Rain Forest – Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Mountain, Ocho Rios, Grand Opening July 2008 / Photos: M. Peggy Quattro
SUGAR MINOTT – NEW DAY CD
STOP, LOOK & LISTEN RECORDS
Lincoln “Sugar” Minott, pioneer Dancehall/Lover’s Rock singer with decades of hit songs recorded on more than 60 albums, is set to take the world by musical storm with the release of New Day, his latest CD on Stop, Look & Listen Records.
With 15 tracks that range from energetic to soulful, Sugar’s sweet voice and positive messages will take you back to a time when lyrics and melodies ruled the dancehall; when love songs were heartfelt and partying all night was the norm. Sugar Minott continues to be a prolific songwriter, adept at balancing the personal and socio-political messages intertwined consistently throughout his songs. Continue reading
Rain Forest – Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Mountain: Jamaica’s Newest Eco-Friendly Attraction
Words and Photos By M. Peggy Quattro
The opening of Mystic Mountain, the latest attraction to grace the Ocho Rios skyline, was slated for July 19, 2008 — rain or shine. And rain it did! From drizzle to downpour, the grand opening ceremony proceeded under a beautifully decorated white tent. Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett, Rain Forest CEO Johan van der Goltz, and Mystic Mountain Managing Director Mike Drakulich welcomed the hundreds in attendance with the reminder that this was, well, a rainforest! Director of Tourism Basil Smith and Director General Carrole Guntley, as well as members of Jamaica’s original bobsled team, were among the friends, family, and press who donned the supplied rain slickers and umbrellas to ride the Sky Explorer from its coastline base to over 700 feet above sea level at the peak of Mystic Mountain. Barbara Lulich, Mystic Mountain marketing consultant, and Norma Clarke adeptly coordinated this delightful history-making event.
Six years ago, when creator Mike Drakulich dreamed of a bobsled ride through the rainforest adjacent to Dunn’s River Falls, many thought he was crazy. Continue reading
David Hinds: On Tour, On New Album, on United Front for Africa
Interview and Photos by Jan Salzman / Edited by M. Peggy Quattro
July 14, 2008 – Malibu, CA – Steel Pulse has been one of my favorite bands for about 25 years. In 1985, the popular band from Birmingham won the coveted Grammy award for their album Babylon The Bandit. More Grammy nominations came for Victims, Rastafari Centennial, Rage and Fury, Living Legacy, and African Holocaust. Steel Pulse has recorded 16 albums throughout their illustrious career.
David Hinds, central songwriter and lead singer, hails from Birmingham, England. His music has always been tinged with political opinions; he makes his stand in the name of justice. There are also spiritually uplifting songs and deep love songs. This year celebrates 30 years since the release of their first album, Handsworth Revolution, in 1978. David is eloquent, kind, and remains boyishly cute after all these years. Together with his associate, vocalist and keyboardist Selwyn Brown, they form the core of Steel Pulse. I caught up with David Hinds recently at the Malibu Inn. After a tightly packed show, he took time to answer a few questions. Here is my interview with David Hinds: Continue reading
Nadine Sutherland Brings the Vibes to Vibes Nightclub
July 3, 2008 – Decatur, GA – She was witty, energetic, sexy, inspiring, professional, warm, charming and extremely entertaining as this true princess of Reggae music continued her love affair with what some call the fastest growing Caribbean community outside of the Caribbean, Georgia. Nadine Sutherland came, she entertained and she conquered!
The Reggae Dancehall star, TV star (Rising Star) and journalist went through her hits like; “Action”, “Babyface”, “I’m In Love (Rainbow)”, “Anything For You”, “Big Tingz” and more. From the moment she stepped on stage at the Vibes Night Club in Decatur Georgia, the air was filled with electricity, and the venue was filled with energy. Sutherland commanded the stage as she bounced and danced all over the stage, never missing a beat, always hitting the right notes and exciting the crowd with her great performance. Continue reading
Morgan Heritage Rocks the Key Club on Sunset Strip
Photos and Review by Jan Salzman
June 18, 2008 – Los Angeles, CA – I arrived early, around 3 PM, at The Key Club. I thought it was sound check time, but it was actually load in time. A few of the Morgan brothers and sister Una were mingling with local family members. Mr. Mojo came over and said, “You’re early!” I explained that I would love to listen to sound check, if possible, and Mojo agreed. I think he had problems with a digital percussion machine that he bought. He had to run it back to the shop.
After a wonderful sound check, Mr. Mojo arranged for me to interview Una and Gramps also. I went for a bite to eat and returned about 9:30 to catch the opening act, Hooliganz. They were a surprisingly good roots Reggae band that raps, too. Continue reading
Greetings! I sent this letter, twice actually, to the editors and writers of the Jamaica Gleaner and Observer after reading Prime Minister Golding’s official statement declaring that ‘it is time for a comprehensive reggae marketing plan.’ I enthusiastically replied as a member of the reggae community, a fan, and a concerned world citizen. Since they didn’t publish it, and in order to share these thoughts and suggestions with the global community, here is my letter. If you would like to respond or comment, please write me.
As a 27-year Reggae industry veteran, I was ecstatic to read Prime Minister Golding’s acknowledgement that it is “time for a comprehensive marketing plan for Reggae music.” In recognizing Reggae’s importance on a level equal to tourism, I commend his initiative to create a strategy that will not only positively promote Reggae, but also address the negativity that has pervaded the world stage. The prime minister’s official May 26 release appeared on websites in the USA, France, Czechoslovakia, Japan, and Thailand, attesting to Jamaica and Reggae’s international interest. Nearly 40 years old, Reggae is recognized as “Jamaica’s greatest musical export,” and the time to protect its hard-earned reputation is now.
From 1996 to 2007, several studies, written locally and abroad, have addressed Reggae, Jamaica, and the importance of global marketing. The link between the two is undeniable; Reggae is part of Jamaica’s image in the tourist market. The plan is already there, studied and presented by scholars, music professionals, politicians, and journalists. Central to the solution is the Internet. The possibilities for e-commerce, digital download, creativity, and wide-ranging national and cultural promotion – when well organized and managed – will create extensive employment opportunities and contribute considerably to Jamaica’s economy.
I commend all foundation Reggae artists and professionals who achieved success and shaped a world sensation before the Internet. Young artists have benefited from this groundwork, and any action on their part to dishonor such achievement must, and will be, addressed. Although abundant, “talent alone is not sufficient to build a competitive music industry.” Effective business organization requires entrepreneurs, intellectual property protection, access to financing, education, training, new technology, and the expertise of the private and public sectors.
Today, negativity surrounding Dancehall artists who endorse homosexual violence or degrade women has marked a decline in creative talent. The positive message of 70s and 80s Reggae is being overshadowed by the recent era of negative lyrics. Citing Bible passages as the reason for this rhetoric is narrow-minded and selective. Unfortunately, this phenom has left Jamaica, where fans may enjoy or encourage such talk, and travelled abroad where large numbers of fans – gay or not – find the content offensive. Dancehall artists who endorse or participate in ‘gay bashing’ are bringing great global harm to Reggae’s reputation and 40-year history. How will it stop? Education. Opportunity. Cooperation. Action. Addressing this problem is the beginning of a solution. Get up, stand up. To plan for Reggae’s future, we must first believe in Reggae’s future.
M. Peggy Quattro
ReggaeReport.com & Reggae Report Publisher
June 5, 2008