Monthly Archives: May 2008

AllSpice Reggae 114 features Baby Cham and Everton Blender

Reggae superstars Baby Cham and Everton Blender are the special guests this Friday on ALLSPICE REGGAE hosted by DJ Common Sensi. The ALLSPICE REGGAE shows airs every Friday on Slamming Dancehall station. Cham has been blowing up hot dancehall tracks since the late 90’s. His latest smash hits include “What U Think The Police Can Do,” “Possess (Silver Screen Riddim),” and let’s not forget the bombshell “Ghetto Story (Eighty Five Riddim)” The reggae veteran Everton Blender is a world class superstar with a long track record of recording success. So of Blender’s smash hits include “Piece Of The Blender,” “Blow Your Nose,” “Blend Dem,” “Create A Sound” and many more. Do not miss this exclusive interview and feature with Cham and Everton Blender his Friday! ONE LOVE

About CHAM:

There are a million stories in the ghetto. And yet there’s only one “Ghetto Story.” And like the song says, it’s a survival story.

In Jamaica’s ultra-competitive music scene, stars are born every day and fade away just as fast. But ever since the mid 1990s, Baby Cham has represented the best of cutting-edge dancehall reggae. His every release seems to bring forth new sounds, new slang, and up-to-the minute ghetto news reports guaranteed to “bust the dance.” Spelled with a C (like champagne), Cham should not be confused with any Flipmode Squad affiliate, although he has been known to bust a rhyme from time to time. With his athletic good looks, his booming baritone voice, and a catalog of hits that won’t quit, Cham has managed to stay ahead of the times for longer than any other DJ in the game. And with the release of his long-awaited album Ghetto Story, Cham’s poised to take dancehall to another level all over again.

Find out more here.

About Everton Blender :

One of the few Jamaican singers to truly bridge the gap between the roots and dancehall reggae styles is the man known as Everton “Blender.” When reggae fans hear the opening notes of “Lift Up Your Head,” “Ghetto People Song,” “Blend Dem,” etc., they instantly recognize these songs as the cultural anthems of our time. The large number of hits Everton has accrued is most impressive for an artist who has been in the business for such a seemingly short period of time. But like many of Jamaica’s biggest musical stars, the road to fame wasn’t a short or easy one.

Everton Williams was born in the parish of Clarendon, Jamaica, but grew up in Kingston 13 on Maxfield Avenue. Everton worked as a painter, construction worker, and decorator, but he realized that the strong chemicals he was working with were not good for his voice or his health in general. With divine help and direction, he decided to leave his job to pursue a singing career. In 1980, he met Phyllis Thompson (who would later become his wife), and moved back to Clarendon. In 1985, Everton and Phyllis’ first child, Isha, was born.

Find out more here.



International Reggae Day Celebrates Do The Reggae 40th Anniversary

International Reggae Day 2008 celebrates the 40th anniversary of Reggae music with a new vision for the global Reggae party and a renewed commitment to promoting quality Jamaican music and culture internationally. 

IRD will join the one year celebration to commemorate the 1968 Toots and the Maytals’ recording of Do the Reggaey produced by Leslie Kong and released on Beverly’s Records which has been credited for giving “Reggae” its name.

Reggae icon Toots and the Maytals kicked off the first leg of his Do the Reggae World Tour last month celebrating the 40th anniversary recording of Do the Reggae.  The initial North American leg of the tour included sold out dates in New York’s BB Kings and Cleveland’s House of Blues.   Bookings are being finalized for the European and return North American legs which will run throughout the fall.

International Reggae Day Festival will also commemorate Reggae’s 40th as marked by the milestone recording, with a special IRD Do the Reggae concert performance of Toots and the Maytals in Europe to be viewed via the festival’s website to anchor this year’s virtual reggae party on July 1.

Considered one of Jamaican music’s greatest living legends and an internationally respected music innovator and performer, Toots & the Maytals has proven over time, to be one of the most prolific talents to ever emerge from Jamaica having contributed significantly over the last 40 years to the growth of Reggae as a genre and internationally as a global phenomenon.

A special re-recording of the song produced by Toots and released on on July 1 on his newly established Toots Foundation as part of this year’s virtual media celebrations.

Conceptualized as a global media party hosted by Jamaica, celebrating the impact of Reggae internationally, the International Reggae Day Festival combines the power of the music, media and technology to increase positive global interest in Jamaica’s #1 export – Reggae music.

A network of local and international media will be invited to participate in the virtual media celebration by broadcasting and publishing programme and editorial specials as media hosts on July 1 to celebrate IRD and represent their market in this global reggae brand party. 

