Mikey Dread – Goes Home to Zion 2008

Mikey Dread – Legendary Performer, Producer & Broadcaster – Succumbs to Brain Tumor

It is reported that Michael “Mikey Dread” Campbell, aka Dread at the Controls, passed on to Zion, Sat., March 15, 2008 at 7 p.m. EST. He was surrounded by his family in the home of his sister in Connecticut at the time of his passing.

Mikey Dread was born in 1954 in Port Antonio, a lush small town on the northeastern tip of Jamaica. Mikey was an avid student who loved electronics. In 1976, after graduating from college, Mikey started out as an engineer with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC). A collector of Reggae vinyl, Mikey wasn’t satisfied with the bland, foreign playlists that dominated the JBC radio waves, especially since the best Reggae was being recorded in their own backyard. After convincing JBC to give him his own radio program, “Dread At The Controls,” he assumed the moniker Mikey Dread, played nothing but Reggae and soon had the most popular show on JBC. Continue reading

Ragga Muffins Festival Long Beach 2008

Roots Rock Ragga Muffins!

The 27th Long Beach Reggae Festival Review
Review & Photos by Jan Salzmman

Year 27 of the Ragga Muffins Festival began with a press conference on Sat., Feb. 16, 2008. Promoter Barbara Barabino announced that Alpha Blondy, headliner for the following day, was gravely ill with pneumonia and had to cancel his entire tour. We were also told that artists slated for Saturday’s line-up were delayed in their arrivals, but would be there for their scheduled performances. Following the press function, I made my way to the venue. Along the way to catch the opening acts, I visited the vendors’ wares and great food booths, acclaimed to be the best of any west coast festival.

Roots Dancehall Queen Ifrica

A reunion of the LA-based Reggae band, Idren, opened the show with an exciting Roots performance. Next on stage was Belize-based New Dimensions, followed by the west coast’s Soul Majestic, and Puerto Rico’s Cultura Profetica. All performances were strong in their Reggae orientation and well received by the growing crowd. Hailing from Jamaica, the popular Rootz Underground performed with a fresh, enjoyable Reggae vibe. Look for this young band to make their mark on the music industry. Continue reading

1st Reggae Academy Awards Kingston JA 2008

The 1st Reggae Academy Awards – A Celebration of Musical Excellence

Tarrus Riley and his song “She’s Royal” Receive Six Awards!

by M. Peggy Quattro
Photos Lance Watson/Reggae Academy

February 29, 2008 – Kingston, JA  – Kingston, the center of the Reggae universe, was bubbling with excitement and activity during February’s Reggae Month celebrations. On every corner, the talk turned to what to do, where to go, who to see.But the high point came with the presentation of the first Reggae Academy Awards and show.

The National Indoor Sports Center was bustling on Sunday, Feb. 24, as the academy and music community came together to prepare for the evening’s event. At 7 P.M., the red carpet was filled with arriving celebrities and fans cheered on their favorites. Members of local and international media were present and there were smiles, hugs, and handshakes in the reception area as Reggae’s artists and professionals greeted the press and each other.

Shaggy wins Best Dancehall Album

Nominees Shaggy, Cherine Anderson, Etana, Macka Diamond, Kris Kelli, and Danny Browne, presenters Nadine Sutherland, Tony Rebel, and reigning Miss Jamaica Universe Zara Redwood, and performers Diana King, Elephant Man, and Ce’Cile were among the stars at the pre-awards soirée.

As show time approached, the throng headed inside the arena. The large stage was a colorful blend of high tech and roots, with neon podiums and moveable graffiti-covered zinc fences. The beautiful and multi-talented Cherine Anderson sauntered on stage to open the show with her nominated, soulful and stirring “Kingston State of Mind.” Switching effortlessly between singing and Dancehall, the young star set the pace for the remainder of the presentation. Continue reading

Lauryn Hill to Play Rita Marley?

Lauryn Hill Considered to Portray Rita Marley in Upcoming Film

March 2008 – It has been widely reported that Rita Marley has finalized a production deal with The Weinstein Company that will bring to life her 2004 autobiography No Woman No Cry: My Life with Bob Marley. Bob and Harvey Weinstein secured the rights to the Rita Marley story a month after the announcement that Martin Scorsese will direct the Bob Marley documentary slated for a February 2010 release.

Grammy-winning Hip-Hop singer and film star Lauryn Hill has been chosen by Rita to portray her mother-in-law in the film. “She sees my life as her life,” Rita Marley was quoted as saying. Lauryn is married to Marley son, Rohan. The two were also considered for the Bob and Rita roles, based on Timothy White’s book Catch a’Fire, back in 1999. However, after Warner Bros. secured the song rights, development was curtailed following several directors’ departures. Continue reading