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July, 2018

Music: Haitian-American musician Okai Fleurimond will introduce the traditional drum rhythms of Haiti on July 29 at the Pelham Art Center in Pelham, New York. Open to all ages, the free performance starts at 1:30 pm at the center, a mere eight miles north of the Bronx. Comment

St. Kitts music fest ‘a rousing success’

Music: Tourism officials in St. Kitts have described as “a rousing success” the 22nd Annual St. Kitts Music Festival. The festival, which took place from Jun. 27 – Jul. 1, drew “record numbers of attendees and an amazing response to all the performers. Comment

Free reggae concert rocks Coney Island

Music: On the most comfortable day of the summer reggae supergroup Third World and “self-proclaimed original dancehall master” Barrington Levy sizzled inside the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island when City Parks Summerstage treated enthusiastic reggae fans to an unprecedented free concert inside the venue. Comment
Music: You didn’t need to be in Haiti at the Hotel Oloffson last Thursday night to hear the vodou-rock band RAM. For more 25 years, every Thursday night, when they’re not touring — RAM legendarily performs at the Oloffson in Port-au-Prince. But on Thursday, July 5, RAM played the grass-filled Springfield Park, located in the middle of Springfield Gardens, Queens. Comment

Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph onto Wall of Fame

Music: The Washington, D.C.-based Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) has inducted Jamaican American actress Sheryl Lee Ralph into its “Wall of Fame” in commemoration of National Caribbean American Heritage Month celebrations. Comment

June, 2018

BP sponsors Central Brooklyn culture walk

Music: Hundreds of revelers hit Eastern Parkway on June 24 to toast the cultural contributions of individuals and institutions hailing from neighborhoods in the heart of the borough, including a Bedford-Stuyvesant–born, award-winning performer honored at the bash who thrilled attendees with a surprise show. Comment

Free summer concerts return to Coney Island

Music: Council Member Mark Treyger and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams on Monday joined City Parks Foundation in returning free summer concerts to Coney Island. Comment
Music: While a large amount of creative talent continues to flow from the Caribbean bringing recognition and commerce to the region, territories in this group of islands are yet to harmonize copyright laws for protection of artistes. Comment
Music: The Brooklyn-based Tropicalfete, Inc. will host its annual Caribbean Cultural Showcase on Sunday, June 24 in Brooklyn to unveil its 2018 costumes under the theme “The Carnival Jungle — Sweet Fuh Days Comment

Groovin’ returns with longer show, bigger lineup

Music: The reggae and rhythm and blues music festival, Groovin’ in the Park returns to Roy Wilkins Park this weekend on June 24. The annual concert is debuting a few new additions to the program, and is also prolonging its runtime for an extended show, said the concert’s co-founder. Comment

Inside Life

Inside Life

Music: “Jamaica to UK, the Reggae Revolution” Themes IRD’s 2018 Celebration of 50 Years of Reggae & Synergy With England. Comment
Music: The president of the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nurses Association of New York, Inc. (SVGNANY), Dionne Crichton-Bailey, has described as a resounding success the group’s inaugural Tea Party, held on Saturday, June 9 at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn. Comment

VINCY MAS STARS

VINCY MAS STARS

Music: Eleven calypsonians from the Dynamite Calypso Tent in New York, considered the sole Vincentian calypso tent in North America, gave a good account of themselves Saturday night in the preliminary judging in the National Calypso Competition in Vincy Mas 2018. Comment
Music: The Resource and Finance Commission of the Brooklyn-based Independent United Order of Mechanics (IUOM), Friendly Society, Western Hemisphere, Inc., on Sunday hosted its grand annual luncheon at Sirico’s Caterers in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Comment

Trini soca star rising

Music: Young Trinidad and Tobago soca star Nailah Blackman has been nominated for one of the 2018 Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) Awards — the Viewers’ Choice: Best New International Act. To have a good chance, she would need the help of all Trindad and Tobago by voting and hashtagging her picture #ipicknailahb18. The awards show comes off on June 24 at 8 pm. Comment
Music: The color purple was in vogue last Saturday in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn where a free, mass concert / celebration of Prince Rogers Nelson billed “Purple People Party 3” hosted by actor / director Spike Lee marked the 60th anniversary birthday of the Minneapolis native who died three years ago from an opiod overdose. Comment
Music: It’s June. The month claimed by graduates, fathers, brides and grooms, the LGBT community, Black music and Caribbean nationals as well as numerous groups anxiously anticipating the hottest season of every calendar year. Comment