For additional information, production assistance and photos or music please contact 846-0754 or

1 Abbeydale Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica, W.I.
JA Tel:  876-969-6551           JA Cell: 876-846-0754 or 832-9864         US Tel:  954-246-3762
Email:  .  Websites:\jahReggaeday  .   www.inter

Caribbean Fashion Rocks Delivers with Style and Flare

Jamaica, NY – Caribbean Fashion Rocks; a first of its kind affair of hair, fashion and style, delivered the best and brightest of up and coming talent in Caribbean designers and stylists to showcase at the Mangoville nightclub in Jamaica, NY Sunday, April 27. It was truly an impressive showing, as styles from Jamaica, Trinidad, St. Kitts and Grenada wowed the capacity crowd at Mangoville.

The event bore a tone of relevance similar to the Ebony Fashion Fair, which was originally conceived in response to the lack of opportunities and outlets afforded to designers and models of color. “There’s so much creativity in the Caribbean world, but they just don’t have the outlet to express it, so this is their outlet,” said event organizer and co-promoter Syn Dawkins of Social Eyes Entertainment. “My show is to give them an outlet to showcase the best of what they do.”

Some 15 designers took part in the showcase, presenting daring styles very much in tune with the signature flavor of the Caribbean. “We actually turned back designers, so there are about 20 designers just as fabulous as the ones showcased tonight,” said Irie Jams Media CEO and event co-promoter Robert “Bobby” Clarke.

Designs from veteran Michael Gillings, Anthony Eastwick and VP Records’ Riddim Driven Clothing stood out as audience favorites.
Yet, while fashion and style reigned supreme, the evening also provided a welcome retreat from the tensions surrounding the Sean Bell verdict, where the officers responsible for killing the unarmed Bell were fully acquitted of all criminal charges. Host DJ Roy took a moment to address the issue, reminding all in attendance to remember the Bell family as well as that of Amadou Diallo, the West African immigrant whose case is eerily similar to that of Sean Bell, in that he was unarmed and also killed in a hail of 41 bullets by four NYPD officers who were ultimately fully acquitted.

At the evening’s end, organizers and participants agreed that the presence of Caribbean Fashion Rocks’ presence in the community was the icing on a well-decorated cake. “Our mission at Irie Jam is to ensure that the world sees great Caribbean talent wherever it is from music, culture fashion and food. It feels great for us to see our visions manifested tonight,” said Clarke.

With 15 years of event planning behind them, Irie Jam Media has made successful strides in the community with such events as the Reebok Grand Prix, which in association with Reebok, gives up to 15,000 locals the opportunity to watch track and field talent from around the world compete at Randall Island. Other events include ‘Yam Jam’, an international food festival and ‘Irie Jamboree’, a marquee reggae music event entering its sixth year, which attracts some 30,000 patrons each year.

The success of Caribbean Fashion Rocks showcase already has Irie Jam Media organizers considering the possibility launching similar events in other cities with strong Caribbean markets. Clarke expressed his delight with the turnout of event’s and the potential to expand, adding, “We’re looking to build and expose real Caribbean talent from the ground up into mainstream American, European and Asian markets. This was our first test project, and we’re happy with the results.”

Victor “VI” Kakulu
freelance journalist/photographer
617-412-7508 (mobile)
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Get Ready for Reggae Sumfest 2008

NEW YORK, NY (RHONA FOX, INC.) – “Reggae Sumfest 2008 is definitely on for July 13-19, and will once again set standards as the greatest reggae show on earth”, announced Johnny Gourzong, executive director of the festival.

2008 will mark the 16th presentation of the festival and, by all accounts, it’s shaping up to be another first-class event.  As usual, the festival will kick off with the beach party at Tropical Beach on Sunday, July 13, featuring top sound systems. On Thursday, July 17, top dancehall performers will energize the full capacity crowd, while Friday and Saturday will continue the tradition of offering the finest reggae singers and bands, alongside top international stars.

Dicigel, Ocean Spray and Air Jamaica, the JTB and VP Records have once again signed on as major sponsors of the event while for the first time, Supreme Ventures has signed on as a Silver sponsor, Red Bull has come on board as a Gold sponsor and Jamrock Magazine as a Platinum sponsor.  Negotiations are underway with several other companies who have expressed interest in supporting the event. Media support is once again very strong with CVM on board as the official TV station, Irie FM as the official radio, and the Jamaica Observer as Official newspaper.  In addition FAME, HYPE TV, RE TV, TVJ, Linkz FM, ZIP FM, Vybz FM, Megajamz, Buzz Magazine, Jamaican Lifestyle and, have added their support to the event.

