Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Jazzed Up Jazz and Blues Festival Once Again in Jamaica

Mariah Carey
Not even the threat of rain at the Trelawny Stadium, could dampen the performance of American R&B superstar Mariah Carey on the second night of Jazz and Blues 2015 the Jamaica Observer reports.  The American had the audience on their feet throughout her marathon performance which saw her moving seemlessly from one hit to another from her extensive catalogue.  

The Grammy award winning singer who was obviously enjoying herself while on stae gave the large and appreciative audience what they wanted - 'Touch My Body' , 'Give It To Me' , 'Beautiful' , 'Vision of Love' , 'Don't Let Go' and 'Always Be My Baby' and more..

Opening night of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival was dubbed Tribute to John Holt, with an all-Jamaican line-up, except for Trinidadian Soca artiste Oscar B.  The Holt
George Nooks
Tribute got off to a flying start with veteran Errol Dunkley dropping popular hits by the late reggae pioneer such as 'Don't Know Why' , You're Gonna Need Me' , 'I Wanna Know' , 'Black Cinderella' and the monster 1979 hit 'OK Fred' written by Holt.

Errol Dunkley's performance segued into that of Cornell Campbell, who delivered some of his memorable tracks Bouncing and Queen of the Minstrels among others. Followed by George Nooks who fuelled the fire and set it ablaze during his set, singing some his popular songs such as Always on My Mind' , 'So Much Love to Give' , 'Zion Gates' and 'Tribal War' before exiting stage with 'Left With a Broken Heart.'

Miss Judy Mowatt

Judy Mowatt  was up next with crisp clear voice from the moment she walked on stage untill the end of her 40-minute set. She was the night's sole female performer and she proved why she has endured decades in the music industry, whether gospel or secular. The former member of the world reknown I-Threes group performed songs such as 'Thank You Lord' , 'Want To Be More' , 'Unconditional Love' , 'We'll Sing Our Own Song' , her powerful empowerment anthem 'Black Woman' and 'Many Are Called.'  In tribute to her 'Brother' John Holt, she sang 'Tide is High.' She was well received.
Jamaica Jazz and Blues 2015 stage
Son of the late singer Brian Holt, took the stage and performed his father's 'Wear You to the Ball.'  He was later presented with a plaque by the festival's organisers expressing appreciation for the life and work of John Holt.

The vocal trio, The Tamlins gave another signature performance with their tight harmonies carrying on the night air. Among the Holt tracks they performed was, 'Happy Go Lucky Girl' before dropping their show-stopper, 'Baltimore.'

Jamaica Observer writer...reports that the sole encore of the night was left for legendary toaster Josey Wales.  The Colonel was in his usual form and entertained his audience to the mas.  Tracks such as 'Undercover Lover', 'Bobo Dreadlocks' and Leggo Me Hand Gateman had the audience going.

Morgan Heritage
Singer Johnny Clarke who was added to the line-up at last-minute, delivered his second great set on local soil in as many weeks.  The 1970s hitmaker belted out tracks such as 'Rock With Me,' 'Move Up' and 'None Shall Escape The Judgement'  before making way for Soca artiste Oscar B, former frontman for Byron Lee and the Dragonnaires.  He delivered with his Vybez Band.

Night 2, culminates performances by The Pointer Sisters, Charlie Wilson, Peter Cetera and the royal family of reggae, Morgan Heritage.

Excerpts: Jamaica Observer

Monday, January 26, 2015

A New Reggae Radio Show Launched in Denmark Dedicated To Jamaica's Music and Culture

A new radio show called 'Jam Yard' launched in Aarhus, Denmark will focus on Jamaica's music, culture and lifestyle and hosted by Jamaicans, Henzel Clarke and DJ Dave Q.  The program will be aired from 11am - 12pm GMT on 98.7FM. Both Henzel Clark and DJ Dave Q see this venture as an opportunity to promote authentic Jamaican culture while simultaneously playing their part to help Aarhus become the European City of Culture for 2017 a release stated.

Henzel Clarke in a statement regarding the launching of the show said, "On this program we go back to basic pay tribute to some of the pioneers and veterans that have paved the way. We will discuss current affairs and the latest news in the Reggae industry, updates about the latest and hottest events, concerts, festivals in Aarhus, Scandinavia and wider Europe.  You can expect quality Reggae music, classic music with absolutely no explicit or degrading lyrical content."

Although the reggae audience in Denmark is smaller when compared to Germany and Belgium, there is a growing underground scene for Reggae and Dancehall music. Copenhagen, the capital city of that country, where clubs are dedicated to live music, host at least one live reggae band each week.  The city of Aarhus will host it's first ever Reggae festival in 2015.