Booster Shot: Nurse Karen mentioned in new Maddzart song

>> Thursday, November 27, 2008


Like I could be celebrating Thanksgiving too! I just received word that former St. Vincent and the Grenadines Soca Monarch Maddzart just completed a tune for 2009 that mentions yours truly in one of the lines!

Nurse Karen and Maddzart in St. Vincent, 2007

You guys won't get to hear it until May or so, when the music is flowing like water for Vincy Mas 2K9. But no matter, I'll tell you what I know.

The production is reminiscent of early 1980's classic soca, featuring heavy bass, brass sounds and pan. The chune is called "Is Me Fren," and it was produced by Maddzart himself. When you hear it, just remember it's only a song! I have NEVER been in the entertainer's car.  So, I don't want any girlfriends out there hunting down Karen in Toronto! Please believe me when I tell you I am innocent!!

Poor People Song - Blaksand feat. Maddzart

Maddzart is still a pretty young guy, but in St. Vincent he's got some serious musical accolades under his belt. In 2001, his voice hit the international airwave on the original version of Kevin Lyttle's Turn Me On. The same year he made some history of his own winning the Ragga Soca Monarch crown with Poor People Song. This conscious offering was eventually remade with with Bunji Garlin. Then he tore up the main carnival stage with a Soca Monarch win for the song Motorcade (Biker's Anthem)

Motorcade - Maddzart


Booster Shot: New Ludacris album features production from a soca artist!

>> Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kamau and Ludacris

Yeah, you read that right!

In these circles, many people are unaware that Tortolan soca artiste and producer Kamau has a considerable amount of clout in Hip-Hop circles. Now he can add a new credit to his resume with the release of Ludacris' new album, Theatre of the Mind. (in stores now)

Kamau co-produced a track called "Calling up the Homies" alongside Clinton Sparks. After Luda laid down the vocals, Kamau took care of the mix. If you listen carefully, you can catch Kamau singing in the background. Kamau is a musical genious! He used his own voice to help recreate the vibe of an original track without the use of samples.

Clinton Sparks and Kamau

That's not all! Keep your EARS OPEN for a second track , also co-produced by Kamau. It features someone you wouldn't expect on a hip-hop track. One guess. The song is called "Mind Freak." That's all I can say, but you won't find it on the current version of Theatre of the Mind. (You'll know it when you hear it.)

Wanna buy Theatre of the Mind? Support your man Kamau!


Booster Shot: Wedding Bells for Teddyson John

Teddyson John and Nurse Karen last month in Miami

Game over ladies! One of the sweetest male voices in soca music tied the knot mid-November at an elegant ceremony in St. Lucia. The 2007 St. Lucia Groovy Soca Monarch Mr. Teddyson John was said to be an emotional groom at the sight of his dropdead gorgeous bride. (Y'all, she really is a stunner!)

The song that won him the Groovy crown

The couple have been an item for six years, but the relationship was kicked up a notch when Teddyson flew his girl to Barbados for the day on her birthday. He had a grand scheme up his sleeve that included a dinner reservation, lobster and a diamond ring!

The newlyweds enjoyed a multi-island Caribbean cruise last week. In spite of poor weather conditions throughout the region, the sun shined on them in every port with the exception of Jamaica.

This earned Teddy a second place finish behind Herb Black's Suzette

Wine Up On Me - Teddyson John

Teddyson, an accomplished blues singer, is working to establish his brand in the soca market with the help of Studio 758 - the camp that bring us Ricky T.

Teddy we wish you two a long beautiful married life together.



Nurse's Lounge: Big tings a gwan 2009!

I'm very excited today. This week marks my 3rd anniversary of contributing to Soca Therapy...Dr. Jay's hotta fyah Soca radio show on The New Flow 93.5 FM - Hits the move you!

It also marks the 1st anniversary of (Nurse) Karen (Etc)...the soca news blog you're reading right now! But you already know that.

I have been involved with the Caribbean Music world for about 5 years/same goes for journalism...and each year I enjoy taking time out to reflect on past successes. But, what good is it to look back, if you don't make new plans for the future. I'm going to keep my lips sealed for the time being, but I AM SO EXCITED.

