Category: News

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Festival X Strengthening Partnerships With Festival Promoters – Seminar Endorses Healthy Collaborations Among Local Festivals

Published:Tuesday | June 19, 2018 | Stephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
From left: Coleen Douglas, Joe Bogdanovich, Scott Dunn, Justine Henzell and Tony Rebel during the ‘Going Global’ panel discussion for the Festival X seminar and workship.

What does Jamaica celebrate? Reggae music, dance and dancehall, visuals arts, literature, food – just to name a few themes of festivals held on the island.

Besides being fun and entertaining, well-managed festivals and events offer a host of social and economic benefits to the communities in which they are staged.

“People should want Jamaica to become a festival country that offers the customers or visitors packages for ‘X’ things that are happening, not just settle to be known as a creative city or having active communities,” Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick, expert on enterprise development and country director at The British Council, told The Gleaner during the recent Festival X seminar and workshop.

The British Council partnered with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission for the recent inaugural staging of Festival X and invited a long list of local industry professionals to participate in a panel discussion. Among the ‘Going Global’ panellists were CEO of Downsound Entertainment Joe Bogdanovich; Dream Entertain-ment director Scott Dunn; Justine Henzell of the Calabash International Literary Arts Festival; and Patrick ‘Tony Rebel’ Barrett, recording artiste and founder of Rebel Salute.

Room To Collaborate

 

Each spoke of the impact their events have had on community tourism as well as on promoting Jamaica on a global scale. When The Gleaner asked about the possibility of a collaboration between the four of them, Dunn quickly took to the microphone and said, “While it may be a bit extreme to have a festival collaboration that features aspects of all their events, there is more room to collaborate on festivals with different layers.”

Tony Rebel added, “The idea of ‘Dream-Bash-Fest-Salute’ (coined from the names of the events each of them hosts) is one that can be made a reality, but as far as details go, there has to be initiative for the promoters to knock heads.”

Festivals have long served as tools for sustainable competitiveness, but there were quite a few industry pro-fessionals present at the seminar who suggested a need for collaboration among various events. “For example, Joe’s event (Reggae Sumfest) is two weeks before our Dream Weekend, and there is a likely way to collaborate to make both events attractive to the other’s audience,” said Dunn.

One social value of a festival – no matter the form, whether stage show, symposium, or weeklong line-up of themed events – is the creation of stronger relationships within a community although the panellists stressed that most of the relationship-building occured in the festival planning phase – another point where collaboration would be beneficial.

According to Jacobs-Bonnick, these benefits last well beyond the event as people bring their connections, skills, and a collective knowledge to improve the community and further advance the country’s global image.

“The immediate and deliberate response is that competition is good, it is healthy, but all these festival owners, planners, and promoters can come around a table for the greater good,” she said. “It is a win-win situation. That is the aim of the seminar: to enable all professionals to see the importance of coming together.”

The plan going forward is to host Festival X annually and invite persons not only from the island, but from overseas, to add their two cents, which would eventually encourage collaboration and be a platform for information and cultural exchange.

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Sumfest week builds to big stage climax – Blitz party overseas acts have J’can roots

June 18, 2018
The Reggae Sumfest events leading up to the closing festival nights carry great weight for the production. This year’s annual festival begins with the Colourfest Beach Party on Sunday, July 15, leading into the hardcore street dance, sound clash and glamorous parties that open for the concert nights. One of the highly anticipated parties, The Blitz All-Black Party, which happens on the Wednesday night, features two international acts, VH1’s Safaree and chart-topping female rapper Stefflon Don. Both have Jamaican roots.                                                                                                                                   Safaree Samuels

According to Sumfest special events team member Dealo Gordon, the festival has operated on an agenda that is predicated on the phrase “Our music, our festival” and it is their intention to do so for many years to come. Since the removal of international night, the festival has embodied this phrase

“With the selection of Stefflon Don and Safaree to be part of the entertainment package, our aim was to not stray far from our purpose. Stefflon Don, being of Jamaican descent, and Safaree, with the same background, both avidly promote and boost the Jamaican culture on an international scene,” said Gordon.

Since the series of events stands as a precursor to build anticipation for the main stage at Catherine Hall on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21, and give a taste of Jamaican culture in all areas, The Blitz All-Black Party was included in the line-up a few years ago to provide added flavour.

“We believe the greatest importance of this event is within its production. With the incorporation of a good balance of DJs, a scenic and relaxed ambience, performances, guest appearances, coupled with it being all-inclusive, we have high hopes that this event will be a big boost leading up to the festival nights,” Gordon said.

