Two Member Foundation Making Big Impact At Black River Hospital

For the past five years, the Bessie Kates Foundation Inc. has been providing immeasurable support to the Black River Hospital in St. Elizabeth; the efforts of only two members, founder Alicia Kelly and photographer, Will Lewis.

The Foundation, which is named in honour of the grandmother of Ms. Kelly, was established in June 2009, with the aim of providing free medical supplies and equipment to hospitals and clinics in developing nations.

Ms. Kelly, who holds a Masters of Jurisprudence in Health Law, and who lived in Jamaica for one year, noted that the team visits the hospital biannually to provide a range of clinical and educational services, in addition to donating sundries and equipment.

She pointed out that in 2017, the team which also included her mother, retired pediatrician, Dr. Gayle Kates, a paediatric nephrologist and an ICU paediatric nurse visited the hospital during the week, August 21- 25, and provided support to the hospital team in several areas.

The Bessie Kates Foundation Inc. founder explained that on this visit, training was provided to staff in areas of risk management and customer service, in addition to providing support to the hospital’s medical records department. She added that the Foundation also donated supplies to the hospital including bed linen and several small equipment.

“Our goal is to become a clear bridge of healthcare delivery to hospitals, clinics, and government bodies.  We believe that everyone deserves quality health care. No matter where you reside, your health should never be compromised” Ms. Kelly said.

For CEO for the hospital, Mrs. Diana Brown-Miller, the support from the Foundation has been tremendous as staff and patients look forward to the visit of the team each year. She added that the partnership has significantly boosted patient care at the facility.

“Over the last five years, the Black River Hospital has received donations of bed linen, small equipment as well as volunteers assisting in various areas of the hospital. The Medical Records department was given significant support with the organization of their files and the arranging of thousands of inactive dockets in numerical order  for purging. A team of three volunteers was here in the week of August 01-05, 2017 and did two days of work in medical records and also assisted in the feeding of patients” Mrs. Brown-Miller added.

In August 2018, the team will be providing support in areas of cardiology, paediatrics, nephrology and diabetic care.

Two Member Foundation Making Big Impact at Black River Hospital

CEO of the Black River Hospital, Diana Brown-Miller (right) receives a donation of bed linen and other items from founder of the Bessie Kates Foundation, Alicia Kelly

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Dr. Celeita Senior from the Black River Hospital (BRH) (left) accepts a gift from founder of the Bessie Kates Foundation, Alicia Kelly while Ward Manager for the Paediatirc Ward at the BRH, Nurse Erica Myers looks on

For more information contact:

Latoya Laylor Brown

Public Relations & Advocacy Officer

Southern Regional Health Authority

Tel: 962-8232/779-2663
Email: [email protected]


Jerk Festival DC 2018 Launch

The annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival will be back at RFK Stadium, in Washington, D.C., on June 10th to deliver a gastronomical and cultural experience to thousands of patrons who will feast, frolic and dance to celebrate the food, music and culture of the Caribbean. “June is National Caribbean-American Heritage Month and the festival was intentionally staged in the month of June specifically to celebrate and highlight our Caribbean heritage,” stated Eddy Edwards, CEO of Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, Inc., at the media launch which took place on Thursday, April 12th at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, D.C.

Jerk Festival DC 2018 Launch

(L-R) Eddy Edwards, Ceo of Jamaican Jerk Festival USA; Richard Lue, Event Coordinator and Business Development Manager of VP Records; Andrea Dubidad-Dixon, Charge d’Affairs, Embassy of Jamaica; Elda Devarie, CEO of EMD Sales and Derrick Reckord, President and CEO of GraceKennedy Foods USA, LLC presenting a basket of Grace products to Mrs. Dubidad-Dixon at the Media Reception to launch the 3rd annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival in Washington, D.C.

Prominent community notables as well as media representatives and influencers in the Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Virginia locales were on hand to receive firsthand information from festival organizers as well as network with sponsors and other stakeholders. Charge d’ affairs Andrea Dubidad-Dixon welcomed guests on behalf of the Ambassador and the Jamaican people while GraceKennedy Foods USA’s President and CEO, Derrick Reckord expressed pleasure in the productive and successful relationship between Grace Foods and the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival production teams. He also commended them for their professional execution and consistently raising the bar with innovative ideas.

