The Rounds - September 24, 2007

>> Sunday, September 24, 2006

Good Evening Soca Lovers, I’m Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay’s Rounds.
After all this time I been bringing you the rounds, I realize, I really don’t know that much about allyuh beautiful people that tune in each week. I know you love de Docta. I know you love de Soca Therapy. I know you MUST love me…ent?
That may be sounding like a whole lot of things to you….but I feel we just scratching the surface. Soca people, what do you BELIEVE in? THAT is what I want to know. This weekend is a very important one on the religious calendars of Jews and Muslims. Our Jewish Friends are ushering in a new year for Rosh hashana , while our muslim friends have begun fasting for Ramadan. What we believe effects everything we do…and everyone we come in contact with.
Down in Trinidad, several local celebrities are using their public clout to stand up for the rights of fellow citizens. Aluminum Giant, Alcoa wants to build a one-billion dollar smelter in Chatham Village, Point Fortin. The health implications for that community could be monumental. Many people forget that musicians, especially Caribbean musicians often use their talents to speak out on injustice. Remember 3canal? They sang songs like , "Talk Yuh Talk", "Revolution" and "Salt"…to criticize what they feel is inappropriate government behaviour. And we dance to dem riddims same way! I feel it must be a west Indian who came up with the phrase political PARTY!!! Because Dat is we ting!
Roger Roberts and Wendell Manwarren from 3canal sang to a group of 150 protestors this weekend to keep them fired up for their fight. Our music heros do so much more than just jumping and waving…and imagine what we could learn if we followed suit. A host of others stars are expected to lend their voices on behalf of their countrymen; including Destra, Shurwayne, Maximus, Kees, Soca Warrior Dwight Yorke and All-Star Cricketer Brian Lara.
You may not have remembered, but the entire Caribbean is standing together in Trinidad right now for Carifesta 9. The multinational cultural expo kicked off in a gala event at the Hasley Crawford Stadium with fireworks on Friday night. Living in Toronto, we are blessed to have the entire Caribbean living amongst each other every day. Although we are together, we are not always unified. So, Carifesta is allowing each nation to take some time to show off what it has to offer. Trinidads’ Prime Minister, Patrick Manning stressed that the Caribbean is rich in human diversity that goes beyond boundaries, with artforms all the world can relate to. He says the time has come to reap the rewards of our rich culture, taking it to the four corners of the world. And I could stand up for that.
Doctor Jay believes in that too….and he proves it every time he boards a plane with a book full of CDs. He’s a soca ambassador…taking the music far beyond Lord Shorty ever could have imagined.
Those of us who love soca music sure know how to have a good time. But while we’re having our fun, it’s important that we take ownership of what we create so that when the world finally catches on they’re falling in love with de real ting!
I can’t help noticing how much of the new music coming out for carnival sounds more like American R&B than pulsating soca. Buh what is dis ah really seeing here?
Our music is beautiful, just the way it is. If it wasn’t do you think MTV would have started an all Caribbean Network that pumps Reggae, Soca, Salsa, Merengue and Dancehall 24 Hours a day? Yeah babes, they have a station called Tempo that we don’t get in Canada as yet. It was initiated by the President of MTV Networks who happens to be from St. Kitts. Next week marks its first anniversary….and they’re throwing a big party to celebrate. On Thursday the secret location will be announced from St. Croix…and Denise Saucy Wow Belfon will be there to spread the news.
I love that…and maybe all yuh really need to know is what somebody loves to find out what it is they believe. I’m here because I believe in this music and the passion of the people who make it. Stand up soca people!
I’m nurse Karen and those are doctor Jay’s rounds. Send your comments to soca at flow 935 dot com. Now back to de docta.

International Caribbean Music Festival

Miami- Where & When: Downtown Miami. Saturday, October 7th, 2006, 2PM – 11PM (Miami Carnival/ Columbus Day Weekend Lineup: Alison Hinds, Bunji Garlin, Jovi Rockwell, Machel Montano, Morgan Heritage, Red Rat, Rupee, Sizzla, Tami Chynn, Wayne Wonder and more.

