Archive for the ‘reggae’ Category


Canada-based reggae artiste, Tasha T recently completed at whirlwind tour of select school in Jamaica as the official ambassador of Read Across Jamaica (RAJ).

As the  RAJ  Musical  Ambassador  for  2011 & 2012,  Tasha  T, through  her  musical  style  of   communication,  will  lend  her  talent  to  encourage  families  to  approach  literacy  from  a  positive  perspective.

According to Tasha,  “Determination  and  drive  are the key ingredients that parents must have in order to assist their children to climb  the ladder  of  education.”

She continued, “We  [artists]  must  make  the  effort  to  engage  our  youth  in  activities  to  feed  their  minds,   nurture  their  growth  and  display  enjoyment  with  various  forms  of  the  arts.”

Tasha  T  has  voiced  her  full   endorsement  of  RAJ’s   project  her  latest  release,  Educate  Yourself, which is the official theme song of the project.

During November 10 – 12, Tasha T and the members of RAJ visited the Cassava  Piece Activity Centre, St Andrew;  St.  James  Parish  Library in Montego  Bay, the Henningay Prep School  and the Breadnut Hill  Primary  School,  St.  Ann.

“It was wonderful,” a beaming Tasha T said of the visits, where she performed, interacted with the children and handed out pictures and reading material.

Project co-ordinators Gavin Palmer and Hopeton Brown said they were more than pleased at their three days of activities and happy for the opportunity to engage with students and parents and spread the knowledge.

The team will be back in Jamaica early next year for another phase of the Read Across Jamaica project.

source: chatychaty.com

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INVESTIGATORS from the Major Investigation Taskforce (MIT)  yesterday evening charged dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel with murder, conspiracy  to murder and illegal possession of firearm.

A news release from the police said that the charges against the  deejay, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, were made following the conduct of an  interview yesterday afternoon by detectives from the MIT in the presence of his  attorneys.

“The allegation is that on Monday, July 11, 2011, Palmer, along  with other men, conspired to murder Barrington Burton o/c ‘Bossie’, a  27-year-old businessman/promoter of a Gregory Park address in St Catherine.  Burton was murdered while he was standing with friends along Walkers Avenue in  Gregory Park,” the police release said.

A preliminary hearing will take place today at the Half-Way-Tree  Resident Magistrate’s Court, the police said.

 

source: Jamaica Observer


He may not have made as many hit records as most of his contemporaries, but Leonard Dillon produced enough quality work to earn his title as a reggae pioneer.

Dillon, who died Wednesday morning at his daughter’s St Andrew home, was best known as leader of The Ethiopians, the vocal group that had big hits with Train To Skaville and Everything Crash.

He was 68 years old.

Patrice Dillon, the third of Dillon’s seven children, told The Sunday Gleaner her father died from cancer. He was diagnosed with two brain tumours in August 2010, and last June it was discovered he had lung and prostate cancer.

After undergoing surgery to remove one of the tumours in February, Patrice Dillon said her father seemed to be making steady progress. But three months ago further tests revealed five more cancerous lumps had developed on his brain.

Leonard Dillon was born in Boundbrook, a district near Port Antonio in Portland. In an interview with American writer David Katz, Dillon said he worked in Florida as an indentured worker during the early 1960s to make enough money to pursue a musical career when he returned to Jamaica.

It did not pan out as planned and it took a chance meeting in 1964 with Peter Tosh – then a member of The Wailers – to get his recording career off the ground.

Dillon’s interview with Katz appears in the latter’s book, Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae. He said his first songs were done for producer Clement ‘Coxson’ Dodd at Studio One. They were Woman Wine And Money, Ice Water, What You Get You Must Take and Bull Whip.

The Wailers (Tosh, Bob Marley and Bunny Livingston) did backing vocals on Bull Whip. None of those early songs made any impact.

It was not until Dillon teamed with Stephen Taylor and Aston Morrison to form The Ethiopians that his career gained momentum. They cut Train To Skaville for West Indies Record Limited (WIRL) and Everything For Crash for producer Karl ‘Sir JJ’ Johnson as Jamaican popular music evolved from ska to rock steady.

