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Thursday, March 5, 2015

DANCE TREAT

Arts & Theater: “Kumina” and other island dance favorites are among treats programmed into a two-day repertoire billed for the 60th anniversary season at Brooklyn Center of the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College when the National Dance Theater Company of Jamaica (NDTC) return here. Comment.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Con man matches wits with former protégé

Movies: Good (2 stars) Comment.

Postage stamp to honor ‘Miss Calypso’ Forever

Arts & Theater: It is Women’s History Month and a phenomenal woman is being memorialized when spring breaks — less than a year after her death. First acclaimed as Miss Calypso — prior to becoming the well-known Maya Angelou — she was known by a moniker that lauds the Caribbean and its music. Comment.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Patoranking signs deal with VP Records

Music: Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie, better known by his stage name Patoranking, is a Nigerian reggae-dancehall singer and songwriter. Patoranking started his musical career doing underground collaborations with artists such as XProject, Konga, Slam and Reggae Rockstone. He signed a record deal with K-Solo’s Igberaga Records in 2010, releasing “Up in D Club” under the outfit. Patoranking became a protégé of Dem Mama Records after collaborating with Timaya on his song “Alubarika.” Comment.

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015

Steel Pulse to liven Brooklyn book launch

Music: Reggae fans will be nourished mentally, physically and probably in other ways when they stop into the Brooklyn Public Library on March 4 for a book launch. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Bad Asses on the Bayou (R for violence, profanity, sexuality and nudity) Danny Trejo and Danny Glover reprise their roles in this sequel to “Bad Ass 2” set in Baton Rouge where the aging tough guys take the law into their own hands to rescue a pal’s (John Amos) daughter kidnapped for ransom (Loni Love). Rob Mello, Sammi Rotibi and Jimmy Bennett. Comment.

Friday, Feb. 27, 2015

Brooklyn actor receives Black History Month award

Movies: Brooklyn Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, deputy leader and chair of the City Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee, has presented a New York City Council Proclamation to Brooklyn actor and activist Wendell Pierce (“Selma,” “The Wire,” “Treme”) as part of Black History Month celebrations. Comment.

SOULFUL SPIRIT

Music: “Vilnerab” (Vulnerable), the second studio album from Haitian Roots singer/composer/guitar player Paul Beaubrun, was released on Feb. 19, 2015 on Itunes worldwide. “Vilnerab” is steeped in traditional acoustic instruments, yet wrapped in a modern arrangement with a soulful spirit. Comment.

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015

‘1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music’

Books: You turned up the volume – again. Surely, the guy in the car next to yours must think you’re weird. There you are, groovin’ to your tunes, seat-dancing, singing along like you were in-concert. Really, is there such a thing as having the music too loud? Comment.

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: ’71 (R for graphic violence, disturbing images and pervasive profanity) Historical drama, set in Belfast, Northern Ireland, about a British soldier’s (Jack O’Connell) desperate effort to survive after he‘s severely beaten during an IRA riot and separated from his unit. With Richard Dormer, Jack Lowden, Sam Reid and Martin McCann. Comment.

Friday, Feb. 20, 2015

Haitian and Dominicans artists collaborate

Arts & Theater: Twenty-seven artists of Dominican and Haitian-heritage together are collaborating in what seems impossible on the island of Hispaniola itself. Comment.

READY FOR MASH

Arts & Theater: New York mas band “Honest Illusions” is ready to capture the crown in the medium band category when revelers take to the streets of Georgetown to celebrate Guyana’s 45th Republic Anniversary and Mashramani Parade on Feb. 23. Comment.

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015

Kool Jamaican Father of Hip-Hop

Music: On any given day, tourists and curious individuals stop at 1520 Sedgwick Ave. in the Bronx to take selfies and snap photos of the façade of the apartment building. Comments (1).

Fetish flick fails to match erotic best-seller hype

Movies: “Fifty Shades of Grey” marked the remarkable writing debut of TV executive-turned-romance novelist Erika Mitchell. Publishing under the pen name E.L. James, the British author has enjoyed unparalleled success, selling over 100 million copies worldwide in just a few years. Comment.

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015

FANTASTIC MONTANO

Music: Machel Montano showed once again he is the boss of soca when he copped the International Power Monarch for the fifth straight year on “Fantastic Friday” night at the Hasley Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain, Trinidad, to kick off of the Carnival celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago. Comment.

Monday, Feb. 16, 2015

‘Pirate of the Caribbean’ weds in the Bahamas

Movies: From a choice of all the paradise islands spread throughout the Caribbean and another 700 sprinkled over 100,000 square miles of The Bahamas, actor Johnny Depp found one ideal to say his vows to his new bride Amber Heard. Comment.

Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015

Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015

Colorful Indian culture celebrated at the UN

Arts & Theater: A colorful spectacle of the rich Indian culture, mesmerized guests on Friday, Feb. 6, at the United Nations in New York City, where music, dance and national fare were celebrated with enjoyment. Comment.

Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

LATIN DANCE FEST

Arts & Theater: New York City Center will present “A Bailar: Dance at the Center,” a three-week Latin dance festival featuring three acclaimed dance companies from Cuba, Argentina and Spain, running Feb. 18 – March 7, 2015. Comment.

Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015

‘Adam’ spotlights Bimini, Bahamas

Arts & Theater: Few plays ever shine a spotlight on the Caribbean except to marvel at the pristine beaches, eternal sunshine and soulful music that endears carnival and revelry. Comment.

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015

Robert Blackburn’s ‘Passages’

Arts & Theater: “We show Black History all the time,” said Corrine Jennings director of Wilmer Jennings Gallery. Through March, selections from the master printmaker “Robert (Bob) Blackburn: Passages” is on exhibition at the Wilmer Jennings Gallery, 219 E. 2nd St., a satellite space of Kenkeleba House. Comment.

Colin Firth shines as suave spy in nostalgic movie

Movies: Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is such an unassuming, buttoned-downed bloke that no one in his right mind would suspect him to be a highly-skilled secret agent capable of killing at the drop of a derby. But as a Kingsman, he belongs to an exclusive fraternity of nattily-attired spies who abide by the motto “Manners Maketh Man.” Members of this covert organization consider themselves modern-day knights, and they see their suits as body armor. Comment.

Griffith tells her story in ‘Demerara Gold’

Arts & Theater: Fresh off a successful performance in Georgetown, Guyana, Ingrid Griffith’s phenomenal one-woman satirical drama - “Demerara Gold” will give an audience a belly-full of laughs when she comes to Brooklyn’s St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church at 331 Hawthorne St., on Feb, 21. Show time is 3:00 p.m. Comment.

Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015

Challenges, solutions for Caribbean energy security: WB

Movies: The World Bank says while there are many challenges, there are also solutions to Caribbean energy security. The Washington-based financial institution said oil provides more than 90 percent of primary energy needs in the Caribbean, making the region highly vulnerable to price fluctuations. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Crazy Bitches (Unrated) Horror comedy about seven sorority sisters whose weekend getaway with a gay pal (Andy Gala) to a remote cabin in the woods is ruined by the arrival of a bloodthirsty psychopath who proceeds to pick them off one-by-one. Co-starring Samantha Colburn, Cathy DeBuono, Liz McGeever, Victoria Profeta, Guinevere Turner, Nayo Wallace and Mary Jane Wells. Comment.

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015

Rikki Jai wins Chutney Soca title

Music: Veteran Chutney singer Rikki Jai captured two crowns at the annual Chutney Soca Monarch finals held last weekend at Skinner Park, San Fernando. Comment.

Garifuna jazz goes to Trinity College

Music: “This is our launching of Black History Month,” said Dr. Dario Euraque, Trinity College history professor. “And, we’re giving it a more international focus.” Comment.

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015

DIANA ROSS WOWS CROWD

Music: Diana Ross probably isn’t used to being the opening act. The soul legend captivated a sold-out crowd at the grand reopening of the Kings Theatre in Flatbush on Tuesday night, but the main attraction was the majestic and painstakingly restored venue. Comment.

Rihanna to duet with rapper West & British Knight

Music: Saint Michael, Barbados-born, Robyn Rihanna Fenty AKA Rihanna is part of a triumvirate billed to take the stage at the Staples Center in California Sunday to perform from her anticipated “Four Five Seconds” CD during the 57th annual Grammy awards. Comment.

Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015

Irrepressible, super-talented Hazel Scott

Music: A befuddling curiosity it is, how conspicuously absent Hazel Scott’s name and contribution on more than one level have been from the story of African American struggle and survival, in New York City and in the U.S. overall. For an individual who accomplished as much as she did, both as an exceptionally gifted artist and a crusader for equal rights, Scott’s exclusion from, or at best minimalist presence in, the honor roll of outstanding trailblazers of color is a travesty. Comment.

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015

Cautionary tale revisits sub-prime mortgage crisis

Movies: It is California in 2007, at the height of the sub-prime mortgage boom. Jason “Jay” Kelley (Beau Martin Williams), a cash-strapped bouncer is offered an alternative line of work in a higher tax bracket by Devin Weiss (Matt Funke), a hotshot real estate broker whose company is in the midst of a hiring blitz. Comment.

Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 3 Nights in the Desert (Unrated) Intriguing romantic romp revolving around the awkward love triangle drama which arises when a musical trio reunites in the desert a decade after the band members went their separate ways. Co-starring Wes Bentley, Amber Tamblyn and Vincent Piazza. Comment.

Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015

Kings Theatre re-opens in Flatbush

Arts & Theater: Brooklyn Councilman Dr. Mathieu Eugene last week joined top city officials at the re-opening of Kings Theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Comment.

Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

Tenza charms Scottish crowds

Music: Over the past few years multi-award winner Tenza from Montego Bay, Jamaica has cultivated a very specific brand identity with her charismatic, prolific and candid lyrics. Comment.

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.
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