Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bramma's Gorilla Bash On Your Mark, Get Set, Gone...

It's today folks, the long awaited Bramma's Gorilla Bash at Duhaney Park Community Centre in Kingston.  Bramma has never been this busy trying to get everything in place for an highly anticipated show.  Performances from I-Octane, Konshens, Idonia, Kiprich, Elephant Man, Stephen 'd Genius,' Laden, Chino, Freddie McGregor, the Canadian Rapper called Spooks and much more has kept dancehall fans in the community talking all week. 

Bramma's hope is for everyone in attendance to be on their best behaviour, "we have the authority of the police and the Duhaney Park Committee so we really need patrons both those living in or out of Duhaney Park to corporate."

Gates open at 8pm and there will be food and liquor on sale.  Music by Hi-tension sound from Spanish Town with guest selectors, DJ Smurf, DJ Currency, Richie Feelings, Bom Bom, Harry Hype, DJ Nadz, Gary Chucks, Nico Supreme, Shampoo and Chub Rock and Sniper.  Be there!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Artiste Manager Robert Livingston and Radio Host Pat McKay to be Honoured in New York City

Robert Livingston
Pat McKay


NEW YORK -- In celebration of Jamaica's 50th anniversary of independence, Sirius Satellite radio Program Director/ radio host Pat McKay and Indy label executive, artiste manager, record producer Robert Livingston - the man credited with pioneering the careers of platinum selling reggae artiste Shaggy, Rayvon and Super Cat - will each receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, for their outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry at New York's signature Caribbean fashion event -- Irie Fashion Rave. McKay and Livingston will join Fashion Mogul Kingsley Cooper who was honored at last year's event.
Bobby Clarke, CEO of Irie Jam Radio and co-producer of Irie Fashion Rave, who made the announcement said, "Robert is a true ambassador of Jamaica and one of the most successful artiste managers in the history of our music. One only has to look at the accomplishments of Shaggy, Super Cat, Maxi Priest, Gregory Issacs, Rayvon and Chris Martin to understand the impact he has had on the reggae industry. His impact spans management, production, writing/publishing, groom artists, per-production, A&R, tours, rehearsals, marketing and promotions" Clarke said.
Livingston, who started in the music industry more than three decades ago was ecstatic when he received the news.
"I feel really great about being honored for the work that I have done over the years. I have a lot of respect for Irie Jam Radio and what they represent so that makes the award even more special" he said.
Livingston, who was instrumental in getting Super Cat signed to a major label deal with Columbia Records in the 90's, paved the way for other dancehall acts getting signed to the label. He also worked behind the scenes to break Shaggy's hit Oh Carolina in Europe. He recently produced an album for I-Octane and is working on an album for Chris Martin which will be released soon. His biggest success however was helming Shaggy's 2000 hit album Hot Shot, which was certified 6x Platinum in the U.S.
"To have seen Shaggy receive a Diamond record for the work that we did, I would say is my biggest accomplishment" he indicated.
Award recipient Pat McKay has been blazing her own trail as a successful Caribbean broadcaster in the USA. Her accomplishments are impressive and includes being the first person of Caribbean descent to have programmed 24/7 national broadcasts of music in the US - first for Music Choice and currently for Sirius Satellite Radio. In the 90's she hosted “The WBLS Reggae House Party” for 4 years. This was the first ever all-Reggae show on general market radio in the USA. She was also a staff member of urban WBLS, 107.5FM and sister-station WLIB/1190AM until 2004.
Miss Jamaica USA Pageant coordinator and Hot 102 FM radio host Ken Williams, who mentored Pat McKay during her early years in broadcasting said, "Pat is one of my best radio students ever. She is devoted to our beloved reggae music and does good work...I am very proud of her" he said.
Syntyche 'Syn" Dawkins, Marketing Director of Irie Jam Radio and co-producer of Irie Fashion Rave said “Pat is a radio pioneer who has made a significant contribution to the promotion of Jamaica's music and culture here in the Diaspora. She is a leading broadcaster and program director at Sirius Satellite Radio in the tri-state area and was the voice of Irie Jam Radio 18 years ago when we pioneered our very first radio simulcast with Irie FM in Ocho Rios. We are very proud of her accomplishment and applaud her for the work she continues to do for reggae and brand Jamaica."
Irie Fashion Rave, which is held annually by Social Eyes Entertainment Inc and New York-based Irie Jam Media takes place at LQ, 511 Lexington, Manhattan on Sunday, April 25, 2012.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dandy Shandy 'Cock Up and Duck' Those Were the Good Ole Days

As I drove along a particular avenue in Kingston I was drawn to a very unusual sight, that of three grown ass women playing 'dandy shandy!!' so amused and intrigued by this gesture I had to stop and watch and where they having fun..oh yes they where and as I looked on it all came back to me.....

15 years ago Dandy Shandy was one of the many so called 'ring games' children played at school, church and just about anywhere they could in Jamaica.  This game only needed three participants, two standing in opposite direction of each other and the third in the middle.  The two on opposite ends would throw a ball (usually made from just about anything that can be stuffed with paper and  shaped as close to ''circular" as possible and firm) at the person (target) at the center, who would in turn show off his/her skills at dodging the ball with an almost choreographed, dance like and dramatic dodges popularly known as cite, sight or site, yup!  To dodge a ball skillfully one had to know how to cock-up, duck and miss or in Jamaican street terms, 'do di tings dem.'  Once the ball hit its target, the individual goes out and another person takes the center.  

Dandy Shandy got even more intense when there is a team.  Members of the team would encourage competing team mates at the 'centre' with cheers.  The great, 'cock up' earns the individual or team 10 points.  A good game of Dandy Shandy can last for hours and drew huge crowds after regular school hours.  Girls good at doing the 'cock up' would seem to flying in the air oh yes!  Dandy Shandy got many kids in trouble, they were either late for school or class, spent hours when sent to run errands and a host of other do not and dont's none of which prevented some kids from participating in a game.

Although Things Have Changed
As I watched the women played, awed at times at how much fun they were having and how I was feeling watching them I found myself comparing how it was then with how it is now.  Kids these days know little or nothing about so called ring games. "What are ring games?" my 13 year old neighbour asked,  ok so I explained but he could not understand why anyone would want to be a target and have people throwing stuff at them and by the time I was through explaining he was already playing his favourite game on his ipod.  Though kids still socialize and probably have more friends in their modern world of social network pages and the likes, they sure have lost some childhood fanatics.  But there are some who have stuck to their roots, like have you ever wonder why Jamaican athletes are so successful? Well maybe its because they continue to do the 'old' things because though things change they remain the same. I like blogging, sending emails, surf the net, find new friends on social network pages.  I like the time we now live in.  What I try to do is incorporate what I learnt then into what I have learned now or is still learning and often times I create. 

As I drove off from watching the women, I felt a tinge in me, yes I felt great! I affirm then that I will never forget the 'Good Ole Days' will you?