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Monthly Archives: September 2014

  • Nevis retains Caribbean Tourism Youth Congress title

    NEVIS RETAINS CARIBBEAN TOURISM YOUTH CONGRESS TITLE

    ~ 14-year-old student Rol-J Williams follows in footstep of compatriot Neila Jones ~
    2013 Tourism Youth Congress willing Neila Jones congratulates her compatriot, Rol-J Williamson winning on keeping the title in Nevis

    (BRIDGETOWN, Barbados) – The title of Caribbean Tourism Youth Congress Winner has been retained by Nevis for the second consecutive year.

    Rol-J Williams, a 14-year-old student of Gingerland Secondary School, outshone 10 other competing Junior Ministers/ Commissioners of Tourism from around the Caribbean to emerge victorious during the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) 2014, in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

    Williams quoted Shakespeare to sum up his feelings on being announced the winner. “Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.” He described the gruelling practice sessions he imposed upon himself to prepare for the conference, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning. During these rehearsals he chided himself for any mistakes he made while practicing his speech, he revealed.

    Youth Congress coordinator, Bonita Morgan, who is also the director for resource mobilization and development at the CTO stated, “This programme is one pillar of the CTO’s sustainable tourism strategy in engaging with Caribbean youth to stimulate their thinking regarding tourism issues and trends and encouraging their participation in the sector.

    “We are equally proud of all 11 Junior Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism who participated and particularly impressed with their varying styles of speech delivery and ideas generated. The future of tourism is very bright!”

    Rohan Alfred of Saint Mary’s College of St. Lucia placed second and Arielle Gaskin, a student of the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School in Anguilla, came third.

    Each participant debated the concepts of accessible tourism or experiential tourism, as well as the mystery topic, which required them to extemporaneously conceive an idea for a local tourism attraction targeting young people.

    Outgoing Youth Congress winner, Neila Jones of Nevis, who is studying business and law at the Nevis Sixth Form College, ably chaired the sessions. She expressed her sincere thanks to the CTO and her local tourism ministry for all of the developmental activities she was able to enjoy during her tenure.

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  • NEW 2015 SOCA MUSIC RELEASE – Konshens feat. Fadda Fox – Deh Deh – DOWNLOAD NOW

    Deh Deh “Wining Class” a soca collaboration between two thriving artists Greg ‘Konshens’ Spence and Nicholas ‘Fadda Fox’ Sealy which lets partiers know they’re ‘right deh deh’ on the scene.

    The concept stemmed from casual talk about their views on soca and who was more passionate about the genre. To both their surprise they shared the same enthusiasm and passion for the music and for them the next step was to transform the views into words and wow their audience.

    Konshens, Jamaican born, would be known to many as the face in the reggae and dancehall industry but thought of something outside the box for 2014; a soca collaboration with his brethren. Though these guys are already exposed to the party scenes, they would tell you that a great beat influences a crowd’s response. Deh Deh (Wining Class) was composed and influenced by them both and Produced by the Soca General Peter Coppin and Nelieux at “Monstapiece Studio”. Some men want the ladies’ attention but can only admire them or watch them as they Gyrate their waistlines because they’re unable to keep up or even wine. So here’s the twist, Konshens met a sexy lady and was impressed with her physique but what he lacked was the ability to wine. Through inquiry she informed him she was a dance instructor so enrollment in her class was his strategy to get close to her and also learn to dance as he guaranteed fast improvement.

    Fadda Fox, no stranger to the music industry and a soca enthusiast, found this tune to be up his alley. For him, Deh Deh allowed him to be expressive on the dance floor; music allowed him to be free and live within the moment. So unlike Konshens, his high energy and vigor proved his readiness for the challenge with the instructor. He exudes his confidence by describing himself as a champion jockey who can handle any position. His aim was to show off on Konshens so he understood how it’s done. Reference to his lyrical injection “Me nuh care gal tip pon ya toe, Kotch pun the side or jiggle to the floor, he’s a real fast learner he ready for the show, bend over and teach he some more”.

    As we can see, these two gentlemen come from different backgrounds, one being Jamaican and the other Barbadian they integrate with the right movement: Strong passion for music and their audience. These two artists believe that soca music comes in various forms and given the right exposure, Deh Deh is expected to take flight in 2014 and beyond.

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  • The SUNSHINE Awards Press Release

    The SUNSHINE Awards Organization
    Releases 2014 Nominees
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    New Jersey. The SUNSHINE Awards Organization today announced in New Jersey, the nominees for the 2014 SUNSHINE Awards. The 26th Annual SUNSHINE Awards Program is scheduled for Saturday, October 4, at the AXA Equitable Center, 787 Seventh Avenue in New York City. The black tie event will begin at 6:00pm with a cocktail reception followed by the presentation of awards at 8:00pm. Live performances from Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and South America will punctuate the presentation of awards. World renowned legends such as the Calypso King of the World, The Mighty Sparrow, steelpan soloists, Liam Teague, Dane Gulston, the last Mambo King, Orlando Marin, African Guitarist, Abdoulaye Diabaté and International dancer, Dheeraj Gayaram are among the performers.

    Dr. Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool, who earned his Doctorate from the University of Michigan and chairs the Nomination Network Committee said, “This year was one of the most challenging periods of our history of awarding persons in the Performing Arts and Education, owing to the fact that nominees for the awards came from places far and wide, including some remote areas of Africa. In addition to the many nominees, discussions among members of the Awards’ Committees reached at times to heated but knowledge-spreading debates, all to the benefit of our organization. The search for persons to be awarded and the system of rigor employed to reach decisions endorses the SUNSHINE Awards for its nobleness and respectability.”

    The Nominee for the 26th Annual SUNSHINE Awards include:

    Orlando Marin – Puerto Rico– Contribution to the performing arts.
    A man of Puerto Rican heritage and a unique musician often described as “The Last Mambo King.” This man’s music is appreciated not only by people of Latin descent but also by millions around the world. He is recognized as a pioneer of Mambo music pushing it way beyond recording studios. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VUgiArq6BU

    Abdoulaye Diabaté – Mali, Africa – Contribution to African Music. He has over twenty years of experience in contemporary and popular music. He has toured the entire continent of Africa and many parts of the world as a singer and guitarist. In 1996, he relocated to New York City and has since taken part in many cultural events as leader of the re-formed Super Mande group. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fufLFRBTjc0

    Jocelyne Mayas – Haiti – Contribution to Humanity. Jocelyne Mayas is the founder of Empowerment Centre for Caribbean Immigrants formerly (Queens Empowerment Centre for Haitian Immigrants) a Community based organization whose goal is literacy and civics as the way to empowerment. For over a decade, she has prepared immigrants to become US citizens by conducting monthly immigration workshops and weekly radio information broadcasts on immigration. She has served Haitian refugees in many capacities including their release from Carmichael Detention Center in the Bahamas and GITMO in Cuba.
    http://www.gnp2009.gnpcharity.org/2007_jocelyne_mayas.html

    Dheeraj Gayaram – Guyana – Contribution to the Performing Arts & Indian Culture.
    Dheeraj Gayaram, born in Georgetown, Guyana, started dancing at the age of 9. At that age he won his first prize in both classical and pop dancing. Since then, Dheeraj has performed in over 5000 shows locally and internationally and has won over 150 dancing competitions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeG0-Z-qZKM

    Dr. Camille Wardrop Alleyne – Trinidad & Tobago – Contribution to Education, Technology and Science. Dr. Alleyne has dedicated her 19 year career to advancing the areas of aerospace and space technology development, and most recently in the areas of space technology application for international development and global science and space education for girls. She has served in several technical management roles with increasing responsibility both at NASA and the US Department of Defense. She also led the integration of all international space education programs across the United States, Japan, Russia, Europe and Canada. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teAraTjKLWs

