having a major hit.<br /> <br /> Goddy Goddy took patrons to dancing school and connected with both young and old. His lyrics spoke to the current happenings in the society and had the crowd singing along to hits including Chaka Chi Chi.<br /> <br /> Dancer-turned-deejay Ding Dong and his Ravers Clavers crew took the excitement level a notch up, as they danced their way into the hearts of patrons, demonstrating the Syvah, Bad Man Forward, Dip Again, Skip to Ma Lu, and Low Mi Nuh. Even competitors from the CB Pan-X event got in on the act much to the delight of the crowd.<br /> <br /> Agent Sasco (aka Assassin) pulled off another of his entertaining sets riddled with a barrage of hits including Dem Don't Like You, Step Pon Dem, Roughest and Some Gal.<br /> <br /> Alicia Bogues, brand manager CB Chicken/Bad Dawg Sausages, gave the event the thumbs up.<br /> <br /> "We had an excellent event. We increased the size of the venue and we are full to capacity. I'd say we had a great day, and the crowd has been so disciplined. I couldn't ask for more," she told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> "Every year at CB we are challenged to do more, not just for the competitors, but also the patrons. Our next regional will take place at the Dump Up Beach in Montego Bay on Saturday, September 26. We will be having Beenie Man, Lubert Levy, Chi Ching Ching, Ity and Fancy Cat and others," she continued.<br /> <br /> Now in its 10th year, the CB Pan Chicken Championships, dubbed <br /> <br /> Pan-X, continues to recognise the pan chicken men and women across the island. Last Saturday's first regional elimination round saw competitors from St Catherine, Kingston and St Andrew, Clarendon, Manchester, St Thomas, St Mary, and Portland.<br /> <br /> First and second place winners from each parish received $40,000 and $20,000 in cash, respectively, among other prizes from the various sponsors. They will advance to the grand finals, which will take place in November at the Waterfront in downtown Kingston.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Grace Tomato Ketchup 'Ketch Di Taste Sauce' competition saw competitors being judged on the sauce that they created. First place went to Camita Munroe, who represented Kingston and St Andrew. Clive Gobourne from St Mary and Lesa Dennis from St Catherine tied for second place.<br /> <br /> The first place winners from the respective parishes are:<br /> <br /> Kerica Hines -- Clarendon;<br /> <br /> Tyrone Bailey -- Manchester;<br /> <br /> Yvonne Lee -- Portland;<br /> <br /> Nicholas Shand -- St Thomas;<br /> <br /> Pauline Campbell -- St Catherine;<br /> <br /> Camita Munroe -- Kingston and St Andrew, and;<br /> <br /> Clive Gobourne -- St Mary.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12117488/Goddy-Goddy_5887_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12117480/CB_6292_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12117476/CB_6277_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, August 25, 2015 2:00 AM Smirnoff and EDM go well together http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Smirnoff-and-EDM-go-well-together_19225474 SMIRNOFF Mixify created a stir for Electronic Dance Music (EDM) fans who made the trek to Ribbiz Ultra Lounge and Terra Nova Poolside in Kingston, and Margaritaville in Ocho Rios, last Friday.<br /> <br /> Headliner DJ Tommy Trash, who was 'beamed in' live from Los Angeles, pumped out the hottest EDM tracks to the delight of hardcore fans.<br /> <br /> "This is Smirnoff bringing something new to the Jamaican party landscape," Nasha Douglas, Smirnoff brand manager, told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> At the Terra Nova, it was DJ Cruise and DJ Smoke who kept things rocking until DJ Tommy Trash took over at midnight to much applause.<br /> <br /> "EDM is growing in Jamaica as it blends so many other genres, like dancehall and hip-hop," said Douglas.<br /> <br /> She hinted that Smirnoff is planning special and innovative events for the party scene in the near future.<br /> <br /> -- Rory Daley<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12117460/DSC_1217_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12117445/DSC_1203_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, August 25, 2015 2:00 AM New Buju single out http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/New-Buju-single-out_19225515 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com JUST after images of incarcerated deejay Buju Banton entertaining his fellow inmates at a Georgia correctional facility in the United States went viral on social media, comes a new song from the artiste.