Three Veteran Women Of Reggae For Groovin’ In The Park

Groovin In The Park has announced the addition of a powerful ‘Women Of Reggae’ segment to this year’s festival which unfolds in New York on Sunday, June 24 at Roy Wilkins Park.

The highly anticipated package will now include 80’s songbirds JC Lodge, Pam Hall and Marcia Aitken.

Jc Lodge, Marcia Aitken, Pam Hall Added To Powerful Groovin In The Park Lineup 2

Marcia Aitken

Aitken’s 1977 hit ‘I’m Still in Love with You Boy’ got mainstream publicity in February when pop queen Beyonce used the original version of the song to announce her upcoming “On The Run II” tour with husband, rapper Jay-Z in a mainstream TV ad. An Instagram post by Beyonce with the video clip was viewed almost 9 million times and aired on Entertainment Tonight (ET), the longest-running syndicated entertainment news program in the US. Some speculate that the power couple’s recent trip to Jamaica was to film the video for a soon to be released remix version of the song.

‘I’m Still in Love with You Boy’ was a #1 number hit song in Jamaica and the UK in the 70’s and was sampled by DJ Trinity on his popular hit ‘Three Piece Suit’ and Althea & Donna’s ‘Uptown Top Ranking.’ Aitken scored another #1 hit with Trinity titled ‘My Man’ in 1978.

Singer Pam Hall first garnered attention in the 1970’s as a member of the popular duo Pam & Woody. She later sang background vocals for reggae icons Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Dennis Brown, Jimmy Cliff and Beres Hammond until her solo career took flight in the 80s with the single ‘Dear Boopsie.’ The song spent four weeks on the UK Top 50 chart. Following a brief hiatus she re-emerged in 1994 with the Dolly Parton penned, Whitney Houston inspired hit ‘I Will Always Love You.’ Hall’s version is a reggae classic that remains popular today. She scored her biggest solo success with Candi Staton’s cover ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ and her 2016 release ‘Make It Up To You.’

In a dazzling career that spans four decades, British-based singer JC Lodge has etched her name in the annals of reggae music history with her county inspired reggae cover hit ‘Someone Loves You Honey,’ that achieved gold and platinum in the Netherlands. Lodge followed this with another smasher, “Telephone Love” – one of the first dancehall/ reggae songs to enjoy crossover success in the US. The sing-along anthem was a staple on ethnic radio globally and charted at #45 on the Billboard R&B chart. The success of the single earned Lodge a US major label deal with Tommy Boy Records, then a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group.

The ladies will join Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Capleton, Busy Signal and Romain Virgo as headline performers for the 7th renewal of this epic outdoor concert in Queens, New York.

 

 

Bullies Get What’s Due in Jamaican Poet Juleus Ghunta’s New Book “Tata And The Big Bull”

Author and poet Juleus Ghunta releases his first children’s book, Tata and the Big Bad Bull. Beautifully illustrated by UK artist Ann–Cathrine Loo, Tata and the Big Bad Bull is a fast–paced narrative poem about a face–off between an angry bull and a determined boy. Tata is single-minded in his desire to go to school, but his grandmother is too poor to pay for the school bus and the route on foot takes him through a pasture guarded by a fierce bull. Tata’s pursuit of his education turns into an adventure involving other members of his anthropomorphic community as he searches for ways to circumvent the bull and his anger.Bullies Get What’s Due In Tata And The Big Bull 3

Tata and the Big Bad Bull is loosely based on the author’s childhood experiences and reflects his current career path as a poet, youth advocate, and speaker–dreamrighter. Like Tata’s grandmother, Ghunta’s mother struggled to pay his school bus fare to school in Jamaica. Determined to go to school, Ghunta took a shortcut through a pasture and encountered a fierce bull who charged at him. The story is amusing on the surface, but there is a lot to unpack in the simple rhyming lines. The bull and the other characters are metaphors for the challenges Ghunta faced as a child and the steps he took to endure and overcome them. In addition, readers may disagree over who is the real bully of the story. Tata and the Big Bad Bull reels children into a fun adventure and then encourages them to think about tolerance, friendship, and understanding. It introduces children to the idea that there may be more than one way to solve a problem.