    Professor Liam Teague – Trinidad & Tobago – Contribution to Education and the Performing Arts. Known as the “Paganini of the Steelpan,” Liam Teague currently serves as the Head of Steelpan Studies and Associate Professor of Music at Northern Illinois University. He has received many awards from various organizations and won a number of notable competitions such as the Trinidad and Tobago National Steelband Festival Solo Championship. His commitment to demonstrating the great musical possibilities of the steelpan has taken him all over the world. http://liamteague.com/

    Sister Rosario Hackshaw- Trinidad & Tobago – Contribution to education and humanity. Sister Hackshaw is a member of the Catholic nunnery who used her Catholic upbringing and her love of the poor to bring Catholic primary and secondary education to the forgotten fishing village of Matelot in North Trinidad. Her interest in and commitment to education for all raised eyebrows and like the historical Robin Hood, she led the rich to give to the poor. She has displayed throughout more than fifty years of dedication to education, a Jesuit-like approach whereby she strove to face all her challenges with the cross, image, and purpose of her creator. This recognition is in memory of that great pioneer, Dr. Basil Matthews who changed education in Trinidad and Tobago, and by extension, the Caribbean.
    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/woman-magazine/A_nun_on_a_mission-194424291.html

    The Nominee for the 26th Annual SUNSHINE Awards Hall of Fame are:
    Winston Bailey – Trinidad and Tobago – Life-long contribution to the calypso art form. Known to the calypso world as, the Mighty Shadow. He began his calypso career in the 1960’s and quickly soared to stardom with mega hits like “Bassman in Meh Head” “Stranger”, “I Come Out to Play” and “What Is Life”.
    http://www.ncctt.org/50years/index.php/108-calypso-music/17884-the-mighty-shadow

    Lancelot Layne (Deceased) hails from Trinidad & Tobago. Founder of Rapso music. He began his singing career in the early 1970s. He is often described as the founder of Rapso music and his 1970 song “Blow Away” was the first rapso recording, although the term was not coined until 1980. Many of his most remembered songs were not recorded, including the song “Strike Squad”, which he composed for his local football team. “Get off the Radio” was a protest song about the imbalance of radio airplay between local and foreign works. http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/5186add7-7dda-4471-b791-ecbda9fc05ec

    Hillary “Baga” Rezende-Trinidad and Tobago. Life-long contribution to steelband music. His involvement in the steelband movement dates back to the 1930’s… He was described by the Trinidad Express Newspaper earlier this year as “the Enduring Panman.” Today, in his 80’s, he continues to make his contribution by often reflecting on his journey with the Pan Movement for recognition of the steelband as an instrument capable of playing all forms of music. He recently called on Universities and Research Institutions around the world to reassess the present status and the continued development of the steelband. http://www.trinidadexpress.com/sunday-mix/The-enduring-panman-272387751.html?m=y&smobile=y

    Cecil Ward – Barbados – Life-long contribution to steelband music. Now 93 has been involved in the steelband movement for virtually all his life. He thrilled judges during many performances at competitions and coached many steelband soloists including the legendary panist, Sonny Roach. http://www.trinbagopan.com/steelpan/ward.htm

    The 26th Annual SUNSHINE Awards “Friend of the Arts” will be presented to the National Action Cultural Committee (NACC) – Trinidad & Tobago – for its contribution to various Caribbean art forms. NACC is the cultural arm of the National Joint Action Committee and has been involved in the various Caribbean art forms and carnival since the 1970s. NACC is also credited for designing and developing many training and development programs for young performing artists. In fact, many veteran calypsonians today have benefited from its development programs. NACC also promotes the National Young Kings and the Calypso Queen competitions. The organization also plays an active role in the African Liberation Day and the Liberation Day celebrations. http://www.njactt.org/national_action_cultural_committee.html

    The 26th Annual SUNSHINE Awards “Corporate Award” will be presented to National Staffing Associates (NSA) of the United States. Incorporated in West Orange, New Jersey, National Staffing Associates brings over twenty years of experience to its core specialty, the provision of quality supplemental health care staffing in diverse disciplines throughout the spectrum of the health care industry. The company has been accredited by the New Jersey Commission on accreditation for Home Care since 1999. NSA is passionate in its support for other Caribbean businesses as evidenced by its active membership and participation in the Caribbean American Business Association (CABA), an organization dedicated to the expansion and success of Caribbean businesses in the tri-state area. NSA is also an active supporter of cultural and artistic activities throughout Caribbean-American diaspora. https://www.nationalstaffing.org/

    The SUNSHINE Awards was founded to recognize excellence in the performing arts, education, science and sports. Over the years, the program has expanded with the global view to include the Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and South America and India.

    The 26th Annual SUNSHINE Awards is sponsored in part by the United Airlines –“the preferred airline for the SUNSHINE Awards”, The Kobrand Corporation/Alizé, National Staffing Associates, All Star Motors and Essex County Towing, VMS Consulting, T & T Express Shipping and Trini Breakfast Shed. For further information and tickets call 201-836-0799 or info@sunshineawards.com

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  • Guyanese Reggae Shines On New Compilation ‘Higher Level’ – SSignal Productions (Music Inside)

    New York, NY – Featuring the crème de la crème of Guyana’s rich and diverse reggae music scene, new compilation Higher Level – Various Artists shines internationally as it is now available worldwide from all major digital retailers (released on September 2, 2014), from FOX FUSE. Produced by Guyanese production house SSignal Productions, Higher Level is reminiscent of classic reggae and breaks new ground for the featured local acts, and also for Guyanese reggae, on the whole.

    The 10-track opus features a mix of Guyanese stars and rising sensations, including Charmaine Blackman, Bonny Alves, Francine Hendricks, EGO, Devon Denny, Amanda Peters, Dawn Edwards, Abigail James, Jada Harry and Natoya London, and brings sweet sounds and smooth songs for reggae aficionados everywhere.

    Established in 2002, Higher Level is a pet project that has long been in the works for SSignal Productions, and everyone involved is thrilled to finally see its global debut. “This has been the most significant development since our existence,” states Bonny Alves, CEO of SSignal Productions and a featured artist on Higher Level. Charmaine Blackman, also a featured act on the album and the General Manager of SSignal Productions adds, “This is the opportunity we have been dreaming of.”

    SSignal Productions prides itself on crafting a fusion of sounds that is representative of the diversity in Guyanese culture, and thus, its music. Blending R&B with reggae, pop, chutney, soca, dancehall, jazz, rock, rhythm poetry and Guyanese folk has served up numerous hits for the team, over the years. Many of those influences are evident on Higher Level, offering up an eclectic group of entertainers and making this alluring and aptly named compilation a memorable album, and a keeper, for all music fans.

    Higher Level – Various Artists is now available worldwide from all major digital retailers.

    TRACK LIST

    1. Charmaine Blackman – Jah, Jah Will Lead Us
    2. Francine Hendricks – Teenage Pregnancy
    3. EGO – To the Club
    4. Devon Denny – My Shinning Star
    5. Bonny Alves – Take a chance with Me
    6. Amanda Peters – Thank you Lord
    7. Dawn Edwards – This is Goodbye
    8. Abigail James – Secret Admirer
    9. Jada Harry – Surround yourself with Positive People
    10. Natoya London – Music Is

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  • “America’s First Soca Pop Star” (Rolling Stone) Bunji Garlin Continues To Make Headlines And Tour

    September 19, 2014

    Bonji

    BUNJI GARLIN CONTINUES TO MAKE NATIONAL HEADLINES AND TOUR IN U.S.