<br /> <br /> Released one month ago, the track is entitled My Favourite Song. Produced by locally based Stone Cold Records, the single features Marco.<br /> <br /> Head of Stone Cold Records, Mark Hudson, said My Favourite Song was recorded in 2001 but never released. He decided to release the song to maintain a positive image for Buju Banton amidst "constant negativity about the artiste".<br /> <br /> "Buju has always recorded for Stone Cold. It was the only other label he worked for apart from Penthouse and Gargamel Music. It was voiced long before he went to jail. At the time, he was experimenting with a new sound -- faster beats -- and so this has a kind of house beat mixed with ska," said Hudson. "I decided to take out the track, dust it off, and drop it, as I think everything about this really great artiste is always negative. It is always about his incarceration and not enough about his music."<br /> <br /> The producer is not in direct contact with the deejay, but said he sent word about the release to him.<br /> <br /> Hudson told the Jamaica Observer that he had stopped producing music for a while. He explained that My Favourite Song is the direction he wante<br /> <br /> HTML<br /> <br /> d to take his music.<br /> <br /> "Jamaica is no longer just about reggae... we are a music country. Look at the track (Cheerleader) that just made it on Billboard by Omi, it wasn't a reggae or dancehall sound. I want to take my music to the pop charts... I want to get it into the mainstream," said Hudson.<br /> <br /> Stone Cold Records and Buju Banton previously collaborated on tracks such as Five-O and Ready Body.<br /> <br /> Buju Banton (given name Mark Myrie) is currently serving a 10-year sentence in a US Federal prison on cocaine charges. He scheduled to be deported to Jamaica in 2019.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12117435/Buju-looks_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, August 25, 2015 2:00 AM Tabeta Cshae to up the ante http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Tabeta-Cshae-to-up-the-ante_19225324 UP-and-coming dancehall singer Tabeta Cshae said the music video for her single Tonight is aimed at building her brand.<br /> <br /> Directed by Ricardo Williams of Sky High Films, the video is expected to be released next month.<br /> <br /> "You can expect a difference in ideas, as for most love-making songs you would normally expect a guy present in the room. But we wanted to take a different route of promoting Tabeta Cshae with visuals, so it's mostly a concept video and not so much of a story," said the 29-year-old.<br /> <br /> Released earlier this year, the single Tonight was written by Tabeta and produced by Young Entrapaneur Productions (YE Productions).<br /> <br /> Tabeta Cshae (given name Tabeta McEwan) is also upbeat about her singles Memory Lane, Resisting and Truthful Lies expected to be released next month.<br /> <br /> "I have a lot in the pipeline production-wise. It's a good look for me at this point in my career," she said.<br /> <br /> The singer, who attended Kingston Technical High, said she always had a passion for music. After completing her studies, her next step was the recording studio where she recorded her debut single All Over in 2010.<br /> <br /> This was followed by Dance Floor (produced by reggae's Rhythm Twins Sly and Robbie) and Living On Hopes (for veteran producer Handel Tucker).<br /> <br /> She has also provided background vocals to Barrington Levy's Rosey and Andrew Tosh's Grammy-nominated album, The Legacy.<br /> <br /> "Team Tabeta Cshae will be taking it to the level where it should have long been, but time is the only master," she added.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12117465/Tabeta-Cshae_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, August 25, 2015 2:00 AM Singing Vernon&rsquo;s Golden Plan for ganja http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Singing-Vernon-s-Golden-Plan-for-ganja_19225472 A ganga smoker since his teens, Singing Vernon is not afraid to state his support for Government's recent reforms on use <br /> <br /> of the weed in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> He makes his feelings known on Golden Plan, which was recorded for the French company, Capital Records.<br /> <br /> "The message it conveys is very important. It's time for the bigger heads to realise the value of ganja and the positive impact it could have on our economy if it is fully legalised," he said.