If you love soca and Caribbean culture the way I do, there is so much in store.

Stick with me Soca Lovers. You are in such good hands!


Eye Unit: Happy Birthday Machel Montano!

>> Monday, November 24, 2008

Machel Montano turns 34 today. Not sure what his plans are. I know last year he was performing at a fete in Miami. Hopefully, he's taking a moment to recharge.

So, if you feel like joining me in marking the occasion of Machel Montano's birthday, take a good look at this clip.

Machel appeared at Dimanche Gras 1984 as a special guest. He was just 9 years of age and had walked away with the Junior Calypso crown in Trinidad. I love seeing young ones perform. I wonder how many people in that audience even dared to dream that this little fella would go on to the level of success he's at today.

The stage is so big....

but, he knew what he was doing!!!



The Rounds: Byron Lee's funeral yesterday in Jamaica

>> Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dr. Jay's Rounds - November 23, 2008

Good Evening Soca Lovers,

I’m Nurse Karen and these are Dr Jay’s Rounds. Yesterday, the friends and family of the late Byron Lee gathered at St. George’s College in Kingston Jamaica to commemorate the life of a soca icon. The nearly four hour service paid tribute to the musician’s 52 year career in the industry through renditions of Lee’s music performed by his band, The Dragonaires. Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding, and former Prime Minister Edward Seaga addressed the congregation. And there was even a recorded tribute message from American soul musician Ben E King. Those who attended described the mood as both celebratory and solemn. Lee died on November 4th after a long battle with cancer.

While hundreds in Jamaica paused to commemorate the end of an illustrious career in soca music, Trinidad’s Synergy TV was getting set to launch the careers of a number of future Soca performers. Synergy Soca Star (Season Four) kicked off earlier this month with a new crop of 15 finalists who are TAL-EN-TED!!! This batch gave their first live performance recently at St. James Amphitheatre, and somebody is getting eliminated on Monday night.
Trinidad’s most notable Soca Star Mr. Machel Montano will have his mind on something completely different tomorrow night as he rings in his 34th birthday. Happy Birthday Winer Boy! Yuh certainly not too young to soca now!

De Nurse and Machel Montano around this time last year, here in Toronto

Speaking of men with real loose waists....Barbados’ own HypaDog, Lil Rick will be celebrating a birthday this coming week too. It happens to coincide with his country’s independence celebrations on November 30th. This year sweet Lil Rick is throwing a great big birthday bash called “One More Time” at Brooklyn’s Base Nightclub next Saturday. The show will feature performances from HypaDog he-self and Edwin Yearwood, plus music by Barbados’ superstar producer and DJ, Peter Coppin. That sandy rock in the Eastern Caribbean will be celebrating 42 years of independence from British rule. So Bajan posse, bring on the Mount Gay from now. It’s party time!

With Hypa Dog a few weeks ago at Soca or Die

I’m Nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay’s Rounds. Leave me a comment or two online at the Nurse Karen Etc blog at triple W dot mustardseeds dot net. And be sure to download the rounds podcast from Soca Therapy dot com. Now, back to de docta!


Eye Unit: Machel and Patrice strutting on the beach! Push Bumpa / Looking Hot / Tempa Wine (Video)

>> Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hey people!

This video has been out for almost two months. So it's not new. But hear nah, I love it- mostly for it's simplicity. Machel and Patrice just doing they thing on the beach. I'm probably just posting it because the weather just dipped below zero in Toronto, and beach sounds just about right to me.

If you're in somewhere cold like me, enjoy the little escape. If you're not, take my advise and let this inspire you to make the most of your good fortune. Get outside today enjoy the heat. (I know there has been plenty rain lately all over thre region...but believe me, there are worse things than rain!!)

Here you go:

Push Bumpa/Looking Hot/Tempa Wine
Feauturing: Patrice Roberts and Machel Montano
Directors: Peter C. Lewis and Machel Montano

Push Bumpa / Looking Hot / Tempa Wine

If I could just do away with all my big clothes right now.. A girl could dream!


The Rounds: Edwin Yearwood is not dead!