    Rolling Stone Goes On the Road with “America’s First Soca Pop Star”

    New York Times Raves New Album “Assuredly Moves Soca into the Now Era”

    MTV Iggy Declares He “Will Change Soca Forever”

    Trinidad’s Hero Will Take Over Miami Carnival & Mad Decent Boat Party This Fall

    New Album Differentology Out Now

    Soca star Bunji Garlin continues to break through nationally. Following his BET 106 & Carnival takeover performance with Fay-Ann Lyons and A$AP Ferg and his recent FADER article, this week he lands homepage features with Rolling Stone and MTV Iggy as well as a glowing album review in Sunday’s (Sept 14) New York Times. The Trinidad native’s brand new album Differentology (RCA/VP) “assuredly moves soca into the now era” according to NY Times. MTV Iggy (who named the title track Song of Year in 2013) declares Garlin “will change soca forever” in their latest interview, while Rolling Stone calls him the “hardest working man in soca,” after spending the week with him during NYC’s West Indian Carnival festivities.
    His work ethic is certainly paying off and without a moment’s rest, Garlin will continue his ceaseless tour schedule throughout the year. Next month, he will take over Miami Carnival during Columbus Day weekend. After performing select dates on Mad Decent’s Block Party tour this summer, he also teams up with the crew again in November. This time, he will hit the decks on Mad Decent’s Boat Ride, a 4-night musical voyage from Miami to The Bahamas with Norwegian Cruise Lines. See flyer below for more details.

    Purchase Bunji Garlin’s Differentology now:
    iTunes: smarturl.it/BGDifferentology?Iqid=yt
    Amazon: smarturl.it/BGDifferentologyAm?Iqid=yt

    CRITICAL PRAISE FOR BUNJI GARLIN’S NEW ALBUM DIFFERENTOLOGY

    “…assuredly moves soca into the now era… an authoritative vocalist, and a fun one, too… sounds as if he’s reporting from the future…uproariously engaging…squelches and stomps of modern dance music…”
    – NEW YORK TIMES

    “Garlin’s debut exemplifies what it means to be a differentologist…blends dancehall, EDM and even trap (“Truck on D Road,” with A$AP Ferg) into his sound, without ever seeming like he’s trying too hard.”
    – ROLLING STONE

    “The Trinidadian vocalist might be the shiniest star in soca music, but his new album throbs with a rich, pulsating pan-Caribbean energy that should translate easily on any dance floor.”
    – WASHINGTON POST

    “…exceedingly danceable beats that fuse the island’s irresistible calypso with EDM and hip-hop, as well as the traditional East Indian bhangra”
    – NPR

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  • Redefining Exercise. Anatomie Promises To Spread Wellness of Body & Mind Across T&T

    ANATOMIE 2

    Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. September 18, 2014———- There’s absolutely no justification now, for any Trinidad and Tobago national to be living an unfit or unhealthy lifestyle- this of course, following the August launch of something simply called, Anatomie. It’s a homegrown option for starting T&T’s unfit on a path to physical fitness and wellness and it’s knocking on every door, across the nation.

    Pioneered by well-respected fitness instructor, Derron Roberts, the all-inclusive but non-exclusive fitness program, dubbed Anatomie is set to change the dynamic of gyming as we know it, with each week that goes by. With delivery to audiences via two media options, television and social media, Anatomie will allow for interactivity all day, everyday. Roberts, an ISSA Certified fitness instructor is a well-known independent fitness trainer who has been in the business of healthy living for the past 10 years.

    The 30-minute health and fitness program airs weekdays at 5am on CCN TV6 and according to Roberts, Anatomie will be structured to suit the needs of every person who faces challenges when it comes to physically making it to the gym. The show will deal with exercise of course, but while this is at the core of the program, other areas such as nutrition, fitness facts and myths of wellness and fitness, in addition to a meal-planning segment that will encourage healthy consumption habits, can be expected.

    Described by the Anatomie team as a fun and demonstrative option for persons who are constrained by the daily rigors of life- health and fitness has never sounded more attainable. Roberts’ specialization in performance nutrition from the International Sports and Sciences Association will certainly be an asset for anyone who takes on the challenge of obeying his every command. Via social media, Roberts says newcomers to the fitness arena will benefit from general nutrition and fitness facts and advice, complete with direct communication with individuals who may have specific questions or concerns about anything so related. With the Facebook following already growing, others interested on changing their lives once and for all, are encouraged to visit www.facebook.com/myanatomie to start making that change. “It’s all about setting a standard and promoting a lifestyle,” said Roberts.

    The show is being produced by Hand To Hand Productions. One person at the centre of the production house said, “Now there’s no excuses, everyone can live that healthy lifestyle with just a small amount of effort. Get up, suit up and join the Anatomie team.”.

    Hand To Hand Productions has been at the fore of other programs that have focused on personal development and inspiration to youth. This time around however, the production house is lending support to an initiative that will undoubtedly help many, from all walks of life.

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  • Noisey Jamaica: An Inside Look at Reggae & Dancehall on the Island

    NOISEY PRESENTS DOCUMENTARY SERIES NOISEY JAMAICA 2

    In the six-part Noisey series, brought to you by The House of Marley, host Walshy Fire (Major Lazer) explores first-hand Jamaica’s present day musical scene, one of the most dynamic chapters in the island’s rich legacy since the advent of reggae

    NEW YORK, NY (September 18, 2014) – Noisey, VICE’s music channel, is proud to present a documentary series titled Noisey Jamaica 2. In the six-part series, brought to you by The House of Marley, host Walshy Fire of Major Lazer explores firsthand the undeniable impact that Jamaica’s young reggae movement and controversial dancehall community are making on the island and beyond.

    Watch the episode on Noisey: http://noisey.vice.com/noisey-jamaica-2/noisey-jamaica-2-episode-1

    Directed by Noisey’s Andy Capper, Noisey Jamaica 2 takes viewers throughout Jamaica – from uptown to downtown, and from Kingston’s local beaches to the Nyabinghi communities in the hills – to explore one of the most dynamic chapters in Jamaica’s rich musical legacy since the advent of reggae. In the series, Noisey takes an in-depth look at the musical movements that are currently driving Jamaican culture, including the influence of Vybz Cartel, who is currently incarcerated for murder.

    Stay tuned for Parts Two-Six of Noisey Jamaica 2, which will roll out weekly exclusively on Noisey.

    ABOUT NOISEY

    VICE started Noisey back in 2011, criss-crossing the globe documenting the year in music from heavy-hitters to tiny garage bands who usually play for their girlfriends and moms. Since then, it has grown into one of the most unique and successful video-driven music sites on the planet. In 2012, Noisey teamed with YouTube as a premium content provider, and built out a series of shows that take a completely fresh take on the world of music. As an editorial resource, Noisey.com reaches millions of people a month, and has become a go-to source for weird music news, artist-sourced content, and VICE’s signature offbeat coverage. Noisey throws parties and shows worldwide, hosts innovative online listening parties for new records, and produces videos for the best artists in the world, like MIA, Die Antwoord, A$AP Rocky, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Noisey is more than just a music site—music is the lens with which we explore youth culture all over the world.

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  • New Video Alert! Reggae Star Natural Black Video “I’m On My Way”

    Natural Black Releases New Video “I’m On My Way”.

    NaturalBlack

    His versatility is none more self evident that the eclectic various tracks on Natural Black 14th full length album. The artist latest video release taps into his spiritual side as he performs “I’m On My Way” in the beautiful and serene surroundings of Hellshire Heights Portmore and St. Thomas, Jamaica. The video was edited by critically acclaimed Upsetta Films.