<br /> <br /> In April, the Government announced that, under amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, people with possession of up to two ounces of ganja can not be arrested or given a criminal record. They can be issued a ticket.<br /> <br /> Singing Vernon (real name Vernon Bourne) is from St Elizabeth, a parish with a thriving underground ganja industry.<br /> <br /> He began his career over a decade ago and is known for songs such as Hit Song, Simple Life and Don't You Worry.<br /> <br /> His debut album, My Mission, was released by VP Records in 2008.<br /> <br /> Many of his recordings have been done for small independent labels like Capital Records.<br /> <br /> "Over the years, I have been recording a lot of good songs. Most of my music has received recognition abroad in places such as Europe, the UK and the US," he said.<br /> <br /> -- Kevin Jackson<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12117442/Singing-Vernon-3_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, August 25, 2015 2:00 AM Matisyahu rocks Rototom fest http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Matisyahu-rocks-Rototom-fest_19225526 JEWISH reggae artiste Matisyahu got some<br /> <br /> heat on Sunday from<br /> <br /> pro-Palestinian protesters at the Rototom Sunsplash festival in Benicassim, Spain.<br /> <br /> Despite the protests, the Reuters news agency reports that the American rapper/deejay's set went without incident.<br /> <br /> Matisyahu was initially barred from performing at the festival after failing to comply with a demand from organisers to state his position on Palestinian statehood, which most Jews oppose.<br /> <br /> An Hasidic Jew, Matisyahu incorporates messages from his religion in his songs and set.<br /> <br /> Organisers were forced to reinstate him on Rototom's closing night after vocal statements from the Spanish Government and Jewish organisations throughout the country.<br /> <br /> According to Reuters, dozens of people whistled in disapproval as Matisyahu took the stage early Sunday, with some waving Palestinian flags and chanting "out, out!"<br /> <br /> Unfazed, he responded: "Whoever you are, and wherever you come from, raise a flag and wave it in the air. Let music be your flag."<br /> <br /> The eight-day festival is the largest of its kind in the world. This year's show featured Jah Cure, Uprising Roots Band, Popcaan, guitarist Junior Marvin of the Wailers, and Super Cat.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12117474/Matisyahu-at-Rototom_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, August 25, 2015 2:00 AM Good music and company at Redbones http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Good-music-and-company-at-Redbones_19225443 PATRONS who were at the Redbones Blues Caf&eacute; last Friday are probably still raving about the musical treat served at the Kingston venue.<br /> <br /> An evening of good music and good company is an apt description of singer/keyboardist Ozou'ne's production, billed 'Classically Cultural'.<br /> <br /> Along with his Pon Fyah Band, which included trombonist Everald Gayle, Vivian Scott on trumpet, drummer Cliff 'Bond' Ellis and bassist Omar Francis, the mood was set by the opening suite of ska standards from The Skatalites.<br /> <br /> Dressed in bandanna outfit, folklorist Faith D' Aguilar, evoked laughter by imitating cultural icon Miss Lou before going into an equally humorous rendition of Mocking Bird Hill.<br /> <br /> Then came spoken word performer Ginsu of Royal African Soldiers, who entertained with the poems, Praise to Jah, Land of Flies and City Lock. He was followed by emerging acts, the first of whom, Feraji, performed Babylon, Rastafari Chanting and Sensimina Love.<br /> <br /> Next was Beckee, who did a dub piece which was highlighted by the folk song, Chi Chi Bud.<br /> <br /> Veteran singer/songwriter/producer Sangie Davis scored big with To Make Ends Meet, Stay Alive, and Wake up and Live which he co-wrote with Bob Marley.<br /> <br /> Another senior singer, Carol Gonzalez, closed the first segment with renditions of Human Nature, Say You Love, Nature Boy, Hallelujah, and 54-46.<br /> <br /> D'Aguilar returned to get the second half going, singing The Carpenters' On Top of the World and I Don't Care.<br /> <br /> The mellow sound of Damon Riley's saxophone permeated the venue as he blew up a storm on Redemption Song, St Thomas, How Could I Live, and Alicia Keyes' If I Ain't Got You.