>> Sunday, November 16, 2008

Good Evening Soca Lovers

I'm Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay's Rounds. So Doctor Jay, I know your birthday just passed and ting, but I have a little bad news for you to start off today's Rounds. There's a new Soca Doctor on the scene...and he's actually got a DEGREE to prove it. Five-time Trinidad Calypso Monarch BLACK STALIN was given an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies last week. He becomes the third Calypsonian to earn that title after The Mighty Sparrow and Chalkdust.

I really can not understand when this became the vogue thing to do. But somebody needs to tell me how and when it became OK to spread rumours about people's death. The latest soca star to fall victim to bachannal of the grandest scale, is de Bajan General, Edwin Yearwood. Last week rumours were spreading across the Caribbean region that the lead vocalist from Krosfyah had breathed his last. Truth be told the man had been laying low, but certainly not-six feet under. He was simply down south in Trinidad recording a remix to Nah Missing Me and performing with Bunji. Yearwood heard the rumour for himself from a source in Antigua who informed him that the GRAVE tale was spreading like wildfire in Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia AND Trinidad. It even had his poor mama worked up. man is alive and well. So well, that he's hard at work preparing his second solo-album with VP Records...which we should see in 2009.

Posing for a snap shot with De General in Manhattan (2008)

Grenada's Brother B is getting ready to drop an album too. The full length album will be the rookie release for the man who brought you "A Little Wine" . The last time I mentioned him in the rounds, the artiste was recovering from a car crash in St. Georges. He's now back to full health and strength and ready to take his career to a higher lever. Check your west indian outlets for "More Fire" on November 21st.

Little Wine (2008) - brother b

Before I go, here's some news I am so excited to finally be able to share! Bunji Garlin and Faye-Ann Lyons are expecting a little soca baby. Maybe you didn't hear me right! Faye-Ann is pregnant. When I saw her in Miami she looked as beautiful as always, but you couldn't deny her decision to wear loose shirts and hoodies at all her gigs (in 30 degree celsius weather), left a lot of people speculating...including moi! So, Thursday night, she performed in Port of Spain at Zen...and the baby bump was spotted outright by local Trini media. At four months, the reigning road march queen is amped at the prospect of motherhood. Baby Alvarez will make his or her grand arrival in April 2009. The couple claims they intend to honour all of their Trinidad carnival engagements. I can't wait to see my girl mashing up the stage with her big fat belly!!!!

Pregnant Faye-Ann, all covered up in Miami(October 2008)

I'm Nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay's Rounds. For more info on everything you've heard here, surf on over to Nurse Karen Etc at triple W dot Mustard Seeds dot Net. And if you haven't started downloading The Rounds Podcast, it's not too late. Get it at Soca Therapy dot com, or just search "Nurse Karen" on itunes!


Booster Shot: Faye-Ann Lyons is pregnant!!!

>> Saturday, November 15, 2008

One of the toughest things I have to do in my hold my tongue in the interest of maintaining my business relationships. Finally, somebody in the Trini media spilled the, I guess I'm at liberty to tell you what you've been dying to know. YES, FAYE-ANN LYONS is expecting a baby.

The 28 year-old reigning Road March Queen will be celebrating two years of marriage on December 23, 2008. Soon after carnival 2009, she and her Power Soca Monarch husband Bunji Garlin will be ushering in the birth of their first child together. Baby Alvarez is set to bust on the scene in April.

So, to all you who were speculating about all the big clothes, and the covered mid-riff in Miami, consider it a good guess. Faye-Ann is only 4 months pregnant now, so the bulge is just beginning to be noticeable.

Real happy for you two...and Faye, can't wait to see you mashing up Trinidad, big belly and all!

Just to cover meh bam-bam, here's a link to an article in Trinidad Newsday, that was published before this.  Next time, let me break the news, nah!


Eye Unit: Happy Birthday Destra

>> Monday, November 10, 2008

A birthday is the best excuse for all sorts of things. So, here's my little tribute to one of Trinidad's top sisters of soca....Miss Destra Garcia!

Happy Birthday Love...let's hope for continued success in the year ahead!

