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Pon Di Wire: Mavado’s Troubled Tour, Rocksteady Films, Jah Cure’s New Album

Black Entertainment Television (BET) will film a benefit concert for Team Jamaica Bickle, an organization that supports aspiring Jamaican athletes. The “Team Jamaica on the Road to Beijing” reggae charity concert will take place at Brooklyn College on April 20, and feature Richie Stephens, Etana, Duane Stephenson, and Jamaican sports legend Donald Quarrie. Proceeds from the concert will provide athletes with tuition, scholarships, and travel expenses to events such as the Penn Relays.

British police canceled Alliance members Bounty Killer and Mavado’s show in Hockley, U.K., after receiving “a credible security threat.” According to One876.com, West Midlands Police said, "The event should not go ahead due to specific and credible information received by police, which raised concerns for public safety." Cries of bias have been raised as the event promoters, Birmingham-based Luv One Luv All Promotions, had been forced to implement special security arrangements included walk-through metal detectors, a retinue of 30 security guards, and specially trained dogs.

A new film will shine light on Jamaica’s short but song-rich late '60s and early '70s rocksteady music era. The feature, Get Rock to Rocksteady: the Roots of Reggae, is two years in the making, according to line producer Robert Boulos. In addition to filming, the project will reunite artists for a recording session and concert. Participating artists include foreign-based singers Dawn Penn and Hopeton Lewis, along with bandleader Lynn Taitt. They’ll join Jamaica-based veterans Ken Boothe, Judy Mowatt, Strangejah Cole, Derrick Morgan, Leroy Sibbles, Marcia Griffiths, Scully Simms, The Tamlins, U-Roy, and many others for the film and album. Boulos told the Gleaner that the film had to be done now as "all these guys are getting older by the minute, they’re very frail so we have to do it now. This could be their legacy."

A busy Jah Cure is finalizing his summer plans, which include a European tour and new album. Cure is putting the finishing touches on Jah The Universal Cure, scheduled for a July release on SOBE/Entertainment. The album features Lil Wayne, Akon, and Sean Paul. Cure’s new single with Junior Reid, “Hot Long Time,” is out now. A new video is being shot for Cure’s tune, “Green Grass,” on the Mission Riddim, produced by Baby G, while a Euro tour in June will see dates in Germany, Holland, Portugal, Sweden, and Denmark.

Shanachie Entertainment will release The Rockers Story: The Mystic World Of Augustus Pablo, a four-CD plus DVD box set with a 20-page booklet that includes commentary from Jamaican, British, and American writers, plus some rare photos. The four discs cover Augustus Pablo’s original works and productions for other artists, including Junior Delgado, Jacob Miller, Hugh Mundell, Earl 16, plus collaborations with Lee “Scratch” Perry and Vivian “Yabba You” Jackson. The DVD represents Pablo’s first official concert performance footage, featuring live appearances in Japan and previously unreleased material shot in Jamaica by Jerry Stein and Jeff Roth, producers of the documentary Word Sound Power.

Sound clash veteran and radio DJ David Rodigan, BBC 1Xtra’s Robbo Ranx, reggae journalist John Masouri, Choice FM’s Daddy Ernie, and others debate reggae’s future viability in a recent article published at United Reggae. O’Neil Bryan, better known as Elephant Man, commented, “The happy music is what people are missing. I think the dancehall has become too serious and I think people wanna dance again and have fun. We need to take it back to the happy side, because whenever dancehall is happy, that’s when our music goes places.”

ReggaeDubwise is a new reggae music online social network. Intended for artists, producers, labels, and fans of reggae, dub, dancehall, and roots music, the site features unlimited bandwith and storage space for music and videos, streaming music, and radio stations. It also features a forum with in-depth music business and production categories.

A couple of noteworthy international reggae festivals include: the 23rd annual Summer Jam July 4-6 in Cologne, Germany featuring Alborosie, Jah Cure, Beres Hammond, Ken Boothe, Buju Banton, Ce'Cile, Kymani Marley, Andrew Tosh, Lady Saw, Queen Ifrica, Shaggy, Tarrus Riley and more. Also, in the eastern African nation Kenya, the Europa Africa Connection music event takes place in Ginbot May 16–June 6 and features a host of Africa’s brightest reggae stars.

Damien “Jr. Gong” Marley’s video for “One Loaf of Bread” on the Gang War riddim was shot by Jason Goldwatch and features footage from a four-day trek from Haiti all the way back to the Marley’s studio in Florida.

Rhona Fox’s Top Ten Caribbean Videos
Watch them at Muzik Media

1. Mykal Rose “Shoot Out Remix” feat Damian Marley
2. Gyptian “Feel Your Pain”
3. Rihanna “Please Don't Stop The Music”
4. Mavado “Last Night”
5. Shaggy “What's Love
6. D'angel “Blaze”
7. Demarco “Fallen Soldier”
8. Jadine “Don't Call My Phone”
9. Peter Ram “Woman By My Side”
10. Brick & Lace “Love Is Wicked”

Pictured (from left): Jah Cure and Mavado. Photo of Mavado by Martei Korley.

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