Tag: Bogdanovich

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Young Artistes See Reggae Sumfest As ‘The Beginning’

Published:Saturday | July 14, 2018 |  Stephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer

Shenseea
The Reggae Sumfest small stage has introduced a few of the fiercest names in reggae and dancehall to a wide music-loving audience and has even acted as the platform to ‘buss big’. The list includes reggae entertainers Warrior King, Bushman and Shenseea, who have graduated to the main stage following their appearances on the small stage.

Its reputation for promoting talents is highly revered among the fraternity of emerging artistes despite the early placements and short performance time it offers.

According to emerging artist D’Yani, who is performing on Reggae Sumfest Reggae Night (night two), an opportunity, no matter how small is at the end of the day, a good opportunity.

“The platform is there to explore. As a young artiste, you must use, every minute to deliver a good solid set that will leave a lasting impact,” he told The Gleaner.

The Sad Story singer was recognised by the Reggae Sumfest team while performing on the Fame 95FM Road Party.

“The eight to 10 minutes up-and-coming artistes like myself have will still be a part of the broadcast to an international audience,” he said. “I honestly did not envision being on the stage when I attended in 2016 to see Barrington Levy on the stage.”

Dancehall singjay Kim Nain shared the same sentiment. “It is the beginning for another part of the musical journeys young artistes are taking,” she said.

Meanwhile, Imeru Tafari, 24-year-old son of Queen Ifrica and fast-rising reggae artiste, sees the stage show like any other event where he is given time to perform.

“It could be a Reggae Sumfest, Rebel Salute or smaller event – to me, it is about showing not only my talent, but most importantly, sharing the message of positivity and righteousness. For all the shows, it is the same,” he said.

Imeru Tafari is cognisant that he will only receive five minutes to perform his set but nonchalantly answered, “It’s not a big problem. Two song can still deliver in that time.” He says his true satisfaction comes from being able to share the lyrics.

“The Reggae Sumfest stage is definitely one that will expose me to bigger platforms being an international show, and I am hoping it brings me across the world,” he added.

“It is my second time performing. The first time, my mother called me on stage to perform with her. There I got the chance to sing Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley’s verse from their collaboration, Trueversation,” he recalled.

Other young reggae performers include Abatau (son of Tony Rebel), Naomi Cowan, and Stushie, and among the emerging dancehall acts Rygin King and Vanzo.

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Reggae Sumfest’s Joe Takes On A New ‘Balanced’ Lifestyle

Published:| July 11, 2018 | Stephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Josef Bogdanovich, CEO – Downsound Records, has adopted a more balanced lifestyle to do what he needs to get things done.
Balance seems to be the key to Josef ‘Joe’ Bogdanovich’s youthful energy, as he has adopted a more holistic approach to life. As the principal of Reggae Sumfest and Downsound Entertainment, Bogdanovich has had to reassess his lifestyle, especially as his schedule becomes full this time of year as the staging of the largest festival in the island approaches.

“When you travel the world, you see all sorts of people, and get to observe how some persons enjoy life more than others – it is not a question of money or poverty,” said Bogdanovich.

He added, “It’s a perspective – how you treat one another; more essentially, how you treat yourself. As you get more experienced, you just learn how important health is because with a sound body and a sound mind, you have more fun and more fun is what life is about.”

The business tycoon said that while in college, he was swayed towards eastern philosophy, which is a diverse body of ideas centred on understanding the process of the universe. According to Bogdanovich, although it was hard to understand Confucianism, he grasped that the key lesson was about maintaining a balance.

“And Jamaicans and Rastafarians always talk about balance; and in entertainment, it means a lot of different things,” he said. “For a deejay, balance means let me talk balance, but in terms of holistic health, it means to be able to get the ying and the yang – the left side and right of your brain, the unconscious and subconscious; everything, including emotions, in order.”

CHANGING LIFESTYLE

The Downsound CEO endured losing his partner three years ago, and although he mourned privately, it has had an obvious effect on the way he views life. He expressed that when an individual experiences an accident, or some type of misfortune, then a different perceptive arises.

“It may be cliche, but it is true – when a person is younger they think they are infallible, with so much energy and exceptional amount of hormones (not that I don’t have a tonne of that), but what’s happened is that I can change my body and habits to become more youthful-looking,” he said.

He says this involves his daily routine that always includes at least 45 minutes in the gym – this is after breakfast, and joking around with his seven-year-old son, where he always has a bowl of rice ball cereal and almond milk.

“Exercise is critical. You should do it every day so you can work harder, last longer and clear your mind. This then makes it easier to do the work, but sometimes it is hard because I don’t have the time to exercise and as a result, it takes me a lot longer to get things done and I don’t have as much patience.”