Festival coordinator Richard Lue provided a background on the growth of the festival from its inaugural staging on Pennsylvania Avenue to finding a home at RFK Stadium. Lue also announced some of the changes to the festival’s layout to include a bigger footprint to accommodate new sponsor Shoppers supermarket and the Shopper’s Culinary Pavilion. There is also the extended use of the main stage to present cultural performers as well as the popular contemporary headliners.

The room buzzed with excitement as Lue announced the performers scheduled to perform on the main stage. Reggae ambassadors Third World will grace the stage along with the “energy god” Elephant Man bringing the dancehall flavor while Alison Hinds will be on hand to please the soca lovers. Also scheduled to perform is New Kingston, Xyclone, Sounds of Culture, Malcolm X Drummers and Dancers, Divine Divas, storyteller Joelle Wright along with Ricky Platinum selecting some classic hits and reggae anthems will keep everyone entertained. Hosts will be Ragashanti, veteran radio broadcaster Tony Carr and Michael Campbell. Campbell was also MC for the media reception at the Jamaican Embassy.

In addition to the main stage performances, the festival will offer multiple experiences as the air will be thick with the aromas and flavors of Caribbean-inspired cuisine filling the festival grounds with food vendors offering a variety of food choices. Patrons can view culinary demonstrations, product sampling and interactive activities with prizes and giveaways. At the Shoppers Culinary Pavilion will be “Taste the Islands” Chef Irie and DC’s own Chef “Jumoke” Jackson and other celebrity chefs showing off their culinary skills with food demos. There’s also a Kids Zone offering face painting, rides and storytelling. Patrons can stroll and discover unusual novelties, trinkets and their island t-shirts from a number of arts and crafts vendors willing to offer bargain prices for their wares.

The festival is scheduled for Sunday, June 10, 2018 from 11am to 8pm at RFK Stadium, Festival Lawn at Oklahoma Avenue, Lot 6. Tickets are $25 general admission; $125 for VIP offering an all-inclusive experience with convenient access and front of stage viewing area can be purchased at or at local authorized ticket outlets throughout the DMV. Special discount for military and students with I.D., available online.

The 3rd Annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival DC is presented by Jamaican Jerk Festival NY, LLC, in association with the Institute for Caribbean Studies. Sponsors are Grace Foods, Shoppers Supermarkets, VP Records, The Jamaica Tourist Board, Giant Foods, PNC Bank, Ablazin Radio with support from the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Caribbean Community Affairs.



Team Jamaica Bickle Readies For 24!

Team Jamaica Bickle is preparing for its 24th staging at the annual Penn Relays with a plethora of activities in the weeks leading up to the event. These activities are crucial to the organization’s ability to underwrite its program, one which provides meals, transportation, hotel assistance and medical care for the hundreds of Caribbean athletes, hailing from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and The Grenadines and Guyana who will be competing on the track.

Team Jamaica Bickle Readies For 24 Irwine Clare head shot 1

Irwine Clarke

“Over the last few years we have seen a dwindling of sponsorship funds so we’ve had to diversify our fundraising efforts,” said Irwine Clare, CEO. “We are fortunate to have friends and business associates who have stepped up and are hosting private events to raise funds on our behalf. That is the Diaspora pulling together for the greater good of our community.”

The organization will kick off its 2018 season with a launch Thursday, April 12 at Sandz Bar & Grille in Queens, New York. Hot on the heels of the launch is a “Seafood Delight,” event on Friday, April 13 at Anoz Spa in Garden City, L.I., and the first of two church services at Lenox Road Baptist Church in Brooklyn on Sunday April 15. On Wednesday April 18 the Philadelphia Chapter will hold its annual Community Awards & Reception, followed by a Cocktail Reception hosted by the Visiting Angels Living Assistance Agency in Hoboken, NJ on Thursday April 19. The annual breakfast in New York will be held April 21 at the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Hall in the Bronx. The finale is a worship service with the St. John’s UMC in Valley Stream on April 22. It’s then off to the Penn Relays April 26-28.

A major highlight for the organization this year is the naming of Romain Virgo, one of Jamaica’s young, rising reggae stars, as its ambassador for the 2018-2019 season—a collaboration that runs into its 25th anniversary year. Romain has committed 75% of proceeds from the download of the song Still from the album Lovesick to Team Jamaica Bickle. He will make an appearance at this year’s Penn Relays, on Saturday April 28 where he’ll perform at the TJB Village to close the event.

