Arts & Leisure

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Scenes From the Biggest Street Festival in North America

Ebony and Ivory. They say Caribana, the annual Caribbean carnival in Toronto, is North America’s biggest street festival. More than a million visitors are said to converge on the city for the celebration of Caribbean entertainment arts that culminates on the first weekend of August/last weekend of July – depending on how the August Monday …

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Mark Lee

About Mark Lee

Editor, author and writer with career spanning print, radio, television and new media.

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The Manley Memoirs – No Time for Secrets

A South Florida capacity crowd of well over 350 listened in rapt attention last Thursday evening as Beverley Anderson Manley, veteran journalist, international speaker and gender specialist regaled the gathering with tantalizing excerpts from her recently launched autobiography, The Manley Memoirs. The novel chronicles the events from her family home into the home of the …

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Dear Cousin Babs – a Letter from ‘Farin’

Dearest Cousin Babs: Hope all is well under the circumstances, with the high crime rate and folks criticizing cassava as replacement for rice. We have our own trials here, for my car that only takes unleaded, is costing me $4.52 cents for a gallon of gas! Driving now is only when necessary, and I have …

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Trevor Rhone’s POSITIVE a hit in St. Vincent

In 2005, Marina Lampkin from the Ministry of Tourism in St. Vincent saw the first run of POSITIVE at the Barn Theatre in Jamaica. She was convinced that the production with its credible, powerful and hard-hitting message about HIV prevention should be performed in St. Vincent. After three years, director fabian thomas and a new …

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“Tresspassers Shall Be Shat in Dem Bomboclaat!”

Charles Nesson is definitely onto something. In his letter to the Jamaica Observer editor of Saturday May 31, titled “Some things for the prime minister (sic) to do” he certainly outlines a bold initiative regarding the legalization of marijuana in Jamaica. I’d move it beyond Maroon Country though, to the kind of thinking the Dutch …

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Kaiso – The First Caribbean World Music

Since the last great war and the Andrews Sisters’ version of the rum and Coca Cola song from Trinidad, the world has identified the Caribbean with a type of music called calypso. After the success of the American women, in the 1950s a pair of American men of Caribbean extraction – Harry Belafonte and Irving …

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Mark Lee

About Mark Lee

Editor, author and writer with career spanning print, radio, television and new media.

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Ka Isue, Kaiso, Calypso?

“Calypso is my weapon,” sings the Mighty Gaby from Barbados. Dr Richard Allsopp a Caribbean linguist would have probably agreed with the sentiment but not totally with the lexicon. “No way you would have an African spelling such as calypso,” he contends. At the heart of the issue is the origin of the word describing …

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Mark Lee

About Mark Lee

Editor, author and writer with career spanning print, radio, television and new media.

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The Frats Quintet: Jamaican Music Before the Ska Years

In the years before reggae and rocksteady and ska put Jamaica on the world musical map, mento and folk ruled the roost and the top folk exponents of the day were the Frats Quintet. None of the Frats Quintet members were formally trained in voice dynamics. They sang for the love and appreciation of the …

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