Monday, December 29, 2008

Dermot Hussey to resume'The Traveler'

The Traveler, Kenny Barron's latest work received master treatment by real music presenter Dermot Hussey on "the Riff" aired on Jamaica's News Talk 93 FM, weekdays at 8:35 pm. But, the journey was incomplete and Hussey promised listeners a Part 2 TBA.

The Traveler parades some excellent sounds abetted by a new rhythm section (Japanese bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa and Cuban drummer Francisco Mela) and some very special guests.

Over 50 years of performance, Barron, who recently tutored our own Dr. Kathy Brown in New York, shows he still possess the touch, panache, grace, fire and empathy.

Riffin is heard live, Monday - Friday, 8:35pm @

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sonny Bradshaw, Myrna Hague open Miramar centre

Jamaican trumpeter Sonny Bradshaw and wife Myrna Hague opened the new 800-seat Miramar Cultural Center at 2400 Civic Center Place, Florida recently.

The opening of the centre coincides with the staging of the Caribfest Community Showcase, the free multi-cultural festival staged annually by Caribefest Inc. and the City of Miramar.

This years focus turned to the Caribbean Jazz of veteran Jamaican musician and founder of the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival Sonny Bradshaw (trumpet) and his wife Myrna Hague (vocals) who graced the stage of the new US$20 million Arts Center with Jamaican saxophonist Dean Fraser, fresh from a stint at Anguilla’s Tranquility Jazz Festival and Grammy nominated Haitian-born Reginald Policard on keyboards as well as trumpeter Jean Caze.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

CHICAGO comes to Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival

CHICAGO , not Barack Obama home state, but the rock band formed in 1967 in the Illonois capital, will arrive in Montego Bay for date at the upcoming Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival.

A steady stream of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Chicago, once boost Peter Cetera as lead singer, is one of the longest running and most successful U.S. pop/rock and roll groups.

They will bring to Montego Bay a package that includes #1 selling hits like "If You Leave Me Now, "Hard To Say I'm Sorry", "Look Away" and their 2008 CD release Stone of Sisyphus.

For more of the BIG names already booked for Jan 22-24 festival visit

Monday, November 17, 2008

Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 - 10 November 2008)

South African singer and civil rights activist born in . The Grammy Award winning, international acclaimed artist endearingly referred to as Mama Africa, born Zenzile Miriam Makeba is Johannesburg of the Xhosa tribe.
Makeba first toured with an amateur group. Her professional career began in the 1950s with the Manhattan Brothers, before she formed her own group, The Skylarks, singing a blend of jazz and traditional melodies of South Africa.
Miriam Makeba, the first studio album for RCA in 1960, was followed the same year by The Many Voices of Miriam Makeba, and The World of Miriam Makeba in1963. many more albums land compilations, countless performance later led to one last show.
Her final performance came November 9, 2008, where she became ill while taking part in a concert organized to support writer Roberto Saviano in his stand against the Camorra, a mafia-like organisation in a region of Italy.
Befitting this elegant African queen of music, the concert was being held in Castel Volurno near Caserta, Italy. Makeba suffered a heart attack after singing her hit song "Pata Pata" and was taken to a clinic where doctors were unable to revive her

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Lionel Ritchie, Randy Crawford, Atlantic Star for Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival

R&B legend Lionel Ritchie, singer Randy Crawford, funk group Atlantic Star join the fabulous O'Jays at the rebrand JTB sponsored Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival to be held at the Aqueduct in Montego Bay, January 22 - 24, 2009.
Thirty (30) years in the business, over 100 million albums sold, countless awards including an Oscar, a Golden Globe, five Grammys, and the Crystal Award for Humanitarianism, Lionel Ritchie returns to the Montego Bay Festival.
Jazz & R&B singer Randy Crawford broke into the pop world as vocalist with the Crusaders, an instrumental jazz-oriented group on their sole hit Street Life. The Georgia born singer followed up solo effort include soul standards One Day I'll Fly Away, Rainy Night in Georgia, Knocking On Heaven's Door, a big selling album Secret Combination. Crawford was Michael Manley's favourite singer.
Atlantic Star, masterpiece soul band formed in 1976 in White Plains, NY by brothers Wayne (keyboardist/singer), David (lead singer/guitarist) and Jonathan Lewis (trombonist/percussionist) who hired vocalist Sharon Bryant, was among the top urban contemporary acts of the '80s but fared well in the adult contemporary market as well. Yet, their roots were '70s soul and funk with US Top 5 hits Secret Lovers, Always (#1), and Masterpiece.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

O'Jays train rolls into MoBay Jazz & Blue festival

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R&B group, O'Jays, originally from Canton, Ohio, who became one of "Philadelphia Soul" most popular groups, will roll the "Love Train" into Montego Bay as one of the headline acts of the upcoming Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, formally Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, at the Aquaduct, January 22 -24, 2009.
The group, in the forefront of 70s music, that, 2004, was inducted in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, racked up a lengthy string of modern R&B classics, including Back Stabbers, Love Train, For the Love of Money, I Love Music and Use Ta Be My Girl, that helped put the “Philly Soul” sound on the map.
The O’Jays, consisting of Walter Williams, Eric Nolan Grant and Eddie Levert, were the backbone of Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International label, which released some of the greatest and most influential Seventies records.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Montego Bay's Jazz & Blues Festival renamed

The Montego Bay hosted Jazz & Blues Festival, held annual during the last week of January each year has has gotten a name. According to a Headline Entertainment release, the festival known worldwide as the Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival as now been fully adopted by the Jamaica Tourist Board and re-branded Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival.

The release states, "A strategic decision was taken to rename the festival to give the Jamaica Brand prime positioning. To facilitate this move the JTB agreed to add their official JAMAICA branding to the name and logo, thus rebranding the festival as The JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival with Air Jamaica as the presenting sponsor.