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Photo credit: Collin Reid

“The marriage of sport and entertainment is one that is exciting and we hope to get tremendous mileage from this union,” said Andrea Daley, Public Relations Officer.

An exclusive raffle which asks for a donation of USD $10 rounds out the activity schedule and will culminate in a draw Saturday April 28 at the closing ceremony.  The MANNA (medical attention and nutrition now for athletes), raffle offers a grand prize of 5 days/4 nights at the all-inclusive Sandals Jamaica, coupled with a Catamaran Cruise, courtesy Island Routes and an USD $800 travel voucher to cover air-fare. Proceeds are dedicated mainly to outfitting all high schools in Jamaica with life-saving defibrillators. Since starting the program in 2014 over 45 schools have received units.

Main Sponsors for this year’s activities are Caribbean Food Delights, Tower Isles Patties, Grace Foods, Union of Jamaica Alumni Association (UJAA), JTB, Sandals, Island Routes, The ROC – Restaurant Owners Corp and Caribbean Business Connections.

Supporting sponsors; Warren, Warren & Appolon, Visiting Angels Living Assistance, Paulette & Howard Bradnock, Westbury Toyota, Homesmart Realty, Larry & Nancy Pantier Foundation, Irie Butterfly Foundation, Jamaica Breezes Restaurant, Genesis Restaurant, Annmarie Landel, and the Law offices of Drummond & Squillace and Sandra Smith, Esq.

Please visit or call 718.523.2861 for more information.


First Ever Caribbean Rumble Sound Clash Hits High Note in Antigua

First Ever Caribbean Rumble Sound Clash Hits High Note in Antigua

Caribbean Rumble Champions 3 Sevens (MC Panther and Selector Federal) pose with promoter Garfield “Chin” Bourne following victory.

The first ever Caribbean Rumble went out with a bang just as dawn approached on the beautiful island of Antigua on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. The premiere sound clash event, produced by Irish and Chin and King of the Vybz 92.8 FM, converted Sir Vivian Richards Stadium into an intriguing musical war — which saw Antigua’s own 3 Sevens Sound as the winner. Thousands of sound clash fans converged to cheer on the upcoming Caribbean sound systems, vying for a chance to become the Caribbean’s official sound clash champ and slot on the World Clash stage.

“I believe that Caribbean Rumble is the ideal addition to the Rumble Series brand,” says promoter Garfield “Chin” Bourne of Irish and Chin. “The Caribbean plays a vital role in sound clash, so showcasing some of their most talented sound systems was critical. I truly enjoyed the whole clash…but I have to admit…it was the mystery round that really sparked a buzz for me, as sounds had no choice but to be innovative and quick on their feet with tunes from whatever genre they picked (singers, God Bless, ganja man, etc).”

Caribbean Rumble is the newest clash in Irish and Chin’s Rumble Series. Designed to convene and identify rising selectors and sound system stars in the arena, the Rumble Series has evolved into an effective platform of producing international sound champions. Established in 2016 by Irish and Chin, the Rumble Series consists of 6 clashes in 6 countries, which serve as the preliminary/feeder clashes for the renowned World Clash, which is celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary through out 2018.

Following the recently concluded Canada Rumble (Mystic Sound) and Caribbean Rumble (3 Sevens Sound) are the U.S. Rumble (May 5, 2018), Japan Rumble (June 9), Euro Rumble (June 23) and U.K. Rumble (tbd) sound clashes. All Rumble Series champions will meet on the World Clash stage in October 2018, where they will face defending champion King Turbo.

Caribbean sound systems including Taurus (Trinidad and Tobago), King Animosity (Virgin Islands), Poison Dart (Antigua), OGS Genesis (Bermuda), Dub Star(Montserrat) Code Red (Jamaica) and champion sound 3 Sevens were the main ingredients of the wildly successful Caribbean Rumble. Thousands of Antiguans and international pay per view fans were afforded an authentic taste of competitive sound system entertainment. By all accounts, the inaugural Caribbean Rumble was nothing short of a musically charged spectacular.

The winning 3 Sevens Sound was launched in 1992 in the village of English Harbour, Antigua. Played by MC Panther (Handel Bailey) and Selector Federal (Okharie Barnes) at Caribbean Rumble, 3 Sevens proved why they are one of Antigua’s most feared sounds upon defeating Code Red in the final rapid fire aka “tune fi tune” round. “This is the biggest victory of our career! Winning the first Caribbean Rumble is a huge accomplishment for our sound, so we are naturally excited,” says 3 Sevens Sound member Jeron “Booby” Samuel.