He admitted that the Reggae Sumfest period makes him slightly negligent with his exercise routine. “I am a little sloppy with the stress from just planning the show,” he said.

During the planning and execution stages of the festival, it becomes a lot more challenging, as it poses a change in his sleeping and eating habits. Rather than getting up at four in the morning, Bogdanovich says he is getting to bed at that hour.

“Worse than junk food is eating food late and going to bed right after. That’s how you put on the weight. You are what you eat. You have to find balance.”

It’s easy to get consumed by the humdrum of a packed workday, paying bills, meeting company executives and fulfilling endless responsibilities, so much so that personal health and caring gets forgotten. But Bogdanovich says with his balanced lifestyle, he is finding more happiness to wake another day, even as the festival presents longer days and eventful nights.

 

 

 

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Close to 300 security personnel for music festival

July 10, 2018
File Police on foot patrol.

Organisers of Reggae Sumfest say there will not be any major increase in the number of police personnel for its Friday and Saturday night shows at the Catherine Hall Stadium this year.

“We are using just about the same or a little bit more (police officers) than last year,” Robin Russell, who is in charge of security, told the WESTERN STAR. “Sumfest has never really had a security problem, and we don’t foresee any issues, especially with less crime in and around Montego Bay.”

According to Russell, the Area One police headquarters usually handles the police deployment with approximately 130 per night, who are selected from the four parishes.

“Anywhere from 100 to 150 security officers will be deployed at the venue per night,” he said.

For the events prior to the two main nights, about 20 police officers will be assigned to each.

The one-week reggae and dancehall music festival is set to unfold in the western resort city of Montego Bay from July 15 to 21.

It will be held under the extended state of public emergency, which organisers had earlier indicated would not affect the regular early morning closing hours of the live shows.

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Hermine Shaw serving up good food at Sumfest

July 10, 2018
Hermine Shaw

Reggae Sumfest is much more than just the entertainment and limelight for many people like Hermine Shaw of St James.

Shaw will tell you that the food is also equally one of the biggest highlights of the ‘Greatest Reggae Show on Earth’.

For the past 26 years, Shaw has been at the helm of homestyle cooking on the main nights of the summer festival held at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay.

Her food stall, branded under the household name ‘Hermine Homestyle’, is a godsend for the thousands of local and international patrons who come out each year looking to chow down on Jamaican mouthwatering dishes.

“My cooking is homestyle, and I do everything like rice and peas, brown stew, curry stew peas, oxtail, ackee and salt fish, salt mackerel, soup, shrimp, conch, and more,” Shaw told the WESTERN STAR.

“People look forward to me every year because they know my stall and know that I cook nothing but good and tasty food. I have people from Canada that come every year for them oxtail,” she added.

Shaw explained that last year’s staging was one of the best as she had more customers than she was able to provide service for.

A second stall

No doubt that she is now looking forward to the upcoming staging, and she has brought in her son in to operate a second stall.

“I came to Reggae Sumfest off of Sunsplash, and over the years until now, I have always lived good with the promoters. I work with their system and do my business, and I was able to put both my daughter and son through school and college, assist my grandchildren …,” said Shaw, who is also a taxi operator.

“So Reggae Sumfest did a lot for me. It keeps me alive,

motivates me, and I plan for it every year. I appreciate the promoters, and I thank them very much. I thank them a lot for what they have done for me and what I do for myself,” she added.

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Grace and Red Stripe partner in tasting party

As the iconic Reggae Sumfest prepares for it’s 27th staging, it will be introducing a new layout and more activities for patrons between sets.

This includes a food court by Grace Foods. The brand partnered with long time sponsor Red Stripe to present an exclusive tasting party on Sunday as a preview for the festival.

Guests were greeted to a well-decorated venue, music and food, food and more food as the company crafted a variety of pasta dishes, wings, steamed fish and more to wet the appetites of veteran Sumfest-goers. The food was complemented by a fully loaded Red Stripe bar stocked with beers and an assortment of Grace lifestylee drinks.

Red Stripe will once again be a presenting sponsor for Reggae Sumfest, which will take place in Montego Bay from Sunday, July 15th to Saturday, July 21st.

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New strategy for Reggae Sumfest

BY BALFORD HENRY  July 04, 2018

Twenty-three Jamaican-owned businesses will be showcasing authentic local products as the promoters of the annual event have decided to open up the facilities to them this year.

Chairman and CEO of promoters DownSound Entertainment Joe Bogdanovich told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that he thinks it is time to allow Jamaica’s small business sector to benefit from the opportunities for their growth and development created by the event.

“This initiative gives small businesses in Jamaica a platform to exhibit their products and work while promoting Brand Jamaica,” the entrepreneur said.