Bullies Get What’s Due In Tata And The Big Bull 1 Bullies Get What’s Due In Tata And The Big Bull 2

Pre–publication reviewers such as educator and author, Loretta Collins Klobah, have touted Tata and the Big Bad Bull as a “highly entertaining story, [in which] readers see how Tata learns to capably work through his problem by asking the right questions, not prejudging a person based on first impressions and reputation, apologising when he is at fault, seeking advice from others, respecting people, and serving as a mediator in his community.” Other reviews have been equally enthusiastic. Geoffrey Philp, author of Garvery’s Ghost points out that “readers from the Caribbean will…be introduced to a young hero who resembles them” and author Roland Watson–Grant describes this book as “A classic, universal tale and a timely commentary on the challenges our children face on a daily basis and solutions that often go unmentioned.”

Juleus Ghunta is a Jamaican poet, speaker–dreamrighter and recipient of a Chevening Scholarship. He is pursuing MA Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, UK. In 2010, he earned a BA in Media from the University of the West Indies, Mona. Ghunta’s poetry has appeared in several journals including The Missing Slate, Moko, Spillway, Easy Street, Chiron Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and has been anthologised in Cordite 81: New Caribbean Writing and In This Breadfruit Kingdom. He was awarded the Catherine James Poetry Prize by Interviewing the Caribbean in 2017. In 2015 and 2016 he was shortlisted for the Small Axe Poetry Prize. Tata and the Big Bad Bull is his first picture book.

 Tata and the Big Bad Bull is published by CaribbeanReads Publishing. Books are available at bookstores and libraries across the Caribbean and the United States and at online booksellers. Visit www.caribbeanreads.com for details or Carol Mitchell at [email protected]

 

Damian Marley For Groovin’ In The Park

Reggae’s most sought after superstar Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley will bring the curtain down on the highly anticipated Groovin In The Park festival that takes place on Sunday, June 24 inside Roy Wilkins Park in New York. The tremendously popular decision to add Marley to the lineup was confirmed earlier.

The son of two celebrities- reggae icon Bob Marley and former Miss World 1976 Cindy Brakespeare – cemented his own place in the annals of music history when he became the first reggae artist to win a GRAMMY outside of the “reggae” category, taking home an award for ‘Best Urban/Alternative’ performance for his single, “Welcome To Jamrock.”

Damian Junior Gong Marley

Damian “Junior Gong” Marley

The acclaimed international reggae/dancehall superstar is a fixture on Billboard’s Reggae Digital Singles chart. ‘Welcome to Jamrock,’ from his Grammy winning album of the same name was certified gold in the United States. The single was listed as one of the ‘Top 100 Songs of the Decade’ by Rolling Stone Magazine. Popular track from the disc include ‘Pimpa’s Paradise,’ ‘Confrontation’ and ‘Hey Girl.’

The success of ‘Road To Zion,’ the 2nd US single from the ‘Welcome to Jamrock’ album inspired his 2010 Distant Relatives project, a collaborative album with Nas. The album’s title reflected not only the bond between the artists, but the connection to their African ancestry.

He partnered with Skrillex on the groundbreaking track ‘Make It Bun Dem.’ The song sold over 350,000 downloads and enjoyed success in Austria, Belgium, Sweden and New Zealand. The song was one of four tracks with Marley that graced the Billboard chart in 2005 including ‘Road to Zion’, ‘Patience’ (with Nas) and ‘Welcome to Jamrock.’

Marley was in the news a few days ago when R&B icon Babyface declared in an interview that Marley was the reggae artist he would most like to collaborate with.

Other headliners booked for Groovin In The Park 2018 are Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Busy Signal, Capleton, Romain Virgo, JC Lodge, Marcia Aitken and Pam Hall.

 

Tourism Chief Upbeat About The Caribbean’s Future

High consumer demand for a Caribbean travel experience and increased tourism investments in hotels and airport improvements bode well for the future of the Caribbean’s tourism sector, which is exceeding 2018 expectations despite the fact that some hotels in six of the Caribbean’s 32 major destinations are still in rebuilding mode following last year’s hurricanes.

Tourism Chief Upbeat About The Caribbean's Future

CHTA’s Frank Comito (left) with STR’s Fatima Thompson and KPMG’s Gary Brough at the CHRIS Conference in Miami last month.