The Ethiopians recorded for several leading producers including Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, but never scored any more big hits, though they gained a cult following in Europe. In the last 25 years, independent record companies such as Trojan, VP and Heartbeat, have released compilation albums of their best-known songs.

The last of those discs, Train To Skaville: Anthology 1965-1975, was released by Trojan in 2002.

Leonard Dillon is also survived by two brothers, one sister and seven grandchildren.

 

 

source:  Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer (The Gleaner)


Jamaican reggae superstar, Buju Banton, is in a US county jail at this hour awaiting transfer to the Miami Federal Prison to serve his 10-year sentence.  Buju whose real name is Mark Myrie was sentenced this morning on cocaine charges in the Florida District Court in the United States.  He was facing a minimum of 15 years in prison to a maximum of life.  His sentence was cut to 10 years after the presiding judge threw out the firearm arm conviction that was handed down in February this year.

In February, Buju Banton was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense.

Today presiding judge James Moody threw out a gun charge, lowering Banton’s sentence from 15 years to 10.
But having been arrested since 2009 and because he has been well-behaved Buju will only serve six years in prison.

Banton’s attorney, David Markus, had submitted that federal sentencing guidelines call for a prison term of at least 15 years.  In a court filing, David Markus told Judge Moody that a 15-year sentence would be way more than necessary in Buju’s case.   He contended that Banton deserved a lower sentence because of his limited participation in the drug case, his charitable work in Jamaica and his otherwise clean record.

Danny Glover at the Cannes Film festival.

Image via Wikipedia

Dozens of letters to U.S. District Judge James Moody were included in the court file for the 37-year-old recording artiste, whose given name is Mark Myrie.  Several of his 15 children a former Jamaican government official, an NBA player, other reggae artistes and actor Danny Glover had begged for leniency calling Buju a role model, philanthropist and spiritual leader in the community.

Banton’s oldest son, also named Mark Myrie, wrote that his father puts hard work, sweat and tears into his music and that the situation is just an example of our mere imperfections as people, being at the wrong place at the wrong time.  But at the trial, assistant U.S. Attorney James Preston argued that Banton portrayed himself as a broker of drug deals in several conversations with a confidential informant.

source: go-jamaica.com


Following a successful satellite performance on the big screens of the annual Best of the Best concert held in Miami, Florida  Vybz Kartel’s label, Adidjahiem Records, announces his forthcoming book, Voice of the Ghetto. 

In recent times, we have seen many musicians step to the forefront of the political stage for a chance at implementing social change.  Wyclef Jean put in a bid for the head office of Haiti’s government, only to be disqualified but dignified none the less.  Luther Campbell ran for mayor of Miami and held 3rd place, at one point, out of several nominees but didn’t make the cut.  In Voice of the Ghetto Vybz Kartel showcases an ambitious and creative mind is without limit, in form or medium of expression.

The following passages are excerpts from Chapter 1 of the book entitled Thank you Jah, hence, it begins like a prayer.  “I start this book as I start each day of my life, with a “Thank you Jah” for giving Adidja Palmer the inspiration to be Vybz Kartel; may the words on the pages of this book be well received, may it touch the heart of the oppressors of my people so that they may treat the poor with compassion.”

Outside of a musical narrative, Kartel bares his spirituality and introspective thought related to education, social awakening, self-respect and unity.  “It is with this hope that I have taken the time to write this book in between my musical career and my role as father, and son; I ask that this book is blessed.”

Despite his international acclaim as one of Jamaica’s most prolific dance hall artistes, Kartel sheds light on the fact that he still identifies with his humble beginnings from the grass-roots of his native environment.  “May it be a tool that Society will utilize to understand ghetto livity, so that you may change your impression of us and start treating ghetto people with respect – whether they are your helpers, gardeners, bar maids, drivers or any marginalized person in Jamaica.”

To know one’s self is to know one’s history as Kartel speaks of his “lovely place Xaymaca, its original name before the genocidal Christopher Columbus came to plunder and destroy an entire Amerindian people under the guise of Christianity.”  A light-hearted plea for social reform can be felt throughout Voice of the Ghetto“May it reach the desks of the prison officials so that they may implement more humane and positive procedures in our jails so that our people can be welcomed back into society after they have done their time.” 