“This new addition to the festival will help to develop the tourism sector and is also beneficial to the overall economy. We look forward to continuing and expanding this project in the years to come,” he added.

Since acquiring the event from former owners Summerfest Productions, in April 2016, Bogdanovich has been promoting the idea that it is the country’s responsibility to develop and protect its cutural brand.

He promised major changes for the Sumfest brand in its first two years under his administration which would help to make the industry thrive. He said then that 2016 will be the transitional year, in which DownSound will be working closely with Johnny Gourzong, Robert Russell and Tina Davis, who have developed the brand for 25 years.

“It is critical that the home of reggae music gets its house in order. The theme of unity through music is a key factor for success in the festival business. Artists must understand and work together as well as the sponsors and government agencies to accept the fact that reggae/dancehall is a natural resource of the country, and that it’s the responsibility of the country for it to be developed and protected,” he insisted.

In the past, the most important questions about Sumfest were those about the acts, their performances, and who took the respective nights; however, with the changes being introduced by Bogdanovich, it is clear that he aims to shift the attention to the sustainability of the Jamaican culture’s dominance across the Caribbean.

According to Bogdanovich, with the wide variety of products being offered — from Bresheh with their handcrafted backpacks, handbags and totes, to Live Charcoal portraits done by Jeffperry Art — there is something for everyone.

Reggae Sumfest will be held July 15-22 in Montego Bay — currently under enhanced security measures slated to last until August 2 — and Bogdanovich remains confident that this year’s event will be an improvement on last year’s very successful 25th anniversary presentation.

Jamaica’s premier reggae festival, Reggae Sumfest is a week of parties and performances from some of the top names in reggae and dancehall.

Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, Aidonia, Bounty Killer, Spice, Stonebwoy from Ghana, Capleton, Cham, and Maxi Priest are all among the star-studded line-up.

The week also includes a conference examining the state of the reggae industry.

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Minister Highlights Importance of Music Tourism

Photo: Garwin Davis

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett,

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says music tourism is a rapidly expanding market, which plays perfectly into Jamaica’s strength as the top entertainment destination in the region.
  • Addressing the graduation ceremony for the DJ Capacity Building Training Programme at the Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, St. James, on June 21, Mr. Bartlett said to fully capitalize, “we are positioning” the tourism sector to work strategically with the music industry to create valuable products and experiences for visitors.
  • “Each year more and more reggae music fans converge on the island to enjoy great music and the offerings of a remarkable destination. The resounding success of music festivals like Reggae Sumfest and Sting have helped to enhance our international profile significantly,” he added.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says music tourism is a rapidly expanding market, which plays perfectly into Jamaica’s strength as the top entertainment destination in the region.

Addressing the graduation ceremony for the DJ Capacity Building Training Programme at the Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, St. James, on June 21, Mr. Bartlett said to fully capitalize, “we are positioning” the tourism sector to work strategically with the music industry to create valuable products and experiences for visitors.

“Our music continues to set Jamaica apart from rival destinations,” the Minister pointed out.

“Each year more and more reggae music fans converge on the island to enjoy great music and the offerings of a remarkable destination. The resounding success of music festivals like Reggae Sumfest and Sting have helped to enhance our international profile significantly,” he added.

Mr. Bartlett said that while the Ministry is committed to fostering the continued development of the entertainment industry and its full integration into the tourism product, he is fully cognizant that there is still more to be done to maximize the potential of “this important” sub-sector.

“So, as we put in place the framework to further diversify our tourism product, we are well aware of the enormous benefits if we get this right,” Mr. Bartlett said.

“We have to give visitors more things to do when they come to our island. We have to tap into their passion points, and music is a great way to start. Simply put, we are placing a special focus on developing entertainment tourism as part of our growth strategy,” he noted.

Mr. Bartlett said that while the country’s goal of welcoming five million visitors annually remains on target, there is simply no room for complacency.

He said that as good as the current offerings may be, stakeholders should always be looking to innovate and focus on growing earnings per visitor and retaining more of those earnings in Jamaica.
“It goes without saying that entertainment is an area in which we are world beaters,” the Minister further added.

“Therefore we are taking the necessary steps to capitalize on the tremendous potential Jamaica has in this area to significantly boost our arrivals and tourism earnings,” he said.

The Minister commended the Head of the Ministry’s Sports and Entertainment Network, Entertainment Consultant and Promoter, Kamal Bankay, noting that “he is doing an excellent job leading this initiative.”

“This is being done in collaboration with my colleague, Hon. Olivia Grange and her team from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport,” Mr. Bartlett said.

“We will also be leveraging February’s Reggae Month to appeal to visitors. In addition, the month marks the birthdays of Jamaica’s most recognizable musicians, the King of Reggae Bob Marley and the Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Brown, both great selling points,” the Minister said.

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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.