Wednesday, August 5, 2009

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IMAGES Newsletter
What's Happening in Entertainment


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

THE “GULLY GOD” TOPS THE HYPE TV CHART THIS WEEK AT #1

Movado the “gully god” tops the chart this week, holding down #1 position with the hit single High Unda after leaving the #2 spot, the track has been on the charts for 14 weeks and this makes it the third number off the Good Life rhythm for Liv Up Records.

Queen Ifrica with Far Away as been dethroned from the number spot to the #2 place this week after losing the to the gully god.

Elephant Man with his revival hit Hallelujah takes up the #3 spot after moving up from #4 last week and now claims is the Shot To Watch title.

Alaine shows that she is Never Done as she sticks it out trying to keep it in the top five after moving a spot down to hold the #4 spot this week after moving from the #3 position last week. She is still doing very well after 13 weeks on the chart.

Charley Black is awake with Money Dreama at the #5 spot this week up from the #6 position.

Tony Rebel with Alone is the Greatest Gainer for this week. The Rebel glides over the competition, jumping four places to the #16 spot.

Mr. Vegas has once again entered the charts with a blazing hit, the single Up Deh has been positioned at #19 to make it the chart’s only New Entry for this week. The track is self-produced on the Clifford-Ray label. Things are definitely looking up since Mr. Vegas has proven in the past that he is number one quality; we will see if he will reach the top with this one.

THE HYPE TV chart aired Friday, July 31st www.hypetvjam.com


Jamaicans well represented in new Caribbean movie ‘Redemption Of Paradise’


Jamaica premiere moved to Weekenz on Wednesday, August 19

The Caribbean, especially Jamaica, is well represented in the new box office movie ‘Redemption Of Paradise’, set to have its world premiere in Jamaica on Wednesday, August 19 at Weekenz, 80 Constant Spring Road, Kingston.

The film features various actors, technical staff and administrators comprising the small army of dedicated professionals who worked tirelessly to midwife the Noel ‘Doc’ Howell-directed film into screaming, beautiful life.

The truly Caribbean feel of the movie is achieved by the many nationalities, voices and influences that drive the film’s narrative. The Antiguan film, produced by Dr. Howell’s film company Colour Bars Film Production, was filmed mainly in Antigua featuring stars from across the Caribbean.

Flying in an international crew to Antigua to orchestrate stunts, from car chases and explosions, to cinematography as well, the team is now getting ready to premier the movie in Jamaica and Dr. Howell is extremely proud of his latest production, confident that movie goers will love every minute of it, especially with an internationally recognized Jamaican dancehall personality playing the role of heroine.

“Macka Diamond is great in her role. The audience will love her. She is not the only Jamaican involved in the movie, however, as several other Jamaicans were involved in various production aspects,” director Noel ‘Doc’ Howell said.

Jamaicans who flew to Antigua to help produce the movie include J ‘Game Over’ Will who was the assistant Director, Mark McTavish and Kevin Waite who dealt with the grip, and Rudy Brown, a makeup artist.

Other Jamaicans, who are residents of the US and who live and work in New York, were also represented. Those include Courtney Boyd, the producer and co-writer of the script and Keturah Hamilton, a supporting actress and model living in New York. Ms. Hamilton has been featured on the cover of Essence magazine, and she has appeared in many videos, most notably two of rapper 50 Cent’s music videos as well as an Akon video. She has also acted in two African feature films.

Several Jamaicans who reside in Antigua also lent their expertise in the film. These include: Mickela Barnes, Junior Hart, Billy Russell, Melissa Burns, Courtney Michael, Joe-Ann Eastman, and Olston Benons.

“We had people from just about every single Caribbean island and that’s why we placed the movie in the fictitious ‘Paradise’ because all the islands are similar and we can all relate to the story,” he said.

Set for an August 19 prestigious media premiere and launch at Weekenz, soon after all of Jamaica will be able to head to Carib Theatre to view one of the biggest movies of the summer, produced in the Caribbean, starring big Caribbean names and produced and presented by an all-star Caribbean film crew.

There are plans to release the film on a local, regional and international market.

The exciting, high impact, action drama ‘Redemption Of Paradise’ is a movie about vigilante justice set in the beautiful island of Paradise. What was once a safe and pleasurable island has now become plagued with violence, drugs, and gangs. Tired of the corruption that has infested her hometown, one citizen decides to take a stand. Millie (played by dancehall star Macka Diamond) forms a community watch group, which among other things encourages the local businessmen to stop paying protection money and to deter the corrupt efforts of Paradise's drug kingpin. The subplot to the movie involves a much younger Millie and a horrible twist to the story begins to unravel.

‘Redemption Of Paradise’ cast includes – lead Macka Diamond as Millie, Respect as Rogger, Mark as himself, Kevroy Graham as Andrew, Eldon Martin as Wicket and Junior Hart as Officer.