I hope you enjoy this beautiful clip of Miss Garcia performing "Colours Again" at the 2006 COTT Awards. Simply stunning!


The Rounds: 2008 COTT Awards highlight round-up

>> Sunday, November 9, 2008

Good Evening Soca Lovers,

I'm Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay's rounds. What a truly impactful the soca world, and the WORLD in general. Yes, we can and yes we did! Before we get to that, let's go to Jamaica. Just last Sunday, I closed The Rounds by dispelling the rumours circulating about the medical condition of Jamaican soca bandleader Byron Lee. Lee's suffering came to a peaceful end on Tuesday morning. We at Soca Therapy send our heart felt condolences to the Lee family, the all those affiliated with the Dragonaires band, and anyone touched by his musical legacy.

Next, I want to send some birthday love to some WOMEN who are making their mark on soca music in their respective homes. St. Vincent's Tabia and Juliette Mills of St. Kitts both rang in b-days on Friday, and Trinidad's Destra Garcia marks her big day tomorrow. (November 10th)

Nurse Karen and Tabia (St. Vincent 2008)

Speaking of births, and new band was born, just in time for Trini Carnival 2009. It's called Shurwayne Winchester and Y.O.U. The award-winning frontline vocalist from Caribbean Traffik Jam wasted no time getting mobilized for the next stage of his highly decorated career. The band is called Y.O.U....Yes, One Unit. It's all about unity. Around this time last year, I told you about Shurwayne meeting a producer called Alton Bertie at the Puerto Rico Airport. That first meeting led to the production of Carnival Please Stay, which won Mr. Winchester his International Groovy Soca Crown. Well, Bertie is an accomplished musician from a band called Showtime out of Tortola. He joins Y.O.U. as the keyboardist. From the discussions I've had, the sound will be refreshingly new. DJ Kamau joins the team, not only to handle samples, but he'll be manning turntables too. Definitely a new look in soca. Listen for their new track called "All I Need" featuring Serani.

All I Need F.Serani (New)(2009 Trinidad/JA) - Shurwayne Winchester & YOU F.Serani

Shurwayne and YOU made their first public performance on Halloween night, but the word really started circulating this past Thursday when they performed with raggae star Maxi Priest at the 10th annual COTT awards in Trinidad. COTT stands for the Copyright Organization of Trinidad and Tobago. The awards show recognizes songwriters, and composers. Here are a few highlights: Faye-Ann Lyons copped two of the top honours, winning Soca of the Year and Song of the Year for Get On. Machel took songwriter of the year. Others in his camp where celebrating too. Bajan producers Dwain Antrobus took home hardware for writing and producing "Wukking up" for Patrice Roberts, and Farmer Nappy was all smiles at the news that his song "Chippin" would earn he and songwriter Ginger kudos as "Groovy Soca of the Year". The veterans scored big too. The Mighty Sparrow was recognized with an International Achievement Award. The Baron was honoured as Pioneer of the Year.

Nurse Karen and Machel Montano in Miami

That's the kind of week it's been in soca. But everyone knows the biggest news anywhere is Barack Obama's US Election Victory on Tuesday. What a message of hope for anyone who is willing to listen. I'm Nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay's Rounds. Please visit me online at the Nurse Karen Etc blog at triple W dot Mustard Seeds dot Net. In celebration of Obama's win, I've compiled a links to a list of Calypso songs about Obama from Antigua, St. Kitts, Grenada, St. Vincent and Trinidad. Be sure to take a look. And if you haven't already subscribed to the Rounds podcast, start today. Download it now at Soca Therapy dot com. Now back to de Docta.


Eye Unit: Happy Birthday Juliette Mills and Tabia!

>> Friday, November 7, 2008

In my line of work, the best gift I can offer an emerging artiste is a little bit of exposure. Here are two talented young ladies that don't have professionally produced music videos to their names as yet, but their voices are well-known in their home countries. Take a look and listen to the birthday girls!

Happy Birthday Juliette Mills of St. Kitts and Nevis!

Happy 21st B-Day to Tabia of St. Vincent and the Grenadines!


