Reggae Label Trojan Records Details 50th Anniversary Releases

May 20th, 2018

Founded in 1968 by Lee Gopthal and Chris Blackwell, two Jamaican ex-pats living in London, Trojan helped introduce an array of reggae artists to mainstream audiences. The label’s catalog includes music from Lee "Scratch" Perry, Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, the Pioneers and the Maytalls, while its Upsetter imprint was responsible for releasing much of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ music in the U.K.

Trojan’s upcoming 50th anniversary release itinerary includes the three-disc Ska and Reggae Classics collection (out May 25th), the two-CD sets This is Trojan Roots and This is Trojan Dub (June 22nd) and the coffee table book, The Story of Trojan Records (July 5th). Laurence Cane-Honeysett wrote the The Story of Trojan Records (he previously chronicled the label in his 2003 book, Young, Gifted and Black), which also contains illustrations, photographs, record sleeves and other previously unseen archival material.

via Reggae Label Trojan Records Details 50th Anniversary Releases – Rolling Stone.

What to Do (and Wear) in Jamaica’s Coolest Beach Town

May 20th, 2018

Negril — a laid-back Jamaican coastal town — has everything you’d want from an idyllic island getaway.

There are long stretches of sandy beach lined with restaurants, bars, and vibrant street vendors; cliffside hotels and restaurants overlooking glittering Caribbean waters; and, of course, Bob Marley’s greatest hits playing around every corner.

Whether you’re looking for a weekend of romance or partying, Negril can offer both.

Below, we round up the best things to do and what to wear for a perfect weekend in Jamaica’s coolest beach town.

via What to Do (and Wear) in Jamaica’s Coolest Beach Town.

7 Jamaicans Who Ultimately Defined Reggae Music

April 29th, 2018

Reggae was originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The first popular song to officially use the word "reggae" was "Do the Reggay", a 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals, thus giving the name to the genre and introducing it to a much wider global audience. As a matter of fact, the term reggae denotes a particular style of music that was strongly influenced by both traditional Jamaican folk music, as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues, especially the New Orleans R&B practiced by Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint. Reggae’s predecessors are the earlier genres like ska and rocksteady, both originated in Jamaica in the 1950′s and the early 1960′s, respectively.

Over the decades that followed, reggae has spread to every corner of the planet, evolving, incorporating local instruments and fusing with other musical genres and cultures. But whatever it be, it’s Jamaica that forever shall remain the homeland and the birthplace of a great number of unique and highly talented voices and performers within the genre.

In this feature article, we would like to invite you for a soulful and leisurely ride on the quiet waves of the ultimate and authentic Jamaican reggae vibes.Worth to mention that the artists below are arranged in no particular order for each of them are authentic and unique in their own way.

via 7 Jamaicans Who Ultimately Defined Reggae Music.

How St. Pete’s Reggae Rise Up festival became one of the biggest in the country

March 18th, 2018

When you think reggae music, one city naturally comes to mind: Salt Lake City, Utah.No, seriously, it makes sense if you think about it, said Vaughn Carrick."It really kind of fits," said the 33-year-old founder of the Reggae Rise Up festival. "In lieu of the surfers, we have the snow and the snowboarders.

Being outdoorsy really fits well with the culture and the demographic out there."It also fits in well in St. Petersburg. This weekend, Reggae Rise Up will stage its fourth local festival in Vinoy Park, expanding for the first time to three days, and expecting up to 10,000 fans daily. If it’s not already the largest reggae and reggae-rock festival east of the Mississippi, Carrick believes it soon will be.

via How St. Pete’s Reggae Rise Up festival became one of the biggest in the country.

Ibo Cooper dreams of cash-rich Reggae Month

February 4th, 2018

Ibo Cooper said that he is longing for the day when Reggae Month will bring about the kind of buzz that could boost the country’s economy in a significant way."I’m dreaming of a Reggae Month where thousands of visitors flock the island to participate in the different activities, where every gas station run outta gas because dem burn out in carrying people around the place," he said."I want you to envision a Reggae Month when all the jerk chicken sell off and everybody a lick dem finger … , the jerk chicken man and Mr CB, and everybody else. Unless we have vision, we perish, and I want us to realise that this is where we want to go," he added.

via Ibo Cooper dreams of cash-rich Reggae Month.

