Greetings all massive and crew. What were you all up to last week? Watching the de-wigging of Mr. Coke maybe? Yes, I made up that word. No apologies. We absolutely need a new vocabulary to describe Jamaica’s state of affairs but we will prevail so stop shaking your heads! While I read of Dudus’s capture and reasoned (Jamaicanism: reason, verb meaning to discuss in order to gain great insight) about it with others, I also attended Kingston on the Edge (KOTE). June 18 to 26 saw the staging of the fourth annual KOTE, an urban arts festival which is based in Kingston. The concept is quite simply brilliant and one of those where you think to yourself, I wish I had come up with that one. At the same time it’s obvious too. The best ideas are like that. Obvious because Kingston, and admittedly I’m biased given that this is my town, is one place that is not at all short of artistic expression. We just talented is a shame! Much of that talent was on display for KOTE, themed this year as “Love, Art, Liberation”.
The festival represents a diversity of arts including painting, dance (and funnily enough there was pilates and yoga mixed up in this category somehow), theatre, music, and film. Events were kicked off at the lovely opening show on June 18 at Red Bones Blues Cafe. There was striking art on display and notable among these were the sculpted pieces by Keith Anthony Cousins, carvings by Abol Mason, jewellery pieces by Inansi, and paintings by Chandis of Core Insight Group. Well, notable to me as these were artists I had not been exposed to before. Believe me people, this is the fun in it: discovering new art, being touched in a different way. Heady stuff. The atmosphere was relaxed with folks chatting, wandering around viewing art and drinking. There was also a very brief fashion show displaying the jewellery of Empress Abiola. The evening ended with the music of Mojahrock and the strong and passionate singing of Phebe-Ann Henry and Germaine Blake.
So many things happening for Jimmy Cliff! On Monday, March 15 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with other such notables as Abba, Barry Mann, and Genesis. Upon accepting his induction by Wyclef Jean, Jimmy commented, "Reggae music is a music that was not conceived in the United States like most of the music forms that we know…so to be standing here with you today… is a great honor."
To commemorate this event, his previously released EP "You Can Get it if You Really Want" is now available exclusively for download on iTunes, and tomorrow March 19, in honour of the late Jamaican director Perry Henzell, the American Cinematheque will be hosting a screening of the classic Jamaican movie "The Harder They Come" starring Jimmy Cliff.
According to a post on his web site, Jimmy Cliff's next album titled "Existence" is on the verge of being released and will have 15 tracks, 13 of which will be brand new.
Jimmy Cliff Fact File
Name: James Chambers aka Jimmy Cliff
The African American Film festival will be featuring Perry Henzell's cult classic The Harder they Come. The film will be shown on March 18 at the Kravic Center in West Palm Beach at 7 p.m. The movie, a favourite among Jamaicans and reggae music enthusiasts has an incredible score with many tracks sung by the legend Jimmy Cliff. Cliff also starred in the movie which is based on the exploits of notorious bad man Rhygin. For a complete article on the Film Festival click here.