The 8th Annual International Caribbean Music Festival (ICM Fest) previously known as the Caribbean Music Fest takes place October 7th, the Saturday before Miami Carnival making Columbus Day weekend irresistible to lovers of Caribbean music and culture everywhere.

Inspired during a visit to Trinidad’s infamous Carnival earlier this year the promoters decided on adding a wider range of Caribbean musical genres to a lineup that already featured popular reggae acts. Fans will now have the exceptional opportunity to see the prolific Sizzla who has been called “the most significant reggae artist since Bob Marley”, the dynamic reggaeton duo Wisin Y Yandel and Trinidadian soca favorite Machel Montano perform on the same show.

The event’s unique concept is best personified by the 3 time International Soca Monarch Champ Bunji Garlin who is also performing. Bunji is the undisputed leader of the ragga soca genre he helped to create. Ragga soca combines dancehall’s rap with soca’s infectious beat.

Wayne Wonder will perform from his extensive catalog of hits including “No Letting Go” the hit that helped him earn a Grammy nomination for his album of the same name. Super group Morgan Heritage will add a touch of roots reggae to the mix.

Barbados will be represented by Rupee who helped put soca on the World stage with his video and song “Tempted to Touch.” He will be joined fellow Bajan soca diva Alison Hinds also known as the Ragamuffin Queen. Hind’s “Roll It (girl)” has been flirting with airwaves all year and she is on the verge of becoming the first female soca artist to crossover into the pop market.

ICM Fest favorite Red Rat performs in his 7th consecutive appearance. Tami Chynn an exciting new artist continues the festival’s tradition of breaking new artistes. Jovi Rockwell, Rempage and Gailann are some of the many other artists completing the diverse lineup.

The promoters promise that “The International Caribbean Music Festival will be a one of a kind musical celebration of the Caribbean spirit.”


The Rounds - September 10, 2006

>> Sunday, September 10, 2006

Good Evening Soca Lovers,

I’m nurse Karen and these are doctor Jay’s rounds. The 2006 Toronto international film festival began on Thursday and the streets are a buzz with people searching high and low to spot celebrities. Well, here I am in the Flow studios sitting less than five feet away from one of the great celebrities of soca music. Your very own Doctor Jay was named best international DJ for the second year in a row at the fourth annual International Soca Awards held Friday in New York. Doctor Jay, when it comes to soca, you truly are the prince. So congratulations once again for bringing the hardware home to soca city.
It was good news for Dr. Jay, but not smooth sailing for the organizers of the big gala event. The show was meant to take place at Harlem’s legendary Apollo theatre, but it had to be moved at the last minute to Club Tobago in queen’s because $40 thousand US dollars was not paid on time. And when I say last minute, it’s last minute I mean. Invited guests were already sashaying around the red carpet and schmoozing the media when the heavy handed decision came down. So, a whole lot of people had to be shuttled all the way to Queen’s...for a night that was certainly memorable…to say the least. I’ll have all the details for you next week!!
The month of September is when soca rules the airwaves in the central American nation of Belize. This year, however, celebrations are off to a rocky start there as well! Trinidad’s Leon Coldero went ahead and headlined the Soca Explosion party, although his band was hardly in a party mood after Oscar B’s father suddenly passed away at home in T and T. As they say, the show must go on…so it did, minus one band member.
Have you all ever heard about Carifesta? No, I’m not talking about Carifiesta in Montreal or Carifete in Chicago. All three names are amalgamations of the words Caribbean and Party…in three different colonial languages. “Festa” means party in portuguesh…and Carifesta is an international celebration of Caribbean culture that is about to launch for the 9th time. On September 22nd, Twenty Three Caribbean states ( including Venezuela and Turks and Caicos) will converge on Trinidad and Tobago to showcase their beauty and diversity in every way imaginable. The 2006 theme is “Celebrating our People: Contesting the World Stage”. They will focus on the achievements of Caribbean people all over the world. If this is new to you, it’s because the event moves from country to country and it doesn’t happen every year. Think of it as Expo…for Caribbean culture and industry. The first Carifesta took place in Guyana in 1972, so this year the Guyanese delegation will play a special role in educating other participants about the history and significance of the unique ten-day festival.
Is no small ting eida! Events will be held in 54 communities in Trinidad and some presentations will be held in the prisons! I suppose if any place could usen a refresher on what Caribbean values are all about, the prison is a good place to start.
I’m nurse Karen and those are the best international soca dj’s rounds …send your comments….now back to de docta!