The crew comprises – Director: Noel ‘The Doc’ Howell M.D., Assistant Director: Jason ‘J Will’ Williams, Producer: Courtney Boyd, Producer: Cliff Williams, Production Manager: Bert Kirchner, Location Manager: Dr. Alvin Edwards, Script Supervisor: Chantelle Tomilson, DP: Boaz Freund, Camera Assistant: Alex, Camera Assist: Andrew Anderson, Gaffer: Danny Belinke, Grip: Mark Mctavish, Make-up Artist: Melissa, and Stunt Coordinators: Steve Gums, Jeff Gums and Eric Miranda.

The film will make its debut to the world this month, hosted by Color Bars Productions in a prestigious media premiere and launch on August 19 starting at 6:00 pm at Weekenz on Constant Spring Road.

Email: noeldrblob@aol.com

Win a Trip to Jamaica's Jerk Trail

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has joined forces with popular pizzeria Mellow Mushroom and Jamaican Jerk sauce provider, Busha Browne’s to give consumers a chance to win a trip to Jamaica and visit the newly launched Jerk Trail.

The Get Jerked Around promotion, which will be featured in Mellow Mushroom restaurants and on the Mellow Mushroom website throughout the month of August, highlights Mellow Mushroom’s mouthwatering Jerk chicken dishes, including pizza, calzones, hoagies, salads and Busha Browne’s authentic Jerk sauce.

“We are thrilled to share Jamaica’s famous style of cooking – Jerk – with Mellow Mushroom’s customers across the U.S., as well as Jamaica’s own Busha Browne’s Jerk sauce, and create an opportunity for those who have not yet tried Jerk to experience its delicious and complex flavors,” said Jamaica’s Director of Tourism, John Lynch. “This promotion is an exciting way to create awareness of, and inspire, consumers to come to Jamaica and taste this delicious cuisine in its homeland.”

“Jerk chicken has been a staple of the Mellow Mushroom menu for over 17 years. Its popularity has continued to grow as we introduced Jerk as an unconventional option into all our menu items,” noted Mellow Mushroom Director of Operations, Johnny Hudgins. “Teaming up with Jamaica and Busha Browne’s is a perfect fit for Mellow Mushroom. The Mellow Mushroom franchise has a laid-back easy going spirit that is reminiscent of Jamaica’s island vibe.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to share Busha Browne’s delicious Jerk sauce with Mellow Mushroom customers,” commented Winston Stona, Busha Browne’s Managing Director. “We are gaining the opportunity to reach thousands of consumers nationwide.”

The Get Jerked Around promotion will be displayed on Mellow Mushroom menu covers, menu inserts, window clings, table tents, and web banners and when a customer orders a Jerk item, they will be handed a flyer about the promotion. Customers who visit Mellow Mushroom locations and order Jerk will be introduced to the promotion and those who have not tried Jerk in the past will be tempted to order with the in-store signage.

Consumers who wish to enter the contest are encouraged to go to www.VisitJamaica.com/Jerk and learn some facts about Jerk. Consumers will then be linked to the contest page www.mellowmushroom.com/promotions where they will be asked a series of multiple choice questions relating to Jamaica, Jamaica’s Jerk Trail, Jerk menu items offered at Mellow Mushroom and even a question about Busha Browne’s Jerk products.

The winner will be chosen at random and will receive a five-day/four-night trip for two to the all-inclusive Breezes Runaway Bay Resort with roundtrip air courtesy of FunJet Vacations. While in Jamaica, the lucky winner can tour the newly launched Jerk Trail and sample authentic Jerk cuisine along the way.

ALL ABOARD?




5 athletes involved in drugs probe still on World Champs team, but...

The five Jamaican athletes, who returned positive results for banned substance(s) at Jamaica's National Senior trials in June, could still miss this month's 12th IAAF World Championships in Berlin with their hearing, which began yesterday, scheduled to resume tomorrow.

This despite head of delegation/team manager Trevor Campbell yesterday confirming that all original 46 members of Jamaica's team maintained their entry status in accordance with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) deadline, which expired yesterday.

"We met the deadline and so the persons, who are entered are basically the names which were released some weeks ago. So that is still the team," Campbell disclosed during an interview on the KLAS FM 89 Sports Radio magazine programme Scoreboard last evening.

As a result, sprinters Yohan Blake, Marvin Anderson, Sheri-Ann Brooks, as well as quarter-milers Lansford Spence and Allodin Fothergill, who appeared before JADCO's disciplinary hearing at an undisclosed location in Kingston yesterday, remain members of the final team.

"I don't know how we would have corrected it, if having found (the athletes) not guilty and everything is good to now, say to the public we knocked them off the team a long time ago because we didn't think they were legal or whatever. So we have the team that we named earlier with provisions for changes to be named, if and when necessary," Campbell reasoned.