Eye Unit: Caribbean-style tributes to Barack Obama

>> Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations to Barack Obama! Congratulations to the United States of America!

The focus of this blog is West Indian music, especially soca and calypso. I'm here way too excited to sleep after watching the U.S. election results. I want to discuss how amazing this is for America, and for all people who need an extra dose of faith...but I realize that if you're here, you're here to read about music. So, this week's Eye Unit will consist of Audio/Visual tributes to U.S. President Elect, Barack Obama.

Check out a brief selection of songs that were penned across the Caribbean region and diaspora in support! Yes we can. Yes, we did.

Barack the Magnificent by the Mighty Sparrow (Trinidad and Tobago)

Barack Obama - Vibrating Scakes (St. Vincent and the Grenadines)

Obama You Make Us Proud - Red Ride (Montserrat)

Barack We Love You - King Short Shirt (Antigua)

Good Luck to Barack Obama - Pearson Jordan

Calypso for Obama - Rootsman (Trinidad and Tobago)

Rally Around Obama - Ajamu (Grenada)

Presidential Parang- Eric Powder (Trinidad and Tobago)


Booster Shot: Byron Lee loses his battle with cancer at 73

>> Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Jamaica's soca king, Byron Lee passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer. Last week several rumours were circulating that he had already passed. However, Lee's cancer battle continued quietly until today.

The 73 year old musician has been heavy in the business for the last 50 years with a cache of hits like Tiney Winey, Give Me Soca, and Jamaican Ska. He founded The Dragonaires when he was a student at St. George's College in the 1950's.

Coincidentally, if you believe in them things...Lee was conferred with the Order of Jamaica a little over a week ago. The award was bestowed upon him by Governor General Sir Kenneth Hall. Due to Lee's condition, the ceremony had to be held at the Tony Thwaites Wing of the University Hospital of the West Indies.

Lee was diagnosed with bladder cancer two years ago. He was undergoing treatment for transitional cell cancer in Miami until last Saturday when he returned to Jamaica via air ambulance.

This is truly a very sad day for Jamaica, West Indian music, and the entire Caribbean entertainment fraternity. I wish to send my sincere condolences to the entire Lee family, the Dragonaires and any reading this who has been touched by this loss.

Below is a photo of myself with Dragonaire's lead vocalist, Jumo Primo, three weeks ago at Broward Carnival.

Byron Lee is no stranger to (Nurse) Karen (Etc). Visit the links below for archived posts about Byron Lee and the Dragonaires

If you would like to leave your thoughts, comments or condolences below. I assure you they will be passed along to the Lee family. Tell us your memories of Byron Lee, the man, the musician and his legacy.


Booster Shot: Introducing the new band, Shurwayne Winchester and Y.O.U.

I know some of you were worried when you heard that Mr. Winchester would be moving on from Caribbean Traffik Jam. Some are resistant to change, but Shurwayne is amped about a major shift in how he approaches his career.

It's finally safe for me to spill the beans. There's a new band in Trinidad called Y.O.U. I am told that the sound will be completely new. Y.O.U. features a DJ, so I'm excited to see what possibilities arise from that. Look out for the new single featuring Jamaican dancehall sensation Serani. No reason to play coy...I like it!

So, the big question. Who are Y.O.U? The band consists of a line-up of "fresh faced" musicians, each quite talented in their own right. One such musician/producer is Tortola's Alton Bertie. You've seen me write about him in the past in respect to producing Trinidad's title-winning 2008 Groovy Soca Monarch tune, Carnival Please Stay. If you don't know his name, learn it good. Bertie is no stranger to some important people in music circles. In the hip hop arena, he has worked with well-know DJ Clinton Sparks. At home in Tortola, Alton played with the B.V.I. road march-winning band, Showtime. Here's something most people don't know -- Alton built the original track for Jamesy P's 2007 Vincy ragga "Bashment Freaks" before Parry Jack laid down the finishing touches.

Check out this clip of Shurwayne Winchester and Y.O.U at their inaugural public performance on October 31st in Trinidad. Check out Alton Bertie on sax during Mercy, Mercy Me.