<br /> <br /> The audience warmed to Ozou'ne's vocal and keyboard skills on You Got to be Wiser. Singer Demario McDowell began his interactive set with Peter Tosh's enchanting Creation (Jah is my Keeper), taking the stage from the back of the audience. He did solid renditions of Hello and Suddenly.<br /> <br /> Newcomer Le Ann made a strong impression, performing The Impressions' Civil Rights anthem, People get Ready, Dawn Penn's No No No, and Etta James' At Last.<br /> <br /> Asante Amen, who doubled as emcee and artiste, closed the show in fine style with The Heathen, Ms Chocolette Brown, All of Me, Only Rastafari and Real Revolutionary.<br /> <br /> -- Basil Walters <br /> <br /> Good music and company at Redbones<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12117494/Carol_Gonzalez-red_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, August 25, 2015 2:00 AM Ras Abuna&rsquo;s opera http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Ras-Abuna-s-opera Ras Abuna was a 'conventional' roots singer until 15 years ago, when a little downtime with his infant daughter changed his sound. &ldquo;I was singing to her in opera style, like a parody. But when I saw her reaction I knew there was something there,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> Since that time, Ras Abuna has recorded to a sound he calls &lsquo;pro-opera&rsquo;, a blend of roots-reggae and opera. It is a &lsquo;different flavour&rsquo; he brings to songs like his latest release, Growing, which he co-produced with Fabian Claude. Born in Greenwich Town, Kingston, Ras Abuna was raised in St Elizabeth. <br /> <br /> Migrating to the United States in the early 1990s, he served in the army and attended colleges in Texas and Alabama. After military and academic duties, he got into music. His initial songs include Hosanna, Another Plague, and Guide I David, done for small labels in South Florida. <br /> <br /> The pro-opera sound, he says, not only gave his career a new direction but broadened his listening tastes. In addition to his passion for roots luminaries, like Garnet Silk, Ras Abuna credits his hybrid sound for a appreciation for the operatic tones of actor/activist Paul Robeson. <br /> <br /> &mdash; Howard Campbell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12118208/Ras-Abuna_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, August 25, 2015 4:44 AM Clarks talk centres on Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Clarks-talk-centres-on-Jamaica_19225398 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com JAMAICANS' fascination with British shoe brand Clarks was the subject of a panel discussion at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, recently.<br /> <br /> Among the panellists at the August 14 event were British writer, DJ and designer Al 'DJ Al Fingers' Newman; veteran music producer Bunny 'Striker' Lee; Paul Gilroy; and Lance Clark, who is a fifth generation member of the Clark family who founded the shoe company in 1825.<br /> <br /> Newman told the Jamaica Observer that the discussion went over well and the audience was intrigued by the fascination held by Jamaicans for the British brand.<br /> <br /> "I led the discussion with a presentation of images and sound bites of various reggae and dancehall songs that mention Clarks. Bunny Lee provided a lot of humour and entertainment while Lance Clark contributed some interesting historical background to the shoes. People in the UK, other than those of Caribbean descent, are still generally unaware of the Jamaican love of Clarks and were fascinated by the widespread appreciation of the brand, as well as the many references to Clarks within Jamaican music," said Newman.<br /> <br /> The DJ said his compilation of reggae and dancehall tracks mentioning the brand is set to be released by Greensleeves in October. He was, however, unable to name his favourite of the musical selections.<br /> <br /> "I do like Clarks and Clarks Again by Vybz Kartel. But also Little John's Clarks Booty; Dillinger's CB200 and lesser known tracks such as Trinity's Clarks Booty Skank."<br /> <br /> Newman said the presentations led to a call for Clarks to contribute to the Jamaican economy.<br /> <br /> "A few members of the audience asked whether there was anyway Clarks could give back to Jamaica, for example by opening a shoemaking factory on the island. Lance Clark responded by saying that wouldn't be feasible due to the relatively small market size. However, it is my hope and aim to encourage Clarks to give back to Jamaica in some way, maybe through supporting Jamaican school children or centres of learning such as the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts or the Alpha Boys' School," he said.