“A growing number of travelers are understanding that the Caribbean is a vast region comprising many diverse destinations all rich in natural beauty but each distinct in its history, music, culture, food and welcoming hospitality,” said Frank Comito, CEO and Director General of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA). “Just like a winter blizzard may affect the northeastern United States while people are sunbathing on Miami Beach, a weather incident in one part of the Caribbean does not affect the overwhelming majority of the Caribbean.”

Thanks to the robust upturn in the tourism sector, many parts of the region are seeing corresponding growth in employment, visitor spending, government revenue, and public and private sector investments to upgrade and expand the tourism product. “Capitalizing on these trends and getting the region to work together on marketing and addressing other matters which can cause tourism to be an even greater economic engine for the region is a challenge which the region’s public and private sector leaders must embrace,” states Comito.

Comito echoed a challenge by Frank Rainieri, the noted developer of the Punta Cana region in the Dominican Republic, to attendees at the Caribbean Hotel and Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) in Miami last month to work together on common matters which impact the entire Caribbean region, in particular aviation, marketing and sustainability. Rainieri, chairman and founder of Grupo Puntacana, received CHRIS’ Lifetime Achievement Award at the event.

A CHTA study earlier this year revealed that 58 percent of hoteliers have a positive or extremely positive outlook for the industry’s future. This was reinforced by the record level of attendees at CHRIS as investor interest in the Caribbean has strengthened since the two Category 5 hurricanes of 2017. According to data recently collected by the World Travel and Tourism Council, hurricane-affected destinations themselves anticipate annual tourism spending growth of 8.7 percent in 2019 through 2021.

“In all of our discussions with industry stakeholders from destinations such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, Dominica and Anguilla, we fully expect them to be showcasing to the traveler a completely revamped, fresh new product. We’re already beginning to see that in several of the destinations and, later this year, expect it to accelerate as more refurbished and rebuilt hotels come on stream,” Comito stated.

Attendees at the CHRIS conference were pleasantly surprised by data from a just released KPMG study which shows the boost in lender confidence: “We felt post-hurricanes that there might be a diminishing of confidence, but it’s stronger than it’s been since post the recession, with a significant shift by commercial lenders,” the CHTA CEO noted.

Bolstering the healthy growth and rapid recovery from the storms is the increased airlift coming into the region from North America and Europe, which Comito asserted is at a record pace. “An increase in arrivals and activity, as well as the amount of hotel investments points very positively to where the region is headed.”

Over the past several months all the major carriers serving the region have announced plans for new and expanded service into the Caribbean. However, it was among regional carriers where Comito saw a significant rise. He pointed to InterCaribbean Airways as an example, which four years ago served a dozen locations in five destinations and currently covers 22 airports in 13 countries.

The CHTA chief reported on the completion of several airport expansions in recent years and cited more than a dozen other airports which are under construction or are in the planning stage.

CHTA also reported on a major expansion thrust by leading hotel brands and chains and the debut in the region of new independent boutique and luxury hotels as well as the growth of the sharing economy.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria, despite the devastation they wreaked, Comito contended, also delivered critical messages for the future of the region – more than 70 percent of which was unaffected by the storms: “The hurricanes taught us that the Caribbean is viewed as one brand in the minds of the public and the consumer. The lesson learned is that we’ve got to work more closely together as a region, public and private sectors, to let the world know about the lifetime of experiences and destinations which our vast region offers.”

But Comito, whose association comprises private sector hospitality and tourism stakeholders, cautioned against complacency: “While we’ve been on a good growth curve in both the hotel and arrivals side of it in terms of the data, it doesn’t take much to swing positive numbers to negatives. We are working with our industry and public sector partners to build a new spirit of collaboration. The need for this became even more apparent in recent years as we’ve worked to counter the negative impacts, largely due to mistaken public perceptions of storms and other natural occurrences. We need to be diligent, to be ready to bounce back and respond as effectively as possible.”

These and other Caribbean travel and tourism issues will take center stage at CHTA’s fourth Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), taking place at the Hyatt Regency Miami from June 22 to 24.

For further information, visit www.chtachief.com.