GLITZ AND GLAMOUR

Blitz was originally a celebratory party hosted for Downsound Entertainment CEO, Joe Bogdanovich, during the Christmas period, so Gordon says: “Last year’s staging cannot be compared to this year. The theme was completely different, all about the glitz and glam in previous years, then it was held overseas, carried back and added to the Sumfest line-up. Plus it was more of an old-school vibe last time.”

Local and international disc jockeys, Rolexx, Chromatic and Noah Powah, (who is known for his comedic artiste imitations) from New York also add to the diverse entertainment package that the event is offering. “The optimal goal is to attract everyone, to have persons from all facets attend and music that all crowds will enjoy. If we execute the pre-events properly and efficiently, our patrons will experience the full package, leading to continued support,” Gordon said.

Gordon says patrons will not be disappointed with the Blitz event as it adds a new dynamic, while still remaining in the circle of reggae and dancehall culture.

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The Man Behind Sumfest: Josef James Bogdanovich

Published:Sunday | June 17, 2018 | Latara Boodie
Josef Bogdanovich

Reggae Sumfest is synonymous with amazing vibe, great live entertainment and authentic Jamaican music that many have come from far and wide to witness. It’s that time of year again where our little island will host one of the largest reggae concerts in the Western Hemisphere; but before the excitement starts, let us get to know a few of the directors behind the concert.

Founder and CEO of Downsound Records, Josef James Bogdanovich is a music industry tycoon who wears many hats. He is a successful music producer, record label owner, film writer/producer and businessman who has contributed significantly to several noteworthy Jamaican artistes like Ninja Man, Jah Cure, Ishawna, Lukie D and Fantan Mojah. Outlook got an insight into the man behind the music, his interests and what it means to be a father.

Do you have any hobbies outside of music?

When it comes to hobbies, I think of time spent outside of the workplace. And outside of the workplace, I think in terms of health, energy and sound mind. Health is proper diet, and to understand the meaning of balance. Good health provides clean energy which, in turn, provides more joy in my day-to-day living experience. Sound mind provides clarity in analysis and how one interacts with people. There should be more balance and joy in our living.

What is your favorite song or artiste, and why?

Favourite songs for me come in an instant. What catches my fancy first. So it can change quickly. But right now, Steflon Don’s song “Heard You Got A New Girlfriend” is top pocket.

Today, more than ever, fans are quick with their feelings and opinions. Everybody is in the firm grip of Steve Jobs, who literally put the world at our fingertips through mobile phones, apps and social media. So we all are glued to our mobile devices. Our attention span is now abbreviated. We multitask. We flex like a hummingbird, moving quickly from one song to the next. Enjoy the nectar while it lasts.

Who would you want to see live in concert that you have not seen before (dead or alive) right now?

Bruno Mars and Cardi B.

When in a good mood, which song would you sing in the shower?

Good mood? That’s too personal.

What do you do to start your day?

I have breakfast with my son, drive him to school then go to the gym, then shower; coffee, then work all day into the night … every day until Sumfest is done.

What is your most prized

possession?

My relationships.

Outlook: What is your liquor of choice?

Red Stripe.

What are you looking forward to the most from this year’s Sumfest?

A festival experience that is on the level of the best globally. This means eight days and nights of diversified entertainment, innovative productions and service. Something to go home with, that shows how unique and wonderful Jamaica really is. The Sumfest experience.

Do you have any pet peeves?

I do not retain pet peeves. Only pets.

What is your philosophy or saying that you live by?

Live clean, think clean and contribute something good to mankind. Love your family and your neighbours.

Father’s Day Bonus:

Number of children.

Boy and girl.

What do you enjoy the most about being a father?

I enjoy experiencing and participating in my children’s growth. Sharing their uncanny experiences makes me very happy.

Top lessons you have learnt from being a dad.

Spend time with your children. Understand how much value it brings to both your child and to yourself.

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REGGAE SUMFEST 2018 IN GIAMAICA

“Musica, divertimento e paesaggi da togliere il fiato: dal 15 al 22 luglio Montego Bay apre le porte al Reggae Sumfest 2018 per una 7 giorni di eventi imperdibili all’insegna della musica Reggae”

L’estate in Giamaica è sotto il segno della musica. Con i caldi raggi di sole arriva anche uno degli appuntamenti più attesi di tutto il calendario giamaicano. È iniziato, infatti, il conto alla rovescia per la venticinquesima edizione del Reggae Sumfest, uno dei più importanti appuntamenti internazionali con la musica reggae. Dal 15 al 22 luglioMontego Bay si trasformerà in un palcoscenico a cielo aperto per ospitare i più importanti artisti del panorama locale e internazionale e puntare i riflettori sul genere reggae dancehall. Per l’occasione tanta musica, una vivace atmosfera e ospiti d’eccezione travolgeranno l’isola caraibica.

