POND ISLAND, St. Maarten - Performers at Saturday’s for the much-anticipated TelCell Night of the Hit Makers event will be making a guest appearance at the TelEm Group building Friday to meet the press and also some of their closest fans.
The event is billed as carnival’s flagship event, featuring hot performers: Kes the Band, Tanya St. Val, Mika Ben, Jean Marc Ferdinand, Tsunami and St. Maarten’s own popular, Control Band.
Promoter, Bertaux “Mr. Rude” Fleming, of Xtratight Entertainment, is bringing the performers together for a mass gathering in the TelEm Group lobby, to talk about all that will be taking place on the night of the show – including the line-up of performances.
“We will try to get some t-shirts signed for some fans if they bring their t-shirts along with them, or T-shirts can be purchased on the spot, and we will also have a special offer, including FREE Hit Makers glow mugs upon purchase, to keep the buzz going,” said Mr. Rude.
He said the artists are very excited and thrilled about performing in front of a St. Maarten audience from whom they are expecting a huge carnival welcome.
“The artists are just as keen as Xtratight Entertainment to light up the Caribbean’s hottest open-air dance floor and keep their fans dancing throughout the night and early morning hours,” continued Mr. Rude.
He is encouraging visitors to the show to wear their “Blinged out” and specially decorated TelCell Night of the Hit Makers T-shirts to the show Saturday or wear red, to catch the judge’s eye and win a fabulous prize of a mobile phone package.
“We have been promoting not stop since December last year with many, many specials and now we are down to the wire with very few tickets left,” said the promoter.
He has once again thanked main sponsor, TelEm Group, for opening up their doors to the artists on Friday.
The performers are scheduled to arrive at 4:00 pm for a short press conference in which members of the local media will be invited to pose questions to the artists, promoters and sponsor.
COLE BAY, St. Maarten – Lagoonies Bistro and Bar will host Antiguan band Sound Citizens for a fantastic night of free live music on Saturday, April 30th, beginning at 8:30pm.
ROSEAU, Dominica - Discover Dominica Authority announced the inclusion of the Cadence All Starts for the 7th Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole Festival.
The performance on May 15, 2016 at the Cabrits National Park will showcase the musical talent of Dominica’s top musicians.
The Cadence All Stars will feature Fitzroy Williams, founding member of Exile One band and cadencelypso icon; Cornell Phillip, bouyon music pioneer and keyboardist extradorinaire; versatile guitarist Jerry Moulon; drummer Jason Joseph, aka Froggie who performs with the Triple Kay Band; and bass guitarist Freddie Nicholas, of Bill O Men and mighty Arrow fame.
Lead singers are Carlyn Xavier- Phillip and Joy Stoute, who have held their own in the musical field. Caryln is a member of C Squared and Fanatik Band and won the 2016 Carnival Bouyon Monarch; Joy Stoute was a past winner of Q 95 Talent Search competition and has represented Dominica at various regional musical contests.
Marketing Executive at Discover Dominica Authority Monique Jacob, stated that the Cadence all stars will make the event “well rounded with Jazz and Creole music.”
Digicel brand ambassador Michele Henderson noted that Digicel’s sponsorship of Jazz ‘n Creole for the past six years have been “solidifying its desire to help sustain culture and to promote Dominican artistes and to promote the island …. as a whole.” As the Gold Partner for the 7th Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole, Digicel will not only promote the event locally, but will also promote the festival to jazz enthusiasts in the French territories of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Other artistes carded to perform at the festival this year are Andy Narell Quartet, Cameron Pierre and Breve, Soft and Elan Parlé.
Confirmed partners for Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole are Gold Sponsor Digicel, Business Partners Dominica Brewery & Beverages Ltd, Fine Foods Inc, HHV Whitchurch & Co. Ltd, Rejens Hotel, West Indies oil, Courts Dominica, Rainbow Rentals, DA Vibes, Vibes Radio, DBS Radio, Kairi FM, The Sun Newspaper, The Chronicle, Dominica News Online and Le Pelican newspaper in St. Martin.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Your visit to the Carnival village this year could earn you tons of Fun Miles, that’s if you are seated in the right chair.
