Earlington looks to the Stars

ON Sunday night, 24-year-old Elton Earlington became the seventh male to win the Digicel Rising Stars title. He beat 16-year-old Monifa Goss in a keenly contested finale inside the Courtleigh Auditorium in St Andrew, and brought the curtains down on season 13. “I am highly overwhelmed by my ... Read More

Madina Nalwanga (left) and Lupita Nyong’o in a scene from the movie Queen of Katwe. Checkmate for Harambe
Harambe, a song by African hip hop artiste Saba Saba and Jamaican deejay E-Dee, is featured on the s ... Read More

Thurston Gordon Thurston takes the Minibus
EMERGING singjay Thurston is predicting his debut single, Minibus, will be a hit, especially among t ... Read More

Kenyata Kenyata banks on Sheblelep Wednesdays
There is no shortage of weekly dances in Kingston, and several of them take place in the Cockburn Ga ... Read More

Isha Blender’s Epiphany

Monday, September 26, 2016    

Isha Blender

ISHA Williams was a toddler in the early 1990s, a period of cultural awareness in dancehall led by a phalanx of artistes, including her father, Everton Blender. Strongly influenced by his message, she followed his path into music as Isha Blender. Her first EP, Epiphany, will be released in October. It contains seven songs with Don’t Be Used, an acoustic number, being the lead. Blender first recorded at age 12. That song was Bad Boy, produced by her father for his Blend Dem label. She ... Read More

Acts turn out for charity

BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor — Auto and Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com | Monday, September 26, 2016    

Boris Gardiner in performance at Action For Charity held at Fab 5 headquarters on Springvale Avenue in Kingston, on Saturday. (Photos: Lionel Rookwood)

ORGANISERS of Action For Charity benefit concert are pleased with Saturday night’s inaugural staging of the vintage showcase. The event, held at Fab 5 headquarters on Springvale Avenue in Kingston, saw a fair-sized turnout of patrons. “We got the crowd. I think the event went pretty good. The acts gave great sets and the crowd response was good, despite the time constraints in pulling it together,” Fab 5 guitarist Frankie Campbell told Jamaica Observer yesterday. “The ... Read More

Rub a dub with Kirk Bennett

Monday, September 26, 2016    

Kirk Bennett

Touring with Beres Hammond and an hectic session schedule took up much of Kirk Bennett’s time this summer. Now that he has some breathing space, the drummer steps up promotion for his second album, Rumble In The Jungle. Last week, he released the video to Rub A Dub Again, directed by Damian Daley. That song is from the album, which was released digitally in June by VP Records. It features Tarrus Riley. While he is acknowledged as the top session drummer in Jamaica, Bennett is not known ... Read More

Cervantes Celebration at Redbones on Thursday

Monday, September 26, 2016    

The launch was held at the Bahia Principe Jamaica Resort in Runaway Bay under the distinguished patronage of Carmen Rives, charge d’ affaires at the Spanish Embassy in Jamaica who expounded on the importance of wine to the Spanish, and welcomed this new business partnership between Jamaican and Spanish investors. (Picasa)

THE Embassy of Spain, in partnership with the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation and the Edna Manley School of Drama, present a dramatic play reading at Redbones Blues Cafe on Argyle Road in St Andrew, on Thursday. Start time is scheduled at 7:00 pm. The event, which is free to the public, is entitled Cervantes Celebration and is part of the 400th anniversary celebration of the death of Spanish writer Miguel De Cervantes. Directed by Pierre Lemaire, director of School of Drama at Edna Manley Colleg ... Read More

SOJA goes live

Sunday, September 25, 2016    

Reggae group SOJA

American reggae band SOJA releases its first live album on Friday. Titled SOJAH: Live In Virginia, the 14-track set includes songs from the eight-piece unit’s studio albums. Percussionist Ken Brownell spoke about the album in an interview with the Jamaica Observer. “The fact is that our live show is the foundation of SOJA and our fan base has been eagerly waiting for us to put out a live album,” he said. Live In Virginia was recorded at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Pe ... Read More

Althea Laing marks another milestone

Turn to LAING on Page 58 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com | Sunday, September 25, 2016    

Althea Laing

SHE came into the nation’s consciousness back in 1985, after winning the Miss Jamaica Fashion Model competition. Althea Laing would later blaze a trail as the first local model to grace not one, but two covers of the popular American glossy Essence. Today, Laing — a mother of two and grandmother to five — is closing a chapter on a career in the classroom as a teacher of English. Having turned 60 year’s old earlier this year, she is now on pre-retirement leave, but looks ... Read More

Jody Kay James — a year later

BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer Writer | Sunday, September 25, 2016    

Jody-Kaye James

SUNDAY, September 27, 2015 will go down in Jody Kay James’ memory as the night her life changed forever. “Winning Digicel Rising Stars last year was surreal experience. I think we (the finalists) gave rising stars a revamp. I think the show took a positive turn for the first time in a long time,” James toldJamaica Observer. Since winning the popular television singing competition, the 24-year-old James got married. As part of her prize package, she attended a two-week songwr ... Read More

Marilyn’s fuming at playlists

Sunday, September 25, 2016    


Marilyn, the Jamaica-born singer who emerged during the ‘new romantic’ age of British music during the 1980s, says radio stations have narrowed their playlists in recent years to favour pop stars like Rihanna and Justin Bieber. In an interview with IBTimes UK, the singer bemoaned the lack of diversity on the airwaves, compared to 30 years ago when listeners were given multiple choices. “[Years ago] the radio stations would play a lot of different stuff and people would choose what they ... Read More

Auresia’s On The Road Again

Sunday, September 25, 2016    


Canada’s reggae singer Auresia’s On The Road Again is the first single from her upcoming album Raices. Released earlier this month, the single shares the singer’s personal experience and feelings that she has encountered while on tour. “I found the song during a night-time jam by the fire on the beach on a cross-Canada tour on Hornby Island,” she told the Jamaica Observer. “After travelling and touring for the past several years, I have been to many places ... Read More

Cecil Cooper’s funeral on Wednesday

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com | Sunday, September 25, 2016    

Cecil Cooper

THE thanksgiving service for artist and tenor, Cecil Cooper is set for next Wednesday, September 28, at the University Chapel, Mona campus. Starting time is 2:00 pm. Cooper died on September 5, just a week after being conferred with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD), for his invaluable contribution to the arts. For many, Cooper was the artist who sang, while others argue he was the singer who painted. Whatever the conclusion, it is clear that he made an impact in these tw ... Read More



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