Meanwhile, chairman of JADCO's disciplinary committee Kent Gammon yesterday confirmed that the five athletes along with their lawyers appeared before a three-member panel.

"We started this morning (Monday), we had some submissions made by counsel on behalf of the athletes and we'll continue Wednesday morning around 9:30," Gammon said. The start of the hearing was originally scheduled to begin last Friday, but was delayed.

The chairman declined to name the other two members, who sat on the panel with him yesterday. "I need to deal with an issue on the part of the panel, so let me hold off on that part for the moment," he said.

Two sports websites Jamaicawin.com and trackalerts.com yesterday reported that some of the athletes expressed disapproval with at least two members of the panel assembled to hear the case.

The other eight members of the disciplinary committee are Lenox Gayle, Jeffrey Mordecai, Dr Peter Charles, Juliet Cuthbert, Bert Cameron, Peter Prendergast, Dr Japheth Ford and Dr Winston Isles.

Gammon, a lawyer by profession, indicated that the venue for the hearing was being kept private as a safety precaution following threats made against athletes involved in the doping case.

"There were some concerns that were expressed with respect to the athletes. I don't know if it's to one or to all, but we need to treat everybody in a similar manner, which is to say, to treat everybody with the same level of concern since the hearings include all of them," he disclosed.

"So even though it (threat) may not apply to all and I don't know if all were threatened, I know that some persons in the group had received a threat and therefore because they're all going together for the hearings, it needs to be treated with extra caution. Until we can be assured that there is nothing to be concerned about," Gammon added.

Quizzed about the state of the 'B' samples for all five athletes, Gammon replied: "I don't know what the position is and I guess their counsel will tell me on Wednesday, but right now I don't know for a fact that all athletes have requested that their 'B' samples be tested with exception to one as far as I know, which is Ms (Sheri-Ann) Brooks," he disclosed, noting that he could not predict how long the hearings will last.

"It's very difficult to say. I hope to finish them (hearings) as fast as I can without sacrificing any proper notice and or any procedural issues, but I can't say to you 'it will be finished on Wednesday'. I really can't say, it depends on what is presented by counsel," Gammon added.

JADCO has still not confirmed the name of the banned substance(s) that the athletes allegedly tested positive for.

Teams: Females - Shelly Ann Fraser, Kerron Stewart, Sheri-Ann Brooks, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Simone Facey, Anniesha McLaughlin, Novelene Williams-Mills, Shericka Williams, Christine Day, Kenia Sinclair, Delloreen Ennis-London, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Lacena Golding-Clarke, Melanie Walker, Kaliese Spencer, Nickiesha Wilson, Jovanee Jarrett, Trecia Smith, Kimberly Williams, Rosemarie Whyte, Bobby-Gaye Wilkins, Aleen Bailey, Shereefa Lloyd.

Males - Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Michael Frater, Maurice Wignall, Steve Mullings, Marvin Anderson (out with hamstring injury), Ricardo Chambers, Allodin Fothergill, Lansford Spence, Dwight Thomas, Richard Phillips, Isa Phillips, Danny McFarlane, Josef Robertson, Alain Bailey, Nicholas Gordon, Julian Reid, Maurice Smith, Dorian Scott (out with Achilles injury), Dane Hyatt, Jermaine Gonzales, Yohan Blake, Leford Green.

Management, team leader Trevor Campbell; assistant managers, Merlene Hamilton, Judith Ewart, Ian Forbes; media liaison, Cathy Rattray; technical leader, Donald Quarrie; head coach, Glen Mills; Edward Hector, Bert Cameron, Maurice Wilson, Michael Clarke, Fitz Coleman; team doctors, Dr Winston Dawes,

Dr Paula Dawson, Dr Michael Douglas; masseurs, Everard Edwards, Gavin James; physiotherapist, Maureen Spence-Campbell.

Source: Jamaica Observer

Should Christians participate in Carnival?

By Isaac Newton

“Of course they should,” was my answer to a group of vibrant, culturally conscious, intelligent young Christians, who posed this question, loaded with simmering tensions.

I was fully aware of the real tug they were feeling between the awkward cadences of embracing an important part of their cultural identity, and the need to adhere to the moral standards of their Christian convictions.

Knowing my very conservative religious background (Seventh Day Adventist), my short response to their question, both ignited their interests and held them in utter disbelief.

I wanted to use the element of surprise both to push them to think deeply about the weighty matter that had been placed on the table, seen through the prism of being ‘so heavenly focused, that they lacked earthly good.’

The mix of puzzling bewilderment, disappointment and relief that their facial expressions portrayed, made me laugh. Here was an emotionally charged issue they cared deeply about, and yet they weren’t quite sure, how to live out their Christian values.