Fin dal lontano 1993, momento in cui venne istituito il festival, la Giamaica apre le porte alla rassegna musicale che celebra il groove e la sua patria. Artisti del calibro di RihannaKanye WestUsherChristopher BrownAlicia KeysNicky Minaj50 CentLionel Ritchie e tanti altri, si sono alternati sul palcoscenico di Montego Bay per omaggiare la cultura musicale di questo paese ed offrire a tutti gli amanti del genere spettacoli ineguagliabili. A seguito dell’enorme successo delle precedenti edizioni, per il 2018 è stata prevista una la line up di eventi che si alternerà per un’intera settimana. L’inizio dei festeggiamenti sarà il 15 luglio con il The Colorfest Beach Party presso la Tropical Bliss Beach. Seguiranno il The Free Street Dance and Party il 16 luglio sulla Hip Strip, il The All White Party al Pier One il 17 luglio, il The Blitz Party all’Hard Rock Cafe il 18 luglio e il 20° anniversario dell’Irish & Chin’s World Clash il 19 luglio al Pier One Event Center. La festa continuerà con il The Main Festival Nights del 20 e 21 luglio, al Catherine Hall Entertainment Center, dove entreranno in scena le più grandi star del Reggae e della Dancehall con un intrattenimento che durerà tutta la notte.

Il festival musicale calerà il sipario con un appuntamento unico: dalle 7 del mattino, nella spettacolare cornice della Dump Up Beach, l’elettrizzante Morning Meds animerà la spiaggia per l’intera giornata. Il party, che celebrerà il ritmo e il talento degli artisti, permetterà di assistere a performance live e trascorrere l’intera giornata tra divertimento e buona musica.

James Bond Beach (Photo credits StandeHaas.com)

Tutti i fortunati che avranno l’opportunità di vivere dal vivo queste indimenticabili esperienze ed entrare in contatto con la vera anima della Giamaica potranno acquistare i biglietti per i singoli appuntamenti, per il weekend o per l’intera settimana direttamente sul sito web del Reggae Sumfest 2018. Per tutti gli amanti del genere musicale che invece non potranno unirsi al festival reggae più conosciuto al mondo, anche quest’anno, avranno la possibilità di seguire i concerti in diretta streaming per tutto il corso della settimana.

Frenchmen’s Cove (Photo credits StandeHaas.com)

Complice il festival musicale, la settimana del 15 – 22 di luglio rappresenta uno dei periodi migliori per scoprire la Giamaica. Proprio per l’occasione, Rasta Snob Movement offre la possibilità di unirsi al Jamaica Sumfest trip 2018, “il viaggio più stupefacente dell’estate”. Con un pacchetto di 15 giorni, 8 notti a Montego Bay e 6 notti a Negril (hotel/resort), sarà possibile volare in Giamaica e combinare paesaggi ed esperienze tra Montego Bay, Negril e Nine Miles con una quota di partecipazione di 2.300€(www.rastasnob.it – tel. 339/3183268).

INFO

WWW.VISITJAMAICA.COM

FACEBOOK JAMAICA

@VISITJAMAICAITALY

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Mystery P gets ‘big buss’ from talent show

June 15, 2018
Contributed Mystery P uses her powerful voice to win the Red Stripe Big Buss competition.

Loud cheers and high energy filled the atmosphere at the iconic Montego Bay hotspot, Pier 1, recently as the first female winner emerged from Red Stripe’s talent search competition, Big Buss. Pamella Smith, aka Mystery P, was among 20 contestants who vied for the top spot, battling for the privilege to open Reggae Sumfest next month.

Contestants were each given two minutes to showcase their singjay ability in front of a panel of judges, which comprised record producer Mikey Bennett, media practitioner Garth Williams and DJ Jigga.

Contestants Migeal James, Aneika Brown, Miguel Irving and Conroy Brown joined eventual winner Mystery P in the final segment of the competition. However, in a twist of fate, two wild-card contestants, Odonald Haughton and Answele Riley, were given a second chance for the final showdown after technical difficulties affected their performance in round one.

In the end, it was her strong voice and commanding stage presence that won it for Mystery P.