About CHIEF

Produced by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) is the premier educational forum for Caribbean hospitality and tourism professionals. CHIEF is where hospitality industry leaders assemble to connect, learn best practices, share ideas, brainstorm creative solutions to current challenges and build relationships. With three educational tracks covering a multitude of relevant topics, from the sharing economy to sustainability, and interactive roundtable and speed networking sessions, this event addresses issues affecting all businesses. The forum attracts hoteliers, vendors, government officials and industry experts focused on a stronger, profitable and more sustainable industry. CHIEF is supported by host sponsors Interval International and JetBlue Getaways; platinum sponsors Adara, CaribbeanWE, Expedia, Figment Design, Marketplace Excellence, Mastercard, OBMI, STR and TravelZoo; and gold sponsors Caribbean Wedding Industry Awards, Flip.to, La Bottega, Oracle Hospitality, SportsArt Fitness, Travalliance Media/Vacation Agent, Travel Channel, Travel Relations, TravelClick, TravPro Mobile and TripMate. For additional information about CHIEF, visit www.chtachief.com or call +1 305 443-3040.

About the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA)

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is the Caribbean’s leading association representing the interests of national hotel and tourism associations. For more than 50 years, CHTA has been the backbone of the Caribbean hospitality industry. Working with some 1,000 hotel and allied members, and 32 National Hotel Associations, CHTA is shaping the Caribbean’s future and helping members to grow their businesses. Whether navigating new worlds like social media, sustainability, legislative issues, emerging technologies, climate change, data and intelligence or, looking for avenues and ideas to better market and manage businesses, CHTA is helping members on issues which matter most.

For further information, visit www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.

 

Award Winning Jamaican Jazz Maestro Gets Ready For Busy Round Of Caribbean American Heritage Month Performances

Over five decades of performances and more than 70 CDs later, award-winning Jamaican jazz maestro, Monty Alexander, is still thrilling jazz fans and introducing newbies to the genre with style. And this June, he is getting ready to do it all over again, as he gears up for a busy National Caribbean American Heritage Month in the United States.

The man, who singer extraordinaire, Tony Bennett, has declared put on one of the “best jazz shows” he has ever seen, is getting ready to play venues across the US as well as in Canada this June.

Award Winning Jamaican Jazz Maestro Gets Ready For Busy Round Of Caribbean American Heritage Month Performances

Award-winning Jamaican Jazz Maestro Monty Alexander
(PHOTO CREDIT: Joe Martinez/Jazz at Lincoln Center)

His month will kick off in Phoenix, Arizona on June 21st as the man considered to be one of the top five jazz pianists ever, will take his rhythmic, emotionally charged and virtuosic style of playing to Phoenix, Arizona’s Musical Instrument Museum, (MIM), at 4725 E. Mayo Blvd. Show time is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $38.50–$48.50 and can be obtained here.

The Museum is the largest of its type in the world with a collection of over 15,000 musical instruments and associated objects includes examples from nearly 200 countries and territories. Alexander will join a long list of stellar artists who have performed at MIM, including jazz legend Ramsey Lewis, Grammy-award winner George Benson, Motown’s Martha Reeves, Lyle Lovett, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks and Ronnie Spector.

Then its off to the West Coast for a two-night LA performance at Catalina’s Jazz Club at 6725 W. Sunset Blvd. from June 22nd to the 23rd. Showtime will be 8:30 p.m. nightly and tickets are priced from $30 for the Friday night show and can be bought here while Saturday night’s performance will cost $5 more and can be secured here.

New York Performances

Alexander will celebrate jazz and Caribbean American Heritage Month in New York City with back-to-back shows from June 24 – 26th at the popular NYC Jazz haunt, Blue Note, at 131 West 3rd Street in Manhattan. Show time nightly will be 8 p.m. and this special series of performance will be presented under the theme: “Love Notes: Jamaica To Jazz,” paying tribute to the maestro’s homeland, which he left behind 55 years ago but still holds in his heart and honors with every performance.

Tickets start at $20 for a bar seat and $35 for a table reservation and can be obtained here.

Canada

The Jamaican and American classic will wrap up the month in Canada as he takes his unique brand of jazz to the groovy Montreal International Jazz Festival at Monument-National, 1182 St. Laurent Blvd. from 8 p.m. Tickets are $51.75 and can be secured here.