Is staying away from carnival the answer? Does carnival contain aspects that synergize Christian beliefs, with real world good? How could Christians truly celebrate some aspects of carnival without being painted by the same brush that condemns other elements at war with their beliefs?

Are there any good elements in carnival worth celebrating? If yes, what ethical standard should Christians use to distinguish the good from the bad?

Because I am aware that no amount of abstract moralizing could substitute for the practical insights derived from ‘faith seeking understanding’, I wanted to provide them with an open space to internalize their faith.

I also wanted to expose them to my critical training that forces me to question various assumptions informing sources of knowledge, while at the same time, holding firm to universal Christian truths that transcends all cultures, and must be adhered to at all times.

I explained that faith requires an understanding that does not always understand. This experience, theologians call, ‘the mysteries of holiness’. One of them asked, “Doc, how do I comprehend the incomprehensible?”

Another shouted back, “You don’t. You just have to accept that God’s ways are not our ways and our thoughts are not God’s ideal.”

“What does all this have to do with carnival,” the youngest of them inquired.

Laughter diffused obvious rising tensions.

But the young people and I managed to undress the question, by exploring tensions between the secular and the sacred, tensions between the religious and the mundane, and tensions between, dead faith without works and living faith with works.

I stated categorically that Christians should participate in carnival from a context of affirmation and disaffirmation. They could notch carnival away from serious despair and closer to real hope. They should become advocates for carnival to get back in tune with the intellectual currents and social undercurrents of our ever changing culture.

It is my view and vision that we must use our devotion to our religious traditions, to expose and condemn the bad apples in society. But I also believe that there are good apples in our culture that are redemptive and must be affirmed.

Bad apples erode the basis for communal integrity. Good apples support a robust Christian faith, adhere to the common good, and highlight social ideals that inspire collective understanding.

Upfront, I highlighted the difficulty of this perspective. I know full well that there is a belief that carnival in its present form is beyond resurrection.

But I also know that Christians have a moral obligation both to consider how to begin a process of re-education and re-orientation in turning around, the overall direction in which carnival has gone, and to consider those specific activities worth participating in, right now.

I know further that the lines are blurred between the upsides and the downsides of carnival and that the temptation to throw away the baby, the water, and the bathtub, all at once, seems more enticing.

Yet, as Christians, we should not merely criticize carnival’s commercial emptiness and the deeply disturbing revelry it contains. We know that these elements betray the history of emancipation that is at the heart of carnival.

But we must also embrace and affirm carnival’s socially conscious aspects, embodied in certain forms of calypso music, and captured in the majestic creativity of the mas troupes.

Nonetheless, Christians must be very careful not to be sucked in, by the suggestive messages of lewdness and sexual impropriety that other forms of calypso music engender. And, they must also guard against the offensive dramatization of images and vile promotion of messages, which many mas troupes, perform to.

These aspects of carnival are cultural impositions and must be opposed. They brain wash and corrupt innocent minds, and they depart from principles of decency and cultural development.

Yet, I am sure that they are ethically sound ways to celebrate and reclaim, the original meaning and purpose of carnival. If carnival is not addressed constructively, it is likely to descend into the pit of hell.

For many Christians this position is equivalent to blasphemy. To them, to be a faithful witness to the gospel message of salvation requires that they leave behind the things they use to do, in exchange for a life of righteousness.

And carnival, in their minds, is far from the things of God. They believe that it is impossible to celebrate carnival in anyway that truly appeals to cultural ideals or strengthen the social fabric.

Nothing is wrong with acknowledging that the type of dressing and almost nude whining up that some aspects of carnival represent, are insults against the values that our ancestors courageously imparted to us.

Christians must protest these flimsy dress codes and debased dancing. They mean nothing to our overcoming history and our sustainable future. To cry aloud against the immoral orientation that seems to dominate carnival activities and events is in keeping with divine guidance.

But I don’t think that carnival has to be perceived as an exclusive site for demons to roam. It could be viewed as an arena where angels could visit as well.

In this sense, Christians should encourage and honor consciousness-based festivities, healthy competitions grounded in cherished social values, and artistic expressions built around themes that highlight moral development.

These themes may be centered on vital issues such as climate change, gender equality, economic empowerment, healthy lifestyle changes, and ownership of local resources, and world poverty.

The challenge is how to direct these themes towards a host of cultural events that are at one with our spiritual values.

When Christians however, arbitrarily condemn carnival, they automatically forfeit their spiritual command to become light bearers, and instead, hide that light under a bushel.

The very foundations upon which, the celebration of our freedom and the establishment of our independence were built—moral education and cultural development—are surrendered when Christians choose to disassociate themselves from all things carnival.

Christians must realize that carnival is part of our history and culture and we should find creative ways to engage and transform it.

But some Christians feel that following Christ means that they should interact with culture as a necessary evil. Others believe that they should shun culture because being in the world is not the same thing as being of the world.