Air Jamaica, the release continues, Air Jamaica remains committed to the festival as presenting sponsor. Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival is scheduled for the Aqueduct venue on Montego Bay tourism corridor January 22-24.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Praise/sweetness of Jazz for Obama benefit concert

A concentration of jazz talent made an appeal for the democratic candidates with sobriety, humor and flair. Jazz for Obama, a benefit for the Obama/Biden campaign that featured more than enough of the genre's luminaries was the second installment of political fundraisers organized by pianist Aaron Goldberg, Jazz for America's Future.

Doug Wamble, the Memphis-bred guitarist and vocalist embodied concept well He and guitarist Charles Hunter tackled Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" during the first set. Charlie Hunter's considered accompaniment perfectly complemented Wamble's shuddering vocal work. It was a great performance on a bill overrun with them.

Bilal and Robert Glasper opted for the pensive as well. Bilal, whose stylistically ambidextrous, launched into a smart ballad, "All Matter", restricting himself to his mid range in lieu of his mannered falsetto and baritone.

Dianne Reeves, whom emcee Kurt Elling introduced as "the Renee Fleming of Jazz," most invigorated the audience. The Denver native brought with her that August 25-28th zeal, closing up the first set with Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken". It was rousing enough to demand her inclusion on the Obama Inauguration Party bill, when, not if that day finally comes. Reeves know hows to build a sentiment and convey power without overwhelming.

With the exception of the strident, straight-ahead stylings of the first set's opener--the Roy Haynes Quintet with Roy Hargrove, Joe Lovano, Aaron Goldberg and Christian McBride--the mood was reflective. And reflecting back on these past eight years doesn't evoke the pleasantest of thoughts.

But, in closing, Dianne Reeves and Dee Dee Bridgewater's imaginings of a post November took shape via "Afro Blue." Bridgewater, late of Mali, set forth the percussive and Reeves picked it right up, with the women volleying rhythmic improvisations over pianist Edsel Gomez's Latin arrangement. Unpracticed, its was exemplar, and an apropos example that experience ain't everything.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Norvell Molex Jr. podcasting the gospel in jazz

Do you love gospel music and are you a lover of jazz? Here's a spot on your computer where the two come together in seamless praise. The Offbeat today celebrates the discovery of Gospel Jazz Podcast & The Gospel in Jazz, a gospel jazz show on the Internet @

Created by Norvell A. Molex Jr, a mass communication specialist who is blessed with the vision of spreading God's word through jazz, the Gospel Jazz Podcast & The Gospel in Jazz is dedicated to airing gospel music as performed in the improvised music idiom.

On this Gospel Jazz Radio Station you will hear 24 hours of praise and worship to God through Jazz.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Michael Franks is Offbeat #1 jazz vocalist

Michael Franks, smooth jazz singer and songwriter, is this Offbeat blogger all-time favourite contemporary male jazz crooner
A former University Literature teacher, Franks, over the languorous course of 33 years and 16 albums, has mesmerized an international legion of fans with his one-of-a-kind artistry.
Seamlessly weaving lyrics of stunning sensuality, wit, reflection and literary eloquence over music that tastefully utilizes top shelf shadings of jazz, soul, pop, chamber and music from around the globe, Michael Franks the songwriter has set a bar in the music world that places him as nothing less than a statesman of song craft.
His best known works include “Popsicle Toes,” “Monkey See-Monkey Do,” “The Lady Wants To Know,” “When the Cookie Jar is Empty,” “Tiger in the Rain,” “Rainy Night in Tokyo” and “Tell Me All About It” (covered by artists ranging from Diana Krall (Offbeat's #1 female crooner) and Natalie Cole to Manhattan Transfer and, David Sanborn, Patti LaBelle, Brenda Russel, and the Carpenters).
Michael Franks the singer is gifted with a gentle, deliciously expressive voice - identifiable from note one.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dr. Kathy Brown trains under NY masters

Jamaican contempor-ary jazz pianist Dr. Kathy Brown is currently in the Big Apple in further training in jazz piano under the tutelage of three of New York's most outstanding and celebrated jazz teachers and musicians.

Read more at All About Jazz News:

Meet the composer, arranger, recording artist and medical doctor @

Cassandra Wilson: creating loverly sound

The deep, rich voice of Cassandra Wilson, now among the most exalted of jazz vocalists, is something to savor. She has an adventurous spirit when it comes to her music, and whether playing with original melodies, or turning others songs—of jazz, folk, blues or pop origin—inside out, it's always something to relish, like a fine brandy that can be felt sweetly burning down to the stomach then spreading the glow back up where it can be felt warming the ears.
Wilson's latest recording released over the past summer, Loverly (Blue Note, 2008), is a delicious treat, moving her back to the realm of standards, something she hasn't done in a while—since Blue Skies (JMT, 1988),
Read the complete story on All About Jazz (AAJ), the website @

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jazzy Jamaican trio mines metals 'n' Beijing

While Jamaica exports scrap metals to China, a jazzy Jamaican trio (Kerron Stewart- silver, Shelly -ann Frazer - gold, Sherone Simpson - silver) mines priceless metals in Beijing.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Jamaican music without the dreadlocks

JamaicaMusic Offbeat , for a brief moment, diverts from its core functioning of promoting improvised music in the Jamaican context to draw attention to an interesting story on reggae published in the Aspen Times newspaper. The well written piece is highlighted by the caption UB40: Jamaican music without the dreadlocks. See link below.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Over 500 artists for Monterey Jazz Festival

Three days of celebration of the best in jazz, with over 500 artists appearing on 9 stages spread throughout the Festival's 20 acres of magnificent grounds.

Cassandra Wilson Nancy Wilson Herbie Hancock
Jamie Cullum Wayne Shorter Quintet Christian McBride

The 51st Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey Fairground, California.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

SS Live Music Nation set sail at Christopher's

photos by Diallo Dixon

True Democrats (L-R) Carl Gibson (bass) Wendel Lawrence (drums), Seretse Small (guitar) and O'zune (piano)

Ship Ahoy, Griot Music/Seretse Small's Live Music Nation (LMN) set sail Tuesday night , 5th August, at New Kingston live music hub Christopher's Jazz Cafe before a lively standing room crowd. And, bottles did pop in the true democratic spirit of the launch as chaser for Seretse's imbibing guitar riffs and runs.