Jamie Lee of Fun Miles told our news room that they have placed a special chair in the Festival Village where card holders can sit, take a fun picture and post it to their Fun Miles Facebook or Instagram page and earn up to 50,000 Fun Miles.
Fun Miles will also be taking part in the Carnival parade giving away a wide range of freebies as well as full costumes.
More can now be heard via PodCast.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Legendary dancehall artist Spragga Benz has been added to the One Love Reggae Concert for Carnival 2016. Already boasting an impressive lineup of artists, organizers completely surprised lovers of the genre with the announcement via social media on Monday.
The concert event will be held on Thursday, April 28 in Carnival Village. It will feature superstar artists Ky-Mani Marley, Alaine, Romain Virgo and Demarco.
With the addition of Spragga Benz to the lineup, Reggae and Dancehall enthusiasts have an event which the promoters have described as “pure, sweet Reggae”. Fans also know Spragga and Ky-Mani from the popular Caribbean movie Shottas.
Spragga began his career around 1991. Once known to his friends as "Spaghetti" (tall and slim), but this was later shortened to Spragga. The Benz in his name comes from the sound system for which he used to work for, L.A. Benz, and it is through this that he found his way into the music industry at a Dubplate recording session with Buju Banton.
The famed elder DJ was slated to do four tracks for L.A. Benz but only voiced two and suggested that Spragga do the other two. Since he was new to recording, he freestyled a couple of lines of what would then become, "Love Mi Gun", a popular tune.
He soon became an in-demand performer for numerous producers, including Bobby Digital, and hits followed with "Could a Deal" (produced by Winston Riley) and "Girls Hooray" (Steely & Clevie).
A series of well-received singles followed, many included on his debut album, Jack It Up (1994). This success led to a deal with Capitol Records, who issued his second album, Uncommonly Smooth, in 1995, featuring duets with Chevelle Franklyn ("A-1 Lover") and "Spanish Harlem" (with Ben E. King).
The album didn't sell well enough for Capitol, who dropped him, after which he spent a few years releasing further singles in Jamaica, also collaborating with the likes of Wyclef Jean and KRS-One. In 1999, he recorded a 'clash' album with Beenie Man, Two Badd DJs, and had a number one Jamaican hit single with "She Nuh Ready Yet (Hype Up)", which was also included on his third album, Fully Loaded (2000).
This album featured duets with Lady Saw (on "Backshot") and Foxy Brown (on "Too Stoosh"), and was co-produced by house music legend Todd Terry. In the same year, Benz made his film acting debut in Brooklyn Babylon, and the following year played a leading role in the gangster film Shottas. 2002 saw the release of his fourth album, Thug Nature.
In 2003, Benz recorded a number of duets, with the likes of Carly Simon and Shannon, with the aim of breaking into the US market. In July 2007, Benz co-hosted the Urban Music Awards in New York with Foxy Brown. Benz was nominated for three awards at the first Caribbean Urban Music Awards, held in Jamaica in April 2008. On 31 August 2010 Spragga Benz released his sixth solo album Shotta Culture.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Director of events/marketing company Montage N.V. Grisha Marten on Sunday congratulated all the performers of the 2016 Soca Rumble competition while lamenting untrue comments that two former monarchs of Soca Rumble are reportedly making publicly.
Marten lauded the winners of Soca Power King Vers and Soca Groovy The Mighty Dow, for what she termed as “great performances” at a very high level. She also made special mention of the first runner-ups in both categories; Kenyo Baly in the Power Soca category and Magic in the Groovy Soca category. “All of the performers worked hard and they should be congratulated for stepping on stage and giving it all they had,” she said.
Not to take anything away from the 2016 winners, Marten used the opportunity over the weekend to address sentiments that the former Soca Rumble kings did not get what was due to them as winners. She stressed that not only is this untrue, it is wholly ungrateful considering how hard her team has worked to give St. Maarten a solid Soca product.