And, still others are convinced that whatever good there is in carnival, should not overshadow the need to condemn the overwhelming bad that exists.

Most Christians feel that given the incremental and subtle ways in which the Devil tempts the soul, any contact with carnival makes them spiritually vulnerable. And they believe that humans are no match for the Devil.

Although I understand the merits of these perspectives, I remain convinced that we can’t continuously exclude our young people from re-shaping carnival.

Carnival presents a sincere opportunity to teach young Christians to respond to their culture with moral authority tried in the fire, and with thoughtful intelligence, riveted in undaunted faith.

Quite possibly, the easy way out is to give carnival a black-eye and walk away from the heavy duty challenges that influencing it entails.

There are other Christians who much prefer to play it safe. They feel that it is their moral obligation to remove our young people from the moral horrors of carnival by whisking them off to youth camps and other events.

Yet, for those of us who believe that carnival must be engaged, how can we equip our youngsters to ethically embrace this cultural experience, which they feel they must reject?

I want young Christians to effectively navigate the divisions between the world of the church and the real world.

I want to see more of them, critically owning their faith. I don’t want them to simply parrot the faith of their parents and grandparents.

I want them to cultivate a holistic spirituality that re-creates culture and redefines society along moral visions that they can proudly defend.

I don’t want young Christians to use this article to justify hidden agendas to go wild in carnival. Instead, I want them to think deeply about whether as ambassadors for God, they are called to find creative ways to reclaim carnival, and if so, how?

Harnessing the pride, joy, imagination, commitment and patience that goes into the preparation of carnival could be seen as an open door policy for life-skills advancement and faith-sharing experiences.

If approached correctly, these experiences are likely to expand spiritual convictions and deepen cultural-understanding.

Christians should be open to new experiences, new lenses, and new strains of behaviors that apply the truths of the Bible to the cultural practices of the day, with the truths of the Bible always transforming, not conforming to culture.

Christianity is a way of life and bold faith that honors God, is, its home address. But with all the difficulties and challenges kept keenly in mind, perhaps, carnival is the right place to activate mountain-moving faith.

Is our faith strong enough to reform the current trends in carnival so that we can participate in it? Surely, it ought to be!

Dr Isaac Newton is an international leadership and change management consultant and political adviser who specialises in government and business relations, and sustainable development projects. Dr Newton works extensively in West Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, and is a graduate of Oakwood College, Harvard, Princeton and Columbia. He has published several books on personal development and written many articles on economics, leadership, political, social, and faith-based issues.



Source: Caribbean Net News

JAMAICA RANKS IN TOP HALF OF MODERN BRIDE’S “THE WORLD’S 50 BEST HONEYMOONS” LIST

Rated in Top Three for Affordability

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – For the 13th consecutive year, Jamaica has been named to Modern Bride’s celebrated “The World’s 50 Best Honeymoons” list from the annual survey of Virtuoso travel specialists. Jamaica also ranked in the “Top 10 for Affordability,” at number three, a desirable spot in today’s economy. Jamaica’s listings are published in Modern Bride’s August/September issue, now available on newsstands.

The survey represents an expert polling of a panel of 6,000 Virtuoso travel specialists across the U.S. and is designed to help couples select the ideal honeymoon destination. Agents recommended destinations based on the following 12 categories: Romance; Beaches; Food & Wine; Mountains; Sexy Ambience; Adventure; Nightlife; Affordability; Seclusion; Culture; Snorkeling & Diving; and Up-And-Coming Locale.

“Jamaica is thrilled to uphold its reputation as one of the world’s premier honeymoon locales,” remarked Jamaica’s Director of Tourism John Lynch. “This recognition adds even more value to our dynamic honeymoon product. As traditional wedding budgets are drastically cut, exotic and affordable locations like Jamaica are becoming increasingly popular for destination weddings. Destination weddings can be much for affordable and exciting for couples.”

Continued Mr. Lynch, “Modern Bride is right on target in advising readers that what to do in Jamaica is everything or nothing at all. Jamaica offers couples every adventure imaginable or the luxury of just relaxing in a tropical paradise, not lifting a finger. For the adventurous in spirit, to the laidback at heart, all-inclusive resorts to boutique bungalows, Jamaica is a match made in heaven for honeymooners looking for romance on all budgets.”

Described as “lush and sensual, yet nearby,” Jamaica is among the hottest destinations around the globe with prices to match. From the sumptuous cuisine, seductive beaches, crystal blue waters, romantic ambiance and natural beauty, Jamaica offers something for everyone.

Air service is offered by multiple carriers from U.S. gateways, making Jamaica conveniently accessible. Flights from New York to Montego Bay take just about three-and-a-half hours, and travelers from Miami can be there in less than two hours. Through December 2009, Jamaica has secured close to 1.3 million scheduled airline seats from U.S. gateways. Of these, approximately two-thirds are on flights into Montego Bay.