Seretse Small & the True Democrats was in great improvising form blending like good cocktails served to both the regulars and new patrons who drank to their fullest imbibe of musical aperitif.
The SS Live Music Nation stays anchored tonight Thursday (August 7) at Christopher's for a rocking session with the highly regarded Gas Money.
Anchor aweigh to the Village Blues Bar for Friday nights (August 8) set with trumpeter Ian Hurd before sailing to the enchanting Heathers Garden Restaurant on Saturday (August 9) for a lovely evening with the lovely jazz pianist Dr. Kathy Brown.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Griot Music launches live music campaign

Guitarist Seretse Small, CEO of Griot Music Publishing, will continue his dream when on Tuesday, August 5, 2008 he launches his Live Music Nation (LMN) campaign, an effort to provide live music in Kingston, the Jamaica capital, 7 nights a week at different locations.
According to Small, a veritable jazz and reggae guitarist, Griot Music launching of LMN will bring 7 days a week of high quality performers in Kingston. " This will lead to the development of strong artists who can effectively tour the world with the newest sounds out of Jamaica".

"This is just the beginning of a much needed change in the Jamaican music industry for these artists will move on to record albums, promoting their albums though touring and Griot Music will grow a valuable and diverse catalogue", says Small via the Griot Music website
The Kingston venues contracted so far are the intimate Heathers Garden Restaurant, Christopher's Jazz Cafe in New Kingston and the Village Jazz & Blues Cafe in Liguanea.
The musicians/performers to make the rounds are aspiring vocalists, Bijean Gayle, Bridgez, Janine Cunningham, Luke Dixon, Mario Evans, Nina Karle, and Ricardo Suave, reggae bands, Chalice and Gas Money, jazz pianists Dennis Rushton, Dr. Kathy Brown,
Ozou'ne, and Kamila Hamilton, and trumpeter Ian Hurd

LMN kicks off Tuesday, 5th August with Seretse Small in command performance at Christopher's Jazz Cafe begining at 7 pm.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

YolanDa Brown: Britain’s hottest new sax symbol

Having played at the recent Ocho Rios Jazz Festival events in Kingston and Ocho Rios, sax rising star YolanDa Brown spoke to Dionne Grant about sharing the stage with role model, Courtney Pine in The Voice, the Gleaner sister newspaper.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jamaican choir hit at World Choir Games

Nexus Performing Arts Company represented Jamaica at the 5th World Choir Games held in the Austrian city of Graz during July 9 –19. , they have returned with 4 medals and loads of memories of their European experience.

Inaugurated in Linz, Austria in 2000, these biennial games are the largest and most successful choir competition of the world. Held in Bremen, Germany (2004), Xiamen, China (2006), this year’s Graz renewal attracted over 440 ensembles, including choirs, orchestras, and folk dance ensembles, representing some 70 nations.

Nexus, under the direction of conductors Hugh Douse and Lawrence Hanif, assisted by Dr. Kathy Brown, was awarded 1 gold (Folk), 1 silver and 2 bronze medals having entered in the categories of Contemporary Music (Musica Contemporanea), Gospel & Spiritual, Popular Choral music and Folklore.

Based on this year’s registration, China, Russia, Austria and Germany brought more than 170 participating choirs while Indonesia, Hungary and Croatia together registered nearly 90 choirs. And, as the choir games were brought to a close on Saturday, July 19, the Republic of China took home, all told, 37 medals, Austria: 35, Russia: 31 and South Africa and Indonesia: 24.

Outside of competition, the Nexus group performed a number of town square impromptu concert to the delight of passerby, Graz residents, and tourists. And Dr. Kathy Brown, supported by Austrian-based Jamaican musicians, entertained at the pristine lakeside venue at the observance of Jamaica Day in Graz.

Jamaica Day, highlighting aspects of Jamaican culture and including the 'Marley meet Mozart" live music show that featured Dr. Brown, was organised by friends of Jamaica in Austria and the Mayor and Councellor of Graz.

Indeed, the slogan “Singing together brings nations together” was celebrated impressively in Graz, which city centre is one of UNESCO’s world cultural heritage sites.

The 6th World Choir Games will be staged in Shaoxing, China in 2010.

See Nexus' performances at You Tube links below

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dr. Kathy Brown/Nexus Choir in Austria

In a year when the Beijing Olympics are being staged, Jamaica’s Nexus Performing Arts Company is going for gold while Dr. Kathy Brown performs Jamaica Day at the World Choir Games in Graz, Austria, July 9 – 19.

The Games are being held in the City of Graz, the second largest in Austria, which will see over four hundred choirs descending on the city from all across the world.

In an added significance, the City Council of Graz has taken the bold step of featuring Jamaica with an entire week of activities starting July 7 and culminating July 12 with Jamaica Day. The event will feature Jamaican music and food for the eyes of the world. Among the performers along with Nexus are Dr. Kathy Brown, From the Deep and Carline Waugh.

The World Choir Games are staged biennially with this being the fifth staging. Jamaica has had a rich history at the Games with other groups such as the Glenmuir High School Festival Choir and Carifolk Singers being the previous entrants.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Jazz in the Gardens defies the theme melodiously

Reviewer:Basil Walter
Media: Jamaica Observer newspaper

Perhaps wrongly billed as Battle of the Ivories, Sunday's Jazz in the Gardens was anything but a battle, confrontation, or a showdown of any kind. In fact, the jazz concert featuring eight of the finest keyboard specialists, was more like melodies by the scores in a show of harmony on the ivories.