DANCEAFRICA

DANCEAFRICA

Music: Memorial Day weekend saw DanceAfrica 2018 Bazaar filling the streets that wrap around the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Every May the dance festival celebrates Africa through music, dance and film, wrapping up an outdoor global market place Comment

Reggae returns to Coney’s boardwalk

Music: The annual monthly reggae music event, “Reggae on the Boardwalk” returns to Coney Island starting June 3. Every month from June until September — reggae music deejays come to the historic boardwalk to play some tunes honoring the genre’s classics, said the organizer. Comment

May, 2018

Classical Antiguan cellist stars at Royal wedding

Music: Let’s face it, even Antiguans will concede that their most known export is their sweet, delicious Antigua Black pineapple. Acclaimed for being the world’s best, the fruit will have to take a backseat to a teenager named Sheku Kanneh-Mason who after a globally televised performance from England on May 19 is now all the rave. The 19-year-old secured the Eastern Caribbean’s coveted pride when he performed three songs at the much talked-about royal wedding of Prince Harry and his bride, the former actress Meghan Markle. Comment
Music: Some may contend that Ethiopia’s Emperor Haile Selassie and his bride Empress Menem are distinguished to being Africa’s most acclaimed couple. However, in the 20th and 21st centuries most will regard South Africa’s Nelson and Winnie as the continent’s most renowned couple as well as the two fiercest freedom fighting union of the entire world. Comment
Music: Caribbean Life’s Associate Editor Grenadian-born Kevin Williams was among three outstanding community figures honored last Sunday at the first award ceremony of the Brooklyn-based Grenadian cultural group Quake USA. Comment

Grammy winning artist Common will open BRIC 40th Celebrate Brooklyn fest

Music: Grammy Award winning artist Common will headline opening night of the 40th anniversary gala and concert of Brooklyn Information & Culture (BRIC) Celebrate Brooklyn! festival June 5, at Prospect Park Bandshell. He will take the stage at 8 pm. Comment

Pols ramp up calls for a Little Haiti District in Brooklyn

Music: A number of legislators in Brooklyn are calling for the creation of a Little Haiti Cultural and Business District. Brooklyn Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte will be joined by Assemblymember Nick Perry, State Senator Kevin Parker, Council Member Jumaane Williams, Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo, Borough President Eric L. Adams, and several Flatbush community leaders in a press conference calling on the New York City Council to officially make the designation. Comment

HAITI FLAG DAY

HAITI FLAG DAY

Music: An evening of Haitian culture and pride, starting at 8 pm, will take place May 20 at SOBs in Manhattan to commemorate the 215th anniversary of Haiti’s flag, the symbol of the first free Black Republic in the Western Hemisphere. Comment

Piers, parks & plazas ready for Concert Series

Music: No sooner than daylight savings time dawned, so too did a plethora of summer concert series to brighten and lengthen the season of free, outdoor music and dance offerings. The annual five borough presentations of music, dance, spoken word, films and theatrical presentations encompassing jazz, reggae, hip-hop, pop, r&b, and country music offerings enable free, quality, outdoor entertainment for the asking. Comment
Music: Sherill-Ann Mason-Haywood, the new head of the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York, has described as a success Saturday’s launch of Vincy Mas in New York. Comment

VINCY CHARITY

Music: Jamaican gospel artiste Croswell Daily was the major act at the recent annual gala fundraising dinner of the Bronx-based Vincentian group, St. Matthias Charities, Inc. Comment

Reggae fans mark Marley’s passing in ‘81

Music: May 11 marks 37 years since the untimely passing of the only Rastafarian, songwriter, legend, musician and world acclaimed superstar from the Caribbean. Comment

Ernie Smith to headline Caribbean Folk Fest

Music: Jamaica’s Ernie Smith will headline a full day of Caribbean cultural presentations on May 12 at York College Performing Arts Center in Queens when Braata Productions, creator of The Bankra Caribbean Folk Festival hosts a free event. Comment

May is Garifuna Arts & Culture Appreciation Month

Music: The Bronx-based Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. says it is celebrating Garifuna Arts & Culture Appreciation Month in New York City during the month of May in honor of the 17th anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) proclamation of the Garifuna Language, Dance and Music as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, on May 18, Comments (1)

SELEBRASYON!