    “I want to thank the many people that graciously made their appearances, Frenz Fi Real, Ghetto Lynxx and warm and the friendly people of St. Thomas. Nuff respect.” Humbly stated Natural Black

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  • Avid Dancer Announces Debut EP Out October 21st on Grand Jury, Premieres New Track

    AVID DANCER ANNOUNCES DEBUT EP I WANT TO SEE YOU DANCE OUT OCTOBER 21ST ON GRAND JURY

    Cara

    NOISEY PREMIERES TITLE TRACK
    Listen to “I Want To See You Dance” via Noisey

    Jacob Dillan Summers has been many things. A sheltered fundamentalist Christian kid. A world champion drumline drummer. A marine. A lovesick transpant to icy Alaska. This is the story behind Avid Dancer – the nom de musique under which Summers is releasing Avid Dancer’s debut EP I Want to See You Dance, out October 21st on Grand Jury. Noisey debuted the title track today, noting that that it is “the meeting point between Hot Chip’s slightly detached, laidback synth-pop and the super cool scuzz of The Dandy Warhols.”

    The songs on the EP are some of the most kaleidoscopic, distinctly individual – and above all, honest- pop music you’ll hear all year. During the songwriting process, Jacob Dillan Summers would start with rhythms he’d create on percussion. This process ultimate gave his material a righteous rhythmic heft across the board – from the highly danceable “All the Other Girls,” which appears as a psyched-up drum circle on Dance, and the smoky torch-soul ballad “Stop Playing With My Heart.”

    Even when Avid Dancer’s music does evoke artists, say – from the vintage electro-disco pulsating through “I Want To See You Dance,” to the hushed Elliott Smith acoustics of “Medication (Demo)” – it’s a happy coincidence. Raised in a strict Christian household, Summers was forbidden to listen to any secular music until his late teens; as a result, his musical discovery remains ongoing. “Growing up before the Internet, I was cut off,” he notes. “I wasn’t even allowed to watch MTV! I lived in an alternate reality.” I remember sending some songs to a friend and he said, ‘Dude, you remind me of The Kinks.’ I thought they were maybe a new band, but when I listened to them I fell in love with their music. Another time, I got compared to Elliott Smith, and then I got really into him.”

    Avid Dancer will play a run of shows in North America this fall, including NYC’s CMJ Festival. All tour dates can be found below.

    * * *

    Tour Dates

    09.18.14 – Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ ^
    09.19.14 – Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA ^
    09.20.14 – Casbah – San Diego, CA ^
    09.23.14 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA ^
    09.25.14 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR ^
    09.26.14 – Biltmore Cabaret – Vancouver, BC
    09.27.14 – Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA ^
    09.29.14 – The State Room – Salt Lake City, UT ^
    09.30.14 – Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO ^
    10.20.14 – The Sinclair – Boston, MA *
    10.24.14 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC *
    10.25.14 – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA *
    11.07.14 – Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA %
    11.18.14 – The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA *
    11.19.14 – Belly Up – San Diego, CA *
    11.21.14 – Fox Theater – Oakland, CA *
    11.22.14 – The Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA *

    ^ w/ Kopecky Family Band
    % w/ Warpaint
    * w/ Cold War Kids

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  • Contemporary Choreographers’ Collective Dance Festival 2014 Prepares For An Iconic Season Of Dance

    Contemporary Choreographers’ Collective Dance Festival 2014 Prepares For An Iconic Season Of Dance

    Trinidad and Tobago’s Foremost Platform For The Presentation Of Innovative And Experimental Contemporary Choreography Features A Diverse Cast of Local, Regional And International Choreographers

    Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago… Following its 2014 call for submissions, Trinidad and Tobago’s foremost platform for the presentation of innovative and experimental contemporary choreography, Contemporary Choreographers’ Collective (COCO) Dance Festival, is set to deliver an iconic season of dance. The festival will open with the annual COCO Awards followed by an evening of dance on Friday October 3, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at Queen’s Hall. Performances will continue nightly until Sunday October 5, 2014. To mark the launch of the COCO Dance Festival 2014, His Excellency Mr. Jacques Sturm, Ambassador of France, will host a private function for media and sponsors in collaboration with COCO and the Alliance Française de Trinité-et-Tobago on Monday September 22, 2014 at the Résidence de France.

    As Trinidad and Tobago’s singular curated and juried dance festival, the 2014 instalment of COCO will feature a diverse cast of guest and selected choreographers from Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and the USA. The guest cast features New York’s Battery Dance Company with support from the Embassy of the United States of America, the University of South Florida’s Dance Program and University Dance Company (UDC) of Texas Tech University with support from the TTU’s College of the Visual and Performing Arts. Successful applicants chosen by COCO’s screening committee include Akuzuru, Brittany Williams, Deliece Knights, Jacob Cino, Jelae Stroude-Mitchell, Jillene Forde, Juan-Pablo Alba-Dennis, Kinesha Charleau, Sade Chance and Santee Smith. In COCO’s partnership with the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition via its community-based outreach initiative, COCO in the Community, finalists from the Best Village competition are selected to perform. This year, Ibis Dance Company directed by Sherma Burke, New Edition directed by Jodie Daniel and Eh Beh Oui Don Don directed by Kizzy Murray were selected. To round out the festival, the works of two of COCO’s founders, Sonja Dumas and Dave Williams, will be presented.

    Lovers of dance and the performing arts can look forward to a different programme of performances on each night of the festival. Tickets for the festival cost only TT $100 and are available at Alliance Française de Trinité-et-Tobago, Bread Basket in St. Ann’s and Woodbrook, participating choreographers and during the week of the festival at Queen’s Hall.

    WHAT: COCO Dance Festival 2014
    WHO: COCO Dance Festival
    WHEN: Friday October 3, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.
    Saturday October 4, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
    Sunday October 5, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.
    WHERE: Queen’s Hall
    TICKETS: TT $100
    Alliance Française de Trinité-et-Tobago; Bread Basket, St. Ann’s and Woodbrook; participating choreographers; and Queen’s Hall during the week of the festival.

    ABOUT COCO

    COCO came to life in 2009 with a mission to inspire, encourage and serve the community through creative processes and collaborative endeavours. An initiative of dance professionals and founders Sonja Dumas, Nancy Herrera, Nicole Wesley and Dave Williams, the festival emboldens choreographers to push the envelope with pioneering choreographic approaches that explore contemporary and post-modern forms of dance and movement. As a collective with a focus on carving a space for a contemporary, post-modern and experimental dance aesthetic, COCO has revolutionised Trinidad and Tobago’s dance landscape by steering the development of collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to the production of art, performance and lecture. Through relationships fostered with the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s (UTT’s) and the University of the West Indies’ (UWI’s) dance programmes, the festival nurtures and mentors budding choreographers by providing a professional platform for performance and experimentation supported by direction in the development of choreography. Since its inception, COCO has showcased the works of its founders alongside those of dance and creative arts practitioners from multiple disciplines and training centres across Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Canada and the USA.

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  • Versatile displays act of altruism

    Versatile Gives Back to his Community

    Recording artiste Versatile made a donation of two brand new HP computers to the Boundbrook Primary on school grounds. A past student of the school the artiste thought it was his personal duty to give back.

    “It is my personal duty to give back to my community, to help to build my community. That is where mi start dj some a mi first songs and was given the encouragement to be who I am today. Then, I was only a little boy name “Little Shotta,” who dreamed to be an so mi can never forget where mi come from”. Versatile said
    He continues “Contrary to what some people may think, and say the artistes dem just for the hype and all for themselves, that a nuh mi still. Mi believe in giving back, me believe in helping as much as mi can, a suh mi mother grow me.”

    Versatile is hailed by many Portlanders, for his act of altruism and was featured on a popular site in Portland, called Portlanders news. The principal of the Boundbrook Primary school also extended her gratitude to the artiste for his donation and urges other past students to take a page from his book.