Lee “Scratch” Perry at the Ground Miami January 13

January 8th, 2018

Most Americans might not be aware of him, but Jamaican producer Lee “Scratch” Perry may be the most influential musical artist alive. Whether it’s seen through the iconoclastic, no-fucks-given punk ethos of the Clash, the tripped-up, spaced-out sounds of the first Gorillaz record, or in the sonic adventurousness of electronic artists like the Orb – themselves Perry collaborators – Perry’s legacy can be glimpsed across the musical spectrum. On January 13, Miami audiences will have the opportunity to catch him live and in the flesh at the Ground.

Having collaborated with such foundational reggae artists as Bob Marley & the Wailers and Max Romeo, Perry is widely regarded as one of the chief architects of both reggae and dub music. The latter genre, commonly understood to be atmospheric, instrumental-heavy music with extended running times, has grown far beyond its initial Jamaican roots and is now readily associated with musical experimentation in any and all forms. If your favorite track has a longer, more rhythm-oriented version with prolonged instrumental freak-outs, it’s likely considered a dub version. And in Miami, an international city where rhythmic dance music and club culture reign supreme, the extended instrumental is a fact of everyday musical life, something we all have the innovations of Perry to thank for.

via Lee "Scratch" Perry at the Ground Miami January 13.

How Marcia Griffiths’ ‘Naturally’ Made Her Jamaica’s First Lady Of Song

December 3rd, 2017

Walls of huge speakers delineate the outdoor dancefloor, the warmth of the air matched by the warmth of the bass: This is a Jamaican soundsystem dance. One of the best things to hear at one of these events is the powerful, smooth sound of Marcia Llyneth Griffiths’s voice floating over the rhythms.

Hers is a voice that can be trusted, relied on; powerful, experienced and wise, but with such pure tone. It feels like it wraps itself around you, reassuring you that everything will really, truly be all right.

via How Marcia Griffiths' 'Naturally' Made Her Jamaica's First Lady Of Song.

Reggae in Taiwan: Jamaican dancehall icon Sister Nancy makes a visit to the island

December 3rd, 2017

Taiwan may not be the first place people think of when they think of reggae music, but the genre appears to be gaining popularity slowly and steadily across the island.

The community of reggae music lovers may be small, but it is growing, and the island geography and laid-back atmosphere of Taiwan, which are reminiscent of Reggae’s birthplace Jamaica, make it a perfect place for the seeds of reggae music to be planted.

In fact, they were planted long ago, and are now bearing some excellent fruit.

via Reggae in Taiwan: Jamaican dancehall icon Sister Nancy makes a visit to the island.

Reggae, dancehall and the culture of violence

December 3rd, 2017

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Ninjaman, dubbed as the Gold Teeth Don Gargan of dancehall, will not be celebrating a Merry Christmas in 2017.A seven-person jury found Desmond “Ninjaman” Ballentine; his son, Jahneil Ballentine, and a friend, Dennis Clayton, guilty of the murder of Ricardo Johnson, and they will be sentenced on December 15, 2017 more than likely to life imprisonment with not much of a possibility for parole.

Ninjaman was born on June 20, 1966 in Annotto Bay, St Mary, and migrated to Kingston as a teenager. As he has specified in his dancehall lyrics, he grew up on Marl Road and, paradoxically, that’s where the murder took place in March 2009. He was locked up for three years, then given bail and was re-jailed when the murder trial commenced in 2017. Who the court designated as ‘Witness A’ provided the damaging testimony as that ‘Witness A’ was at the scene of the crime.

via Reggae, dancehall and the culture of violence.

Jamaican cuisine comes to Okemos

September 24th, 2017

There’s a picture on the wall of Louise Bennett. 

Not Bob Marley. Louise Bennett, a Jamaican poet and folklorist.

"She is the first iconic female to take the language of Jamaica global," Shawn Fearon said. "She paved the way for Bob Marley.

I have a soft spot in my heart for females, because I grew up with a single mom. I appreciate talented, hardworking women."

The art on the walls, which shows Jamaica’s Blue Mountain, Dunn’s River Falls, a bobsled team, cricket and the Reggae Boys tells a story of Jamaica, he says.

via Jamaican cuisine comes to Okemos.