Mystery P became the first female Big Buss winner and walked away with the $100,000 cash prize. In addition to performing on the Reggae Sumfest stage, she will get mentorship from Mikey Bennett and a six-month management contract with Downsound Entertainment Group, as well as a scholarship for artiste development programme through Red Stripe’s Learning for Life programme.

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When it comes to Jamaica, reggae and Red Stripe go hand in hand.

To continue to bring a taste of Jamaica to more and more people beyond the island and to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Jamaican brewer Desnoes Geddes Limited (D&G), Red Stripe has teamed up with LA based Jamaican musician & producer Paul “Pablo” Stennett and a number of Jamaican artists to create original singles representing the evolution of Jamaican music throughout the years.

Red Stripe officially debuted the first single from the album with a live performance from reggae artist Christopher Martin at this Saturday’s, “Wayup Stayup” block party @ Wynwood Artwalk, an event marking the official countdown to the premier festival of Jamaican music, Reggae Sumfest to be hosted in Montego Bay next month.

The track, which will serve as the unofficial Red Stripe anthem,

features follow along choreography also debuted during the live performance on Saturday. The full album including Christopher Martin’s track will be available for download later this month – a portion of proceeds will go to the “We are Tomorrow Foundation,” an organization developed to help inner-city youth explore and nurture their musical talents. Track previews, updates and more details about the album will be available on www.redstripebeer.com

Photos courtesy of Redstripe

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Jamaica again!

JAMAICA has long been known to be a cultural powerhouse since the days of Bob Marley. It is a small island that impacts culturally on the rest of the world mainly through its music.

I am in this country at the moment enjoying the sweet spirit of the passionate, fun-loving and friendly Jamaican people.

Reggae music was born in Jamaica. That is a known fact, but many subcultures have merged reggae with their own music to create new genres such as Zimdancehall, hip-hop, and reggaeton. Jamaica is also the birthplace of Rastafarian culture.

At the weekend beginning June 1, I was supposed to attend the One World Ska and Rock Steady Music Festival in Sabina Park, Kingston, but the line-up of artistes billed for this festival did not impress me enough to part with my $50. The only group I had heard of before was Toots and The Maytalls. There were artistes such as Delroy Thompson and Ansell Collins whom I had never heard of before. Most of the artistes I wanted to see performing there were abroad entertaining patrons in America and Europe. How I wish I could extend my vacation so that I can watch some of the most talented Jamaican artistes who will descend on Montego Bay next month for the popular Reggae Sumfest.

Montego Bay, affectionately referred to as MoBay by the majority of Jamaicans, hosts thousands of festival goers every year at Reggae Sumfest.

Instead of attending the One World Ska and Rock Steady Music Festival, I spent time with an old friend, Boisie Woolcock, author of the 1970s monster hit I Wonder and a close associate of Bob Marley. Together, after briefly stopping at Sir Jimmy Cliff Bay (yes, the Jamaican government has honoured Jimmy Cliff for all his contributions over the years in promoting Jamaican culture with his music and acting prowess in films such as The Harder They Come), we visited The Bob Marley Museum at 56 Hope Road in Kingston and then The Peter Tosh Museum, both of which gave me a new insight into the lives of the two reggae icons as I saw new memorabilia of their lives.

The Bob Marley Museum has undergone some structural upgrades and renovations to enhance the visitor experience since the last time I visited Jamaica.

Musically, things have also changed in Jamaica. Dancehall seems to be dominating the musical scene everywhere. New tunes such as Chant It by Sevana, Blood Money by Protégé and Humble Mi by Jah 9 seem to be the happening tunes of 2018.

Ten years ago you would hear only Bob Marley tunes such as One Love and Three Little Birds playing all over Jamaica, but today there is a variety of popular tunes such as Chronixx’s Smile Jamaica and from the old school collection songs like Third World’s Try Jah Love.

Woolcock and I straddled past the late Gregory Isaac’s home and he said to me: “You know what, Fred? I was there when Gregory wrote Night Nurse. A lot of people think that song is about a real nurse, but what Gregory had in mind was completely different from the interpretation many people make from the song. Night Nurse is actually cocaine. Gregory used to take it at night and he would sing ‘Only you alone can quench this your thirst. I don’t wanna see no doctor. I need attention from my nurse around the clock’”

“Really?” I said. “I have often thought that I was a genius, but this one, I never worked it out,” I told him.