    When he is not busy being charitable, the artiste is tirelessly working to supply the demand of more good music to dancehall. Versatile has been getting a lot of love for one of his latest songs “Party Yah Nice” on the Beach Life riddim, produced by E5 Records and distributed by 21 Hapoilos.

    The artiste is gearing up to release the video for the song in this coming week. The video features a vibrant Versatile having fun and “holding a vibes” with his friends on the beach. The video was shot in Portland at his annual beach party, Beach Cawvinz and is set to be premiered on all major local TV stations.

    “So far I have been getting nothing but forwards for this song. It a get a good play on radio, on the streets and me know say when the video drop, it a go mad!”

    The artiste is working closely with Kush Nights who have teamed up with him to make some positive move towards the advancement of Versatile’s career.

    Fans can keep up with versatile by following him on Instagram and on twitter @versatileami and on facebook as Sheldon Versatile Taylor

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  • Salvation Army ‘An Evening of Sax’

    SALVATION ARMY TO RAISE FUNDS WITH
    ‘AN EVENING OF SAX’

    The Salvation Army is hosting a fundraising activity this coming Sunday. This event titled ‘An Evening of Sax’ will take place at the Gaiety on Rodney Bay on September 21st, 2014 at 6:00pm.

    Since 1902, the Salvation Army has worked tirelessly in St. Lucia to assist thousands of individuals and families with meals and grocery items through its feeding programs in Castries and villages island wide.

    The Salvation Army is in dire need of funds to facilitate the many programs that they manage throughout the year. These include:
    • The daily ‘Meals on Wheels’ feeding program, that facilitates more than 300 hot meals served each week from Monday to Friday in Castries and 100’s of parcels of grocery items are given to needy families on a monthly basis in and out of Castries.
    • The Army also provides clothing and assistance in meeting basic home, educational and medical needs. Individuals and families also receive counseling referral service and encouragement and support to help them through life’s challenges.
    • During times of disaster, The Salvation Army works closely with NEMO, Red Cross, other churches and agencies to provide relief supplies and rehabilitation materials to those affected
    • Provision of Day Care and Pre-School facilities are also included in their services

    The sustenance of the year round services of The Salvation Army is mainly dependent on the generosity of the local public.

    ‘An Evening of Sax’ will see four of Saint Lucia’s most talented saxophonists take to the stage. Sunday will see the likes of Barbara Cadet, Augustin ‘ Jab’ Duplessis, Deland ‘DeeSax’ Jules and Rob ‘Zi’ Taylor performing their various renditions alongside fellow musicians. Russel Lake will be the host for the evening. The musicians and service providers are all volunteering their time and skills to contribute to this fundraiser

    The public is asked to support this event all proceeds of which go to the Salvation Army social welfare programs. Tickets are $50 each and are available at all COURTS branches and at STEVE’S BARBER SHOP.

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  • Star-studded Line-Up for Demarco’s Birthday Celebration

    Demarco

    SEPTEMBER 17, 2014 || Come Saturday, September 27th the Lime Light Entertainment Complex in Half Way Tree will be transformed with a kaleidoscope of activities as Dancehall star Demarco unveils his inaugural birthday celebrations hosted by True Gift Entertaiment (TGE).

    Aptly titled ‘GOOD BOOK’, the event coined from his current chart topper will feature some of the biggest names in the local entertainment space including a plethora of surprise performers bolstered by musical selections courtesy of in-demand jocks ZJ Liquid, Richie Feelings, Boom Boom & Harry Hype, Foota Hype, CD Fantasy Sound, Hotta Maestro and Demarco’s own official dj Slaughta Global from the popular U.S based Half Crazy Sound out of Boston.

    According to event organizers one of the major highlights of the night will be a female dance contest for the now viral ladies anthem ‘Puppy Tail’ where the top three contestants will collectively walk away with almost One Hundred Thousands ($100,000) in cash and prices on the night.

    Currently enjoying one of the best years of his career Demarco says he’ll be giving patrons a reprieve due to the current back to school challenges by offering a subsidized cost at the gate. Women will be charged $500 in a 2 for 1 deal while men will pay a nominal five hundred ($500) Jamaican dollars to gain admission.

    “There will be a lot of excitement and surprises on the night so patrons should come out to enjoy themselves and see what we have in store for them. I don’t want say too much but I promise it will be a memorable occasion for all in attendance.” – Demarco added

    Meanwhile, with an upsurge in popularity and an amassment of current hits such as ‘Good Book’ ‘Bad Gyal Anthem’, ‘Put The Duppy Pon Yuh’, ‘Build A Vibes’, ‘Lazy Body’ and ‘Ride’ Demarco is prepping for a busy schedule over the upcoming Heroes Weekend. The singer recently returned from Suriname and French Guiana amid shooting the second season of his now popular online series ‘Talk Yuh Mind’ which is available via his official Youtube channel at Youtube.com/Demarcolife.

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  • My Destination Official Music Video

    Kingston(JA): Chimney Records’ recording artiste, Zagga, is pleased to announce the release of the official music video for ‘My Destination’; a song on Chimney’s ‘Rising Sun Riddim’.
    The video, which features Zagga riding a bicycle from the hills of St. Andrew to his home parish St. Ann, was shot and directed by RD Studios and was premiered on one of Jamaica’s top entertainment programmes ‘On Stage’ on August 23rd, 2014. Some say this move is long overdue as ‘My Destination’ is arguably Zagga’s most successful song to date, released in October 2013.
    Since its release, the video has been featured on Television Jamaica’s ‘Smile Jamaica’ and ‘Entertainment Report’. Zagga is very proud of this video and states that the feedback has been great and for him, it’s a milestone because he hasn’t been doing many videos. The ‘Never Give Up’ singer is gearing up to shoot another music video, this time for a song called ‘I Wish’ produced by Anthony Records and is also in studio now working on his debut EP.

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  • Karen Hinds aims to promote Caribbean Professional Development

    Karen Hinds aims to promote Caribbean Professional Development

    CEO Karren

    Waterbury, CT – With numerous accolades and international work experiences under her belt, acclaimed author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur Karen Hinds is on a journey to increase personal and professional development within the Caribbean community’s workforce and general population.

    Born and raised in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Karen, who is the author of 5 books, a weekly newspaper columnist and CEO of Workplace Success Group LLC, is an expert in developing emerging leaders.

    Through Workplace Success Group this devout wife and mother has utilized training, consulting and development services along with a 7 strategy employee development system, The Power of Distinction™, in order to assist various individuals and organizations in reaching new levels of excellence.

    Karen is also the host of ‘Karen Hinds’ Phenomenal Woman Conference’, a 2-day event that provides a forum for women and girls to get focused, build a success mindset and develop the courage to accomplish their personal and professional dreams.

    The inspiration for Karen’s journey comes from her formative years growing up in the Caribbean where she enjoyed speaking and reciting psalms and poems to large church audiences. With time, ambition and spirit-led guidance this youthful inspiration transitioned into her current passion for human/professional development which she now executes via conferences, workshops, seminars and webinars.

    According to her, “I usually find ways to reference experiences from my time in SVG or incorporate old sayings from the older people in my village to demonstrate a point.”

    She further stated, “I am on a mission to help people discover and master their God-given talents so that they can live powerfully distinctive lives. My goal is to position my company to play a pivotal role in the professional and personal development of individuals in the Caribbean region and Diaspora market.”

    Karen added, “We have great people in our region and from a business perspective we want to help companies develop employees who are professional, globally competitive and reach new levels of performance. We also want to make a significant impact on the personal development front; we’ve found that an employees’ success at work is directly linked to how they view themselves.”