Irish and Chin is at the forefront of international sound clash promotions. They have dedicated a 20+ year career to the preservation of sound clash, the rich music art form and culture, which originated in Jamaica. While World Clash has done a phenomenal job of showcasing the talent of sound systems from around the globe while raising the bar for sound clash entertainment, the conception of the Rumble Series was vital to keep the sport young, fresh and active.

LISTEN TO CARIBBEAN RUMBLE: dchin/caribbean-rumble-march- 31-2018


Flair Lindsey
Irish and Chin Publicist
[email protected]



Successful Debut For I-Octane’s Long Anticipated 3rd Studio Album

International recording artist I-Octane released his long anticipated “Love & Life” album. It had been 4 years (“Crying to the Nation” 2012 and “My Journey” 2014) since fans have been clamoring for the artist to deliver a musical offering.Successful Debut For I-Octane's Long Anticipated 3rd Studio Album 1

Reflecting on his “Love & Life” journey, I-Octane expressed “Just want to say thanks to my fans who’ve waited 4 years for this project, It was a joy to see the album debute at #3 on US itunes chart. Also want to say thank you to the media and music players (djs & selector) who have supported every move my team and i have made with this project and the fact that most of you not only promoted it but also went out and bought copies of ‘Love & Life’ makes me even more grateful to you all.

So much work went into creating this album because it would be the very first major production from my company (Conquer The Globe Productions) and I needed it to be prefect in every way so, I could not thank everyone and not say thank you to the people who sacrificed their private and social lives to make sure this album is a success. My team, I’m truely grateful for every one of you. Everyone’s input got us to where we are today. Thank you!”

Adding further “I am forever grateful for the support and love from my fans, team and the industry. And just want to say continue supporting this album by getting it on your favorite music site or ordering your hard copies from amazon and spread the word. Much respect to my distributor IDC.” – I-Octane

Making it’s debut at #3 on iTunes Reggae charts, “Love & Life” album features 17 tracks with the addition of 2 bonus tracks produced by I-Octane’s own imprint label Conquer The Globe Productions distributed by California based IDC. The  multi-talented crooner is presently on a promotional tour in New York, and will upon his return to Jamaica announce the date for his album release party ahead of the spring tour as a special guest to twice GRAMMY nominated J-Boog.

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Fluid riffs, a unique and rhythmic style, thoughtful lyrics, inspired by I-Octane’s Jamaican roots, Love & Life is the type of album that we could expect from the artist, an album where he experiments new areas. Powerful, cohesive and creative as we can hear on the last track of the album “Weh di Fire Gone” which happens to be the second bonus track of the album.” – La Grosee Radio France

The album is a tribute to a true reggae style. Tropical notions and sunny production bleed through. Those mellow drums and accompanying vibes beg for replay value, which is exactly what you get from Love and Life by I-Octane.” – Indie Band Guru

Love and life” takes you on a musical trip through I-Octane’s musical mind touching the pleasures and struggles of Love and Life, using a good mix of Reggae and Dancehall tracks” – Danny Creatah, World A Reggae.

I-Octane’s ‘Love & Life’ opus picks up where his sophomore project, ‘My Journey’, left off with a full throttle into international terrains and no signs of looking back. Vocally and lyrically the Reggae crooner appears to be in his comfort zone; as if to play it safe with existing fans while officially introducing himself to new audiences.  It must be said that the album standouts come in the form of his collaborative tracks – with the likes of Shaggy, Ginjah, Demarco, Yanique (Curvy Diva), JBoog and Romain Virgo – but in the same breathe I-Octane didn’t allow them to outshine him.  Nonetheless, ‘Love & Life’ is the type of project you’d expect from I-Octane at this point in his career. Cohesive, potent, experimental and creatively crafted.” – Biko Kennedy, Music Journalist.Successful Debut For I-Octane's Long Anticipated 3rd Studio Album 3

[email protected]
Phone number (786) 683-9041

[email protected]
Phone number
U.S (347) 292-8005
JA (876) 321-8661


35 Years Of Boom Vibes

Internationally acclaimed music influencer, King Addies, came out with a win in their first performance in the 2018 All Star Sound Clash series versus St. Martin’s Entourage Sound on Thursday, March 22nd.  Although it was indeed a tough night for the King Addies team, selectors [DJs] KingPin, Sir Maphead and Wynterfresh will continue on in the series to clash Hemp Zion at BOOM HQ on April 19th.