Oft-times Jamaican men are cited as having an un-compromising, aggressive and violent disposition.  In Voice of the Ghetto, Kartel proves leadership by projecting a contrasting image, making a call out to Jamaica’s male demographic at large.  Furthermore, highlighting his concern for the quality of life of Jamaica’s most valuable asset, the youth.  “May it be a reference point for Jamaican males that have never taken the time to understand what our mothers, baby mothers, sisters and women in general go through.  Most of all, may it be a source of motivation for my people especially the young ones as they find their way through life.”

Kartel delivers an advance notice to impending naysayers.  “The hate from the haters is expected but guess what, Kartel sending you a blessing too because the Gaza nuh bad mind.  Come on, I know you going to read this book, that’s okay with me, the only way we can have a better Jamaica is if we spend the time learning from each other.”

Wow.  Never judge a book by the cover.

Courtesy: Adidjahiem Records


In Los Angeles, Memorial Day weekend belongs to the UCLA Jazz Reggae festival which evolved from a small showcase to, today, a huge weekend extravaganza with top headliners in the music industry.

Lupe Fiasco headlines Jam Day on May 29th with other performances by Me’Shell Ndegeocello, Pharoahe Monch, Bilal and more. Attendees will get to enjoy Steel Pulse on Reggae Day, along with Gyptian, Tanya Stephens, and The Wailing Souls.

The festival is also very lucrative for small businesses which get to display their wares, crafts, and food as vendors at the event which welcomes thousands of people each year.


Lloyd Knibb OD (8 March 1931 – 12 May 2011) was a Jamaican drummer who is primarily known for his contribution to the development of the rhythm of the Ska era. He played for The Skatalites (in the 1960s up to his death), and for Tommy McCook & The Supersonics. Knibb recorded for the producers Lloyd “Matador” Daley and Duke Reid.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1931, Knibb, grew up on Bond Street, close to where a local band rehearsed, and he made his own drum kit from a wooden box and paint cans to practice the sounds that he had heard. Like a lot of musicians in the 1940s, he honed his craft in jazz bands. His first professional engagement was with the Val Bennett band, with whom he played for six years. He also played with Count Ossie’s group, adding burru and nyabinghi to his repertoire, and he regularly accompanied Rastafarian leader Sam Brown at meetings. It was with Eric Dean’s band where he gained the technical skills to play many styles. Dean’s set list included the big band music of Glen Miller as well as the popular dances of the day: rumba, Cha-cha and bolero, and his tenure in the band coincided with future major figures in ska such as Tommy McCook, Baba Brooks, and Lloyd Brevett. Knibb’s technical proficiency and wide knowledge of styles soon led to him being featured on the recordings of Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster, Sonia Pottinger and Duke Reid, playing an instrumental part in the development of ska.

Knibb gained his widest audience, however, as the drummer for The Skatalites. They recorded for the Treasure Isle (Duke Reid), Studio One (Clement Dodd) and Top Hat (Phillip Yap) labels, releasing ska music in the 1960s to an audience that responded to a rhythm that was uniquely Jamaican. Knibb, along with the other original Skatalites members, reformed to play the Reggae Sunsplash concert in Montego Bay, Jamaica in July 1983. The success of the reunion led to the reformation of The Skatalites as a full-time touring band, of which Knibb remained until his death in 2011. He played his last show in Peru in April 2011.

In his later years, Knibb resided in Hull, Massachusetts with his long time friend and fellow musician, John, and his wife, Adele.   His son Dion plays in the Boston-based ska band Dion Knibb & The Agitators.  Knibb’s contribution to Jamaican music was recognized by the Prime Minister’s Award, the Order of Distinction, the Silver Musgrave Medal, and induction into the Jamaican Music Hall of Fame.  Knibb was taken ill while on tour in Brazil. On 12 May, 2011, after being ill for some time with liver cancer and receiving treatment in the USA, he was told by doctors that he only had days to live.  Knibb traveled back to his home in St. Andrew, Jamaica, to be among his family and friends. Later that day, Knibb died aged 80.

Source: Wikipedia