To learn more about weddings and honeymoons in Jamaica visit the Jamaica Tourist Board Web site at www.visitjamaica.com or call the Jamaica Tourist Board toll-free at 1-800-233-4JTB (1-800-233-4582).

About the Jamaica Tourist Board
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), founded in 1955, is Jamaica’s national tourism agency based in the capital city of Kingston. The JTB was declared the Caribbean’s Leading Tourist and Convention Bureau by the World Travel Awards (WTA) for 2006 and 2007, while Jamaica earned the WTA’s vote as the World’s Leading Cruise Destination, the Caribbean’s Leading Destination and the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination.

JTB offices are located in Kingston, Montego Bay, Miami, Toronto and London. Representative offices are located in Düsseldorf, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam and Tokyo.

For details on upcoming special events, attractions and accommodations in Jamaica go to the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Web site at www.visitjamaica.com, or call the Jamaica Tourist Board at 1-800-JAMAICA (1-800-526-2422).

Jamaican Athletes Who Tested Positive For Banned Substance To Miss World Champs



CaribWorldNews, KINGSTON, Jamaica: Five Jamaican athletes who tested positive for a banned stimulant will miss the world championships.

Jamaican athletics official said on Monday that the doping hearings, which are scheduled to continue on Wednesday and Friday, will prevent the athletes` participation.

‘Based on what is going on, they will not be able to go to Berlin,` Dr. Warren Blake, second vice president of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA), told Reuters in an interview. `We would have had to name them on the final team list by today, but the hearings began today and will not be completed until later this week. It is therefore fair to say that the five will miss being on the team, as they can`t be selected until they are cleared.`

The five tested positive for the stimulant methylxanthine at the national championships in June. Their names have not been made public but the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has identified the five as Yohan Blake, Marvin Anderson, Sherry-Ann Brooks, Allodin Fothergill and Lansford Spence.

The world championships are scheduled for Aug 15-23 in Berlin.

Tarrus Riley's Third Album "Contagious" In Stores TODAY!


His 2004 debut album "Challenges" was an impressive introduction to the Jamaican market deserving of a much wider audience. His sophomore effort "Parables" featured the most popular reggae song of 2007 "She's Royal", won critical praise throughout the Caribbean Diaspora and almost single handedly heralded a roots reggae renaissance. And now, with an August 4th release of his much-anticipated third set "Contagious" on Cannon Productions, distributed by VP Records, Tarrus Riley reaffirms that he is one of finest singer/songwriters of his generation, irrespective of musical genre.

Grounded in a roots reggae tradition that is recast with a gleaming 21st century sheen courtesy of the album's primary producer, venerable saxophonist Dean Fraser, "Contagious" remarkably shifts between smoothly crooned lover's rock and artful Rastafarian declarations, provocative commentaries and dancehall's combustible edge, its cohesion provided by Tarrus's spectacularly emotive vocals and reliably inspiring words. As its title indicates, this highly infectious collection of 18 songs is characterized by symptoms of melodiousness, rapturous roots rhythms and hard hitting lyrical realities that are transmitted through repeated spins, resulting in a high grade musical fever from which you will not want to recover."The reason why I called it "Contagious" is because I would love for everyone to catch it," says Tarrus. "I don't want my music to have boundaries of race, age, nationality or religion; I represent reggae, live music, and I want everyone to catch on to its positive, good vibes.

"Tarrus Riley (born Omar Riley) is the son of veteran Jamaican singer Jimmy Riley, formerly of the vocaltrio The Uniques, and a nurse, Lavern Tatham, so he refers to his songs as "healing music". Tarrus recorded his earliest singles as a precocious teenager for his father's Love and Promotion label but it was his mother who played the premier role in encouraging his musical talents; she suggested he adopt his birth sign, Taurus, as his stage name back when he was deejaying over dancehall beats. "I came into this music as a deejay, I thought singing was boring, I couldn't relate to it," Tarrus reveals. "But when I started writing songs and really learned about music I started to appreciate singing. After a while deejaying started to feel a little limited and I wanted to sing more and get into songwriting.

"He did just that and by the time he released "Challenges" in 2004 he had tweaked the spelling of his name to Tarrus and sang on each of his self-penned tracks. Impeccably produced by Dean Fraser, "Challenges"(which VP rereleased in 2008) yielded several Jamaican hits including the unwavering Rastafarian statement "Barber Chair" and a joyous celebration of music "Take Me Higher". Tarrus's career accelerated into high gear with VP Records' October 2006 release of his second album "Parables", another brilliant production endeavor by Dean Fraser, which Billboard Magazine cited as "the quintessence Jamaica's roots reggae revival". The album yielded such chart toppers as the touching acoustic tribute to his infant daughter "Can't Sleep", a haunting reggae rendition of John Legend's "Stay With You" and the indomitable "She's Royal" which extols female regality and made Tarrus Riley a household name across the Caribbean. "She's Royal" won almost every music award for which it was nominated throughout 2007-2008 including a six trophy royal sweep at Jamaica's inaugural Reggae Academy Awards in February 2008. "I don't think I can express how it feels to have a song that popular but I love the impact it has had," notes Tarrus. "It really helps women feel proud and that's what I am about, making people feel good about themselves.