The Rounds - September 3, 2006

>> Sunday, September 3, 2006

Good Evening Soca Lovers, I’m nurse Karen and these are Doctor Jay’s Rounds for Labour Day Weekend 2006. It’s the last long weekend of the Summer and if you’re like me, the only labour you’ll be doing tomorrow…is trying to keep your eyes open.
That is, if you stayed in town. In New York the weekend before school opens marks the Annual West Indian American Day Carnival in Brooklyn. It is one of the largest celebrations of Caribbean culture and music in North America…but don’t be upset if you’re missing out. You ever heard the saying…don’t rain on my parade?!!! Well, I’m sure all of Brooklyn is staring up into the smog filled Heavens and begging for mercy…because so far…they have not been so lucky. Traditionally several major events take place warm up the borough for the upcoming road action held on Monday. This year, tradition had to take a backseat to an act of God named Ernesto. Remnants of the Tropical storm washed out the Brassfest at the Brooklyn Museum Grounds putting a damper on a show that would have featured performances from Machel, Shurwayne, Krosfyah, Maxamus and many more. Saturday the rain was so heavy they had to reschedule kiddie carnival for today. Heavy rain and 18 degree temperatures aren’t good for elaborate mas costumes, nor are they healthy for youngsters who have to start back school on Tuesday. So, tomorrow is the main event…and I’m not saying that we should celebrate anyone’s misfortune…but I’ll tell you this. I for one am thankful, I kept the fruits of my labour in my pocket…
There’s a group of Antiguans in Harlem that are facing a similar fate this weekend. While most West Indians in New York City reside in Brooklyn, Harlem and the Bronx are home to many people from Antigua. Last year one of their social organizations begun producing a cultural celebration that would eliminate the bumper to bumper drive out of Manhattan. Yesterday, legendary Antiguan soca icon Arrow was honoured at the second annual Caribbean Splash down and health fair. And they couldn’t have picked a better name. The event featured performances from Claudette Peters, Oungku and Red Hot Flames as well as Scrunter.
So if you’re missing the weekend long West Indian Day Wete Fete, and are looking for a way to take in some major soca vibes before parang season starts..I’m sure you’ve heard the talk. There are two major shows going on next Saturday in Toronto that are competing for your soca dollar. In the left corner (weighing in at One Roadmarch King, a former atlantic recording artist and a Queen of Soca) it’s Machel, Rupee and Alison. And in the right corner weighing in at (The hottest band outta Barbados, the ladies choice for Trinidadian groovy soca, and the People’s Monarch) it’s Krosfyah, H20 Phlo and Contone. I love the fact that Toronto always gets to enjoy the best in Caribbean entertainment…but I hate (and no, that’s not too strong a word). I hate that I can’t go to both shows. To me, it’s a crying shame that people have to choose between these two amazing lineups. Call me a flower child, but wouldn’t it be nice if all the promoters could just work together to promote we culture and keep their patrons happy? They way allyuh keep jacking up de price of allyuh fete tickets, yuh must know there’s enough money to go around. So, unfortunately I can’t say where I go be on Saturday…but I wish both fetes de best of luck.
Back in February, yours truly was the first to tell you about a documentary that reggae star Freddie MacGregor was filming during Trinidad carnival. Guess what, it’s finished! Freddie’s First “Where Reggae Meets Soca” The film is making it’s debut in Trinidad as we speak. It contrasts and celebrates the musical traditions of Jamaica and TNT and will benefit an HIV/AIDS initiative called Bridging the Gap in both countries. Well how about that, seem like we’ll have to learn our lessons about unity from the artists.
I’m nurse Karen an those are Doctor Jay’s Rounds. Send me your comments at soca at flow 935 dot com. Happy Labour Day! Now back to de docta.



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