Music: Time to mark your calendar! From mid-May through June, Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX) is presenting its third biennial edition of a veritable feast-of-arts festival: Selebrasyon! Ayiti Angaje (Celebration! Haiti Engages). Comments (1)
Music: The most diverse borough of the five that comprise New York City is jazzing up its attractions with a plethora of tributes to Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, one of Queens’ most iconic musicians and the song he is acclaimed for gifting in its honor — “What A Wonderful World.” Comment

April, 2018

Music: Long live the vinyl record. Hundreds showed up for VP Records’ annual record store day at the flagship location in Jamaica, Queens on April 21. This was the store’s fourth annual recognition of the global event, which celebrates the vinyl record. Comment
Music: Reggae artist Romain Virgo scored a number one on Billboard’s reggae charts last week with his album “Lovesick.” It is not the first time the artist’s project has charted, but this was his highest rank yet. The thrilled singer said his latest album is his best yet, and the outcome of this achievement is a huge win, especially since his earlier shots at the chart never went beyond that, he said. Comment
Music: Almost two decades into providing an ideal location and reliable showplace for showcasing eclectic music, the Times Square club named for blues icon B.B. Kings will be closing their doors for the last time on April 29. Comment

ROYAL REGGAE

Music: Who knew that Jamaican dancehall deejay Shaggy would be among the select roster of artists invited to hail Queen Elizabeth II on her 92nd birthday. Comment
Music: Last week, an 80-minute documentary titled “Two Beats One Soul” premiered in New York to a select crowd of insiders who witnessed first-hand, the making of an album on the island of Cuba. Comment

Shaggy and Sting collaborate

Shaggy and Sting collaborate

Music: International reggae pop singer Shaggy, and legendary British rocker Sting have collaborated for a new musical project titled “44/486.” The singer and the former frontman of the band The Police, are putting out a mostly reggae-inspired and upbeat project. Comment

March, 2018

LOVESICK

Music: There’s a new Caribbean songstress on the block! And she is trying to maintain the island flavor in mainstream music. Trinidadian singer Arita, recently released her debut single and EP “Lovesick.” As a singer, she wants to reintroduce the music industry to its Caribbean influence. She said many artists of Caribbean heritage played a huge part in American music throughout the years — but going mainstream often erased that and now she wants to be one who challenges it. Comment

Sean Paul to perform at Kings Theatre

Music: He’s coming to Brooklyn! International reggae and dancehall artist Sean Paul is headlining his own concert at Kings Theatre on March 22. It will be his debut show at the historic venue, but not his first in Brooklyn, and he is thrilled to return to perform because the borough’s fanbase reminds him of Jamaica, and he can always count on them for feedback. Comment

Vincy heroes tribute

Vincy heroes tribute

Music: Hundreds of Vincentians Saturday night joined the Brooklyn-based Garifuna Indigenous People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Inc. (GIPSVG) in celebrating National Heroes Day with a cultural extravaganza at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn. Comment
Music: The 75-member National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba will be performing at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 4 pm. Comment

MUSICAL TRIBUTE

Music: What would be a more fitting tribute for the Apollo Theater to recognize Women’s History Month than presenting a musical tribute to the renowned musical artist, civil rights activist and Apollo legend Nina Simone. Comment

DANCEHALL STAR

Music: She’s on to bigger things. Jamaican dancehall artist Spice is making her reality television show debut on the seventh season of VH1’s hit show “Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta,” which airs on March 19. The singer made a brief appearance on the show last season during an episode that was filmed in Jamaica. But as a avid-watcher of the series and now a cast member, the singer says this is the first step in one of many career goals she is aiming for. Comment

CALYPSO TRIBUTE

CALYPSO TRIBUTE

Music: Calypso legend Harry Belafonte celebrated his birthday attending a tribute concert in his honor at City College on March 1. The 91-year-old was front and center at the “Turn the World Around: The Music and Legacy of Harry Belafonte,” as he was serenaded with a show of his classic hits. Comment

CULTURAL SHOWCASE

CULTURAL SHOWCASE

Music: Barbara Atherly, consul general of Guyana to New York, told expatriates to be inspired by the vision of a united, democratic, and prosperous Guyana, during a magnificent, colorful 48th Republic Anniversary celebration, on Thursday, Feb. 23. Comment

Zimbabwe honors Marley with statue

Music: A monument to Robert Nesta Marley has been approved by the Marley family and will be erected in Zimbabwe, the only African nation he performed during his brief lifetime. Comment

Alicia Olatuja to perform in Brooklyn

Music: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2017-18 Kumble Theater season with jazz singer / songwriter Alicia Olatuja on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 8 pm. Comment

February, 2018

Africa’s new and improved sounds

Music: They’re back with the Motherland’s newest sounds. The yearly music event celebrating the trendiest and popular sounds to come out of the African continent returns to Apollo Theater on March 3. The “Africa Now” concert spotlights African artists and the emerging sounds they are bringing to the African music scene. Organized by the famed theater and the World Music Institute, together they are giving the stage to show, said the co-curator. Comment