We moved on to New Kingston’s Courtleigh Auditorium to attend a commemoration concert for the late Sugar Lincoln Minott, who died from a heart problem on July 10, 2010. It was quite revealing. I had known of Sugar Minott from long ago when I collected hundreds of reggae records, but had never considered him among the big Jamaican artistes. So you can imagine my surprise on seeing thousands of reggae lovers in this auditorium remembering their music hero. Apparently Sugar Minott did a lot of work with the youths and other aspiring artistes in Jamaica. He liberated them from the doldrums of poverty through the formation of his Black Roots record label and Youth Promotions Organisation where any talented youngster would come and get assistance in recording their music and having it published and distributed without any payment. Most of these youths would then come to Sugar Minott if their record was doing well to receive their royalties.

I am told that his organisation was responsible for bringing up Jamaican artistes such as Tony Tuff, Barry Brown, Junior Reid, Tenor Saw, Jah Stitch, Captain Sinbad and dozens of others.

Among Sugar Minott’s stand-out cuts were This Old Man, Get Ready Rock Steady, Party Night, Youth of Today, Mysterious Nature and No Cup No Broke.

We moved on to have lunch at Dunns River Falls in Ocho Rios, St Ann, a smaller version of our Victoria Falls but attracts over 50 times the number of tourists. Even the legend of Bob Marley comes alive as you walk through his home location in the village of Nine Miles. This is the very house Bob lived in as a young boy and we met so many people, now in their 70s, who knew him as a little boy. Each one had a story to tell. One told me how Bob was great as a footballer and another told me how they shared the same girlfriend and how they fought over her. I also met Lee Perry’s aunt who claimed that her nephew wrote many of the songs Bob recorded. This experience gave me first-hand knowledge of the life and times of the great musician from the people who lived there with him.

A lesson for Zimbabwe’s tourism industry and culture ministry: If you design cultural programmes for the thousands of unemployed youths who are in this country and assist them to develop them, they will feel a sense of responsible citizenship. One or two might rise to be Zimbabwe’s ambassadors in the near future and will do all of us proud as Bob Marley has done for Jamaica.

Do not look down on culture. In Jamaica it is drawing hundreds of thousands of tourists every year and has become the biggest economy booster in that tiny island. We can also do it. Come on now!

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Launch Events Countdown to Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest Next Month

Launch Events Countdown to Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest Next Month

Launch Events Countdown to Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest Next Month

The momentum leading up to Reggae Sumfest, dubbed “reggae nirvana” (New York Times) and “quite simply the be-all and end-all of reggae festivals” (Forbes), builds with anticipation before its 8-day takeover in Montego Bay next month (July 15-22).

Following NYC’s Reggae Sumfest launch party in April, events in Kingston (May 30) at Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records and Montego Bay (May 18) at the Iberostar Suites transpired to gear up for the festivities. This Sat. June 9, Red Stripe Presents Reggae Sumfest will take over Miami’s Wynwood Artwalk for the official countdown to the festival. The launch will feature live DJ sets and a performance by Jamaican singer Christopher Martin, who has performed on the Reggae Sumfest stage multiple times.

At the Kingston launch event last week, which featured performances by Bounty Killerand Capleton, Chairman and CEO of Downsound Entertainment (DSE) and Owner of Reggae Sumfest Joe Bogdanovich highlighted the festival’s growth. According to Bogdanovich, who acquired the brand in 2016, “Our streaming attendance [which was introduced in 2016] transformed Reggae Sumfest into a truly international festival with a live fan attendance of close to a million. In our aftermath, over 10 million have watched online and the numbers are increasing daily. This says a lot for the concept ‘Our Music, Our Festival.’ This year’s lineup is simply awesome. We have expanded the festival to eight days with seven preview and post events and two weekend live stage shows. 2018 looks promising. ”

In addition to the title sponsor Red Stripe, MasterCard, NCB, JetBlue Airlines, and Grace Kennedy are new sponsors this year with JetBlue as the presenting partner for the live stream.

Reggae Sumfest 2018 marks 26 years of stellar Jamaican entertainment. The year’s annual affair begins with a variety of pre-parties including the Colourfest Beach Party on Sun. July 15, Sumfest Street Dance on Mon. July 16, All-White Party on Tues. July 17, The Blitz All Black Party on Wed. July 18 featuring Stefflon Don and Safaree and Sumfest Presents Irish & Chin World Clash 20th Anniversary on Thurs. July 19. The festival’s two main concert nights take place at the historic Catherine Hall venue on Fri. July 20 and Sat. July 21 featuring live performances from Popcaan, Sizzla, Aidonia, Sasco, Masicka, Spice, Beres Hammond, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Maxi Priest and many more. Patrons can access updates on the line-up, tickets and events on the official website: www.reggaesumfest.com.

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