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