"Good feelings are easily spread throughout "Contagious". Tarrus returns to the rapid-fire deejaying of his Taurus days on "Good Girl Gone Bad" (featuring rising dancehall star Konshens) produced by Tarik "Russian" Johnston and he deftly trades rhymes with DeMarco and Vybz Kartel on the hymn to ganja "Herb Promotion", which he produced alongside Dean Fraser and Demarco.

"Contagious" is dominated by exquisitely sung roots reggae anthems couched in magnificent musical textures created by Grafton and Tuff Gong studios sovereignty including Sly and Robbie on drum and bass, guitarists Mitchum "Khan" Chin and Cat Coore, keyboardist Robbie Lyn and Dean Fraser's impassioned sax styling.

"Contagious" begins with the spirited rhymes delivered by veteran deejay Joe Lickshot who juxtaposes the singer's name with that of a similarly titled automatic weapon, the Taurus: "When I say Tarrus Riley, I don't mean the big black one you keep inna your waist I mean the big black one who a sing inna the place". Lickshot's intro neatly segues into "Living the Life of A Gun" a brilliant antidote to the spiraling rate of gun crimes in Jamaica and the preponderance of dancehall tunes glorifying gun usage. Over a bass heavy one-drop rhythm Tarrus gives a voice to the Taurus, asking, "What dem make gun for, me no see no good whey it do round yah (here)?

"Harsh judgments often times leads to reckless actions so Tarrus cautions, "Don't Judge", the song's gorgeous melody and bubbling backbeat enhancing its powerful message. Random brutality, war and an array of social injustices prompts the contemplative "Why So Much Wickedness?" a personal statement that delivers a profound consideration on the human condition with a resounding horn section providing the song's bold refrain.

A proliferating act of wickedness is violence against women, which Tarrus forthrightly addresses in "Start A New" (produced by Shane Brown), urging the song's female protagonist to leave her abusive man. As a means of calling greater attention to this malady, Tarrus has established a non funded, anti domestic violence campaign, Start A New in which he, Blak Soil, Majah , the Area Yutes Foundation, Miss Jamaica 2007 Yendi Phillips and an assortment of artists regularly visit schools and speak to children from some of the island's most troubled communities about the violence which many of them are exposed each day. "We put on plays, perform and talk to the kids about things that touch their lives and violence is a part of that," he explains, "and they really appreciate that we would take the time to do that."

Whether the violence is domestic, perpetrated by gang warfare or prompted by battling religious factions, it's toxicity is counteracted on the sublime "Let Peace Reign" with Tarrus's earnest tenor complemented by the stunning voices of Etana and Duane Stephenson on this inspiring call to unity: "To all the people of the world, let peace reign, don't care how you call Him name, Jah hear us just the same, no make sense we fight, let us unite, let peace reign."

"This is reality music, I am a Rasta man, but I am not offending anyone in the sense of preaching against any religion," says the bespectacled singer who delivers the track "I Sight" as an expression of the preeminent role of Rastafari in his life. "I wear glasses but the way I look at things is through Rastafari, that gives me eye sight; anything I deal with is according to the teachings of His Imperial Majesty (Emperor Haile Selassie I whom Rastafarians regard as the Messiah) or Marcus Garvey (Jamaican born founder of the Back to Africa movement whose visionary writings are a cornerstone of Rastafarian tenets)." A simple yet stirring invocation to His Majesty is expressed on "King Selassie" underscored by evocative Nyabinghi drumming and a rousing violin solo played by Peter Ashborne.

In an assured sing-jay style Tarrus cautions about the perils of envy on "Stop Watch" (produced by Colin "Bulby York and Lynford "Fatta" Marshall) just as skillfully as he adapts a soulful lead on "Mankind", a clarion call for all men and women to be kind to each other.

Tarrus's signature hit "She's Royal" was obviously a ladies favorite and they are his primary audience for the lovers rock selections "Soul Mate" (produced by Joel Chin and the Professionals) "Young Hearts", (produced by Christopher Price for the U.K.'s Peckings Productions), the acoustic "It Will Come", written by guitarist Lamont Savory from Tarrus's Blak Soil band, and an enchanting reggae reinterpretation of Robin Thicke's sentimental "Superman".

