Tami Chynn – Dancehall Pop Princess 2008

Tami Chynn – Dancehall’s Princess of Pop

by M. Peggy Quattro

Tami Chynn with Akon in London

Kingston, JA – Tammar Anika Chin, now known as singer Tami Chynn, was born June 14, 1983 in Kingston, Jamaica, to a multi-talented, musical family. Her parents, Richard and Christine Chin, were in a band called The Carnations and Tami grew up with the sounds of R&B and Jazz. Her mother, the daughter of a white British woman and a black Jamaican man, is a singer and one of Jamaicas first female trumpet players; her father, whos Chinese and a bit of American Cherokee, plays bass guitar and drums. This unique mixture of Black, Chinese, White, and African-American-Indian has resulted in a cultured young woman, acutely aware of musics universal power.

Growing up in the parish of St. Andrew, Tami attended St. Peter and Paul prep school, later attending Campion College. Tami recorded her first single at age 17, and was signed to a major label at 24. Along Tami’s career climb, she has appeared on recordings with international Reggae stars Sean Paul, Beenie Man and Lady Saw. In addition, she has collaborated with Assassin and appeared in Wayne Marshalls video Why. Prior to pursuing singing professionally, she toured with Shaggy as a backup dancer. Continue reading

Ragga Muffins San Francisco 2008

San Francisco’s Ragga Muffins Festival

Photos and Review by Lee Abel

Dancehall Dynamo Anthony B

On Saturday, Feb. 23, 2008, the annual Ragga Muffins Festival limped into San Francisco. The headliner, Alpha Blondy, was hospitalized with pneumonia before he reached the United States. Barrington Levy had an accident in Jamaica and stayed on the ‘Rock.’ German DJ phenomena Gentleman lost his voice before the Bay Area engagement. However, the show did go on.

The Cool Ruler did not disappoint

The crowd trickled in throughout the opening performances featuring Soul Majestic and The Aggrolites. Fans enjoyed the music and fabulous vendors, and the room soon swelled when Gregory “Cool Ruler” Isaacs took the stage. Gregory, tired from the prior week of shows but looking happy to be there, did not disappoint fans who sang along to his many classic hits. California’s own Midnite was up next and grooved the house with their Roots trance-music style. Continue reading

Maxi Priest Invited to Join UB40 2008

Maxi Priest Joins UB40 as Lead Singer

While Keyboardist Michael Virtue Resigns
by M. Peggy Quattro
March 26, 2008 – Reggae’s sweet and soulful singer Maxi Priest has been invited to replace former lead singer Ali Campbell as the new vocalist for Britain’s #1 Reggae export, UB40.

The band has been touring and recording despite Campbell’s January 2008 departure, and recently concluded a successful tour with Priest in Australia in February 2008, and to sold-out crowds in the UK in December 2007.

The association with Maxi Priest, expected to form a more permanent union, has already seen Priest record with UB40 and release a single of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff.” A source close to the band said, “The recent recording session with Maxi Priest turned out brilliantly and the band is really buzzing about the year ahead.” It should be noted that UB40 and Maxi Priest are the only two British Reggae acts to achieve #1 status on Billboard’s Top 100 chart. Continue reading

Cocoa Tea Releases Obama Tribute 2008

Cocoa Tea to Release Obama Tribute Album

By Roland Henry, Observer staff reporter

Cocoa Tea – Set to release CD in support of Obama

Kingston, JA – Following his recent Barack Obama media blitz, veteran crooner Calvin ‘Cocoa Tea’ Scott is set to record an album inspired by the US Democratic Party presidential hopeful.

“Me have a new album which me a go put out and it a go name Barack Obama,” the Rastaman tells Splash during a visit to the Observer on Tuesday [Mar. 19]. Dressed in a black T-shirt, jeans, brown shoes with his locks bundled under a knitted tam, Cocoa Tea, who recently released Reggae Anthology: The Sweet Sounds Of Cocoa Tea, adds that the follow-up project is expected to hit the streets by August. Continue reading

Marley Music Rights 2008

Rights Flap Jamming Marley Bio

By Gregg Goldstein, as reported in The Hollywood Reporter

Bob Marley

The family of Bob Marley has refused to license any of his music for a biopic that the Weinstein Co. is prepping — despite the fact that his widow, Rita Marley, is its executive producer.

The reason? There is a competing Martin Scorsese documentary being produced by the Marley family-owned Tuff Gong Pictures and Steven Bing’s Shangri La banner, the first theatrical docu to license Marley songs.

The family members involved in the Scorsese docu claim they were unaware that the Weinstein project would be unveiled so soon and believe that its projected late-2009 release date would interfere with their docu’s February 2010 release, which is timed to Marley’s birthday. Continue reading

Has Reggae Lost its Value?

Has Reggae Lost its Value?

By Maria Jackson

March 21, 2008 – Is Reggae music the only genre that releases hundreds of singles on a daily basis? I honestly do not know. However, what I do know is that the way we handle our business in the Reggae industry is affecting its monetary value.

Jamaica releases approximately 600 new songs daily. There are literally hundreds of producers spread out across the island. Some are your well-established heavyweights, while others are simply working with a drum machine at home. Whatever their situation, these producers drum up music by the minute. And, in an effort to be the next big thing or to maintain current momentum, they basically give away their music, all in the name of promotion. Continue reading

Remembering Joe Gibbs 2008

Joe Gibbs – Remembering the Hitmaker

by M. Peggy Quattro

Joe Gibbs – 1945-2008

March 17, 2008 – It was Feb. 21, 2008, and I had just arrived in Kingston for the Reggae Academy Awards. Riding in a taxi from the airport, I was surprised, and then stunned, when the driver suddenly muttered aloud, “Joe Gibb’ dead.” “What?,” I said, “for real?” “Yea mon…‘eart attack” he calmly replied. With another 20 minutes before reaching the hotel, I began to think about the man, Joe Gibbs – producer extraordinaire – and about the time I spent working alongside him at his record pressing plant in Opa Locka, Florida.

There is no doubt that Joe Gibbs will be remembered as one of the most preeminent producers in Reggae’s history. A hardcore entrepreneur who became a Reggae giant, Joe Gibbs was seemingly quiet, yet carried a gun, and feared no man…or woman. From the 60s, consistently through the 70s and 80s, Joe Gibbs surrounded himself with such great talents as Errol “Errol T” Thompson, Niney “the Observer” Holness, Bunny “Striker” Lee, and Lee “Scratch” Perry. Errol T and Joe formed a creative bond and were known as “The Mighty Two.” Together they revolutionized Reggae and Dub and packaged it for the world. Joe’s business and production sense, combined with ET’s outrageous engineering skills resulted in ground-breaking recordings.

Brown was a teen when he recorded for Gibbs

Joe Gibbs’ name will be forever associated with Dennis “The Boy Wonder” Brown, producing most of the finest Reggae albums Brown ever made; every song a wonder. From D Brown’s early albums that included Words of Wisdom and The Prophet Rides Again, to the 1980 cross-over A&M Records Love Has Found a Way, with the international hit single of the same name, Joe Gibbs and Errol T super-charged the young singer’s career. With songs becoming hits, and records flying out the door, Joe Gibbs and Errol T changed the direction of Reggae music. Continue reading