The Rounds - September 30, 2007

>> Sunday, September 30, 2007

Good Evening Soca Lovers,

I’m Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay’s Rounds. Lately, I’ve found mehself thinking about the life of a soca artist. Not anyone in particular…just what it’s like to sing WE music for a living. If you spend your weekdays chained to a desk, or changing poopy diapers, it sounds like the career of a life time. But there’s so much more to singing soca music than travelling the world and entertaining adoring fans.

On Friday, Trinidadian soca sweetheart Nadia Batson released a letter to the media bemoaning some of the not-so-fun realities that come with the territory. She seemed pretty ticked off about Show Promoters who negatively exploit artists they’ve booked. She echoed the feelings of so many artists I’ve met, who have not been paid for their time and work, or haven’t received OTHER things that were promised under contract.

It’s important to spend your entertainment dollar supporting promoters, like Dr. Jay who work tirelessly to set a standard of excellence. That will benefit the industry as a whole. If you’ve never been to a Dr. Jay party, get your tickets NOW for Soca or Die 7 on Saturday, November 3rd. Trust me, you’ll see the difference! Like Iwer George says in the second verse of Fete After Fete. Artistes want Dr. Jay…doh take no chance.

It was just announced that Alison Hinds long anticipated solo album will finally drop on November 6th. She is the undisputed “Queen of Soca” (write that down, IS de name of she Album - Soca Queen), but till now, she has never had the mainstream clout to produce a commercially viable album. So, now it’s happening…and I’m curious to hear what it sounds like. The collection is executive produced by Salaam Remi. He’s worked with Amy Winehouse, The Refugees, and fellow soca artiste Kevin Lyttle. Which makes me think, there sure eh go be anything sounding like Wine and Go Down and Stick.

Soca Music is a young medium that is still fighting for international respect and acceptance. So it’s a VERY hard road when artists can’t even expect their local radio stations to play their songs outside the Carnival season. So the pay off comes from a grueling tour schedule that takes some artists away from their families for months at a time…like Bomani, who’s spending his birthday on de road in Toronto tonight while promoting tourism as Caribbean Week comes to a close.

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. And I’m so glad they do. It gives me the sweetest music to motivate me on the treadmill. Soca gives Dr. Jay and entire Kingdom to be prince of. And it gives YOU something to look forward to each and every blessed Sunday.

I’m nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay’s Rounds. Tell us what you think about Living La Vida Soca by texting . Now, back to de docta.


The Rounds - September 23, 2007

>> Sunday, September 23, 2007

Good Evening Soca Lovers,
I’m nurse Karen and these are Doctor Jay’s rounds. Did I ever tell you how much I LOVE SOCA. Well, if you pay attention to the way WE music getting popular right here in Toronto, it’s clear that I not the only one!
Alison Hinds is now Rolling it all over Much Music. Zoelah Going Down Low, right here on Flow…and anywhere you find Caribbean people, you can find carnival. And DAT is a thing of beauty, ah tell yuh. For all you who thinking that de parties and dem done, now that school is back in session, remember that Fall is a season full of fete!
It’s Caribbean Week in Toronto from September 26th to 30th in Toronto. Head over to Yonge-Dundas Square on Wednesday for a FREE live performance from Nookieman Jamesy P. For other details check out triple W dot Caribbean Week dot C.A.

Down in New Orleans, Cultural Diversity Day has returned to Marconi meadows park after a two year hiatus. The city was robbed of nearly all of it’s cultural celebrations when Hurricane Katrina caused thousands of residents to leave their homes behind. So this year, they ready to party it up again with the help of Montserrat’s Soca King Arrow.
Most of you know that Miami Carnival is in just 3 weeks. Right in line with our Thanksgiving weekend So, if school is really getting your goat. You might want to treat yourself to a hot weekend getaway. The 23rd annual Caribbean festival hits the road on October 7th, featuring Shadow, Iwer George, Biggie Irie, and many more.

From (Nurse) Karen (Etc)

California’s got next. They’re celebrating 10 years of Carnival in Los Angeles…and I bet most of you didn’t even know they had one at all. It’s called Caricabela. It celebrates the carnival cultures of both the English and Spanish speaking Caribbean. Not a bad mix at all! So that’s what’s up on October 14th.
So, I went easy on Machel all Summer. I figured if the Trinidad government and them wanted to leave him be for his hectic performance season, then who am I to do any different. But it’s Autumn now, and it’s time to get serious. Trinidad’s rat pack went back to Court this week to get on with the proceedings in regards to assault of two men outside of Zen night club in Port of Spain. They all showed up Machel, Benjai, Kernal and Zan….all in long sleeves looking like they going church. As is turns out, they had no reason to worry. The trial has been delayed once again. This time because Jerron Joseph, the newly appointed State attorney doesn’t think he’s quite ready to DO HIS JOB. He says, he only received the case on Monday…so the court has adjourned the proceedings until October 12th, when the y will begin to discuss a start date for the trial.
Now, I wasn’t there. So I can’t say who DO what…but I can say Machel is one LUCKY son of a gun. And I suspect that news just bought him a few more performance dates. So Autumn is looking like the real Wining Season across the board.
I’m nurse Karen and those were Doctor Jay’s Rounds. If you’re still looking for a good wine right here in Toronto, don’t forget to get your tickets to Soca or Die 7. on November 3rd.!
Please text any comments to 9-3-5-9-3-5. Now, back to de doctor