<br /> <br /> Newman said, however, while the Jamaican fascination has certainly helped to propel the popularity of the brand, the overall success of the company lies in a number of factors.<br /> <br /> "While the success of the Clarks company goes back many years and is, I think, attributed to the quality of the shoes as well as iconic styles such as the desert boot and Clarks' marketing activities -- historically they have used some of the best advertising agencies, illustrators and photographers. I would say that in recent times it's undeniable that Vybz Kartel and the other artistes who have sung about Clarks have changed the way many people perceive the brand, which must have had a positive impact on sales," he said.<br /> <br /> Newman is the author of the books Clarks in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Clarks talk centres on Jamaica<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12114563/Al-jpg_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, August 24, 2015 1:00 AM Myrie banking on Notice You http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Myrie-banking-on-Notice-You_19225327 US-BASED dancehall artiste Kranium and female singjay Vanessa Bling have teamed up with Markus Records for their latest collaboration Notice You.<br /> <br /> Markus Myrie, producer and CEO of Markus Records, said he had a working relationship with Vanessa Bling while she opened the door to working with Kranium.<br /> <br /> "From people sharing the same interests link up, that opens the door for joint projects and collaborations, so it happened naturally," he said.<br /> <br /> Myrie said he is confident that the single will be successful.<br /> <br /> "The reception has been great. I have received a flood of good comments both from the general public and industry players. Some overseas DJs are also contacting me to premiere the song on their radio station and so forth, so it already has a buzz," he said.<br /> <br /> Myrie, the eldest son of Grammy-winning artiste Buju Banton, has been enjoying his fair share of musical limelight.<br /> <br /> His On Fleek rhythm, which features I Octane and Vanessa Bling, has been doing exceptionally well along with new singles from Macka Diamond, RDX, Vershon, and Bryka.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12114609/Kranium1_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12114610/Markus-Myrie_0785_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, August 24, 2015 1:00 AM You've made us proud http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/You-ve-made-us-proud_19225314 Mandeville, Manchester- Having been out of the parish since she copped the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen title on Emancipation Day, 25-year-old Chereese Ricketts was welcomed home with much fanfare last Wednesday.<br /> <br /> In a brief ceremony at Porus, Mayor of Mandeville Brenda Ramsay, representatives of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and the national and parish queens addressed the audience.<br /> <br /> "You've made us very, very proud," said Ramsay.<br /> <br /> Ricketts told the audience that she was "humbled" by the expressions of pride and joy.<br /> <br /> "My promise is to, as our Pledge says, really use all the faculties of my heart, mind and body to contribute to our country in a way that truly develops...my fellow citizens," said Ricketts.<br /> <br /> She gave those gathered a synopsis of project eMotion, that she will be embarking on to provide information about mental illness and possible solution through dance.<br /> <br /> It was then to the town of Mandeville where the motorcade for Ricketts stopped along the way giving her a chance to meet and greet residents and receive gifts from proud members of the community.<br /> <br /> Leeroy 'Ancient Priest' Johnson, who made history this year when he became the first festival song winner from Manchester, since the inception of the event in 1966, was also on the motorcade and given his fair share of recognition.<br /> <br /> He whetted the appetite of residents at intervals as he gave them a taste of his song Celebration Time.<br /> <br /> Johnson and Ricketts were presented with keys to Mandeville by the Mayor at the Mandeville Court House before the festivities ended with a private reception at Oleeka's Garden Caf&eacute; in the town.