After a seven-year stint as title sponsor, Red Stripe has taken the decision not to renew their title sponsorship for 2008.  Organizers Summerfest Productions report that while Red Stripe’s contribution was significant and they will miss working with the company on Sumfest it will in no way deter the festival. They believe in the importance of Reggae Sumfest as a national event that contributes in a large way to the overall economy and are determined to make Reggae Sumfest 2008 a big success with the help of their current sponsors.

The line-up for Reggae Sumfest this year promises to be excellent. While not all contracts have yet been signed, a peek at the wish list for the festival revealed that the local line up promises to be as strong as ever.  A long list of artists are being targeted, including Beres Hammond, Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Sizzla, Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, Mavado, Busy Signal, Jah Cure, Richie Spice, Macka Diamond, Brick & Lace, Tami Chynn, Erup, Queen I-Frica, Etana, Tarrus Riley, Anthony B, Voicemail, Vybz Cartel, Demarco, Courtney John, and Harry Toddler.  No clues were revealed for the international acts, however, it was hinted that negotiations were ongoing with some very ‘big names’.

So while there have been some rumblings in the music concert arena, Reggae Sumfest 2008 promises to once again surpass the standards set in previous years.

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Machel Montano Top Winner At 27th IRAWMA

(New York, NY) – May 5, 2008, – International Soca Ambassador Machel Montano, took home top honors at the prestigious 27th Annual International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) held on May 4, 2008 at the World-Famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. Machel won “Entertainer of the Year”, “Best Calypso/Soca Entertainer” and “Most Outstanding Stage Personality”.
Top IRAWMA nominee Tarrus Riley, took home trophies for “Best Male Vocalist” and “Best Song-She is Royal”, while “Best Recording Artist” and “Best Male DJ/Rapper” titles went to Beenie Man. The Marley brothers, Stephen, Ky-Mani and Ziggy, sons of Reggae legend Bob Marley received IRAMWA nods. Stephen for “Best CD for “Mind Control” and “Songwriter of the Year”; Ky-Mani for “Producer’s Respect Award” and “Most Promising Entertainer”; and Ziggy received the “Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award” for charitable efforts through his URGE organization. In addition, first-time IRAWMA nominee Sean Kingston earned two IRAWMA’s for “Best New Entertainer” and “Best Crossover Song- Beautiful Girls”.

International singer Billy Ocean(“Caribbean Queen”); Gospel artist Claudelle Clarke; pioneering recording engineer Errol Brown(Bob Marley) and UK Rock Steady crooner Winston Francis(“California Dreamin”) were inducted into the IRAWMA Hall of Fame. Ziggy Marley and Jay Z each received the Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award for their charitable efforts. The Producer’s “Respect” Award went to Ky-Mani Marley. Herman Hall, publisher of Everybody’s Magazine; songstress Winsome Benjamin and Karl Rodney, publisher of Carib News each received the Award of Appreciation. Reggae legends Freddie McGregor and Dwight Pinkney, each took home the Award of Honor trophy.

International reggae superstar Shaggy tore the house down with the most outstanding performance of the night. Backed by Dean Fraser and the All-Stars, which includes members of Shaggy’s own band, Ky-Mani Marley floored the crowd with a memorable rendition of “Turn the Light’s Down Low”. Dancehall queens Macka Diamond, Ce’Cile, and D’Angel spiced up the night with their colorful, energy-packed songs while Etana and Jadine “The Soca Deva” each upheld the stage with electrifying sets. Other crowd-roaring performances were given by Tarrus Riley, Junior Reid, and Mutabaruka. The grand finale wrapped up the night with a full stage of nominees, performers, and fans crooning Bob Marley’s “One Love” and rocking to calypso song “Hot Hot Hot” with Machel Montano grabbing the mic to lead the crowd.

Entertainers walking the red carpet included: Grammy-winner Shaggy; stage and television actress Janet Hubert(“Fresh Prince of Bel Air”); Ky-Mani Marley, Tarrus Riley, Etana, Machel Montano, Macka Diamond, Lady G, Dean Fraser, D’Angel, Mutabaruka, Ce’Cile, Junior Reid, Shelia Hylton, Dwight Pickney, Camille McDonald among others.  In addition, Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, CD, Illinois Appellate Court Judge, Shelvin Louise Marie Hall and her sister, New York State Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Hall were also in attendance.
Each year, Reggae and World Music industry experts select the nominees for the IRAWMA. Ballots are made available online and at various newspapers, restaurants and record stores. Afterward music fans across the globe have the opportunity to vote for the winners. “One reason, the IRAWMA award is such a coveted trophy, is that winners are selected by Reggae and World music fans around the world,” says Ephraim Martin, founder and president of the IRAWMA.