It’s exciting to note that the BOOM Energy brand is toying cunningly with the heartstrings of nostalgic King Addies and Ricky Trooper fans around the world. Both are billed for this year’s series and they both clashed one-on-one in arguably one of the most defining moments in the history of Jamaican sound clash culture, in Portmore 23 years ago. That historic clash is still a passionate debate—almost daily—among worldwide clash fans on social media forums today.  So, all eyes are on BOOM in ripe and anxious anticipation that they’ll meet again on the battlefield during the series.

Internationally regarded as North America’s #1 defender, just 48 hours after their appearance in BOOM in Jamaica, they went head to head with Italy’s Northern Lights and Japan’s Yard Beat in Amazura, in New York City.  Sources on the ground say the King Addies team, which featured KingPin and Killaboo in this particular soundclash, brought a fire not seen from them in a very long time to the stage.  As a result of those vibes, good music and solid selection they dominated all three rounds, and the patrons decided that a dub for dub round wasn’t necessary—King Addies triumphed by way of a double lock off, by unanimous crowd decision.35 Years Of Boom Vibes 4

Having clashed and killed many of the best in the business, such as Bodyguard, Bass Odyssey, Black Kat and Black Scorpio over the years, King Addies has been at the global vanguard of premier sound systems with heavy clashing and touring in America, Europe, Japan and the Caribbean for over 3 decades.

Originally from the McGregor Gully section of Jamaica’s bustling capitol, the king sound currently has three selectors based in Westmorland, Trelawny and Kingston, Jamaica.  However, their management and four of their selectors are based in New York City, where the sound has had a major impact on the NYC reggae dancehall scene dating back to the early 80’s.

Revered for being at the center of many of the most historical moments in what New Yorker’s refer to as the “Golden Era” of sound clash—essentially the 90’s and early 2000’s—King Addies has been an ambassador of sound system culture since 1983. 35 Years Of Boom Vibes 2

In 2018, when most iconic sound systems around the world are either no longer operating, or holding on extremely tight to their established legacies, the sound is currently deliberately playing alongside and/or competing with younger sound system DJs on and off the battlefield across the industry, in the hopes of pushing the culture forward by showcasing authentic Jamaican l;vibes to younger audiences.

However in bringing the culture forward, King Addies also makes it a point to draw on the strength of a 35-year-old legacy in many ways. On Sunday March 25th, their pioneering selector, the iconic Danny Dread, made his first ever guest appearance alongside Selector Gabre Selassie at the ever hot Kingston Dub Club in Jacks Hill.  King Addies’ elder statesman featured their special foundation catalogue in front of an enamored crowd that didn’t want to leave at 2:30am, even though the venue was slated to close at 2am.  Also the owner of the Kingston Dub Club, Gabre Selassie said, “Pure musical niceness inna Kingston Dub Club first [Sunday] night with the great Danny Dread!” Affectionately known as “Danny Dread the Teacha”, the eldest selecta on the sound both in age and tenure, is deeply respected by his peers, artists, producers and fans for his countless contributions to reggae, dancehall, soundclash and sound system culture, such as being the first selector to ever record a dubplate special [customized recording] of the late crowned prince of Reggae, Dennis Brown.

With quite a lot accomplished in the lifespan of the sound, the official kick off of their “year-long celebration” took place in February at their sold out Welcome to Newlots dance in Brooklyn, which featured the legendary Stonelove and Guyana’s top sound, Stereosonic. Several additional projects, releases and events are in the works to commemorate this colossal milestone, to include the industry buzzing bi-annual show featuring top artists and sounds, which is slated for December 15th in New York City.

For Press Inquiries Contact:

Christine M. Coley

Impulse Nation

[email protected]

917.601.6106 (Whatsapp)

Facebook | impulsenationpr


Festival Song Semi-Finalists To Face-Off With Live Performance

The Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre will come alive this Saturday, April 14 with the Reggae and Mento infused sounds of the top 30 semi-finalists in the 2018 Jamaica Festival Song Competition. Beginning at 6:00 pm, this free concert will see the semi-finalists go head to head for one of the coveted top ten spots as they try to outperform each other in front of a live audience. Organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC,) an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the concert follows on the heels of multiple training seminars which were geared towards the semi-finalists honing their performance skills.