Nurse's Lounge: Soca Or Die 9, you voted - Dr. Jay delivered

No time is like the present to discuss the importance of voting. If you are reading this from the United States, today is your change to make a change. YES WE CAN! The whole world is watching.

When you have a chance to have your say, speak you must. Let me take the liberty to show you how this relates to SOCA!!! If you're into soca and you live in Toronto, there's no doubt you know about Dr. Jay de Soca Prince and his groundbreaking mega-fete Soca or Die. Dr. Jay is the DJ who hosts Soca Therapy, the same radio program that I go on every Sunday to give you "The Rounds." If you're still not sure, I'm going to tell you.

Nurse Karen and Dr. Jay (At KoolHaus earlier this year)

Last Saturday, the two-time soca award-winning "best international dj" and three-time stylus dj award winning "best soca dj" threw a huge fete in celebration of his birthday. Incidentally, I'm a soca scorpio too, so it was a real pleasure sharing the evening with all the other Carnival babies (De Docta, Marxman, Destra and Problem Child)

With Soca Therapy DJ, Marxman (Trinidad 2008)

This event is becoming an institution in Toronto. The KoolHaus, a concert venue which holds a legal capacity crowd of 3500 sells out each time. Patrons get to see performances from acts seldom brought together for a show. This year, he took the concept to a whole new level.

Earlier this Fall, soca lovers in Toronto had the chance to VOTE for the cast of this much anticipated show.

Fans spoke up, and Dr. Jay assembled a line-up no city has seen before. The favourites from 6 countries were given a mandate from the Toronto electorate: Soca or Die!

Here are the top vote getters:

Antigua - Tizzy of EL A KRU

Barbados - Lil Rick, the Hypa Dog

Grenada - Berbice

St. Lucia - Ricky T

St. Vincent - an alleged tie called for both Problem Child and Skinny Fabulous

Trinidad - Machel Montano. However, a scheduling conflict with the World Creole Music Festival in Dominica meant that Destra Garcia would rep the Twin Island republic.

Here's my shortish, but oh-so-sweet review. This fete was refreshingly different.

  1. International - The international cast drew out soca fans with roots throughout the Caribbean. KoolHaus looked like carnival with every nation's flag waving high and proud.

  2. Grenada's Berbice, minutes before showtime

  3. Equal playing field - There were no bands, so all of the sets were equal. Each performer had about 20 minutes to leave a lasting impression on the crowd regardless of their experience level in the business, popularity of their prepertoire or nationality. This meant people like Problem Child could remind us about his older hits, and Tizzy could introduce the crowd to songs they haven't really previously given a chance.

  4. Problem Child, ever so dapper. How does he do it?

  5. Supportive - Maybe you've heard. Ricky T was a no-show. Shortly after the end of Berbice's set, a recorded apology was played indicating that the St. Lucian entry was absent due to some family business at home. I won't mislead you, I was disappointed too...(mostly cause he's good vibes and has a killer wine when he's ready to lehgo). But some fans were irate. Following the announcement there were chants of "F*ck Ricky T" rising from one section of the crowd.

    Thankfully, artists emphasized the importance of putting family first....and the refrain of "Oh Oh Oh Oh Ohhhh, Wham to Dem!!", was a familiar call and response throughout the night. Fans: Ricky T will be in Toronto at Doh Cry Ah Leaving in February. Cool? Cool.

  6. Ricky T and I just three weeks ago in Miami

  7. High Quality - Artists brought FIRE. I could tell that the performers were exuding a special confidence from knowing that the crowd asked for each act directly. The line-up was unconventional with a multi-year chart-topper in Destra performing ahead of Lil Rick who is often considered a niche artist, Tizzy (who spent Trini Carnival 2K8 as a special guest in Destra's band).

With Lil Rick backstage...a not-so-hyper dog.

Skinny Fabulous closed the show. That decision was even surprising to him up until about ten minutes before showtime, as Toronto is still largely unfamiliar with his eight-year repertoire. No one was thinking about that when he gave his Barack Obama style motivational speeck on Caribbean unity, or when he took a running leap off the stage into a sea of flags and his 140 lb frame was thrown into the air over and over. The acts flowed seemlessly, and everything made perfect sense in the end.