<br /> <br /> -Alicia Sutherland<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12114129/DSC_0123a_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12114130/DSC_0087a_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12114128/DSC_0118a_w300.jpg Central News Monday, August 24, 2015 2:00 AM Steps of distinction http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Steps-of-distinction_19225212 By Richard Johnson Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com In 2012, Jamaica-born UK-based dancer and choreographer Carlton 'Jackie' Guy was made a member of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). He was invited to Buckingham Palace to receive his award from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his outstanding contribution to dance education in the United Kingdom.<br /> <br /> Come October 19, Guy will travel to Jamaica to receive the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander for his invaluable contribution to the arts, at the annual National Honours and Awards Ceremony at King's House in St Andrew.<br /> <br /> It was an elated Guy who spoke to the Sunday Observer from his Brixton base in south London. He said nothing beats receiving an honour from the Jamaican government and it people.<br /> <br /> "I was in shock when I received the official notice. The truth is somebody did tell me that my name was being mentioned, but then I heard nothing. When it finally came I was so delighted," he said.<br /> <br /> "The truth is, people have been saying to me: 'Jackie, you have been working in the arts for such a long time, when are they gonna give you a national award?'. Then England gave me the MBE and it would seem like it is only after you have been recognised by England that your own is ready to honour you. But my take is man awards, but God rewards. I am so pleased to be given this honour by my own country that I am making every effort to be in Jamaica for the event," Guy continued.<br /> <br /> Jackie Guy's journey in the arts has been close to 50 years. He admits to always being a great social dancer along with his sister Claudette, but his entry into the world of the performing arts and dance in particular began after his family moved to the community of Harbour View in eastern St Andrew. There, the boys of the community would stand watch as veteran dance teacher Alma Mock Yen would take her female dancers through the paces.<br /> <br /> Fate would have it that one day Mock Yen, in a bid to get more male dancers into her troupe, invited a young Guy to come inside.<br /> <br /> "This was 1965. I had seen the musical West Side Story and was so intrigued by the music and movement. I think I brought that same street dance energy to Alma Mock Yen's group. I soon landed a job at RJR and would leave dance to concentrate on my job as an accountant. However, by 1968 Eddie Thomas invited me to join the NDTC (National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica). I didn't take him up on the offer immediately and Professor Nettleford would then write me a letter inviting me to join the company... well when Prof invites you, you respond immediately," Guy recalled.<br /> <br /> Unfortunately, by the time Guy joined the NDTC, co-founder Thomas would have parted ways with the company. However, he would benefit from the diversity of choreographic styles from the likes of Netteford, Bert Rose, Shiela Barnett, Neville Black, among others. He would spend 15 years with the company.<br /> <br /> Among his favourite works were I not I, Ni Woman of Destiny, Street People and Nettleford's epic Kumina.<br /> <br /> "I love our traditional folk forms. I am Afrocentric in my beliefs and, therefore, I just love the way the body moves, undulates and pulsates...it is the echoes of the ancestors."<br /> <br /> His love for the folk forms was a perfect fit with the NDTC, which was firmly grounded in preserving that aspect of Jamaican and Caribbean dance culture.<br /> <br /> Guy is, therefore, critical of the particularly North American influences which he sees creeping into the repertoire of the NDTC.<br /> <br /> "I don't want to be critical of anyone, and I love young people and the energy they bring, but Professor Nettleford would say 'we lose when the fertiliser becomes the soil and kills the tree, particularly when the fertiliser is foreign'. I think the NDTC needs to re-look at the philosophy of Nettleford and not lose the essence of what the NDTC is all about. If they are talking about renewal and continuity, they must evaluate their purpose, look and what makes the NDTC unique and hone the style developed by Nettleford."<br /> <br /> Guy's all-time favourite Jamaican dancer is Patsy Ricketts, whom he describes as a spirit.