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Chief Judge for the 2018 Jamaica Festival Song Semi-Final Concert, Radio Broadcaster Derrick Wilks

“Jamaica is ready and waiting for the newest festival song and we are equally excited to move another step closer to giving it to them.” Said Interim Executive Director at the JCDC, Orville Hill.

“The concert promises to be a good time for the entire family and the audience’s cheers will be a major boost for the competition, as we get a step closer to naming the 2018 Festival Song winner.” Hill continued, stating that crowd interaction is one of the criteria on which the semi-finalists will be judged.

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2012 Jamaica Festival Song Winner, Abbygaye Dallas

Hill further stated that following their selection, the top ten finalists will participate in a series of performances across the island. This Road Tour will lead up to the Competition’s Grand Final in July, at which the ultimate song, the one that will form the soundtrack for Jamaica’s 56th anniversary of Independence, will be selected.

The audience will also be treated to performances by special guests, the 2012 and 2014 winners of the Festival Song Competition, Abbygaye Dallas and Deep Jahi.

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2014 Jamaica Festival Song Winner, Deep Jahi

The 30 semi-final songs were selected from the more than 200 entered in this year’s competition, with the hope of winning a share of the record prize purse of $10 million announced by the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.

The Jamaica Festival Song Competition, which started in 1966 has helped to launch and advance the careers of some of Jamaica’s acclaimed singers and song writers.  Winners of the Festival Song Competition have included Toots and the Maytals, Desmond Decker, Ernie Smith, Tinga Stewart, Eric Donaldson, Roy Rayon, Stanley Beckford and Heather Grant.


Celebrated Caribbean Artists Lyrikal, Nailah Blackman & Host Of Digicel Rising Stars Terri Karelle Reid To Serve As Special Guests of 44th Annual Florida Caribbean Students Association Leadership Conference – April 12-15, 2018

The Florida Caribbean Students Association (“FCSA”) is proud to announce that celebrated Caribbean artists Lyrikal and Nailah Blackman will headline the inaugural FCSA Caribbean Culture Fest on Sunday, April 15, 2018 in Daytona Beach at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (“ERAU”). In addition, renowned Jamaican media personality and executive, Terri-Karelle Reid, will deliver keynote remarks on her secret formula for success in life, business, and culture and will serve as guest judge at the annual FCSA Annual Miss FCSA pageant.  The theme of the annual conference will be “Vibes Flight 386, Destination Daytona.”

Over six hundred (600) Caribbean college student leaders from around Florida and the United States will converge on the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida to engage in community service activities, professional and personal development workshops, a Talent and Cultural Showcase, an alumni  reception, and among other activities. Hosted by the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Caribbean Students Association, the Conference will also welcome respected business, academic, and community leaders from around the State of Florida, ERAU, and Daytona Beach community.

“ERAU has played a leadership role in the development of FCSA over our organizational history.  We pride ourselves on providing all CSA members with a rich conference experience filled with cultural vibes, inspiration from workshops and our community service project, knowledge from our professional development workshops, and an opportunity to develop lifelong relationships with other CSA members,” stated Oneil Ramdeen, FCSA Treasurer, and ERAU Conference Chair, FCSA 44th Annual Leadership Conference.

“The Florida Caribbean Student Association has long provided Embry-Riddle a direct connection to Caribbean culture, where we have benefited from the infusion of leadership, diversity, and the passion that they bring to our campus. It has been a great pleasure working with FCSA for many years, and I am proud of everything this group has accomplished,” stated Dean Lisa Kollar, Dean of Students, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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Born in Trinidad & Tobago, international recording artist, Lyrikal, also known as Devon Martin started singing in the church choir at the age 7 and later honed his talents in school talent shows and neighborhood block parties. As a youngster his biggest inspirations were Crazy, Shabba Ranks, Buju Banton, Bob Marley and Super Cat their styles of music helped him to develop his own style.  At age 13, Lyrikal migrated to the United States and began recording music in 2003 in New York.  His career has blossomed with tours to London, Ghana, Guadeloupe, Berlin, Toronto, Bermuda, North America and throughout the Caribbean.  Lyrikal has built an extensive catalog, released several hits, and has received 5 COTT (Copyright Organization of Trinidad and Tobago) music nominations (2015), and won the award for People’s Choice Most Popular Single. His repertoire consists of over 40 releases, including his first album, titled “The Journey” in 2016.

