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Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

MISS JAMAICA STANDS PROUD

Fashion: “Old pirates, yes they rob I” — Bob Marley. Some Jamaicans are voicing Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” to express their ire about Miss Jamaica’s fourth-runner up position in the recent Miss Universe beauty pageant. Comment.

Yearlong birthday celebration for Third World superstar

Music: While many distinguished individuals share Black History Month to commemorate their life’s outstanding work, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., remains the singular achiever afforded a day to mark his iconic deeds. Comment.

Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015

Grandparents square-off over biracial child

Movies: When Elliot Anderson’s (Kevin Costner) wife Carol (Jennifer Ehle) perishes in a tragic car accident, he suddenly finds himself facing the prospect of raising his seven-year-old granddaughter Eloise (Jillian Estell) alone. After all, the couple had originally assumed custody from the moment their own daughter died giving birth to the little girl, since the baby’s drug-addicted father (Andre Holland) was behind bars and totally unfit to be a parent. Comment.

Monday, Jan. 26, 2015

‘Morgan Heritage’ returns to Jazz Fest

Music: The Royal Family of Reggae “Morgan Heritage” will kick off 2015 by closing down the show at the acclaimed Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival at the Trelawny Stadium, Jamaica on Jan. 31. Comment.

Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Amira & Sam (Unrated) Romantic dramedy about a returning war vet (Martin Starr) who takes a shot at stand-up comedy back in the States while dating the niece (Dina Shihabi) of his former Iraqi translator (Laith Nakli). With Paul Wesley, David Rasche, Ross Marquand and Taylor Wilcox. Comment.

Friday, Jan. 23, 2015

Lunar New Year Celebration

Arts & Theater: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 60th Anniversary Season, once again partnering with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company for its second annual Lunar New Year Celebration, on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $12.50 for children (ages 12 and under) and can be purchased at BrooklynCenter.org or by calling the box office at 718-951-4500 (Tue-Sat, 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.). Comment.

Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015

Kevin Hart, Josh Gad co-star in buddies comedy

Movies: “The Wedding Ringer” Comment.

Monday, Jan. 19, 2015

Planting Guyana for a healthy lifestyle

Food: After residing in the United States for more than 20 years, farmer Dalven Adams has returned to his homeland, Guyana, to pursue his passion for cooking with farm fresh produce from the land his family has tilled for more than 30 years. Comment.

Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Against the Sun (PG for mature themes and mild epithets) World War II survival saga recounting a trio of airmen’s (Tom Felton, Jake Abel and Garret Dillahunt) real-life ordeal in a lifeboat after ditching their plane over the Pacific Ocean. Featuring Nadia Parra. Comment.

Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015

God loves Haiti

Books: This is a very different tale of two cities. A Haiti-born writer who grew up in both Port-au-Prince and Brooklyn has published a novel featuring a character navigating the very same dual identity. First-time author Dimitry Elias Leger said his book “God Loves Haiti,” which he will read from at PowerHouse Arena in Dumbo in Jan. 22, explores the question that he and so many of his jet-setting peers have grappled with — how to stay connected to Caribbean culture after leaving their homeland. Comment.

Doo-Wop returns to Lehman Center

Music: Doo-wop is a genre of harmonizing vocals that came out of cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Newark and Detroit, et al. A music style birthed out of African American neighborhoods initially in the 1940s, Doo-wop gained popularity in the 1950s and early ‘60s, even attracting Italian groups who shared a love for the music. Comment.

Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015

Bradley Cooper stars in sharpshooter flick

Movies: Navy Seal Chris Kyle served four tours as a sniper in Iraq between 2003 and 2008. Over the course of dangerous deployments to Ramadi, Sadr City, Fallujah and other hot spots, he racked up enough kills to become the most lethal sniper in the history of the U.S. military. Comment.

Monday, Jan. 12, 2015

‘Driving the King’

Books: Everybody has that one friend… Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Escobar: Paradise Lost (Unrated) Romance thriller, set in Colombia in the summer of 1991, about a Canadian surfer dude (Josh Hutchinson) who is pressured to serve as a hit man after falling for the niece (Claudia Traisac) of drug cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar (Benicio del Toro). Support cast includes Anne Giradot, Carlos Bardem and Brady Corbet. Comment.

Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015

World Premiere of Ados at BAM

Arts & Theater: Douglas Dunn & Dancers presents the World Premiere of Aidos at Brooklyn Academy of Music, BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY, from Feb. 11-15, 2015. Performances from Wednesday to Saturday at 8:00 p.m and Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Comment.

LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO

Arts & Theater: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 60th Anniversary Season with an evening of joyous and uplifting music by South Africa’s Grammy Award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. Comment.

With kisses to Africa

Music: Implemented and created for the purpose of helping the people of Africa, “Reggae Loves Africa,” hit the airwaves and social medias, with a bang. Comment.

Friday, Jan. 9, 2015

‘Nesta’s Rock’ Musical to Rock The Rock

Music: A musical tribute to reggae icon Robert Nesta Marley is slated to run from Jan. 9 to Jan. 22 at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. Comment.

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015

US Olympian’s ordeal as brutalized POW

Movies: Do you remember how, “Infamous,” a biopic about Truman Capote, was released right on the heels of the one entitled “Capote”? But because the latter had already received considerable critical acclaim, including an Oscar for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Johnnie-come-lately had little chance of making more than a blip on the radar. Comment.

Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Beloved Sisters (Unrated) Incestuous romance drama about a couple of aristocratic siblings (Hannah Herzsprung and Henriette Confurius) who opt to share when they both fall in love with poet, philosopher and playwright Friedrich Schiller (Florian Stetter). With Claudia Messner, Ronald Zehrfeld and Maja Maranow. (In German and French with subtitles.) Comment.

Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015

CREOLE SPIRIT

Arts & Theater: UNESCO is recognizing gwoka as an integral part of Guadeloupean identity in its 2015 world heritage designations. The honor is notable because it was awarded for its intangible qualities. The designation usually is attached to site of architectural importance or natural wonders. Comment.

Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015

T&T gov’t to lease Sparrow’s keepsakes

Music: The Trinidad and Tobago government will pay calypsonian icon the Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco) TT$2 million to acquire his memorabilia. Comments (1).

Friday, Jan. 2, 2015

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Leviathan (R for profanity, sexuality and nudity) Legal drama about a humble family man (Aleksey Serebryakov) who retains the services of an attorney (Vladimir Vdovichenkov) to prevent his seaside home with a view from being seized for a pittance through eminent domain by a corrupt mayor (Roman Madyanov). Support cast includes Elena Lyadova, Anna Ukolova and Sergey Pokhodaev. (In Russian with subtitles) Comment.

Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015

Civil Rights saga revisits historic MLK March

Movies: “Selma” Comment.

Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014

Zulu drums tell history

Arts & Theater: Post-apartheid South Africa era gets a huge four-night salute at Symphony Space when “Africa Umoja: 20 Years Freedom and Democracy” tour arrives here following engagements in several U.S. cities. The musical event is slated for Jan. 6, 7, 8, and 10 at 2537 Broadway (at 95th Street) and begins at 7:00 p.m. Comment.

Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

Sankofa pupils lead pre-Kwanzaa celebration

Arts & Theater: The children of Sankofa International Academy in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, held a pre-Kwanzaa celebration for the community on Friday with a ceremony that embodied a true understanding of the Principles of Kwanzaa. Comment.

A story of action, honor, and the Wild West

Books: Everybody needs a hero in their life. Somebody to look up to. Somebody to want to be like some day, to follow and admire - perhaps a parent, maybe a grandparent or uncle. A friend or classmate might be your hero, or maybe even someone you don’t know. Comment.

Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014

Tosh estate to donate ‘Equal Rights’ revenue

Music: The estate of Jamaican reggae icon and Grammy-winning musician Peter Tosh recently announced that 10 percent of all net income collected throughout 2015, from streaming and downloads of the 1977 mega-hit Tosh released called “Equal Rights” will be donated to the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Comment.