A home of sweet, smooth jazz music - this was what the lawn of the Pegasus Hotel was transformed into on this occasion. Providing a backdrop tapestry rich in musical delights to which patrons at the well-attended event were treated, were keyboard maestros the likes of Harold Butler, Peter Ashbourne, Dennis Rushton, Dr Kathy Brown, Robbie Lyn, Harold Davis, André Campbell and Ralph Holding.

Dr Kathy Brown's performance chemistry has everything to do with her ability to enchant and to utilise her God-given gift of artistic resources. Her piano artistry was exemplary and executed with an air of rhapsody.

Full review:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kathy Brown played Antigua solo

Jamaican contemporary jazz pianist Dr. Kathy Brown played solo piano at the UWI 60th anniversary celebration dinner held at the upscale Verandah Resort & Spa hotel in Long Bay, Antigua.

Hosted by Ian Benn, Head of Centre at the UWI school, the celebration was attended by Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and other local dignitaries.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kathy Brown lands BBC interview

A chain of events land jazz pianist Dr. Kathy Brown a BBC interview. Ambassador Brenda LaGrange Johnson inaugurated the US Embassy Lunchtime Concert series (May 30) with the popular Jamaican pianist. Columnist Michael Reckord wrote a review in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper (June 4) that was read by BBC Caribbean presenter Neil Nunes.

Two hours after Mandeville born Nunes found contact information on the All About Jazz website, the Kathy Brown BBC interview was recorded. On Thursday, June 5, Mixing Music with Medicine was aired throughout the region on BBC Caribbean Report.

Listen to Kathy Brown's BBC interview @

Happy Birthday Ernest Ranglin

All About Jazz, the world's leading Jazz website with over 15,000 musician profiles, is today June 19, celebrating the birthday of the Maestro

Happy Birthday Ernest Ranglin

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Review: Kathy Brown US Embassy LT concert

Kathy Brown launches Ambassador's concert series
Michael Reckord, Gleaner Writer

The launch, of what is intended to be a regular noontime concert series, hosted by United States Ambassador, Brenda La Grange, took place at the United States Embassy on Friday.
Dr Kathy Brown was the featured musician. In addition to being a practising medical doctor, the multi-talented Brown plays, sings, composes and arranges music. She's also a band leader and recording artiste.
Seated at her Kurzweil K2500X keyboard half-way up the curvilinear iron stairs, she gave evidence of only some of those talents in her 45-minute concert, but the eight items she presented were quite delightful
Kathy Brown's upcoming performances:
June 15 - Ocho Rios Jazz Festival - Shaw Park Beach Hotel
June 27 - Antigua
June 29 - Pegasus Jazz in the Gardens

Saturday, May 31, 2008

June's Jazz month in Jamaica

Jazz music had it's birth in America around the beginning of the 20th century in the Black communities in Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions.

Its West African pedigree is evident in its use of what is called blue notes (a musical note played or sung slightly lower than usual) , call-and-response (succession of two distinct phrases usually played different musicians, where the second phrase is heard as a direct commentary on or response to the first), improvisation (music performed or done without any preparation or set text to follow), polyrhythms (contrasting rhythms), syncopation (accent is shifted to a weak beat of the bar) and the swing note of ragtime( a style of U.S. popular music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries).

Jamaica musicians adapted and played the jazz form long before the birth of Bob Marley and reggae music. Today, the tradition is being perpetrated mainly among older musicians like Sonny Bradshaw but have pique the interest of few young contemporary players like pianist Dr. Kathy Brown.
Eighteen years ago, in an effort to restore real jazz tradition in Jamaica, Trombonist Sonny Bradshaw founded the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival that features yearly a veritable mix of the purist form of the genre. Bradshaw is responsible for the designation of June as Jazz month in Jamaica.

The Ocho Rios Jazz Festival kicks of Sunday, June 8th at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and climax at the Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa on Fathers Day, Sunday, June 15th. The Pegasus Jazz in the Garden is slated for Sunday, June 29.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

18 years of Ocho Rios Jazz Festival

Michael "jazzofonic" Edwards says

June is Jazz month in Jamaica and June 2008 marks the 18th year of the Ocho Rios Jazz Fest, the "last stand"for straight-ahead jazz and related music.

Events for the Festival kicks off Sunday June 1 at the Verandah in Kingston (Pulse complex, Trafalgar Road). Other events include Openign Jazz Day - June 8 at the Pegasus Gardens feat saxophonist Yolanda Brown out of England and The 4 Tenors out of Switzerland and closing Sunday June 15 at Shaw Park Beach hotel & Spa featuring Hungary's sax legend Odean Pope, the Kerekes Band and include Jamaica jazz pianist Dr. Kathy Brown

Frank Armstrong wins Ocho Rios jazz holiday

Frank Armstrong this week became the lucky winner of WDNA 88.9 FM Serious jazz radio Jamaica Gateway contest copping the grand prize of two round trip airfare to Jamaica courtesy of Air Jamaica, 5-day, 4-night all-inclusive stay at Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa, scuba and snorkling lessons, and admission to all Ocho Rios Jazz Festival activities.

Armstrong will join WDNA's morning show host Frank Consola, Viviam Lopez, Hal Roland, and Flagga (The Reggae Ride) who will broadcast their shows live from the Shaw Park hotel throughout the week of the Ocho Rios jazz fest.

For months listeners to the Miami based jazz station were invited to call in to their favourite shows for the chance to win the Jamican holiday. The winner was announced on May 26.

The Ochio Rios Jazz Festival sound off on Sunday, May 8th at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel and closes May 15th, Fathers Day in Ocho Rios.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

WDNA FM returns to Ocho Rios Jazz Festival

WDNA 88.9 FM Serious Jazz , a Miami based radio station, returns to the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival following the success of last year's live remote radio broadcast from the North Coast tourist mecca.

Last June the jazz station broadcast a number of programs, including the popular Latin Quarter and The Reggae Ride hosted by St. Ann born Howard "Flagga" Duperly, from the Shaw Park Hotel location. Duperly is the station's Sales/Marketing Director.

