Miami’s Transatlantic Reggae Fest

Miami’s 6th Annual Trans-Atlantic Festival Rocks!

Jamaica’s Rootz Underground and France’s Babylon Circus
Deliver High-Energy Roots Ska Reggae

By M. Peggy Quattro
Photos Lynn Dearing

April 27, 2008 – Miami, FL – The award-winning 20-year-old Rhythm Foundation once again presented the best in music from genres not normally visited in South Florida. Known for showcasing music from Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe, the Rhythm Foundation and Heineken delivered a knockout show at the oceanfront North Beach Band Shell on Sat., April 26, 2008. The vintage deco amphitheater was over-flowing with the type of jubilant and gyrating fan every promoter and band hopes to entertain.

France’s Reggae/Rock/Ska Babylon Circus

Following an energetic welcome from Kulcha Shok’s Lance O, the stage was transformed into a gypsy circus when Babylon Circus, the virtually unknown-in-the-US, 10-piece Ska/Rock/Dancehall/Reggae/Jazz/Swing ensemble, took musical control. When the wicked Dancehall strains of “Get Outta Control” were unleashed, that’s exactly what the crowd decided to do. With blazing horns and rock hard bass and drums, the front of the stage filled with lively dancing newly-found fans. Continue reading

Mother Booker Goes Home to Zion

Mother B Goes Home to Zion

April 9, 2008  – It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Cedella Marley Booker, in the late evening hours of April 8, 2008, of natural causes. Bob Marley’s mother, affectionately known as Mother B, was 81 years old. The matriarch of the Marley clan was deeply loved by family, friends, and people around the world who never had the opportunity or blessing to meet her.

Mother B was a wise and strong woman, spiritually grounded in Rastafari. She was a talented singer who basked in the glory of seeing her talented children and grandchildren continue the legacy of her first-born son, Robert Nesta Marley. She filled our world with song, humor, and wisdom. May her spirit guide all those who love her, and those dedicated family members who stood by her, stood for her, and were at her side when she flew away, home to Zion. Joyously reunited with her sons Nesta and Anthony, Mother B’s laughter and wisdom will be sadly missed by those of us remaining in this world. Our condolences go to her son Richard Booker and wife, Sharien, and to daughter Claudette (Pearl) Livingston. Selah.

NEWS! A Tribute to Mother Booker will be held inside the Garden House at Fairchild Tropical Garden on Tues., April 15, from 7 to 10 PM. The beautiful Fairchild, which Ms B. loved to visit, is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, in south Miami. Watch here for more details. Later that week, Ms. B will be taken home to Nine Mile, Jamaica, the place where she was born, and laid to rest with her sons, Robert Nesta Marley and Anthony Booker. Our loss is Zion’s gain…

I will be putting my many interviews with Mother B on the site shortly, as well as a tribute article. She will be honored and recognized for her contribution to humanity, and the memorial tribute will be filled with music and song, video from her life and many travels, praises to Rastafari, and fond recollections of how she touched so many lives with her wisdom, faith, and courage. A joyous event to celebrate her life — she will smile her huge infectious smile ‘pon dat because Mother B always loved a fun-filled, music-filled party! Movement of Jah people, indeed!

Miami’s 15th Caribbean Music Fest 2008

Miami’s 15th Annual Caribbean Fest a Massive Success!

By M. Peggy Quattro

One of South Florida’s longest running festivals, the Caribbean Fest, formerly known as the Bob Marley Fest, was presented by Mother B’s Movement of Jah People and 103.5-The Beat. New name, but the vibe is still the same. South Florida’s massive still turned out by the tens of thousands to donate cans of food for non-profit group Farmshare, shop the vendors, enjoy Caribbean food, and be entertained by the top names in Reggae, concluding with an always entertaining set by the Marley brothers.

Capleton brought fire to the Miami Fest Photo Jan Salzman

This year featured Stephen, Damian, Julian, and Ky-mani Marley. Additional performances included Dancehall’s Capleton, Roots singer Richie Spice, Germany’s Gentleman and The Far East Band, DJ Junior Demus, Arkansas-based Rasta Joseph Israel, and newcomer Javaughn.
Continue reading

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

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