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As a grand-daughter of Caribbean music icons, Ras Shorty I (her grandfather) and Abbi Blackman (her mother), Nailah Blackman has taken the reins of catapulting the culture into the next generation.  Among Caribbean millennials, Nailah Blackman has stormed onto to the Caribbean music scene with style, charisma and passion.  Beginning her vocal career at age 11, Nailah joined her aunt’s all-female gospel band, Nehilet Blackman & the AGB, and then segued to a solo singer-songwriter career at fifteen. Just off a tour of the renowned music festival, SXSW in Austin, Texas, Nailah is making her mark with her signature vibrato with her Carnival season soca anthems and building bridges to other music genres.FCSA Leadership Conference Release - April 12-15, 2018 1



Affectionately known as #MyJamaicanGirl, Dr. Terri-Karelle Reid, describes herself as “the most divinely random person to walk this planet”. Since winning the Miss Jamaica title in 2005, Terri has gone on to earn a Doctor of Medicine in Veterinary Medicine. She has also successfully taken on areas such as Public Relations, Marketing, Project Management, Brand Management and Media (radio & TV).  Terri-Karelle is a motivational speaker in schools and takes part in several charities and is the celebrated host of the highly rated reality show, Digicel Rising Stars.

The 44th FCSA Leadership Conference will have the following anticipated schedule for the weekend, April 12-15, 2018

  • Thursday, April 12:  Welcome Mixer and Registration
  • Friday, April 13:  Opening Ceremonies, District Games, Annual Talent Show
  • Saturday, April 14:  Town Hall Meeting, Grad Fair, Professional Development Workshops, Alumni Reception, Awards Banquet, Miss FCSA Pageant
  • Sunday, April 15:  Closing Ceremonies and Inaugural Caribbean Culture Fest

For more information, visit or follow the hashtags #FCSAConference2018 #DestinationDaytona.  Sponsor partners include:  Caribbean Airlines, Grace Foods, VP Records, Bahja, Caribbean Passport, Orlando Carnival Association, Island 360, Miami Broward Carnival, Caribbean Bar Association, The Miami Foundation, Best of the Best Concert, South Florida Caribbean,, among others.

About Florida Caribbean Students Association (FCSA)

Since 1991, the Florida Caribbean Students Association, Inc (FCSA) has served as a leading student network of over 28 different organizations and thousands of students of Caribbean descent at colleges and universities across Florida. FCSA is a non-profit organization committed to the development of successful student leaders, the promotion of academic excellence and the enhancement of cultural awareness and civic engagement among Caribbean college students.

Contact: Tiye Powell, FCSA- PRO
Email Address: [email protected]
Telephone: 786-343-6436
Twitter: @FCSAVibes

Whitmore Resigns as Reggae Boyz’ Coach

Theodore Whitmore has resigned his role as head coach of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz soccer team. Confirmation of Whitmore’s resignation on April 6, 2018, was provided by Dalton Wint, the general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). The reasons for Whitmore’s leaving are thought to be related to salary issues, although no officials have commented on the specifics. The Federation offered him $3,000 per month recently, which is far below the $45,000 per month provided to Whitmore’s predecessor, Winfried Schaefer of Germany.

Whitmore’s most recent period with the Boyz was his fourth either as the head coach or interim head coach. In 2016, he was named interim coach following the resignation of Schaefer. Whitmore’s greatest accomplishment with the team occurred in July 2017 when Jamaica attained the runner-up spot to the United States in the Gold Cup competition.

Whitmore, 45, was a member of the 1998 Jamaica team that qualified for the World Cup in France, scoring twice for the Reggae Boyz as they claimed victory over Japan 2-1. Edward Seaga, the former Prime Minister of Jamaica and chair of the Premier League Clubs Association, completely supports Whitmore’s decision to resign, but Ambassador A. B. Stewart Stephenson hopes that the situation can be resolved.

Whitmore emailed his resignation following months of discussions with the JFF over the salary package he was offered.

Photo Source: Youtube


Stefflon Don & Safaree Added To Reggae Sumfest Pre-Party Lineup

Following Reggae Sumfest’s lineup announcement this week, Jamaica’s annual music festival adds more flavor to the mix with Stefflon Don and Safaree. The two artists will both perform at Sumfest’s Blitz “All Black” pre-party on Wednesday (Jul 18). Safaree will also host the event. This is one of the many back-to-back themed parties leading up to the 2-day iconic concert on July 20-21 held in Montego Bay.