One lucky caller to WDNA 88.9 FM will win an all-inclusive Jamaica Getaway holiday to stay at the exquisite Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa at Cutlass Bay, Ocho Rios and will fly courtesy of Air Jamaica out of the Fort Lauderdale and Miami gateways. They will join hosts Frank Consola, Viviam Lopez, Hal Roland, and Flagga for this spectacular Jamaica Getaway.

The competition is also open to students of jazz who will not only win the Shaw Park vacation but also an opportunity to perform on the June 8-15 jazz festival.

Known worldwide as South Florida's premiere jazz music station, WDNA FM provides quality public-centric music, arts, and cultural programming to the residents of South Florida and across the globe via the Worldwide Web.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jamie Cullum: A dynamic jazz performer

Rather than explain all the things that Jamie Cullum can do, it’s almost easier to list things that he CAN’T do.
A dynamic British singer, songwriter and pianist that has not only proven he can churn out the hits with his original music but he has the uncanny ability to take songs from all genres of music and make them his own - Red Lounge -Jazz Music
Offbeat Note: Check out a Jamie Cullum's live performance on You Tube and imagine that he could and would excite an Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival.

Etta James all the way

Celebrating an incredible five decades as a recording artist, music legend Etta James showcased her enduring artistry on an amazing diversity of the eleven songs featured on her new BMG album, “All The Way.”
Produced by Etta’s sons Donto and Sametto and longtime musical associate Josh Sklair, “All The Way” includes a range of material that would prove challenging for even the most competent vocalists:

“This is an album of songs that I’ve always loved, tunes that I heard and thought, ‘wish I could have been the one to do that one first!’” explains the three-time Grammy winner, who has also been the recipient of a NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award, a Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Award and is a W.C. Handy Foundation honoree.

Honoured with a much-deserved star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame, Etta James added her special vocal magic to songs originally recorded by Prince (“Purple Rain”), Marvin Gaye (“What’s Going On”), Bobby Womack (“Stop On By”) and Simply Red (“Holding Back The Years”) alongside Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” (from ‘West Side Story’) and “All The Way,” the standard most often associated with Frank Sinatra. For good measure, Etta also included R. Kelly’s contemporary classic, “I Believe I Can Fly,” James Brown’s enduring “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

Rebirth of the Cool: Jazz Meets Net Future

Jazz - from Benny Goodman's swing to Miles Davis' Bitches Brew to acid jazz - has consistently remained at the musical and cultural vanguard. But at the "Jazz 2001: The Convergence of Jazz and Technology" conference at New York's famous club The Knitting Factory on Monday, jazz musicians and producers found themselves surprised to learn that, after years at the forefront, they just might need to get hip.

The rise of online distribution channels, software composition advances, and marketing opportunities are forcing music labels and musicians to think twice about what seemed to be the enemy of authentic music: the computer. For the most part, the conference, sponsored by JazzTimes magazine and music resource N2K Entertainment, brought to light the frustrations and fears of label executives from Blue Note Records, RCA Records, and Polygram. The musicians, however, seemed only thrilled at the prospects for experimentation - and promotion - online.

Elder saxophonist Billy Harper, who says he "never wanted to deal with electric things at all," recalled a recent concert in Poland where he was besieged by crowds begging for more - online. "They were asking me, 'Are you on the Net?'" Harper recounted. Now, with the launch of his own homepage at Jazz Corner, Harper has been transformed into a ecstatic booster, imagining a world of jazz franchising at the fever pitch of baseball, with jazz playing cards, caps, and sax reeds. As he describes it, the Web "is the shape of things to come."

Editor Note: Read the full story in Wired Online Magazine

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Michael Buble': Jazz next big thing

He is the next big thing. The most requested artist in jazz radioland and the heir apparent to Frank Sinatra’s throne. His name is Michael Bublé (pronounced Boo-blay).
Born in Vancouver, Canada, Michael has the ability to take the greatest songs ever written and make them original, fresh and entirely his own. The best and perhaps most unbelievable thing about him is that he is just getting started

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Saxophonist YolanDa Brown for Ocho Rios Jazz Festival

Saxophonist YolanDa Brown is highly thought of in and beyond her London, England environment. An early musical beginings have bequeathed this uniguely talented artist with a long and endearing association with the tenor and soprano saxaphones she plays.
Born and raised in London, YolanDa grew up surrounded by an eclectic mix of music that influences both her playing and composition . She easily traverse the diverse mix of Jazz, Afro-Jazz, Gospel, Reggae, Salsa, Hip-hop, R&B, and for good meassure plays a little Mento and all in a self-assured style.

Her typical performance includes re-interpretation of chart-topping tunes, much jazz standards and original composition that inimitably defines the YolanDa Brown sound.
Well heeled in academia, YolanDa has completed a Masters in Management Science, Masters in Social Research Methods and is currently studying for her PhD at the University of Kent. She also host a TV talk show on a Sky Channel.
She has notched performances in numerous venues including: Jazz Café, Café de Paris, St. Martin in- the- Fields, Smollensky's on the Strand, Mermaid Theatre, Cargo, The Broadway Theatre and Hackney Empire.
The Londoner has also played for the Jamaican High Commission , Jazz venues in Miami, Frankfurt, Germany, the Rotterdam Carnival in the Netheralnds and the IslaVuelta festival in Spain. Her sold out debut concert at the Mermaid Theatre London last year and th release of the debut EP, entitled Finding My Voice both received rave reviews from press and fans alike.
YolanDa Brown is booked to appear at the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival on Sunday, June 7 as part of the Sonny Bradshaw celebration of Women in Jazz .


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dr. Kathy Brown marks a 'Musical journey'

Contempor jazz pianist Dr. Kathy Brown is all smiles as she greets Dr Leahcim Semaj at her album launch at the Villa Ronai, Old Stony Hill Road, St Andrew, on Wednesday night. - Photo: Colin Hamilton/Freelance

By Mel Cooke, Freelance Writer

Kathy Brown marked an important stop in her lifetime musical journey at the Villa Ronai, Old Stony Hill Road, St Andrew, on Wednesday night with the official launch of her debut CD.

