‘D’ Big Tent moves to Tropical Paradise

Jamaica Tourist Board representative Dian Holland joined Effects Animator James Mansfield (right) in presenting the Heritage Award to Jamaican animator Ian Gooding.
Photo courtesy of Ruder Finn
Stephen Chernin

Brooklyn’s “D” Big Tent outdoor calypso and soca revue annually held at Restoration Corporation will move indoors to the Paradise Ballroom from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2.

The pre-Labor Day marathon music event launched under a huge tent structure and features some of the most sought-after names in the genre lost its bid to continue in the Bedford-Stuyvesant location. In is understood that throughout the years, neighboring residents complained about the noise forcing the organizers to seek an alternate venue.

According to the organizers, this year’s lineup promises six nights of stellar entertainment inside an air conditioned Tropical Paradise Ballroom in Brooklyn.

Although music and comedy traditionally highlight the carnival atmosphere, comradeship, food and beverages seem to also rekindle Caribbean-styled carnival fete.

Jamaican Animator Regaled In LA

Jamaica’s Ian Gooding was the toast of the town – Los Angeles – when he was presented the Heritage Award at the salute to Hollywood & The arts gala. Organized by Caribbean Heritage Organization in California, the award in recognition for his work in animation acknowledges his significant contribution to the success of numerous films including “The Prince and the Pauper,” “Chicken Little” and “The Princess and The Frog.”

Among the other honorees this year were actress Tatyana M. Ali, Roger M. Bobb, and Nichol Whiteman.

Shabba Returns To Post-Tsunamic Japan

Shabba Ranks is due back in Japan for a performance in Yokohama after a two decade absence from the Asian region. Regarded as the undisputed king of mainstream dancehall reggae, Ranks was invited to join Japan’s sound system mavericks Mighty Crown on their 20th anniversary celebration at Yokohama Reggae SAI, the annual reggae dancehall concert there.

“We have been listening to Shabba Ranks songs for years. Shabba is by all means an icon and a very important artist to sound systems and selectors,” Masta Simon, co-founder of Mighty Crown said.

“We have been playing for 20 years and Shabba is an artist that we played from day one and he is still going strong today. We had to have him on our show!”

Reportedly, since news of the one-night performance of dancehall reggae’s first two-time Grammy winner, there have been unprecedented responses from Far East reggae fans allegedly anxious and excited to witness his performance. In fact, reports are that the monstrous feedback to Shabba joining the Yokohama Reggae SAI line-up is unlike that of any other artist billed for the show in the past.

“As far as Mighty Crown and the Japanese massive see things, you can’t get larger than Shabba Ranks.” Shabba’s return to Japan is significant for many reasons. Young fans, who praise his music and his impact on reggae music and culture, will have their very first glimpse of the larger-than-life artist next month.

Meanwhile, the older generation of Japanese fans who remember his immense presence in Japan during the 80’s and 90’s, will have the grand opportunity of seeing their very favorite artist return to their homeland for one night only.

In a press release disbursed by Irish & Chin, the excitement surrounding Shabba’s performance is exactly what Japanese dancehall fans need, as the country deals with the gripping consequences of the March earthquake and tsunami.

Spirits among Japanese reggae dancehall fans have truly been lifted, despite the country’s current state.

Only an artist of Shabba’s caliber can motivate people to come out during such a sensitive time. Moreover, fans are anxious to see him after hearing about his moving surprise performance at the recent landmark “Reggae 4 Japan” benefit concert in Queens, recently.

Spending so much time in Japan during his early career and embracing Japanese people, Shabba is said to be thrilled about his long awaited visit. Being a part of the line-up will definitely help further solidify Shabba’s presence in Asia.

“Ranks and Mighty Crown will share the stage for the first time ever in Japan and everyone is waiting to capture the Kodak moment.”

During the span of Mighty Crown’s career, Shabba has not been to Japan.

“Over the years, we have performed with a slew of old school artists like Super Cat, Ninja Man, Half Pint, Barrington Levy and the energy level was good. I can’t wait to perform with Shabba because I know it will be incredible,” co-founder Sami T. said.

Currently, Ranks is enjoying the buzz of his new single “None a Dem.”

He is one of the few dancehall reggae artists who maintains a “timeless” appeal.

“Throughout the years, he has preserved his status by doing select performances and not over-saturating the market,” the release stated.

“I have developed a really good personal and business relationship with him, he is a pleasure to work with and one of the few artists that tries to preserve the true essence of dancehall culture,” Garfield “Chin” Bourne stated.

“Shabba’s performance in Japan will be a moment in time to remember.”

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