Concert to celebrate Belafonte on his birthday

Music: The stellar career of famed Calypso artist and social activist Harry Belafonte will be celebrated in a musical tribute on his 91st birthday on March 1 at City College Center for the Arts in Manhattan. Comments (1)

Neo-soul songstress to perform at birthday bash

Music: Singer Olivia K and The Parkers will be performing at her birthday bash at The Knitting Factory on Feb. 22. The Caribbean-American songstress, who is of Guyanese descent, will take to the stage to perform songs from her EP “Power.” Her fusion of music styles and her stage presence makes her a standout among a lot artists and her team says she will deliver a good show, said her publicist. Comment
Music: Two soca legends Machael Montano and Austin “Superblue” Lyons have captured the 2018 Trinidad and Tobago Road March title. Their collaboration “Soca Kingdom” was played 336 times compared to Iwer George’s “Savannah” followed by Patrice Roberts’ Sweet Fuh So.” Comment

Bobby Digital releases two-part music collection

Music: Grammy-winning Jamaican producer Bobby Digital recently released a new compilation mix. The hit-maker put together a two-part anthology series, “Volume 1: X-tra Wicked” and “Volume 2: Serious Times” — a collection of some of his greatest hits. He says he started assembling the project a few years ago to give his fans something reminiscent of classic reggae. Comment
Music: BPTT Renegades celebrated their long-awaited tenth National Panorama Championship title at the Panorama finals at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday night. Comment

St. Lucia to celebrate independence with concert, events

Music: The Consulate of St. Lucia is kicking off the island nation’s independence month with a gospel festival at the Advent Fellowship on Feb. 3. The annual concert brings together some of the best St. Lucian performers of the genre and other entertainers. On Saturday, returning artists like Emrand Henry will take the stage at the show, and some new and interesting ones, said vice consul. Comment

GRAMMY FOR MARLEY

Music: Damian Marley has won his fourth Grammy award. He previously won two Grammy Best Reggae Album trophies for ”Half Way Tree” and “Welcome To Jamrock,” compilations named from Jamaica’s landmark locations. Comments (1)

January, 2018

‘Singing Evangelist’ honored, brings house down

Music: The Crown Heights, Brooklyn-based Attributes of Christ Ministries on Jan. 13 honored Evangelist Shirley Browne, otherwise known as “The Singing Evangelist,” at a memorial service for the church’s late pastor and founder, the Rev. Dr. William Muckett. Comment

Zap Pow reunites for new project

Music: The band is back together again! Legendary 70s reggae band Zap Pow is reunited and releasing their first project in more than seven years. Some of the group’s original and current members came together to work on their new album titled “Zap-Pow Again.” The return is inspired by members retaining a presence on the music scene, and wanting to revive their influence on current trends, said the band’s founder. Comment

Morgan Heritage to host pre-Grammy party

Music: Grammy winning group Morgan Heritage will be hosting a pre-Grammy party celebrating reggae music at Suite 36 on Jan. 26. The musical family band is once again a Grammy-nominee for their 2017 album “Avrakedabra,” and their company Golden CBD Water is going to host the celebratory party honoring other reggae nominees, the company said in a statement. Comment

DISRUPTIVE ARTISTS

Music: A new season is in session. The Harlem Stage performing arts theater has announced their lineup for their spring season, which started on Jan. 16 and kicked off with “Ella! A Centennial Celebration.” The new season has several shows and even some free forthcoming performances and workshops. Comment

Safaree to receive ‘Blue & Bougie Impact Award’

Music: Hard work, a will to succeed and not being afraid of taking chances is helping Brooklyn based, Jamaican rapper Safaree succeed in the entertainment business. On Sunday, Feb. 18, Safaree will be presented with the “Blue & Bougie Impact Award” at Mingles Cafe, in the Bronx, New York for the fascinating year he had in 2017. Comment
SISTAS

The Musical now in its seventh year

Music: With the arrival of 2018, the long-running smash SISTAS: The Musical had its seventh New Year’s celebration at St. Luke’s Theatre in the heart of the Theatre District. Comment

REBEL SALUTE

Music: Rebel Salute, Jamaica’s iconic concert series, will stage its 25th annual showcase on a plantation in the parish of St. Ann on Jan. 12 and 13 Comment

Artists of color head to Harlem

Music: Harlem Stage, the legendary uptown venue that for more than 30 years has promoted the creative legacy of Harlem and artists of color from around the corner and across the globe, is proud to present its Spring 2018 season of performances. Comment

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