There was very strong support from those who have been with the pianist along the way to the nine-track instrumental CD, Mission: A Musical Journey.

See Gleaner story:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kathy Brown launch Mission CD

Pianist Dr. Kathy Brown officially launches her debut CD Mission: A Musical Journey at a function on Wednesday 26th March at the exotic Villa Ronai.
First released in August 07 ahead of the pianist's first solo overseas performance at the Island Soul Festival in Toronto, The nine-track CD, which conveys influences of Latin American, South African and Jamaican music, has garnered flattering review both inside and outside Jamaica.

“ As the jazz, Latin jazz, and reggae station here in Miami, WDNA 88.9FM Serious Jazz prides itself on playing nothing but authentic music, and Mission: A Musical Journey fits the bill”, testified Howard “Flagga Duperly, disc jockey and Sales & marketing Manager at WDNA 88.9 FM.

According to the host of The Reggae Ride show, several hosts on WDNA FM, who program straight-ahead jazz, Latin jazz and reggae, are featuring various tracks from Kathy Brown’s album. Two radio stations in Toronto have been playing cuts from the CD ever since Brown's delightful performance in that city.
At home, interests in Mission: A Musical Journey have been fair where it is being play on the major eclectic music shows.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

James Brown and Pavarotti: The most unlikely duo

Article by Kadene Porter
Abeng News Magazine

It must have been the most unlikely duo of all time. This idea that the disciplined lyric tenor of Luciano Pavarotti, crowned “King of the High Cs”, that note that could bring you to tears, could be somehow intermingled with the raspy funk-infused blues-chantings of the irrepressible “Godfather of Soul” James Brown, would hardly have been conceived for the to-do list of any producer.

Yet Pavarotti had seen the future. For him, globalization meant that the genre of classical opera music, cloistered and exclusive for ages, would become a part of the emerging world music scene, an innovation in harmony where East meets West and seemingly incongruous music genres are fused to produce a new, universal message in sound. Since 1990 when his signature aria “Nessun Dorma” crossed over into the world of pop, the great tenor worked tirelessly to bring classic opera to the masses, performing with other pop stars through a series of concerts for charity, Pavarotti and Friends, with innumerable artistes, from Bryan Adams and Tom Jones to Barry White and Ricky Martin.

See the video :

Yet no other collaboration has so captured the aesthetic of perfection in incongruity as this electrifying duet performed with James Brown in Pavarotti’s hometown of Modena in the spring of 2002. From the sighing strings of the violins mimicking the “bel canto” of the tenor, the steady blues rhythm of the keyboard artist, to the dramatic drummer and the hypnotic swaying and melodious harmony of the backup singers, comes an orchestration of sound that holds all enraptured in the unmistakable magic and an incredible fusion of synergies.

“It’s a Man’s World” was first performed by James Brown in 1965 and though its title may offend the ear of most women today, he confessed that the expressed caveat makes it stark reality. “But he’s nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Monty Alexander records Tony Bennett's music

Monty Alexander Trio: The Music of Tony Bennett

Label: Chesky

Monty Alexander Trio:
Monty Alexander (piano)
Lorin Cohen (bass)
George Fludas (drums)

CD Tracks

1. Old Devil
2. To The Good Life
3. Smile
4. Maybe September
5. The Way You Look Tonight
6. Just a Little Street
7. Just In Time
8. Emily
9. Put On A Happy Face
10. I Want To Be Around
11. Once Upon A Time
12. Because Of You

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Michael Bolton, Air Supply added to St. Lucia Jazz lineup

CASTRIES, St. Lucia (March 15, 2008) - Grammy Award winning American balladeer Michael Bolton as well as soft rock duo Air Supply have joined the line-up for the 2008 edition of St. Lucia Jazz set to celebrate its 17th anniversary from May 2 to 11 in the Caribbean this year.

Organisers announced that the Air Supply and Bolton bookings completed the selection of headliners for the final weekend of concerts, which will feature among others Angie Stone, Anita Baker, Dianne Reeves, Dionne Warwick, Jonathan Butler, Najee and Wyclef Jean, Kenny Barron, Luther Francios.

Considered one of the Caribbean 's premier jazz festivals, St. Lucia Jazz - produced by the St. Lucia Tourist Board in partnership with BET Event Productions - attracts droves of visitors each year to enjoy island-wide musical acts.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kathy Brown entertained Prince Charles

Pianist Dr. Kathy Brown entertained HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at a private dinner organised by the Jamaican Government in honour of their Royal Highnesses visit to Jamaica .

Dr. Brown stepped aside from her usual jazz improvisation entertaining the Royal Couple with mainly Jamaican folk and Bob Marley music.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Kathy Brown in Toronto

Is there a doctor in the house? Kathy's other job is being a doctor back in Kingston, Jamaica. This was her Toronto debut, and the show went over very well. She was also nice enough to let us interview her for a while on the air, after her set. Good times. See review below

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Concert Review; Kathy Brown & Tabarruk

E Man Grooving; Concert Review

Last week Dr. Kathy Brown played two concerts of Jamaica folk and improvised music to large audiences in Paramaribo, Suriname. But, last year she made her overseas debut at the Island Soul Festival in Toronto, Ontario. The following is a review on the latter.

As part of Harbourfront's "Island Soul" festival, we were treated to several free performances. The first two were afternoon shows, featuring one veteran of Jamaican music and one relative newcomer.

Ernest Ranglin and Kathy Brown both gave excellent performances on this sunny afternoon.

They both played music that is restrained and refined, which was fitting for the mellow atmosphere around Harbourfront. Kathy Brown is a pianist who had a remarkable back-up plan; she is also a medical doctor in her native Kingston, Jamaica. This afternoon was her Canadian debut, and she had the compatible and versatile Jason Wilson and Tabarruk backing her up.