Stefflon Don, the UK rapper, singer and songwriter with Jamaican roots, has been turning heads with her sharp-tongued lyrical versatility and fierce bravado. With a series of hit singles like her U.S. Top 10 Hurtin’ Me featuring French Montana, 16 ShotsReal Ting and Ding-A-Ling featuring Skepta and collaborations with Future, Jeremih, Halsey, Sean Paul and J Balvin, the current NME Magazine cover star is poised for international stardom.

Safaree, the U.S. rapper and reality television star, has been making waves with his newest single “Hunnid” and a slew of mixtapes (It Is What It Is, It Is What It Is Vol. 2, Real Yard Vibes and Fur Coat Vol. 1) that blend dancehall and hip hop. The Love & Hip Hop star will bring his signature style and braggadocious flow to the festivities.

Music will also be provided by DJs Rolexx, Creep (Chromatic) and Team Shella at The Blitz “All Black” party.

For tickets and more details visit Reggae Sumfest has now expanded to 8 days of real authentic Jamaican entertainment and food. See lineup and schedule below.

Sun. July 15  
Sumfest Colour-Fest Beach Party
@ Tropical Bliss Beach | Doors Open: 3pm | (Ticketed)

Mon. July 16
Sumfest Street Dance

@ Hip Strip, MoBay | Gates Open: 7pm | (Free)

Tues. July 17
All White Party

@ Pier One Restaurant & Bar | Doors Open: 8pm | (Ticketed)

Wed. July 18
The Blitz “All Black” Party

Feat. Safaree and Stefflon Don
@ (Venue TBD) | Doors Open: 8pm | (Ticketed)

Thu. July 19
The Inspire Awards

@ Iberostar Hotel | 5pm-9pm | (Invitation Only)

Thu. July 19
Reggae Sumfest Presents Irish & Chin’s World Clash 20th Anniversary

@ Pier One Event Center | Doors Open: 8pm | (Ticketed)
Tony Matterhorn, Mighty Crown, Ricky Trooper and Pink Panther

Fri. July 20
Sumfest Symposium

@ Montego Bay Conference Center | Time TBD | (Free)

Fri. July 20
Sumfest Festival Night 1

@ Catherine Hall Event Centre | Doors Open: 7pm | (Ticketed)
Popcaan, Aidonia, Bounty Killer, Sizzla, Spice, Tommy Lee Sparta, Agent Sasco, Ding Dong, I-Octane, Stonebwoy, Harry Toddler, Yanique, D-Major, Kemar Highcon, Dance Expressions, Govana, Tosh Alexander, Shano, Jah Fabio, Kim Nain, Rygin King, Vanzo, G Don V, Press Kay plus special guest stars

Sat. July 21
Sumfest Festival Night 2

@ Catherine Hall Event Centre | Doors Open: 7pm | (Ticketed)
Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Beres Hammond, Maxi Priest, Cham, Capleton, Raging Fyah, Jesse Royal, J Boog, Fantan Mojah, Keznamdi, Empress Ayeola, Naomi Cowan, Jah Dore, D’Yani, Stushi, plus special guest stars

Sun. July 22
Sumfest Medz “Tailgate” Party

@ Dump Up Beach | Start: 8am | (Ticketed)

Reggae Sumfest

Sumfest has earned a reputation as the Caribbean’s premier music festival showcasing Jamaica’s indigenous music as well as many other popular global genres of music. Now in its 26th year, the world’s greatest reggae music festival continues to pay homage to the musical genre that originated in Jamaica and has become a global phenomenon. Sumfest continues to add unprecedented value to “Brand Jamaica” by promoting two of the country’s most valuable products – the music and the island itself as a tourist destination. Since its inception, Sumfest has made Montego Bay and the surrounding areas a prime summer destination for visitors and locals alike who flock to the city to enjoy some of the best talent in Reggae, Dancehall, Hip Hop and R&B. Over the years, Sumfest has partnered with a number of major local and international brands. Our goal is to continue these long-standing partnerships and develop ways to enhance their relationship with Sumfest to drive incremental value for their brands. Sumfest is owned by Joseph Bogdanovich and produced by his company DownSound Entertainment.

Tiffany Mea ♥ With Love PR
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