    With her hope that she is fondly referred to as the ‘Caribbean’s answer to Tony Robbins’, Karen has in the last 15 years worked with international corporate and educational organizations such as Frito-Lay, Harvard Business School Executive Education Program, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, the University of Connecticut, Meharry Medical College and Trinity college.
    Additionally, she has been quoted or featured in several U.S. and Caribbean media outlets e.g. The Boston Globe, Black Enterprise and Family Circle Magazine.

    With repeat international clientele, a 6th book on the horizon and an arsenal of solutions which are designed to reflect the learning styles of various audiences, Karen Hinds eagerly anticipates expanding her firm’s employee training and development for the entire Caribbean community and partnering with different regional companies to grow globally competitive employees.

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  • Multi Media Personality Nikki Z’s Social Impact Recognized by Hip Hop Legend LL Cool J

    Multi Media Personality Nikki Z’s Social Impact Recognized by Hip Hop Legend LL Cool J

    Nikki Z

    Worldwide – Dubbed the Caribbean Ryan Seacrest, popular media maven Nikki Z social media impact is evident in her many endeavors, but never more so than this week when she received an acknowledgement nod from legendary Grammy winner legendary LL Cool J.

    As dancehall appeal becomes more evident in today’s mainstream music, notable acts collaborations between genres delight worldwide fans. Such is the case for the recent hit single “Hustler” featuring LL Cool J and Mavado. Producer Jerry Wonda as many others in the business, sent Nikki the track to listen and get her honest feedback. Nikki Z is the host of her popular syndicated weekly radio countdown program “Nikki Z HOT 20”.

    “As soon as the producer Jerry Wonda sent it to my inbox, I had heard the song, loved it, so I uploaded the song with the Nikki’z Radio drop as to prevent illegal download. It was late but I happen to be awake those hours. The post went viral while i was sleeping”. stated the diva.

    By morning the post was all over social media sites where it reached LL Cool J who couldn’t resist saying thank you personally to the Diva. “Jerry put me on a conference call with LL and he thanked me for starting the movement with this track, It’s still surreal to have someone you grew up watching through TV, magazines. someone so established take time out to recognize my work.” Her version was subsequently chosen by LL as the soundtrack for the official video release on world famous WorldStar. When asked why she thought they used the version with her stamp in it. Nikki said “I was told by Mavado’s manager LL felt it was right because I was the 1st person to play the track”

    Nikki Z and DNZ All Star DJ Keemy recently teamed up with VP records to present the Reggae Gold 2014 Official Mix CD. The Reggae Gold series has been at the forefront for over two decades and contains the most popular sounds from renowned artists, crossover recording acts and emerging talent. Reggae Gold consistently lands on the top spot of the Billboard charts for the Reggae Category and is the best-selling compilation for the genre. Reggae Gold 2014 Official Mix CD is currently available on VP Records website as well as the Diva’s Soundcloud/DivaNikkiZ. The CD features Major Lazer, Sean Paul, Spice, Gyptian amongst many others.

    With a busy schedule such as hosting the premiere reality TV competition Dancehall Got Talent, the diva is anxiously awaiting the 1st ever Welcome To Jamrock Cruise where she was personally chosen by Damian Jr Gong Marley and Cristy Barber the promoters who have teamed with Norwegian Cruise Lines.

    Nikki duties will include hosting parties, and joined by DNZ All Star DJ Keemy will deejay inside the various upscale nightlife venues on board the voyage. The “Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise,” a five night event will feature Damian, Stephen and Julian Marley, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Etana, Tarrus Riley, Jah Cure and more.

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  • Global industry heavyweights to feature at “The Wedding Convention” 2014

    Global industry heavyweights to feature at “The Wedding Convention” 2014

    Julie

    Terry

    POS, Trinidad – The most anticipated wedding industry event in Trinidad and Tobago will be returning to The Banquet and Conference Centre, Movie Towne, P.O.S. on September 27th & 28th . The event will not only be a gathering of top local wedding vendors and premium brands but will also host 2 of the industry’s top international influencers, Kleinfeld’s Fashion Director Terry Hall and Julie Albaugh of WeddingMarketNews.com.

    After attracting hundreds of engaged couples and wedding enthusiasts with the event’s 2013 debut, the producers are pleased to partner with The Banquet and Conference Centre for this year’s edition.

    The Wedding Convention is the collaborative effort of Trinidad Weddings and Eventuality Limited. Trinidad Weddings is known for T&T’s first wedding website and online resource for engaged couples,‘Trinidad Weddings.com’, the popular, globally distributed bridal magazine,‘TW Wed-Zine’ and their new Trinidad Weddings App for Samsung and Apple users.

    Eventuality Limited (EL) specializes in brand marketing, utilising tailor-made multi-mobile advertising, augmented reality and enhanced search experiences. EL has worked with Guardian Media, Sterling Services (Battoo Bros) Ltd for Mercedes Benz and a number of corporate clients. It is with this professionalism and experience that Eventuality Limited has partnered with Trinidad Weddings to create The Wedding Convention.

    Both entities created this event with the goals of producing a high-quality Wedding Convention and Exposition that carries an international standard. One which would bring together the best vendors to network with each other, build their brands and promote their businesses, to a targeted market of engaged couples.

    In order to take 2014’s edition to a new, globally competitive level, Trinidad Weddings was able to leverage its linkages with top bridal industry players to bring forth this year’s esteemed guest speakers Terry Hall and Julie Albaugh.

    Terry Hall, from Kleinfeld Bridal (home of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress’) will be the feature speaker at the Convention’s Bridal Brunch. He will share valuable shopping and bridal fashion advice to brides-to-be and their planners/bridal party. Terry’s former experience has been with Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and the Miss America Pageant. He has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show and Huffington Post Live.

    Julie Albaugh, Editor of WeddingMarketNews.com and host of #WeddingMarket chat (on Twitter) will enlighten wedding service providers on the importance of marketing and social media in the industry. Wedding Market was selected as number 3 of the top 10 Social Media influencers in the Wedding Industry by Wed Biz Media. The #weddingmarket hashtag has a tweet reach of between 2 to 10 million each week.

    Patrons of The Wedding Convention will benefit from complimentary passes to all exhibitor sessions, eligibility to win prizes and free gift bags.

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  • Atlanta confirmed as first international stop for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival

    Atlanta confirmed as first international stop for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival

    Rob

    (Atlanta, Georgia)… Atlanta will be the first North American city to feel the spirit of Junkanoo Carnival when The Commonwealth of The Bahamas presents its latest cultural enterprise abroad.

    Cultural Affairs Attache`, Robert Pinder confirmed that the team at the Bahamas Consul General’s Office in Atlanta is working to ensure attendees at the Atlanta launch set for October 8, 2014, receive a “taste of The Bahamas” for a few days. Enough of a taste, he hopes, will prompt them to attend Junkanoo Carnival in The Bahamas in May 2015.

    “We are working directly with Bahamas National Festival Commission to ensure that when the delegates arrive from The Bahamas, we have everything in place and our media blitz in full swing,” Pinder stated. “They will be here for a few days and we are utilizing our strategic networking partners to present The Bahamas and its culture directly to Atlanta.”

    “The concept of Carnival is not new to Atlanta,” he added. “In fact, this year, there were two Carnival events on the same day and throughout the year, there are multiple venues that feature masqueraders, stilt walkers and more. However, there is absolutely nothing in the world like the authentic Junkanoo experience complete with the sights, sounds and atmosphere of The Bahamas.”

    According to Pinder, the signature event will feature Bahamian Junkanoo Carnival masqueraders, Bahamian cuisine prepared by an Atlanta-based Bahamian chef, Bahamian music and more.