The Rounds - September 9, 2007

>> Saturday, September 8, 2007

Dr. Jay’s Rounds
September 8, 2007

Good Evening Soca Lovers…I’m Nurse Karen and ah finally back with Doctor Jay’s Rounds. Long time nuh talk Toronto. If you missed me over the last two weeks…I was busy administering a little soca therapy to the people of London England and Brooklyn, New York. I packed up my bag with rags and flags and short pants and took the pulse of soca city overseas. First stop Notting Hill…a decidedly affluent section of west London that was transformed into party central two weekends ago. Sunday morning was an event called chocolate mas which is a j’ouvert like no other. It real dutty…and plenty sweet. No mud, no paint, no powder just sticky wet chocolate syrup. All in yuh hair, in yuh clothes and on de street. Later on is what they calling Children’s day. I’m still trying to figure out why! The area is packed up with sound systems in every corner. I was hearing everything from Dancehall, to Hip Hop, funk, disco, house, and techno…but if you think sumting missing you RIGHT. Two things actually - Soca and well, Children! Big people took over the streets very early on - Getting drunk and belligerent de lil pickney were nowhere to be seen. Tisk tisk England…whappen tuh yuh?! Well, our bri-ish cousins made up for their folly on Monday with the 43rd annual grand parade. I played mas with Poison UK…and dat was bacchanal. Dr. Jay…I was missing you bad, ya kna. Even though DJ Spice was doing a great job handling de music on the road, It was easy to see that the crowds in England eh quite up to de time when it comes to soca music. So I found myself MOVIN TO DE LEFT and FOLLOWING DE LEADER more often than I’d like to admit. None de less….it was pressure. Hypa Hoppa was looking mischievous in his school uniform…Umba de Shepherd was wining pon speaker box. And de rest o’ we were in Malibu Paradise under a Pinapple Sun!
Nurse Karen had to leave the band around 6 o’clock for a live carnival broadcast on BBC 1xtra. That’s London’s home of New Black Music. I got a chance to big up Toronto’s impressive cast of DJ’s, promoters and bandleaders for making Caribana one of the best Caribbean carnivals outside of the West Indies. The beautiful bajan host of international sounds of soca, Miss Alex Jordan say to tell allyuh hello.
Click below to suss out my edited video from London England and Notting Hill Carnival.

I getting to New York just now…but I would be amiss not to mention some exiting things happening this weekend. Besides the fact that it’s carnival weekend in Baltimore Maryland, Soca history was made in Cuba on Friday. Machel Montano took the HD show to the communist nation, packing out the Karl Marx theatre in Havana.
Last Weekend I was jet setting from heath row to JFK. 5 hours time difference fast forwarded me directly into the New York carnival action. My usual labor day limes consist of boat rides and block parties, but I kept it real simple this time. Last Sunday, I was rocking a pair of 4 inch raspberry stilettos for the 5th annual SAO international soca awards. Kudos…to CJ and the organizing committee for making an effort to recognize the breadth of talent across this art form, but it’s obvious the event lost some credibility after the 11th hour venue change fiasco last year. The event that had been scheduled for the Apollo theatre, got shuffled all the way to club Tobago in queens…a place with plenty vibes, but not what I would call Black Tie sophistication. So RUM JUNGLE was the spot this year, with the likes of Tizzy and EL A CREW, Biggie Irie, Lil Rick and Peter Ram gracing the white carpet. Inside Ajamu, Crazy, Nnika Francis and Skarpyon all took home hardware. But…most of the de trini artistes and dem were noticeably absent. Special congratulations go out to Toronto-Lime dot COM for winning best soca info website two years straight. I took to the stage to pick up the hardware on they behalf. And Toronto-Lime is exactly where you need to go to check out the complete list of winners.
After the show, I got all oiled down to jump up with the wildest j’ouvert band in New York. You better believe I dey with my Greenz crew. I love how allyuh bazodee. There was one guy who kept pulling down he boxer briefs as he chippin’…I was having trouble following the political commentary in dat! I closed out the weekend on the parkway running up and down to catch every band. Nice to see Allison Hinds roll it as she gets ready to drop her first solo album in November. The Haiti crew was unstoppable with the loudest trucks on the road. I, was on the last of 3 vincy trucks, enjoying the view. Big up to Soca Jones and Vincy foreign based for giving me a front row seat to see Bomani, Jamesy P and Problem Child perform for the estimated 3 milion people at the parade.

And with that, I kissed the summer vacation behind…and hauled MY behind back to Toronto. I’m nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay’s Rounds. Please send text me your comments to 9-3-5-9-3-5, now back to de Docta!
Click below to see my edited video from the SAO Soca Awards and the Brooklyn West Indian Day Parade.



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