ABOUT ALEXANDER

Born on D-Day, June 6, 1944 in Kingston, Jamaica, Alexander was playing Christmas carols by ear at 4, entertaining neighbors and relatives by 5 and taking his first piano lessons at 6. He resisted formal instruction, but still, growing up in Kingston, absorbed all the musical flavors that comprise his mature sonic palette of today.

Alexander began playing in local Kingston clubs at 14, when he also made his first recordings, some as leader of a group called Monty and the Cyclones, and others as a sideman for such legendary producers as Ken Khouri (Federal Records), Duke Reid (Treasure Isle), and Clement Coxsone Dodd at Studio One.

These early sessions for Federal, which Alexander describes as “not calypso music, but the beginning of Ska,” included such subsequently famous talents as trombonist Don Drummond, tenor saxophonist Roland Alphonso and guitarist Ernest Ranglin.

Alexander is most widely known as an upper echelon master of the swinging piano trio function, as he has demonstrated with several top-shelf groups, including iconic units with bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton, and with the legendary bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis.

He also performs frequently with Harlem-Kingston Express, a double trio in which he coalesces his love for hard-swinging jazz with musical flavors that reflect his Jamaican heritage, shifting between an acoustic trio and master Jamaican practitioners of electric bass and drums. He debuted the project at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2009 and documented it both on the Grammy-nominated 2011 CD, Harlem-Kingston Express: LIVE, and its 2014 Soultrain Award nominated follow-up, Harlem Kingston Express 2: The River Rolls On (Motéma).

For more on the Monty Alexander and his brand of jazz, visit him on YouTubeor at montyalexander.com. You can also like him on Facebook at facebook.com/officialmontyalexander or keep up to date on his performance on Twitter at @montyHKE.

 

The 10th Annual Anancy Festival South Florida – June 30, 2018

On Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 1 p.m., South Regional BC Library will host their annual Anancy Festival. The program will feature Caribbean and African cultural experiences include a drumming fingers demonstration, games, songs, arts & crafts, face painting, storytelling, refreshments and more.

The Anancy Festival, named for Anansi the Spider, the West African trickster of folklore, is a celebration of Caribbean-American culture that’s geared toward children and teens. The festival provides a unique way for youngsters to learn about their cultural heritage and experience a rich collection of stories, music and dance.

The South Regional – BC Library is located at 7300 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, FL 33024. Call 954-201-8825 for more information.

For more information about Broward County Libraries, visit broward.org/library

Sponsors for the event include: Louise Bennett- Coverley Heritage Council (FLA) Inc., Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, Jamaican Women of Florida, Grace Kennedy, Friends of South Regional Broward College Library and Broward County Library.

 

Spiritual Set For Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

It’s rare that an artiste is booked for two consecutive days at a festival. But reggae artiste Spiritual has pulled off that feat for this year’s staging of the 25th Sierra Nevada World Music Festival.

The festival is scheduled to take place from Friday June 22nd to Sunday June 24 in Boonville, California.  Spiritual is booked for the last two days of the festival.

Spiritual Set For Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

‘It’s an honour and a blessing for I to be making my debut on the West Coast of América with such a huge and renowned event as the Sierra Nevada World Music festival. California has been a big part of me for many years of my life and to get to stand in front of the people and carry out my message will be a glorious event’, Spiritual shared in a release to the media.

He continued ‘Performing on multiple days of the festival, for me it signifies more than one opportunities to be with my people’.

For his debut performance in California, Spiritual promises it will be something to remember.

‘Definitely it will be a Spiritual Awakening. I like my time on stage to not just feel like a performance but also a deliverance of the word of the Father, as well as making the people feel reverence and love’, said Spiritual.

Since the launch of his album Awakening (VP Records) last year, Spiritual has been busy promoting his music, while releasing new material.

‘I have a few singles including Reggae Music which is depicting the different emotions garnered by people all over through the love of reggae and Children of The Revolution which is a recognition of all the people fighting today for peace and love in this world of ours’, he said.

Other reggae acts billed for the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival include Beres Hammond, Steel Pulse, Tarrus Riley, Cocoa Tea, Protoje, Jah9, Romain Virgo, the Mighty Diamonds and Half Pint.