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  • Wayne Marshall Will “B” There? Sunday Oct 19th @ Seven

    Will You “B” There?
    SUNDAY OCTOBER 19TH, 2014
    DAY PARTY – 5pm-Midnight
    HOSTED BY: WAYNE MARSHALL
    Music By: RENAISSANCE DISCO & Friends
    Venue:
    SEVEN MIAMI: 28 NE 40th St, Miami, FL 33137
    For More Info:SVMarketinggroup@Gmail.Com
    305-923-7062 or 786-427-5424

    Bseven

    Seven is a place somewhere else; it is a passage to your very own sinful delight.

    Hidden away in an urban oasis, behind discrete walls you arrive to a little paradise, a garden where time stands still. Past antique wooden doors, enter a surreal pergola which shall remind you of a place from which you will never want to leave, a place where sophistication and the arts meet, Design District.
    Surprisingly, like all hidden gems, there is more than meets the eye. Under the shade and the beauty of tall pines and bamboo trees. A long bar, sofas and sounds of laughter, set the stage for the sexy vibe of a night without boundaries.

    In Seven we dare to ask what’s your sin? Knowing that with us you can indulge in your favourite one. Just like Epicurus we believe that “pleasure” is the greatest good to ever seek. Although not all sins are created equal, in this Garden of Eden you can delight yours senses.

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  • 12 Months movie to be shown at Urbanworld Film Festival

    12 MONTHS MOVIE TO BE SHOWN AT URBANWORLD FILM FESTIVAL
    The documentary about generosity will make its East Coast debut

    USA, 12 Months (2014), a documentary about a man who rents his home for a year to a family in transitional housing for $1 per month, will be shown on Friday, Sept. 19th at 12:00PM at AMC 34th Street Theatres as an official selection of Urbanworld Film Festival. The festival runs between September 17th and 21st and is hosted by BET Networks and sponsored by HBO.

    “I am very excited to be screening our film [at Urbanworld Film Festival]!” exclaims award-winning director and producer Charysse Tia Harper. “This is the first film festival the documentary has been in and this is definitely a big one!”

    The 64-minute film follows single mother, Felicia Dukes, and her four children as they live in Tony Tolbert’s 3-bedroom Los Angeles home for a year. It also looks at the issue of transitional housing, as well as explores the impact that generosity has on the community. Production began in December 2012, when the family moved in, and ended in January 2014, when the family moved out.

    12 Months had its premiere in Los Angeles in February. Over the past seven months, it has been shown in various locations, such as a university (UCLA) and a taekwondo studio in southern California, as well at a discussion meet-up group and a pub in London, to name a few. The film comes back to the US to make its East Coast debut in Manhattan.

    Tolbert was inspired to do this by reading an article in a magazine about the Salwens, a family who downsized their home and gave the difference ($800,000) to charity. Tolbert started renting his home for $1 per month in December 2011 and continues to this day. He, along with Harper, will be at the screening and Q&A to follow.

    Harper has been making documentary since 2008 and created her company, Xplore the World, in 2009. Her first documentary, The Other Side of Carnival (2010), received the Best Cultural Documentary (New York International Film Festival) and Best International Documentary (ITN Distribution and New Media Festival) awards. This year alone, she has produced Not In Our Culture (2014), a mini-series looking at different tribal weddings in Nigeria; and has co-directed Panomundo, a documentary about the history of the steelpan in Trinidad & Tobago and its global influence, which will have its World Premiere in London in October 2014.

    “With every screening, I just hope people take something away from it,” explains Harper. “Since this film focuses on generosity, seeing someone ‘pay it forward’ makes me feel like I did my job properly.”

    Tickets to see 12 Months are $15, which can be purchased at Urbanworld Film Festival’s 12 Months page. A one-minute trailer of the film can also be viewed there.

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  • Live Instruments and A Legendary Producer. Blackie Goes To The Source For His Latest Hit”

    Blackie

    Port-of-Spain, Trinidad ———-There’s never a dull moment when it comes to Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival season and while the real energy of the festival is still some months away, soca’s ultimate bacchanal lyricist, Blackie says it’s time to deliver some heat to get the fire started in the hearts of die hard soca lovers.

    A new single, released just last week, coupled with the confidence of a true champion places the well-known and well- loved entertainer in a pretty good position. The single, ‘Hott’, which was written by Jason ‘Shaft’ Bishop- dubbed the hit maker by Blackie, and produced by prominent music producer, Leston Paul is a track that strays from Blackie’s ordinary.

    “I’ve never done anything like this before,” said the entertainer. He is confident that the masses will enjoy it though, and admits that the melody has a touch of Zouk that ultimately encourages immediate foot movement. “This one is sexy and spirited. We may not be ready for carnival right now but we have to get the people primed up,” he said with a laugh.

    When Blackie took the lyrics of the song to Leston Paul a few weeks ago, he said he was reminded by Paul that it was he who had produced Arrow’s ‘Hot, Hot, Hot’, a song that has become synonymous with the world’s definition of the soca music genre. “Leston told me, ‘Blackie, we are going to have to do live instruments with this song’, and I said but that would be expensive, but Leston reminded me that if I wanted a good end result, I would have to pay the price,” relayed the comical artiste. With that, Blackie committed himself to delivering a piece of work that couldn’t be further from his comfort zone- a song filled with the sweet sound of live instruments, a song he has fallen in love with and wants everyone to experience.

    A true entertainer in every sense of the word, Blackie says fans need not worry since he has already completed their 2015 ‘bacchanal’ anthem. “The bacchanal they love is already done for 2015 but I won’t let the cat out the bag yet. They have to wait for that one,” said the artiste. He however said a video for ‘Hott’ is in the works and even that will see him take the untraditional route. “This is a song for everybody. The composition has a real youthful vibe so I know everybody will gravitate to it,” he said, adding that given the airplay, he feels ‘Hott’ can make it down to the end of the Carnival 2015 season. Prepared for the thrill of the season up ahead, Blackie is ready to bring the heat at a time when it’s probably least expected. For more on Blackie, follow him on Twitter @irvinblackman1 and like his page on Facebook, keyword, Irvin Blackman.

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  • Millbeatz Produced Hit Set To Deliver Soca’s Newest Songbird, Natasha Benjamin, To The Masses

    Natasha

    Port-of-Spain, Trinidad ———-“The world is calling.” It’s a sentiment that has propelled a young Trinidadian vocalist to quit her nine to five job and follow her heart into the unknown. With a voice that she knows, can infectiously please audiences globally, Natasha Benjamin is set to stun many at home in T&T, in the region and across the world, this year and beyond.

    With a new song in hand, produced by reputed production house, Millbeatz Entertainment, Benjamin is putting her plan into action. “I performed at a wedding in Portugal recently and it seemed as though all of the women at the wedding were talking about their relationships with men. I was taken aback and it got me to thinking,” said Benjamin. She later contacted writer and producer, Dale Ryan. “I asked Dale to pen a song for me, about that experience. In the end, we came up with a track we called, “Wrong Guys,” laughed the vibrant, young entertainer.

    Benjamin’s excitement for what lies ahead is transparent. A bubbly personality and a charm that resonates in the music she creates, is apparent to many who come into contact with her. She hopes she’ll be able to bring that energy to people who hear her music. “Wrong Guys” comes on the heels of her 2014 soca release, “Keep Them Waving,” which was also produced by Millbeatz and saw Benjamin through to the Semi Finals of this year’s International Soca Monarch competition. “It was amazing. It was my first soca track and it got me through to the semis. Now, imagine what can happen next year!” she said.