Long time Jamaican-Canadian drummer Everton "Pablo" Paul has been playing percussion regularly with Tabarruk, and the two drummers (Paul plays hand drums in this band) gel seamlessly for a steady rhythm section that did not interfere with Kathy Brown's piano playing.

Brown opened with a tune called "Rasta Journey", which combines elements from older melodies such as "Rastaman Chant" and "Rivers of Babylon". That was followed by a cover of "Get Up Stand Up" that was introduced as a Bob Marley song, but it was barely recognizable. It was a treat to hear a cover like the well worn "Get Up Stand Up" played with significantly different arrangements from the familiar Wailers versions. This was followed by an unusual take of "The Flintstones" theme. Kathy's eclecticism shifted to the appropriately titled "Latin Groove" which, Kathy said, was inspired by Cuban rhythms which used to be very popular in Jamaica.

A cover of "Afro Blue" came next. While the familiar notes trickled out from the stage, Kathy and Tabarruk got to stretch out a little. Kathy described the track as "a song of communication" which seemed fitting. The last song was another instrumental cover of a Wailers hit, "Could You Be Loved?" which featured the pianist and Jason Wilson the organist trading off keyboard licks.

Kathy Brown was very well received by the surprisingly attentive crowd. Daytime Harbourfront audiences are often a finicky bunch, composed of as many tourists out for a stroll as there are fans of the artist performing. Holding this audiences attention was no small task, but Kathy Brown's piano playing provided a rare moment of an audience listening closely to a relatively unknown musician..

Pictures at

Marcus Miller release all-star Marcus CD

Inside of perhaps the most enviable career in all of music, two-time Grammy Award-winner Marcus MIller has been the composer/producer of eight critically acclaimed and genre-defying solo albums. Each project showcases his astounding and singular technique as among the world's most gifted and eclectic electric bassists.
On his ninth and latest CD, simply titled Marcus, he continues to work his one-of-a-kind magic - from the ferocious Middle Eastern funk of “Blast” to the cozy Quiet Storm strains of the Deniece Williams classic “Free,” featuring special guest Corinne Bailey Rae.
As a producer, writer and player, Miller was the last primary collaborator of jazz legend Miles Davis, contributing the composition "Tutu" to the canon of contemporary jazz music. His partnership with Luther Vandross produced dozens of R&B million-sellers, he produced 7 David Sanborn albums, and has worked with musicians including Herbie Hancock, Frank Sinatra, LL Cool J and Eric Clapton.
Guesting on Marcus are Corinne Bailey Rae, Keb' Mo', Lalah Hathaway, Taraji P. Henson- vocals, Shihan the Poet - spoken word, Andrea Braido - guitar, Paul Jackson, Jr. - guitar, David Sanborn - alto saxophone, Tom Scott - tenor saxophone, Chester Thompson - keyboards.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dr. Kathy Brown brings folk music to Suriname

Pianist Dr. Kathy Brown flew to the Suriname on Wednesday for two performances in the capitol Paramaribo this Saturday. Fresh from her Jamaica Music Academy’s Best Instrumental Album nomination, the Jamaican pianist will join Surinamese-Chinese pianist Faron in two concerts dubbed The Rhythm and Soul of My Piano

The concerts, being staged at the Revormed Church, Centrum Kerk (Church Square) in the Surinamese capitol, will have one performance for school children Saturday afternoon to be followed later by another open to the general public.

The children’s concert is aimed at exposing youngsters to the Western Classical music of Europe and folk music of the Caribbean. Accordingly, Faron will perform a repertoire of Chopin Mazurkas, etudes and Scherzo representing western classics while Kathy Brown’s repertoire is composed of mainly og Jamaican folk music...

Read the full story in the Jamaica Observer:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Robbie Lyn wins Best Reggae Instrumental Award

Robbie Lyn's 2007 CD Making Notes wins the inaugrual Reggae Academy Award for Best Reggae Instrumental Album from a close field of four credible albums, including Mission: A Musical Journey, Dr. Kathy Brown, Rifle Road, Rohan Reid and Keys To Your Soul, Sydney Thorpe.
The made for TV event took place Sunday, 24th February 2008 at the National Indoor Arena, Kingston and attended By Prime Minister Bruce Golding, Minister of Culture Oliva "Babsy" Grange, Jamaica music pioneer Chris Blackwell, Rita Marley, Grace Jones and many leading lights of Jamaican music.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hancock sees big post-Grammy spike

The applause of the 50th Grammy Awards has lomg died down but the buzz from the stage continues to reverbarate. Sound Scan has this week released its post Grammy sales tally and several of the night's winners scored big in CD outlets. Among them jazz pianist Herbie Hancock who, surprizing to even himself, won the Album of the Year Grammy for River: The Joni Letters.

The second jazz album ever to win this Grammy category saw a 966 percent hike in sales, totaling just over 53,000 copies, and bring its tally to 114,390

The principal of Hancock's work, Joni Mitchell's jazzy pop CD Shine sale went up 100% following its Best Pop Instrumental Performance Grammy for "One Week Last Summer" from her album

Monday, February 18, 2008

Best Reggae Instrumental Album Nominees

Making Notes - Robbie Lyn
Rifle Road - Rohan Reid

Mission: A Musical Journey - Dr. Kathy Brown

Keys To Your Soul - Sydney Thorpe (album art not available)
AND THE WINNER?....... will be known Sunday, February 24, 2008 in a made for TV presentation to be held at the National Indoor Sports Centre, Kingston at the inaurgural Reggae Academy Award ceremony.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Jazz album wins Album of the Year Grammy

Herbie Hancock pulled an upset in Los Angeles Sunday night when he nabbed the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for River: The Joni Letters.
Hancock's cover album of Joni Mitchell songs was up against CDs by Foo Fighters, Vince Gill, Kanye West and Amy Winehouse for the honor.
"Joni Mitchell. Joni Mitchell. Joni Mitchell. Thank you so much," Hancock said as he accepted the trophy. "It's been 43 years since the first and only time that a jazz artist got the Album of the Year award. I'd like to thank the academy for courageously breaking the mold this time and in doing so honoring the giants upon whose shoulders I stand.
"Joao Gilberto and Stan Getz won the honor in 1964 for "Getz/Gilberto."