 

Team Jamaica Bickle Donates US $10k To G.C. Foster College

Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) has donated US $10K to the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport. The presentation was made during the opening ceremony of the recently held Jamaica Invitational held at the National Stadium to Acting Principal and Coach, Maurice Wilson by CEO & Founder of TJB, Irwine Clare, Snr., and New York based businessman, Michael Duncan, an ardent sponsor and supporter of the organization. Team Jamaica Bickle Donates US $10k To G.C. Foster College

For close to two decades TJB has supported G.C. Foster, donating (now) over US $100K to the institution.

“The organization believes that a strong foundation is essential to the development of sport in the country and that investing in training coaches to lead the country’s cadre of student athletes is one step in that direction,” said Clare.

Speaking to the donation, Principal Wilson said that the members of the G.C. Foster College Community were “extremely appreciative and grateful for the support given by TJB,” adding that the donation will be used to sponsor scholarships for elite athletes who are unable to afford a college education.

“The relationship goes back many years when the organization first sponsored the team’s accommodation at the Penn Relays. Rasheed Dwyer Jamaica’s 4th fastest athlete at 200m and 2014 200m Commonwealth Champion was one of the many athletes to benefit from TJB’s generosity. This donation will help to off-set costs of over 30 million dollars per year. The institution has many needs; the greatest of which at this time is a scholarship fund.  We are also completing our High Performance Centre which still requires some equipment. The TJB organization has continued to touch the lives of many Jamaicans from all social classes,” said Wilson.

Please visit www.teamjamaicabickle.org or call 718.523.2861 for more information.

About Team Jamaica Bickle

Team Jamaica Bickle, Inc. (TJB) is a not-for-profit corporation based in New York State. The organization was formed in 1994 and was later designated a 501(c)(3) organization. TJB was founded by the current CEO Irwine G. Clare Snr. The affiliated TJB-Philadelphia Organizing Committee was simultaneously formed. TJB’s mission is embodied in the motto, ‘Our Athletes, Our Ambassadors’. Team Jamaica Bickle, Inc. has supported athletes and athletic programs for the past 24 years. Currently, TJB services extend to a delegation of  athletes, coaches and volunteers from Jamaica, other Caribbean countries(which includes Trinidad and Tobago and St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Guyana), as well as from the USA.

In 1999, Team Jamaica Bickle became the first Jamaican organization to be a participating sponsor at the Penn Relays. As a result, the Jamaican flag became the first foreign-nation’s flag to be flown at the Penn Relays, a distinction unmatched. Over the years, TJB has received several proclamations and awards from numerous local and national entities.

Media Contact:

Andrea Daley

Caribbean Media Marketing Inc.

[email protected]

917.971.5742 (USA)

876.818.9783 (JA)

 

Jamaican Gail Moaney Receives Prestigious PR Award In New York City

One of the hospitality industry’s preeminent leaders in marketing and public relations was hailed this week for her service to the sector.

Gail Moaney, APR, received the Marcella Martinez award in memory of the meritorious and productive life of the late Caribbean public relations professional and diplomat.Jamaican Gail Moaney Receives Prestigious Pr Award In New York City

                                                                Gail Moaney, APR
Bevan Springer, who leads the nonprofit Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx), congratulated his fellow board member “for capturing this prestigious honor, which, in turn, honors one of Jamaica’s most accomplished daughters.”

“Gail is indisputably deserving of this award, not only for her unmatched contributions to our profession and her service to the Caribbean, but also for her unstinting generosity to the youth of the region,” said Springer, who, inspired by Moaney, established Marketplace Excellence, a New Jersey-based public relations practice.

The award, first presented in 2005, honors individuals and organizations which have made outstanding contributions to strengthening the marketing programs of Caribbean destinations. Winners are singled out for their work with the region’s communities, as well as for providing consistent support for the Caribbean’s cultural values and heritage.

“I am so touched and humbled by this,” said Moaney, the founding managing partner of the New York City-based global firm Finn Partners. “Marcella Martinez was a dear colleague, mentor and friend. I remember her face so vividly when we told her that the Jamaica Tourist Board was establishing this PR award in her name,” she reflected.

