Moses Davis’ star-studded Beenie Sizzle concert, held at Jamalca Sports Complex in Clarendon, was reportedly a major success, although the namesake headliner only performed for a little over 14 minutes before the police shut the concert down, just after 6 a.m. The event also featured Vybz Kartel, Chuck Fender, Gyptian, Harry Toddler, Anthony B, Pamputtae, Stacious, and a resplendent Macka Diamond. One notable controversy was Davis’ boycott of Red Stripe beer, after the company pulled sponsorship from most of Jamaica’s larger dancehall events.
The International Caribbean Music Festival returns November 16 to Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami. After bypassing last year's concert season, festival promoter Delroy Escoffery states, "We are back with a vengeance." The nine-year old event has previously showcased artists like Sizzla, Machel, Morgan Heritage, Wayne Wonder, and Bunji Garlin. Fans can vote now for artists they wish to appear on the festival website.
Jamaican singjay Ce’Cile, whose provocative new album, Bad Gyal, is filled with sexual exploits, has the first dancehall music CD to be reviewed by the German edition of Playboy. The performer remarked to the Jamaica Observer, “It's a good feeling, who knows what will follow?"
Sicilian-born Alborosie returns to Europe for a summer tour. The singer has taken the roots reggae scene by storm with a series of universally popular singles, including the much-remixed “Kingston Town,” “Herbalist,” and “Police.” The tour includes stops in Portugal, Spain, Poland, and Italy. His new album, Soul Pirate, drops this month.
Read what notorious ex-cop and Sting concert promoter has to say about Jamaica’s most famous DJs. Isaiah Laing goes on record with the Gleaner, sharing thoughts about Supercat, Shabba, Ninja, Bounty, Beenie, Capleton, and more. He’s seen it all and more over the years at his popular holiday bash, so his words speak volumes.
Historic British reggae band Steel Pulse is on tour in August throughout the West Coast and America. Dates include August 22 at San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival, August 28 at House of Blues, Anaheim, and August 31 at House of Blues, Los Angeles.
St. Lucia roots singer Taj Weekes drops his anticipated second album, Deidem, August 12 on Jatta. On the album, the gentled-voiced vocalist–who’s been compared to Bob Marley and Garnett Silk–expresses thoughts on climate change, the crisis in Darfur, and devotes an acoustic number to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Nacional Records will release Black Uhuru: Live in London, an important DVD retrospective, on August 19. The concert features Black Uhuru’s classic original lineup of Derrick "Duckie" Simpson, Michael Rose, and Sandra "Puma" Jones backed by Sly & Robbie performing classic tracks "Shine Eye Gal," "I Love King Selassie," and "Happiness."
Stut Records' new compilation, Calypsoul 70 Caribbean & Calypso Crossover 1969-1979, is out next month and assembles vintage funky, soulful calypso, reggae, Latin, and other styles by 1970s Caribbean and Jamaican bands.
Pon Di Wire Top Ten Reggae Tracks
1. Taj Weekes & Adowa “Dark Clouds” (Jatta)
2. Morgan Heritage & Busy Signal “Run Dem Weh” (Juke Boxx)
3. K-Salaam & Beatnik feat. Trey Songz & Buju Banton “Street Life” (VP)
4. Bugle “What Goes Around” (Daseca)
5. Junior Reid “Never Let You Go” (promo download)
6. Busy Signal “Unknown Number” (VP)
7. Tarrus Riley “Marcus Teaching” (Cannon)
8. Mavado “Money Changer” (Juke Boxx)
9. Camar “She Loves The Flava” (promo download)
10. Mr. Vegas “Mus Come A Road” (Irish & Chin)