SPARK-ENT JUL 30, 2013 – VYBZ KARTEL, MIGUEL, ASSASSIN, DIGICEL FOUNDATION
VYBZ KARTEL’S BUSINESS PARTNER MICHAEL DAWSON EXPLAINS THE CURRENT LEGAL SITUATION AND SAYS THERE IS A 99.99% CHANCE THAT KARTEL WILL BE FOUND NOT GUILTY
MIGUEL AT SUMFEST 2013
After a scintillating performance from Grammy Award winning R&B artiste Miguel on Reggae Sumfest’s final night, the artiste could not wait to recover in order to catch a glimpse of the penultimate performer on the bill, Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley.
A huge fan of the younger Marley he admitted that the music of this Jamaican artiste is always on his playlist of Reggae tunes, having been introduced to the music at an earlier age through his father, who was a fan of the reggae elder Peter Tosh.
It was Miguel’s first time performing on Jamaican soil and was full of nothing but praises for his Sumfest audience. “This is a country with such a rich history and culture that is was exhilarating to mount those steps and be able to perform for Jamaicans. I really had no expectations I just wanted to come and see what the Festival was about and try to present my music to them in a manner they would appreciate,” the artiste said. “It is not an easy audience to please, and that’s good, so I am very pleased with the way things turned out.”
The Reggae Sumfest audience had no problems connecting with his R&B styling’s. Miguel’s massive Jamaican fan base had the females belting out his tunes such as Adorn, Sure Thing and Do You, and earned rapturous applause and appreciation.
Miguel who arrived a full day before his performance used the time to absorb some of the culture of the country including the food. “Jerk chicken comes up tops man. I am a fan of food like that,” he said smiling.
He would also take in some of the acts on Friday’s Reggae Sumfest line-up. And who stood out for him? “Beres man… Beres,” Miguel replied shaking his head. “That’s the ultimate control and it was just amazing to watch a master at work.”
Other acts that brought the curtains down on the festival which caught the attention of many include a young female vocalist Berry. Performing on the Reggae Sumfest stage for the first time this young talent helped to open the show and set a high bar for the following act with her melodious voice. Another first-timer was the young reggae sensation Chronixx and The Zinc Fence Redemption Band, he was one of the most anticipated acts for the night songs like Smile for Me Jamaica, and Behind Curtains.
Romain Virgo delivered his usually set of great songs and had the entire audience singing in a chorus with his popular hits Don’t You Remember, Mi Caa Sleep and Rich In Love. No-Maddz was also in concert, their performance got everyone off their chairs and on their feet moving and listening keenly to the dub-groups lyrics and drum beat performance.
Miguel left Jamaica shortly after his Jamaican debut to continue his touring schedule with rapper Drake. The singer is proud of his musical achievements over the past year and promises to put in the work in the coming month to provide his fans worldwide with the music which has brought him to prominence.
The 21st staging of the Festival ended on an all time high, following a long week of events and activities Reggae Sumfest promoters says, “It all came together really well, we introduced a lot of talented artistes this year and looking to next year for a bigger and better staging.” The 22nd staging takes place in July 2014, at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay and will be nothing short of spectacular.
For many, it was evident that a more mature and seasoned artiste was on stage, in complete command of his delivery and his performance. For Assassin, the artiste says he couldn’t think of a better stage to show his growth.
“I have grown a lot. My experiences over the last year especially have really allowed me to appreciate myself as an artiste more and that confidence connected me even more to the crowd. When I hit the Sumfest stage the energy was instantaneous. The vibe from the crowd was insane, I couldn’t have picked a better stage,” he said.
Assassin took patrons on an electrifying ride through an impressive sample of his hit singles, barely enough to dent a catalogue that now includes a feature on Kanye West’s I’m In It. Singles like Talk How Mi Feel, Don’t Mek Wi Hol’ Yuh, Good Ova Evil and Nah Sell Out were well received. By the time Assassin, who also goes by Agent Sasco, got to tracks like Hand To Mouth, Nutten At All and Almighty Protect the crowd was already singing word for word.
Reggae Sumfest patrons got a second chance to see Assassin perform, as he took the stage on International Night II alongside Damian Marley, Wayne Marshall and Aidonia to perform their collaboration Go Hard.
“Sumfest is always a good experience for me and this year it was even better. Knowing that my fans were truly entertained and that I gained the respect of many more. There is more to come, and it will show both through my writing and production” Assassin said.
Writing songs for top flight dancehall acts from as far back as his high school days, music was always Assassin’s destiny. His nickname, gleaned at Camperdown High School, proved fitting when his breakthrough single Ruffest appeared on the Diwali Riddim. His 2005 album, Infiltration, on the VP Records label carved out an indelible space in the dancehall kaleidoscope for the artiste and he cemented this with the release of his sophomore album, Gully Sit’n in 2008. A slew of chart successes are to be found in the impressive catalogue of music Assassin has given us since he started recording professionally, with clear signs that more are on the way.
DIGICEL FOUNDATION PARTNERS WITH PRIMARY SCHOOLS TO ENHANCE LITERACY
Kingston, Jamaica – Tuesday July 30, 2013: The Digicel Foundation is working to shore up literacy levels among the country’s primary school students through an expanded Enrichment Initiative project.
The Initiative is an island-wide Information and Communication Technology (ICT) partnership with the Education Ministry in support of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of achieving 100% literacy by 2015. The project is designed to provide ICT’s and more individualized instruction for students in Grades one through three who are experiencing great difficulty in achieving their grade level in reading.
The programme was first launched in 2009 and is this year being expanded through the efforts of the Digicel Foundation in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development, USAID. The expanded phase will involve an additional 95 schools over three years. This US$3.7 million partnership will expand the Enrichment Initiative, a programme geared towards increasing literacy and numeracy at the primary school level.
Dr. Michelle Meredith, Special Education Coordinator with the Education System Transformation Project described the Initiative as an excellent opportunity through the Education Ministry, and expressed a desire to see more private sector organizations being involved at that level.
“The Digicel Foundation is the only corporate entity partnering with the Ministry in this regard,” she noted.
Dr. Meredith said students in Grades one through three were selected in an effort to assess the impact of the project on the students’ levels of literacy following the Grade Four Literacy Test.
“Students with learning challenges have been greatly assisted to move their performance forward. A number of students who participated in the programme have attained mastery in the Grade Four Literacy Test and we are now assessing the numbers,” she added.
Thirty-one schools from four Education Regions have been selected to participate in the first year of the programme’s expansion, beginning September 2013. The principals from three schools in Region Five, on Friday, July 19 signed a grant agreement in Mandeville, Manchester and pledged to carry out the related activities and responsibilities in their schools and wider school communities.
The grant agreement signing will continue with Region Three in Brown’s Town, St Ann and Region Four in Montego Bay, St James on Thursday July 25. Region Six will sign its grant agreement July 29 in Old Harbour, St Catherine.
Dane Richardson, Programme Manager for Education at Digicel Foundation, said the organization realized the success of the programme over time and forged a partnership with the USAID to allow more students to benefit.
“We are very excited about the partnership with USAID as we move into the 95 schools in this expanded phase of the programme,” he remarked.