Friday, Dec. 26, 2014

Tolkien franchise finale features Bilbo and pals in epic showdown

Movies: “The Battle of the Five Armies” is the third and closing chapter in “The Hobbit” series based on the classic fantasy novel of the same name by J.R.R. Tolkien. The film also represents the finale in the sextet of Tolkien adaptations directed by Peter Jackson also including The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Comment.

Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014

High-roller spirals out of control in mob saga

Movies: By day, Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) is an English Literature professor whose questionable teaching method involves berating his blasé students by suggesting that none of them will ever amount to anything. He reserves all his praise for the only person in the class exhibiting any promise as a writer, the brilliant and beautiful, but modest, Amy Phillips (Brie Larson). Comment.

Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014

CALYPSO QUEEN TRIBUTE

Music: Though she was barely able to walk a week before because of gout, Calypso Rose was still able to woo her audience Sunday afternoon/evening, as Brooklyn paid tribute to the woman who “broke the glass ceiling” in the calypso genre. Comments (2).

Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Barbecue (Unrated) French farce revolving around a trim and fit, diet-conscious health nut (Lambert Wilson) who decides to throw caution to the wind after suffering a heart attack on his 50th birthday. Supporting cast includes Franck Dubosc, Florence Foresti and Sophie Duez. (In French with subtitles) Comment.

Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Authors for young adults talk about their work

Books: When Ibi Zoboi was in high school in Bushwick and reading Edwidge Danticat’s “Breath Eyes and Memory,” she discovered her mother’s hometown in Haiti, Dame Marie, mentioned in the first few pages of the book. “It was then I decided to be a writer,” she said. Comment.

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

Start in the name of love! Diana Ross to reopen Kings Theatre

Music: The queen of Motown is going to let the good times roll at the Loew’s Kings Theatre in Flatbush at its grand reopening. Comment.

Good tidings of comfort & joy & to all good cheer

Arts & Theater: For Caribbean diasporans, home is more than where the heart is. And perhaps more than at any other time of the year, the advent of the Christmas season heartily embraces the Biblical miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ and also unites families in a loving way. Comment.

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014

Annie’ musical provides scenic bragging rights

Arts & Theater: New York City gets a hefty dose of promotion and publicity in the new “Annie” musical slated for a Dec. 19 release. From Harlem to Liberty State Park in New Jersey, the 20/20 view illuminates the Big Apple adding 21st century relevance to the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip character popularized in newspapers in 1924. Comment.

All I really want for Christmas

Books: “All I Really Want” by Quinn Caldwell Comment.

Monday, Dec. 15, 2014

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Ask Me Anything (Unrated) Bittersweet bildungsroman about a high school grad (Britt Robertson) who chronicles all of her adventures in an anonymous blog, when she takes a year off to find herself before starting college. With Justing Long, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater and Robert Patrick. Comment.

Friday, Dec. 12, 2014

Soul Nativity

Arts & Theater: “Soul Nativity” was born and incubated at The Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) over 14 years. The musical co-writers, Tracy Jack and Alfred Preisser, met at the school in the late 90’s and since have collaborated on over 30 professional and student projects, including productions of Soul Nativity in various incarnations at The Theatre of St. Clements, The Duke on 42nd Street, and multiple versions at The HSA Theatre. A joyous pageant for all ages and perfect for anyone who loves music, dance and the holiday season, Soul Nativity has garnered rave reviews and sold out houses wherever it has been performed. This year’s featured guest choir is Harlem Japanese Gospel Choir. Comment.

RISING MUSIC SENSATION

Music: Rising international music sensation, MonChérie, continues her quest for recognition as one of this generation’s most dynamic young music artists. After her music debut earlier this year, which unleashed the major hit single, “No Santa,” the singer has followed up that effort with her heavily awaited and equally energetic new song, “Billy Billy Boom Boom.” Comment.

Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014

Identity theft alert, what you should do

Books: Your credit card was declined. Comment.

Griffith’s solo-show

Arts & Theater: If fine theatre is magic, then “Demerara Gold,” Ingrid Griffith’s solo-show is pure alchemy... the mythical practice of turning ordinary substance into gold. The show will be held at the Starlite Pavilion, Richmond Hill on Sunday, Dec. 21 at 3:00 p.m. Comment.

