Caribbean American Cultural Caucus’ Third Annual Music Conference 2011

The Caribbean Cultural Conference is an annual event designed to bring together entertainment industry stakeholders to explore, examine the obstacles confronting the advancement of the Caribbean entertainment industry.”…. (CACC)

Junior Forbes and his team did it again. Once more they took the initiative to ‘bring the Caribbean together through music’ and were quite successful at this feat. The staging of the third annual music conference was held on September 21st thru 23rd in Manhattan, New York at the Marriott Marquis on Broadway.

The conference was held over a three day period with an impressive array of panelists; speaking on equally interesting topics in several forums. This conference is geared toward educating members from all areas of the music fraternity on the ever-changing landscape that is the music business as it relates to genres of the Caribbean. Therefore, it is open to all musicians, artistes, promoters, artiste managers, producers, public relations specialists, media personnel, sound operators, song writers and just anybody who wants to know what’s going on in the business.

The event started off with a bang on Wednesday, September 21st with a networking session at the Negril Village Restaurant, followed by two full days of panel discussions from several stalwarts in the various areas of the music industry.

On Thursday the 22nd topics such as Production; Publishing, Brand Building, Marketing and Endorsements were covered where a wealth of information was shared.

Panelists for the session titled ‘Inside the Production Booth’ were Ed Robinson, Sean Da MA$TAMIND Noel and four time Grammy award winner James ‘Bonzai’ Caruso. It was moderated by Simone Harris. The discussion was focused on music development for airplay, lyrical content, and music jingles.

Publishing was moderated by Michelle Arthurton of E2 Recordings and included panelists such as Alex Holz of RightsFlow, Jonathan Jones of ASCAP, Erica Smith of ACCS / COSCAP and Heather Cunningham of BSCAP.

An interesting and highly informative insert in a category entitled PITCH IT was introduced. Here, a seemingly young yet well-rounded entrepreneur showcased his business and demonstrated how its concept would/could help those in the music business. He was 22 year old Alex Morrissey of This entity is a music service company that is making significant strides in the industry and the community at large.

Brand Building, Endorsements and Marketing Music in the Digital Age was presented by ASOM Productions and was the final plenary session for the day. This session was moderated by Irwine Clare. Industry insiders such as Stacey Bethel, Trevor Smith (Rep Tower Isles Patties), artist Mario Evon, promoter Oliver Millwood and Salvatore Alesci. The panelist touched on a series of brand development, protection, and marketing along with brand partnership.

Day three (Friday 23rd) saw an impressive turnout of participants that proved to be quite the attentive audience. Topics such as Artiste Management—moderated by Michelle Arthurton—included panelists Victor Lewis and Shamita Carriman.

The Financial Management presentation was presented by Mr. Steve Gordon (author of The Future of the Music Business) and Mr. David Weiss (co-author of the book Music Supervision).
‘Navigating the New Music Business was moderated by Ms. Karen Marie Mason and included accomplished panelists such as Steve Gordon, Esq.; BET’s own Kelly Griffin and Tyesh Harris.

After the lunch break, an extremely informative and sometimes humor-filled session convened dealing with ‘The Dos and Don’ts of Touring”. This session included the likes of veteran music man Mr. Copeland Forbes (who held his audience captive with some humorous and other more serious recollections of the many tours he has organized and executed over the years) who provided some very awe-inspiring moments; another stalwart in the business in the form of George Michailow, Oliver Millwood and Karen Marie Mason. This was moderated by Tyesh Harris. As touring become one of the key area of the entertainment revenue stream the panel discuss pointers in doing a successful music tour along with pitfall to avoid when coordinating one.

The proceedings ended with a session entitled “The Changing Face of Radio”. This saw panelists such as veteran broadcaster Pat McKay of Sirius XM Satellite radio, Kerry Dennis, Sydney White and Gary Bernstein. This session was moderated by Stan Smith. What can be said about this session? Simply…it was too short! It seemed to end by the time it begun. There was so much that needed to be said, needed to be asked.

The Caribbean Cultural Music conference wrapped up with its first ever Artists Showcase held at the Studio at Webster Hall on Friday night 9-23. Lyrikal, Ed Robinson and Mario Evans. The show also featured performances from Levantay, Lady Lee and a surprise performance from Ghost. Levantay gave a stellar performance and had the audience rocking to her latest single Non-stop Love.

“Levantay’s style is sexy, sleek and provocative and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of her,” said one patron.

Sponsors of the event included: Red Stripe; Tower Isles; ASOM; VP Records; ASCAP; BSCAP; ACCS; COSCAP; RightsFlow;;; Drenalin; Flowers by Marilyn, E2 On Air; CLM TV; ZYNC TV; Indie Power; Elite Buzz; ROK Digital Productions; OTC and Marriott Marquis of New York.

As we look forward to bigger and better things from the Caribbean American Cultural Caucus, next year’s conference is highly anticipated and should prove to be even more enlightening than this year’s event. 

Again, kudos to Junior Forbes and his hardworking team of Michelle Arthurton, Irwine Clare, Simone Harris, Carl Gordon, Maxine Greaves, Stan Smith, and Hon. Eugene Pursoo.