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Dermot Hussey praise Jazz & Blues honour

Dermott Hussey, Jamaican `musical historian` and radio journalist par excellence, is full of praise for his 2008 Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival award.

Hussey, who was honored as a pioneer in the Festival’s debut twelve years ago, says the award encapsulates his commitment, like the event, in presenting music lovers with “the best in music.”

Hussey, who produces and presents Riffin heard weeknights, 8:30 - 9:30 pm, on Jamaica's Newstalk 93FM and is program director at XM 101 radio, said, “One realizes that the work one has done over a long period, has been noted by someone, and so the appreciation becomes more meaningful and inspiring.”

Hussey produced the Bob Marley interview released on Marley's album Talkin' Blues and was the person who read the eulogy for veteran reggae singer and former Wailer, Peter Tosh, at his funeral in 1987. He was the lone individual to be honored by Walter Elmore and Turn Key Productions on Saturday, January 26.

Elmore credited him with conceiving the idea of a multi-day, multi genre music festival to appeal to local and international music connoisseurs. “Many wonderful ideas die in the dark, but it was his savvy marketing of the idea to the instantly interested Air Jamaica family that spawned the birth of the now 11-year-old festival,” commented Elmore. “He continues to provide inestimable assistance by bringing to bear the wisdom of his years and experience in the industry, in the annual selection of the performers.

Thank you Dermot Hussey, an instrumental architect in the construction of the Festival Story, the celebration of the Art of Music.”

The veteran radio journalist is a Musgrave Medal awardee and holds a prestigious Jamaican award for services to media and music. - Excerpted from Headline Promotions newsletter

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Kathy Brown takes flight in Skywriting magazine

Contemporary jazz pianist Kathy Brown takes flight on the pages of Air Jamaica’s in-flight magazine Skywriting (January – February 2008) retorting the question, what I’m listening to?

“Recently I have been listening to African music including the albums South African Gospel and African Voices, both amazing compilations of vocals and instrumental music featuring the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Miriam Makeba, Salif Keita, Seweto Gospel Choir, and Matlakala & the Comforters”.

Kathy Brown, whose debut CD Mission: A Musical Journey embraces Latin and African rhythms, told Skywriting “I also love Afro-Latin music and a favourite is Orchestra Boabab, a group of musician based in Senegal, whose music feels familiar and whose rhythms are sweet”.

According to the popular jamaican jazz pianist, she is also listening closely to Legends of Jazz Showcase, a live CD/DVD set with Ramsey Lewis introducing an all-star cast that includes Chick Corea, Marcus Miller, Dave Brubeck, and Al Jarreau . “I am also deep into Monty Alexander’s Goin’ Yard, he is one of my inspiration, and Beyond The Wall by Kenny Garrett.
“ Listening to jazz is more than just enjoying music, it is like going to music school because I'm always learning and adding to my repertoire”, she revealed.

Skywriting bi-monthly in-flight magazine is free to passengers travelling on board Air Jamaica.

Bob Marley: one of those rare musicians

February 6, 2008 marked the 63rd birthday of the legendary Robert Nesta Marley, undoubtedly the most popular reggae star in history. Bob Marley was one of those rare musicians who transcended the boundaries of a mere musical style, and became legendary as messengers of Peace, Love and “Positive Vibrations”.

Offbeat celebrates the reggae legend with a slideshow (right) and the showcasing of three of several improvised Marley CDs. CD cover art below is courtesy of

Natty Dread by Charles Hunter Quartet

Bossa n' Marley: Various Artists (Brazil)

A Twist of Marley: Various Artists

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Anita Baker: arguably the best act at Jazz & Blues

Anita Baker arguably gave the best performance of the three-day Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival held in the tourism capital Montego Bay over last weekend. But, it is a rarity that a first night act be declared the overall best performer where the biggest billed stars, are usually the closing acts of the festival.

From the Jamaican Art of Music that opens Thursday night showcase to the “Caribbean Queen” man Billy Ocean closing act the performances were world-class And, despite the brouhaha with superstar Diana Ross, no performer flopped.

Standout and memorable was the performance of Canadian 13 year-old sensation Nikki Yanofsky who delivered a mature 45-minutes set that left the near 20,000 crowd spellbound. Thursday night another 13 year old, Jessica Yap justified her billing on the region’s biggest jazz festival.

Spyro who? asked a lady beside, “mi neva here ‘bout dem before” in response to the performance of the internationally acclaimed Spyro Gyra , who have recorded 25 albums and sold 10 million records making them the most prolific group in jazz fusion. People who understand their music, however, know that they gave a classic presentation and their Trinidadian born drummer must rank among the best upcoming.

Based on reports, Friday night belong to Jill Scott who fused poetry, storytelling and music to give the best performance of Night 2. Chalice and Hugh Masekela were outstanding.

A.J. Brown was in his usual fine form, Marjorie Whylie was a show stealer, Yueba Buena had Anita Baker dancing stage side, Koko Taylor put the blues in Jazz & Blues and did please.

Having seen Thursday and Saturday Night presentations and having read and heard from associates who attended Friday Night show, Offbeat rates the performers based on their individual performance, their connecting with the patrons and how the media reported them, the Top 5 Performers at the Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival 2008 were;

1. Anita Baker
2. Jill Scott
3. Billy Ocean
4. Nikki Yanofsky
5. Hugh Masekela

Runner-ups: Spyra Gyro and Ryan Shaw.

Still, those occupying the privileged front of stage position would argue that Diana Ross strongly challenged Anita Baker as the best performer of the festival but with what transpired then maybe she should be sidelined from the Offbeat ratings.