<br /> <br /> "She brought such a high standard of work to the NDTC by revolutionising how the female dancer looked on stage and raised the technical level of dancers. She covered such a broad spectrum of dance from classical to folk forms to modern, and respected them all. When she was on stage she was like a spirit... she was on a higher level. I can still see her dancing alongside Barry Moncrieffe in The Crossing Wander, Love and Rays and Court of Jah."<br /> <br /> The NDTC would share Guy's time and interest with the Social Development Commission, The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, The National Pantomime and the University Dance Society, where he spent 18 years as artistic director. But in 1987 Guy felt the need for change and relocated to England where he still resides.<br /> <br /> His work in the UK has seen him being involved with the Kokuma Dance Company. He has also gone on to choreograph the stage adaptation of the Perry Henzel film The Harder They Come, the only black musical to play in London's West End.<br /> <br /> "This felt like it was something I was destined to do. Trevor Rhone co-wrote The Harder They Come with Henzel and he also wrote the 1972 National Pantomime Music Boy, which both had a similar story line. I choreographed Music Boy in '72 and then the opportunity arose for the musical The Harder They Come in 2006."<br /> <br /> Guy is currently working on publishing his autobiography and hopes to take his work in to schools and communities .<br /> <br /> "My work right now is about shifting the paradigms. Most of our history is tucked away in musems. I want to take it to the people, in their communities where they need it most."<br /> <br /> Steps of distinction<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12113012/JACKIE-3_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12113011/Carlton-Guy-MBE_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12113014/Jackie-Guy---NDTC_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, August 23, 2015 2:00 AM School's in session at Circle House http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/School-s-in-session-at-Circle-House_19225110 BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate editor Auto & Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com FLORIDA'S go-to recording facility, Circle House Studio, has embarked on a new musical journey.<br /> <br /> Owned by brothers Ian and Roger Lewis, founding members of reggae group Inner Circle, the North Miami entity is conducting workshops in engineering and music production.<br /> <br /> "We're giving real-world, hands-on experience here, nothing that can be learnt in school. We're teaching the essence of engineering, using cutting-edge SSL (Solid State Logic) consoles," Abebe Lewis, 38, traffic manager and Inner Circle's marketing manager, told the Sunday Observer.<br /> <br /> "The sessions are also open to professionals who are into the field and want to stay on top of their game as well as to network," he continued.<br /> <br /> The weekly workshop, held on Tuesdays, is midway its seven-week mark. The two-hour sessions attract a US$30 fee per class.<br /> <br /> "That's a nominal fee on the priceless industry secrets being taught. It's value for money. What you learn here, if applied correctly, can make you make millions," Lewis reasoned. "People who attend will leave with a certificate of participation."<br /> <br /> Lewis, who migrated to the Sunshine State at six years old from Jamaica, is Ian Lewis's son and older brother to American rapper LunchMoney Lewis. Despite his high school flirtations with basketball, he could not resist a career in music.<br /> <br /> "Growing up with my dad and Uncle Roger, I was in the studio 24/7. Seeing what was happening in the studio and interacting with several kids from various music schools, I realised there were gaps and holes that I could fill, while at the same time learning from them," he said.<br /> <br /> His production credits appear on albums for Trick Daddy Dollars, Lil Wayne and Lauryn Hill.<br /> <br /> In addition to Lewis, Circle House's senior engineer Charles Wakeman is part of the the weekly sessions. Areas covered include professional studio equipment set-up, proper microphone and drum placement recording techniques, tracking techniques, vocal manipulation, and how to achieve analog sound with Pro Tools.<br /> <br /> Circle House was built by the Lewis brothers, who migrated to Florida after the death of Inner Circle's lead singer Jacob Miller in 1980. Their post-Miller hits include the Billboard anthems Bad Boys and Sweat (A La La La La Long).