The title-inspired track "Love's Contagious" reworks the majestic one-drop rhythm from Bob Marley's immortal "Coming in From the Cold" as it details that untreatable sweet sickness. There isn't an effective remedy for the heartbreak of infidelity, which is explored over a hypnotic tempo on "S-Craving". Tarrus sings; "It's all in the game. . .man and women cyan tame, be careful how you play". One might say its "Human Nature", which Tarrus reinterprets here as Fraser's elegantly nuanced production reshapes Michael Jackson's 1982 pop masterpiece into a reggae triumph that topped the charts in several Caribbean countries.

While it may seem unnecessary for a renowned singer/songwriter to cover well-known hits Tarrus says doing so represents his maturation in the music business and helps broaden the appeal of "Contagious"."Once upon a time you could never get me to cover a song, I just wanted to do my own thing," he admits, "but when you evolve and other people's thing seems sensible, why not? It's all about trying different things to make a positive contribution to reach the people and I have because "Contagious" has something for everyone."

IRIE JAMBOREE PRESS LAUNCH - TODAY TUESDAY, AUGUST 4th at TOUCH in NYC



Irie Jamboree, North America's premier reggae music festival, will kick into high gear on Tuesday, August 4th with a Press Reception and Launch Party at Touch, 240 West 52nd Street, between 8th Avenue and Broadway in Manhattan. Female reggae singer Etana and dancehall DJ Assassin are confirmed to attend the event

Brazil Independence Day Meets the 42nd Annual West Indian Day Parade



New York, NY ~ Lokee Worldwide Productions (LWP) announced today that it will introduce the First Annual Pre-Labor Day Mutuca Concert Series on Sunday September 6, 2009. The brainchild of Unik Ernest, The Nightlife Philanthropist and founder of the Édéyo Foundation, his latest endeavor is dedicated to lauding Caribbean and South American culture.

The music festival is slated to take place at the spectacular Highline Ballroom, which opened two years ago in New York City. Since its launch, notable acts such as Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse and Ben Harper, to name a few, have graced its stage. LWP will bring together people of many different ethnic groups from various Caribbean nations, such as Haiti, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, as well as South American countries, in particular Brazil. The goal of the concert series is to unite the rich cultures of these great countries and to highlight and celebrate similarities, rather than differences.

LWP will invite tastemakers and influencers from the worlds of entertainment, fashion, beauty, music and art to create an evening of exciting elegance. With an eclectic line-up of artists from the host nations, the program consists of a fusion of sounds influenced by Afro-Caribbean rhythms and is designed to appeal to a diverse audience. Headliners are Alison Hinds, the Queen of Soca; Haitian sensations, Harmonik; direct from Rio, Carlos Darci Brazooka Band; and Jamaican actor/musician Leon & The Peoples will take the stage with some of his friends and other surprise guests.

Partial proceeds will go to the Édéyo Foundation

Monday, August 3, 2009

VEGAS ANNOUNCES SASSA STEP WINNER

With thousands of votes tallied and reviewed in the last three weeks
of hectic voting, the organisers of the Sassa Step contest and video shoot winner have finally announced the winner. The winner is (drum roll please) Shy N, who tallied an incredible 35 per cent of the vote.




As the winner, Shy N will be flown from Japan to Jamaica to appear in Mr. Vegas' new Sassa Step music video which is scheduled to be shot on Wednesday, August 19, 2009.

Most Internet voters will remember that Shy N, who hails from Japan, had compiled a pretty nifty video on youtube where he demonstrated the Sassa Step on a sidewalk which ran parallel to a graffiti-decorated wall. Viewers obviously thought that he had earned great style points for adding a combination of break-dancing movements to his Sassa Step.

He also showed creativity by incorporating a nearby parking meter into his dance routine.

The adjudicators said that the vote was close with a creditable showing from Ruby Red of Taiwan who ran a competitive second. The organisers, in a release on Mr. Vegas' website, congratulated all the contestants who submitted videos, and the voting public for helping pick the winner.

Three months ago, Mr. Vegas announced the contest geared towards dancers who could compete for a spot in his new Sassa Step video through video submissions. Hundreds of videos were received and the final list was winnowed down to five dancers. Mr. Vegas will foot the travel expenses of the winner of the contest to come to Jamaica for the video shoot.

The contest has been extended by three weeks to allow online dancehall fans to vote for their favourites. The Sassa Step dance was originally created by the Ravers Clavers crew from Nannyville.

In the meantime, Vegas' runaway hit I Am Blessed is enjoying its second week at the pole position of the Toronto Top Ten Reggae/Dancehall singles charts. Mr. Vegas is presently on his I Am Blessed tour of Europe which has seen him performing at big festivals such as the Summer Reggae Festival in France and the Dour Festival in Belgium in front of thousands of reggae fans. The singjay heads to Zurich, Germany for a show on July 31st and completes the tour on August 3 in Amsterdam. He returns to Jamaica to perform at the UDC in Montego Bay, Jamaica on August 6th.

HYPE TV Live from Jamaica