If you missed it, don't miss my humble video blog, and be sure to check out the pictures and video EVERYWHERE. People will be talking about this one for a while!

Dre from TriniJungle Juice crossed the border to get in on the action. In so doing he dragged Nadine from Much Music along to host TJJ TV.

Here's what you'be been waiting for....Clips from Soca or Die 9!


The Rounds: Byron Lee is alive and fighting for every breath!

>> Monday, November 3, 2008

Good Evening Soca Lovers,

Boy, what a big week for Caribbean Entertainment! First let's go to Dominica For the Festival Musique Creole Dominique. Each year festival organizers work hard to ensure that the best international talent is represented to provide the ultimate entertainment experience. But last night, many Dominicans were left disappointed after a lack-luster performance by Sean Paul. Sucks for them, cause here in Toronto, it was all about Soca or Die 9! And it was saw-weet!....I digress.

Right. So, the real local stars mashing up Dominica this season are a young group called the MFR Band. The acronym stands for Music For Real. They have a song called Sticks and Stones that is on EVERYONE'S tongues even though the tune hasn't been recorded in studio yet for radio play.

Here's a video of MFR Band performing Sticks and Stones
"I see you runnin' ya mouth, but you ain't saying nothin. Blah, blah, blah!"

St. Lucia is taking an leap forward to recognize the potential of THEIR local entertainment hopefuls. Wednesday, a new television program was launched called Guinness Undisputed. It's a talent contest seeking the top vocalists, dancehall dancers and freestylers from Lucia. What's cool about the program is that the contest judges are some pretty reputable local soca personalities. You have Francis "Leebo" De Lima, a reggae artist and soca producer, Nigel Nicholas and Patrice Regis from Slaughter Arts Media Entertainment...the duo who brought you the soca blutooth riddim last year. And Lastly, Mr. Courtney Lewis...he's best known as the 2007 COTT Award Winner for best new male songwriter for Trinidad's Roadmarch that year....Jumbie!

Speaking of the COTT Awards. The action starts now. The 2008 awards gala takes place on November 6th, but a few awards were doled out early. I'd like to big up Noel La Pierre, a member of the Kingdom of Soca extended family. He just won the COTT award for Jazz World Music Composition of the Year, for the song One and Only. Noel made that steelpan sing, and recorded the magic right here in Toronto.

The biggest news of the week is of a somewhat sombre nature. I say somewhat, because the bad news everyone is talking about turned out be a little LESS "bad" than we first thought. I am talking about Byron Lee, the legendary bandleader behind one of Jamaica's foremost musical exports, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires. The 73 year old music veteran has been suffering from cancer for two years. He was undergoing treatment in Miami.

This past week a crazy rumour was circulating internationally that Mr. Lee had passed away. Sadly I must admit, I got caught in it myself. Lemme explain. Recently, Lee's conditioned worsened and he suddenly returned home to Jamaica by air ambulance. The next day the governor general paid him a visit in the hospital to bestow upon him one of Jamaica's highest civilian honours - the Order of Jamaica.

Naturally this sparked speculation among news watchers that a tragic end was close in view. So, heres what your Nurse found out. On Monday, there WAS a death in the Dragonaires camp. Former lead vocalist, Vic Taylor who performed as part of the band throughout the 70s and 80s died at the age of 56. See where I'm going? Byron Lee is not dead. Rather, lines got crossed with persons coupling the gravity of Lee's illness with the untimely death of his old colleague Vic Taylor. I have been communicating with a longtime friend of the Lee family who is receiving updates from Byron's daughter Deanna. Lee is alive and fighting for every breath. This morning her email informed me that he does have his good day and his bad. So join me in continuing to keep both the Lee and Taylor families your thoughts and prayers.

I'm Nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay's Rounds. For more information about anything I've mentioned, check me out online at the (Nurse) Karen (Etc) Blog at triple w dot mustard seeds dot net. And as always, you can download The Rounds Podcast for yourself at Soca Therapy dot com.
Now Back to De Docta!



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