Jazz and Blues Festival in Jamaica

The late Sylvia Vanterpool Robinson.
AP Photo/The Estate of Sylvia Robinson
Collin Reid

It is probably too early to announce the line-up for next year’s Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival. However, the organizers believe it is not too early to make travel plans for the Jan. 25 to Jan. 29, 2012 date.

Slated for the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium in Falmouth, the event will likely kick-off a year of eventful celebrations of Jamaica’s milestone achievement of 50 years of independent rule.

Throughout the years, the JJBF has attracted top-notch talents, including Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Erykah Badu, Maroon Five, Abba, Kenny Rogers, Michael Bolton and Billy Ocean.

CIN Taps JA Corruption Eradicator

For Lecture Series

Greg Christie, contractor general of Jamaica, will address New Yorkers during the seventh annual lecture series presentation by the Caribbean International Network, (CIN).

Slated for 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 26 at the Schomburg Center for Research, Christie’s presentation will focus on “The Fight to Secure Integrity, Transparency and Accountability in the Award of Government Contracts in Jamaica.”

“This year CIN is extremely proud to have Mr. Christie as our presenter at the seventh annual lecture. He was selected for his remarkable accomplishments. The importance of integrity and transparency in government cannot be over stated, especially in these tough economic times,” Stephen Hill, CEO of CIN said.

A press release described Christie as being “relentless in his efforts to root out corruption in Jamaica.”

It further stated that “as he pursues corrupt politicians and corrupt people in high places” Christie has been lauded by Americans for his no-holds-barred approach against the background of endemic corruption in high places.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding reportedly described Christie to be “fearless and unrelenting in his quest to root out corruption.”

“He not only barks but he bites,” the PM said.

N.Y. Press Folds; White Edits

Film critic Armond White is not allowing grass to grow under his feet, one month after New York Press published its swan song edition, the affiliated scribe of the alternative weekly newspaper was named editor of City Arts.

Reportedly in addition to editing the cultural monthly, White will also write reviews and articles.

Before the Aug. 24 demise of the 23-year-old publication, White challenged the film industry, thespians, colleagues, bloggers and subscribers providing provocative commentary and perspectives during his 13-year tenure.

Contributing insightful reviews on movies and related media, the Detroit native proved a thorn in the sides of traditional media reviewers whose opinions he frequently questioned and often discounted.

Prior to his recent stint White worked as arts and entertainment editor of the City Sun for the 12-year life span of Black weekly newspaper.

This week a welcome reception will be held in his honor.

White is the author of three books – “The Resistance: Ten Years of Pop Culture that Shook the World;” “Rebel For The Life of It: The life of Tupac Skakur,” and “Keep on Moving: The Michael Jackson Chronicles.”

A member of the New York Film Critics Circle, in 2010 White earned the distinction of chairing the prestigious organization for three consecutive years.

He is also a member of the National Society of Film Critics and New York Film Critics Online.

Hip-Hop Icon Sylvia Robinson Passes

The music industry received another blow with news of the death of Sylvia Vanterpool Robinson. Perhaps, her moniker as one half the Mickey & Sylvia duo may resonate with ballads she recorded with the hit “Pillow Talk,” a breathy track she crooned all the way up the Billboard charts. She also hit radio playlists singing “Love Is Strange.”

Another generation might also acknowledge Robinson as the Mother of Hip-Hop.

“Sylvia is revered in the rap community as the producer who took Chic’s sample of “Good Times” and with the help of the Sugar Hill Gang, turned it into “Rapper’s Delight,” the first hip-hop record to go mainstream,” Sister2Sister Magazine reported.

Along with producing “Rapper’s Delight,” Sylvia also produced “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five.

The 75-year-old trailblazer reportedly died on Sept. 29 from congestive heart failure.

Family spokesperson Greg Walker said Robinson had been ailing for approximately five months before passing at Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus, New Jersey.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Sylvia, who was married to the late Joseph Robinson Sr., was mother to three sons, Joseph Robinson Jr., Leland Robinson and Rhondo Robinson.

Catch You On The Inside!

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