“It was towards the end of her battle with cancer and I was so happy that she was able to participate in the announcement. Although she left us before the awards ceremony, I always felt good knowing that she knew that her legacy would live on,” said Moaney.

The award was presented to Moaney during Caribbean Week in New York, a city where the late Martinez made her mark in public relations and in international diplomacy.

Moaney, who in 2016 was an honoree in the inaugural Diversity in PR Award program presented by PR News, has more than 25 years of experience in agency and corporate public relations. She also spent 12 years in broadcasting as a producer and executive producer for NBC/WRC-TV, PBS (Public Broadcasting System), and Warner Amex Cable Communications.

An adjunct professor at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies where she teaches Master’s level courses, Moaney amassed an impressive list of clients in the Bahamas, Barbados and Jamaica, and has provided philanthropic support to the University of the West Indies and other regional organizations.

A fine arts graduate of Howard University, Moaney also earned an MA degree from American University. Among her many positions, she is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists as well as an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), for which she has served on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), and an allied member of the American Society of Travel Agents.

Moaney serves on the board of The LAGRANT Foundation, the New York Urban League, and the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI).

 

Afrobeat Meets Dancehall, K’Coneil Teams Up With Stonebwoy On Sizzling Summer Single!

“K’coneil and Stonebwoy intertwine creative melodies and fun lyrics over a groovy track.  Aptly titled Balance, the song highlights the coming together of Jamaica’s next break out international star, K’coneil and StoneBwoy, Ghana’s biggest Dancehall export.”Afrobeat Meets Dancehall, K'Coneil Teams Up With Stonebwoy On Sizzling Summer Single! 1

NY, JA, GH (MPR Consulting) – Since creating his own lane with his “genre fluid” sound, JUNO nominated recording artist K’Coneil is often asked to explain the latter, “it is the ability to float in and out of different genres”, the budding star explains but demonstrates it better through his music such as his latest hit bound track “Balance” featuring Ghana’s Afrobeat topliner Stonebwoy.

The single meshes the influences of K’Coneil’s reggae roots and the musical melting pot of his urban surroundings in New York City, with Afrobeat, a style of popular music incorporating elements of African music and jazz, soul, and funk. Speaking on the collaboration with Stonebwoy, K’Coneil explained “We met at a show at the Gramercy Theatre in NYC in 2017. I liked his energy and what he has built with the fusion of the African music scene and Jamaican Dancehall. Me being “Mr. Genrefuild”  and my vision to improve the fluidity between the genres, makes the collaboration just natural and unforced. He’s really a dope artist who’s versatility goes beyond just one genre.  Afrobeat in my opinion is one of the biggest growing global urban music genres and the world has no choice but to recognize its infection. It reminds me of how Reggae/Dancehall chartered its own rhythmic and soulful course on the world scene as an art form. Its fun, its hip, and is a massive wave right now that is here to stay.”

Afrobeat Meets Dancehall, K'Coneil Teams Up With Stonebwoy On Sizzling Summer Single! 2

K’Coneil and Stonebwoy on BALANCE video set in Miami.

On the song’s creation, he further added “Balance itself is a controlled way of expressing the movements when on the dance floor. Its an internal fight when the music hits and you wanna let go in wild abandonment, but must fight to maintain some sort of decorum while still enjoying the vibes. The movement of the song inspired us to create a dancers anthem that hopefully will infect the  world, so that all the dancers from the Caribbean, UK, and Africa can step up in unison and rock out .“

Over the past memorial weekend in Miami, K’Coneil and Stonebwoy filmed the visuals for the summer sizzling single. Directed by Jose “Javy” Ferrer. (Daddy Yankee, Wyclef Jean, and Farruko) the vibrant scenery and sexy dancers paired with the fun lyrics delivered a fun infectious video to be premiered in the upcoming weeks.

Since it’s June 1st release, “Balance” has received rave reviews from fans and some of the most popular disc jokeys who have since blared the airwaves and added the hit bound song to their playlist. A Keynote Records production with a beat creation by Ghana’s Moniebeats, the track was written by K’Coneil, Steadley Reid, Fernandez Griffiths and Stonebwoy and is now available on all digital outlets at  smarturl.it/balance-ks