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014

Guess who’s nominated for Reggae Grammy?

Music: Shaggy, Sean Paul, Sly and Robbie, Ziggy Marley, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, and American band SOJA are nominees for the Best Reggae Album category of the 57th annual Grammy Awards. Shaggy has been nominated for his album (Out of Many, One Music), Sean Paul (Full Frequency), Sly and Robbie (The Reggae Power, featuring Spicy Chocolate), Ziggy Marley (Fly Rasta), and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry (Back on the Controls). Released in April by Tuff Gong, Ziggy Marley’s “Fly Rasta” is the most commercially successful album in the United States by a Jamaican reggae artiste this year, with sales of more than 16,000 copies to date. Comment.

Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014

Witherspoon stars in adaptation of best-selling memoir

Movies: Cheryl Strayed’s (Reese Witherspoon) life went into a tailspin right after the untimely death of her mother (Laura Dern). The grief-stricken 22-year-old subsequently became emotionally estranged from the people closest to her, including her husband, Paul (Thomas Sadowski), and her brother, Leif (Keene McRae). Comment.

Monday, Dec. 8, 2014

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: After the Fall (R for violence and some sexuality and profanity) Character study of a desperate family man’s (Wes Bentley) spiraling out of control when he turns to a life of crime after losing his job. With Vinessa Shaw, Haley Bennett, Audrey Walters and Jason Isaacs. Comment.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014

Spectacular holiday show

Arts & Theater: Undoubtedly, this time of year, the biggest attraction to New York finds tourists mingled with local residents around 50th Street where Radio City Music Hall endears audiences to experience the annual Christmas Spectacular. And although the biggest applause usually lavish kudos to the resident Rockettes, rival contenders for rousing fanfare annually include Santa Claus, a Nativity scene, two riveting organ players, a fantastic orchestra, and a myriad of magical attractions. Comment.

‘ONE LOVE’ TRIBUTE

Music: Benefactors to the legacy left by Robert Nesta Marley rocked the Apollo Theater in Harlem with a tribute concert commemorating the legend’s 35th anniversary appearance at the landmark showplace. They each performed signature songs and in the end united onstage singing his “One Love” anthem. Comment.

Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014

Principal cast reunites for raunchy, saucy sequel

Movies: Timing is everything, when it comes to comedy, and this sequel suffers from an acute case of terrible timing. First of all, with the Bill Cosby rape allegations figuring so prominently in the news nowadays, the last thing anybody wants to laugh at is a premise predicated upon secretly slipping a knockout pill into the drink of an unsuspecting victim. Comment.

Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: The Barefoot Artist (Unrated) Poignant portrait of 73-year-old Lily Yeh, the Chinese artist-turned-global humanitarian who, based on a belief that access to art is a fundamental human right, created a foundation which transformed abandoned lots and buildings into parks, gardens, theaters, studios and educational facilities for poor kids in Philadelphia, Rwanda, Kenya, Ecuador and elsewhere around the world. Comment.

Monday, Dec. 1, 2014

New book spotlights Haitian cuisine

Food: Anticipation percolated. On a pre-Thanksgiving, weekday night, they packed Colors Restaurant. It was the awaited launch of “Haiti: Uncovered,” Nadege Fleurimond’s “regional adventure into the art of Haitian cuisine,” part cookbook, part travel book that should reside on your coffee table. Comment.

Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014

Hunger games leaves viewers starving

Movies: Don’t see this movie. Save your money for the finale next year. Comment.

Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

Kam’s Kaps

Movies: Here’s a list of upcoming films. Comment.

Yes you can! Read ‘Firebird’

Books: Misty Copeland’s book a page-turner. Comment.

Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Dancing Haiti’s history with KaNu Dance Theater

Arts & Theater: On Nov. 15, KaNu Dance Theater’s “Malgré Tout” was presented at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JCAL), the 1858 Dutch Reformed Church in Jamaica, Queens. The title means “Despite all, Haiti’s Still Standing.” Comment.
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