Other winners included: Etana, “Best Female Vocalist”; Beenie Man, “Best Male/DJ Rapper”; Don Omar, “Best Reggaeton Entertainer”; Papa Wembe, “Best Soukous Entertainer”; the late Lucky Dube, “Best African Entertainer”; Shaggy, “Best Music Video for Church Heathen”; Mutabaruka, “Best Poet”; Buju Banton, “Most Educational Entertainer”; Freddie McGregor, “Most Consistent Entertainer”; Junior Reid, “Most Improved Entertainer”, among others. See attached “Winners List”. 

Sponsors for the event included:  American Airlines, Carib News, JAMROCK Magazine/LinkUp Media, Carib News, Sam’s Caribbean Market Place/, Dr. Roland Rose-Ace Medical, Dennis Shipping, Atlas Vacations, Transcontinental Shippers, CVM-TV, D. Wilshire Tux Rental & Limousine Service, Keeling Records, J & L Tax Consultants, NY Liberty Star Newspaper, Street Hype Newspaper, SARFM Radio, Ideal Health – Toni Haynes, Uptown Juice Bar, Baba Roots-USA, Eye Collection Clothing, Dalhouse Productions, Bennett Bridal/Platinum World Class Limousine, American Academy of Physician Assistants, d. Wilshire Tux rental and Limo, WP 88.7 FM and Sam Ash Music Stores.

 WINNERS OF THE 27TH INTERNATIONAL REGGAE & WORLD MUSIC AWARDS (IRAWMA) A Martin’s International & Associates, LLC Event / Held at the Apollo Theater in NYC on May 04, 2008

1. Entertainer of the Year – Machel Montano
2. Recording Artist of the Year – Beenie Man
3. Best Male Vocalist – Tarrus Riley
4. Best Female Vocalist – Etana
5. Best Song – “She Is Royal”- Tarrus Riley
6. Best CD – “Mind Control”- Stephen Marley
7. Best Crossover Song – “Beautiful Girls”- Sean Kingston
8. Best Gospel Song – “Lava Ground”- Prodigal Son
9. Best Female D.J./Rapper – Queen Ifrika
10. Best Male D.J./Rapper – Beenie Man 
11. Best New Entertainer – Sean Kingston
12. Best Calypso/Soca Entertainer – Machel Montano
13. Best Reggaeton Entertainer – Don Omar
14. Best Latin Entertainer- Marc Anthony  
15. Best Compas Entertainer – Carimi
16. Best African Entertainer – Lucky Dube- Post Humous  
17. Best Soukous Entertainer- Papa Wembe 
18. Best Hip Hop/R&B Entertainer- Rihanna
19. Award for Outstanding Contribution to World Music – King Sunny Ade 
20. Most Outstanding Stage Personality – Machel Montano
21. Best Music Video – Shaggy “Church Heathen”
22. Best Poet- Mutabaruka
23. Most Educational Entertainer – Buju Banton
24. Most Outstanding Show Band– Morgan Heritage 
25. Most Consistent Entertainer – Freddie McGregor
26. Most Promising Entertainer – Ky-Mani Marley
27. Most Improved Entertainer – Junior Reid
28. Best Instrumentalist – Dean Fraser
29. Best Backing Band – Live Wyya
30. Most Popular Selector – Mighty Crown
31. Concert of the Year –- Reggae Sumfest
32. Promoter of the Year – Sumfest Production
33. Producer of the Year – Stephen McGregor
34. Songwriter of the Year – Stephen Marley
35. Selassie I Award for Spiritual Service through Music – Tony Rebel
36. Community Service Award – Capleton                                                                                                          
37. Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award- (a) Ziggy Marley, (b) Jay-Z
38. IRAWMA Hall of Fame– Inducted May 4, 2008- (a) Billy Ocean, (b) Claudelle Clarke, (c) Errol Brown, (d) Winston Francis
39. Martin’s International Award of Honor- Given May 4, 2008- (a) Freddy McGregor, (b) Dwight Pinkney
40.  Producer’s “Respect” Award- Given May 4, 2008– Ky-Mani Marley
41. Awards of Appreciation for Contributions to the Music Industry- (a) Herman Hall- Everybody’s Magazine, (b) Winsome Benjamin- Entertainer, (c) Karl Rodney- Carib News

Martin’s International & Associates   Debbie Bass                          Anthony Turner                                    Rhona Fox                                  
Chicago: 312/427-0266                         Chicago: 312/427-0266         New York: 845/206-5906                  New York: 212-300-3813