<br /> <br /> The studio is instrumental in launching the careers of Trick Daddy, Trina, Pitbull, and Flo Rida. Artistes including Damian and Stephen Marley, Rick Ross, SOJA and Pharrell Williams have recorded there.<br /> <br /> Pharrell's global hit, Happy, was done at Circle House.<br /> <br /> Lewis shared his vision for the studio.<br /> <br /> "I would really want it to evolve into an academy," he said.<br /> <br /> School's in session at Circle House<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12113053/Abebe-Lewis_5919_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12113052/Abebe-Lewis_5918_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, August 23, 2015 2:00 AM Irie Jam to mark milestone http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Irie-Jam-to-mark-milestone_19225193 BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer Writer IRIE Jam Radio, the biggest outlet for Caribbean music in the United States, will celebrate its 22nd anniversary with a major stage show at the Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York, on Sunday September 6.<br /> <br /> The event will feature performances from a number of top acts, including Dexta Daps, Christopher Martin, Agent Sasco, Bugle, Chi Ching Ching, Ding Dong, Tifa, Kranium, Ky-Mani Marley, and soca star Edwin Yearwood.<br /> <br /> Bobby Clarke, CEO of Irie Jam Radio, recalled the objectives he initially had to set up the entity.<br /> <br /> "Honestly, I was just not happy with the quality of radio in the New York tri-state area. So initially, job one was to improve the level of radio broadcast delivered to the millions of Jamaican nationals here," Clarke told Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> The 47-year-old, who was born in Jamaica and attended Excelsior High, migrated to the United States 29 years ago.<br /> <br /> He explained how the station has evolved in more than two decades.<br /> <br /> "The evolution has seen Irie Jam Radio move from being a small voice, late at night, to now being one of the largest Caribbean media houses in North America, with daily radio shows on two of New York's top-rated stations. Irie Jam has the largest share of this market's Caribbean listeners, and this company is a household name in New York and has expanded to include event production, and now is embarking on television production for a hungry Diaspora audience," he said.<br /> <br /> The offices of Irie Jam are located in Rosedale, Queens, New York.<br /> <br /> "Our radio broadcasts emanate from 93.5 WVIP in New Rochelle, New York, and Radio 103.9 in Manhattan," said Clarke.<br /> <br /> Some of the DJs who worked with Irie Jam in the early days include Pat McKay, Milford Edwards and Ainsworth 'Big A' Higgins.<br /> <br /> "Irie Jam started out as a historical live broadcast that saw a live link between Jamaican listeners for IRIE FM locked into 93.5 WRTN every Saturday night from midnight to 2:00 am. From the starting DJs we have had major contributors, like Shinehead, Shelly Thunder, Carlene the Dancehall Queen, Aubrey Campbell, Douglas Fiddler, Collin Hinds, Judith Bodley, Oliver Samuels, David Rodigan, Nikki Z, Felicia Loud, Raggashanti, Spreadlove Bobby, Vinnette Pryce, Janice Julian, and Anthony Turner among others. Now the current line-up of DJs includes DJ Roy, Dubbmaster Chris, Jabba, Cali B, Markus Wanted, DJ Stretch, DJ Oxtail, Irwine Clare and Lester Hinds," said Clarke.<br /> <br /> He said Irie Jam has made a significant contribution to the Jamaican and Caribbean Diaspora.<br /> <br /> "Irie Jam is directly attached to every single facet of the local Jamaican and Caribbean community here in the tri-state area. We serve as the voice for reporting the latest news, sports, and entertainment as it happens in Jamaica and the Caribbean. Current affairs and all things important run through our airwaves to keep the Jamaican community here abreast. We have found a way to donate a community upliftment radio show to enhance the lives of our Jamaican audience with our moving forward campaign," Clarke explained.<br /> <br /> Irie Jam Radio covers the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.<br /> <br /> Irie Jam to mark milestone<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12113050/Bugle_1106_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12113048/Irie-Jam_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12113018/Dexta-Daps_1035_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12113017/Bobby-Clarke1_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, August 23, 2015 2:00 AM