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

IRIE-FM Favorite Award Winners 2008

The IRIE-FM AWARDS Honors the Listeners’ Favorites for 2007

February 18, 2008 – Ocho Rios, JA – IRIE-FM, the premier Ocho Rios-based Reggae radio station, held its second in-studio awards presentation on Wed. Feb. 13, 2008. The entertaining and informative show had fans glued to their radio for three hours as winners, some surprises – some not – were announced in several tight-knit races.

While Irie-FM radio personalities Elise Kelly, Kshema Francis, and DJ Bones hosted the proceedings, panelists Dr. Sonjah Stanley-Niaah, a UWI lecturer, and Copeland Forbes, veteran tour manager and consultant, offered win-by-win comments and opinions. Voting was done by Irie-FM and sister ZIP 103-FM DJs, while the audited ballots were counted by JFM President Desi Young. In a review by writer Basil Walters in the Jamaica Observer, it was noted that it was the women in Reggae who dominated this year’s awards, while displaying the remarkable ability “to reinvent themselves.” Continue reading

Ziggy and Angelique Kidjo at NAACP Awards 2008

ZIGGY MARLEY PERFORMS WITH ANGELIQUE KIDJO AT NAACP AWARDS

by M. Peggy Quattro

A highlight of the well-produced NAACP Image Awards held Feb. 14, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA, was the tribute to actress/activist and Lifetime Achievement Award winner Ruby Dee.

Angelique with Ziggy and Jay Leno at the Tonight Show

Performing “Sedjedo” from her Grammy-winning CD Djin Djin, the blonde-haired Benin-born Angelique Kidjo delivered a high-spirited and powerful performance. The diminutive world-renown star was dressed in a black tuxedo-style suit while her band was dressed in traditional African attire. High-heeled boots did not deter the World Music veteran from dancing exuberantly to the drum-fueled rhythm.

Joining her on stage, and featured on her latest CD, Ziggy Marley performed flawlessly alongside the lively Kidjo. Sung in Kidjo’s native Beninese, while bouncing on the Gogbahoun riddim, the ever-smiling comfortable-in-jeans Ziggy contributed by singing the English verses, perfectly connecting the music of Jamaica with the rhythm of Africa. Continue reading

MPQ Response to Solidarity Editorial 2008

In Response to the editorial “Solidarity is What We Need”

by M. Peggy Quattro
February 14, 2008

Greetings! In response to this editorial above, which was a bulletin posted on MySpace by Lloyd Stanbury, I hereby agree with several points he adeptly brings to our attention. The image of Jamaica as a corrupt and violent society is constantly being presented to the world. Every country has degrees of these elements, but the Land of Reggae, the Land of Wood and Water, the Land of One Love, has taken a turn for the worse.

Since the beginning of Dancehall in the late ‘80s, when lyrics were degrading women and praising the gun culture, the seeds of destruction were sown. Playing our part in the media, Reggae Report chose not to support or encourage this new type of performance. No where near the quality of Dennis Brown’s “Love Has Found its Way” or the driving call to “Get Up! Stand Up!,” early Dancehall artists brought in such sleaze as “Wicked Inna Bed,” calling for “Bam Bam…Lick a shot on mama-man’s head.” The media helped make performers, such as Shabba Ranks, a so-called star. What followed was an audience trained to think this was the new direction of Reggae music.

Bob Marley said it best: “You have to be careful of the type of song, and the type of vibration that you give to the people…because ‘Woe be unto they who lead my people astray.’” Continue reading

Word Sound is Power…Read the Music!