    Benjamin’s go getter attitude has seen her share her voice with thousands around the world. When she left her desk job, the cruise industry called out to her and she’s been lending her entertaining skills to the Princess Cruise Lines ever since. “I’ve seen the world as a result. I’ve been to Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the islands of the Caribbean,” she said, also highlighting that she’s sung for people from all over the world, who’ve enjoyed every minute of her performances. “I’m just following my heart. I know what I’m capable of and I know what I was placed on this earth to do. This is my way of fulfilling it. When the rest of T&T and the world gets wind of this, they’ll wonder where I’ve been hiding,” she said with a laugh.

    Benjamin’s single has already been released. A video for the track will be launched on Synergy TV in Trinidad on September 2nd.

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  • Nikki EPK 8-19-14 4PM.mp4 on Vimeo

    Nikki EPK 8-19-14 4PM.mp4 from Dustin Haney on Vimeo.

    Nikki Shannon Fernandez long ago established herself as a mainstay of the unforgiving New York music scene. Her debut album Too Few (Inner Circle, LLC) was recorded at The Crib, the fabled Brooklyn studio of New York veteran musician and producer Nunzio Signore. The album met with unanimous praise and even garnered airplay on New York’s number one FM rocker Q104, on the station’s most prestigious music show “Out of the Box.” Tracks from the album also appeared on two television shows, MTV’s The Hills and ABC’s Six Degrees, proving the emotional impact and visual nature of Nikki’s powerful songs.
    Not content to be performing and recording music in the biggest music city in the world, Nikki decided to delve deeper into her songwriting and knew that she wanted to explore other cities where great songwriting thrives. She headed first to London and then to Nashville, the songwriting capital of the world.

    Nikki’s time spent in London was a personal sojourn, as well a career move. She soaked up the city’s rich cultural diversity and nearly unfathomable history. A serious relationship transpired that gradually and subconsciously found its way into the new songs that were taking root and simmering in her fertile mind. Then, after briefly returning home to New York, Nikki headed to Nashville.

    Once Nikki moved to Nashville to begin to put the new pieces in place that would mark the most dramatic change in her musical career, the songs immediately began to flow and the nurturing Nashville musical songwriting community embraced her heartfelt songs and commanding performing style. She contributed a cover of the song “I Saw Her Standing There” to the album Let Us In (Reviver), a tribute album to Linda McCartney, put together by Linda’s son James McCartney. She also sang at a Breast Cancer Foundation concert at the famed Ryman Auditorium, the one-time home of the Grand Ol’ Opry, in support of the album. She then met Ronnie Dunn of Brooks and Dunn. She toured with Dunn and co-wrote with him his number one song “Grown Damn Man,” from his smash solo album Peace Love and Country Music. She also appeared on Dunn’s solo debut on The View on ABC.

    Touring with one of the biggest stars in country music and co-writing a number one song might be enough for some musical artists, but not for Nikki. While maintaining her New York roots, and having explored London and conquered Nashville, Nikki followed her muse in a new direction to what may explode as a new genre of music. She headed to Jamaica, to the spiritual home of reggae music, Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong studios, and recorded an album entitled Kingston to Kingston (EIGHTS LLC) that has just been released in Jamaica and Internationally, will be released in February of 2015 in the U.S. At the album’s core are songs that could only be described as country reggae. This seemingly contradictory meeting of two musical genres on first listen actually is as complementary as the recordings Ray Charles made when he first crossed R&B and country. But there is more to the album than that. While there is plenty of Nikki’s new country reggae sound as well as her signature singer-songwriter style that has been compared to the sounds of Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell, there are songs that would not be out of place on pop and dance radio stations. These tracks, though, have a natural rhythmic groove with an emphasis on great songwriting and an enticing, yet mature vocal style that whispers instead of screams to get one’s attention.

    In closing Nikki talked about what an incredible experience it was making music in Jamaica and what her future plans are. “I am humbled and so fortunate to have been able to record this album in Jamaica. I have fallen in love with Jamaica and the people who have become apart of me there. For someone who truly lives with music inside of them to experience a place that real, that strong and that vulnerable…it’s like finding your voice for the first time…. it’s like coming home. Now take all of that and pour it out and you’ve got a full album written and recorded in 4 days…when we only went in to record one track”.

    Nikki will be touring solo, with a band and with many other artists in the coming months in the United States, Jamaica and England as well as making television and radio appearances.

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  • Jamaica’s Virtuoso Monty Alexander Is The Star In Jazz Around the West Indies

    Jamaica’s Virtuoso Monty Alexander Is The ‘Star’
    In Jazz Around the West Indies

    Jamaica’s virtuoso, Monty Alexander, is set for a historic show at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC from Sept. 17-21, 2014.

    NEW YORK, NY: From Grammy nominee to Commander in the Order of Distinction and Caribbean American Heritage Luminary, Jamaica’s virtuoso, Monty Alexander, has achieved them all in his more than five decade career. This September, Alexander will add another stripe to his lengthy portfolio as he ‘stars’ in “Jazz around the West Indies” at the Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in New York City.

    Alexander and his award-winning group, the Harlem Kingston Express, are set to perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center show from September 17-21 in the five-day series that is a first for the legendary New York City jazz venue.

    “I’m urging all my West Indian fans to come on down to Dizzy’s and experience this unique showcase of genre-and culture-blending music that is evocative of our Caribbean region,” said Alexander. “It will be a West Indian party in the shadows of Central Park.”

    Reservations for the historic show at Broadway and 60th Street on the 5th Floor in Manhattan can be obtained here or by logging on directly to http://dizzys.jalc.org/index.php?option=com_dizzyclub&view=performances&event_id=12895. Show times nightly are 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. For bookings call 212-258-9595. Tickets are $40 nightly and $45 for the Saturday night performance.

    Alexander has built a reputation exploring and bridging the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica. With 70 recordings under his belt, he has performed globally with renowned artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra, Ray Brown, Natalie Cole and Tony Bennett among numerous others.

    In August 2000 the Jamaican government awarded Alexander the title of Commander in the Order of Distinction for outstanding services to Jamaica as a worldwide music ambassador. And in 2012, ‘Harlem Kingston Express: Live!,’ was singled out by both the recording industry and fans and received a Grammy award nomination.

    In the summer of 2012, Alexander was also awarded the prestigious German Jazz Trophy, “A Life for Jazz,” while in November of the same year, he received the Caribbean American Heritage Luminary Award from the Institute of Caribbean Studies in Washington, D.C. His ‘Harlem-Kingston Express Vol. 2: The River Rolls On,’ was released in April on the Motéma Music label and remained for weeks at number one the Jazz radio charts.

    ALEXANDER’S 2014 TOUR SCHEDULE

    September 13 – Salt Lake City, Utah, Jazz at the Capitol Theater w/ Harlem Kingston Express
    October 7 – Knoxville, TN, Bijou Theatre
    October 8 – Roswell, NM, The Liberty
    November 8 – Cape May, NJ, Jazz Festival w/ Harlem Kingston Express
    November 14 – France, Conilhac Festival de Jazz, w/Trio
    November 15 – Bordeaux, France, Bordeaux Auditorium, w/Trio
    Dec. 26-31 – Washington, DC, Blues Alley.

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  • Karamanti Release Official Video For “Hold On”

    Reggae/Dancehall artist Karamanti has finally released the official video for her track “Hold On” which is on the Life Triangle Riddim by Rhome Records. The video was shot in Water House, Kingston, Jamaica and it features Jamaican actress/model Mishka Mishi Blake.

    Life Triangle Riddim was released approximately three months ago with songs from Khago, D’Koncept, DJ Rhome, Karamanti and others. Persons may watch the official video for “Hold On” here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kgBHWairJw

    KARAMANTI SOCIAL MEDIA
    https://twitter.com/Karamanti
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karamanti/106344336092282

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