She explained that both singers received their US $10,000 prize from Starz Casino which was widely publicized in the media. Through her connections, they also received the opportunity to perform at the Miami Broward Carnival on At two events Sunday Oct 11, 2015 and October 12, 2015
“Because of our bureaucratic process in government it was until the last minute they were able to obtain the tickets for the show. This happen the day before. But they arrived and because they were not preregistered they meet up with setback with getting into the place. In the end they got their chance to perform and even made contacts with well-known people in the Soca entertainment industry,” Marten Heyliger said.
Both singers also passed up on opportunities that could have greatly helped their careers. The first was to shoot a professional video clip and the second was signing a contract with Caribbean music label VP records (placing their winning songs on iTunes) which could have opened many doors for the artists.
“Montage N.V. has given the 2015 kings everything that was promised. Their comments or rather lies, are disappointing considering the opportunities afforded to them.” She said she wants to public to understand clearly that the goal of Soca Rumble is to elevate St. Maarten’s Soca music and artists to levels of other well-known Caribbean Soca artists. For this to happen, she added, artists must be disciplined and “hungry”.
“Our artists must be willing to take that extra step if they truly want to advance their careers. When opportunities present themselves. If the artists are not hungry enough to seize upon opportunities to advance themselves, using the Soca Rumble as a launching platform, then why are we doing Soca Rumble?”
“This is most definitely not a money-making initiative when you look at the commitments to promotion, show production, prizes, ect. We are doing this for St. Maarten music. That should be the ultimate goal. We were hoping that we could get the cooperation from the artists to obtain this goal and we hope we still can,” she concluded.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Carnival 2016 is in full swing and one of the well promoted nights was April 15, the night for the Soca Rumble in the village.
Winning the event was the Mighty Dow Sir Isadore York in the Groovy Division with his song “Doing It”.
The Second winner was King Verse in the Power Soca Division with his song “Pressure”. We spoke to the Mighty Dow who told us that he was elated about this victory.
Meanwhile the promoter of the Soca Rumble Grisha Martin-Heyliger of Montage told our news room that she is satisfied with the show and is now looking forward to the prize giving ceremony.
More now via PodCast.
PHILIPSBURG, St, Maarten - The Carnival Village Cook-Up has drawn quite some interest over the past two years and the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) expects the same for 2016.
The Village Cook-Up pit six booth holders against each other to see who can cook the best SCDF selected dishes. It will be held on Saturday April 30, following the Junior Carnival Parade in Carnival Village.
Unlike previous years, the Cook-Up will be held on stage for in the Village to see and experience.
The six booth holders competing are: Bob Wilkins, Meandra Hazel, Dwain Williams, Sharon Cannegieter, Edward Samuel and Mandy Hassel. The two dishes they will have to prepare are local favorites Conch and Dumplings and Curry Goat with rice and peas.
A panel of judges will be seated on stage while each booth holder, one by one, bring their dishes to the stage for the judges to sample. The winner of the Cook-Up will get their booth free of charge for Carnival 2017.
“We started this Cook Up two years ago and folks love it. It gives the winning booth holder some bragging right as well as gives the public some of their favorite dishes in the Village to purchase after the competition is over. It is also lots of fun. We are excited about it again,” the SCDF said.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The opening Jump up for Carnival 2016 was a success.
The Jump-up was held on Thursday April 14th 2016 was scheduled to start at 08.00 p.m., but stared approximately 08.30 p.m.
The jump up left the Reward area via the L.B. Scot road, Church Hill round about, Bush road, Prins Bernard Bridge, Walter Nisbet road, Salt Picker Round About and ended in front of the Festival Village on the Soualiga Boulevard. The jump up arrived on time for the opening ceremony.
The jump up was well attended by carnival revelers and onlookers. There were very few report of fights, disturbances or persons miss-conducting themselves in which the police had to intervene.
What the police have noticed along the route of the jump-up is that there were many persons selling drinks and food out of vehicles on the side of the street. Several of these vendors were selling drinks in glass bottles.
The police are asking all vendors for safety reasons not to sell drinks in glass bottles and to use plastic cups for that purpose. Do Not sell alcohol to a minor which is illegal and can cause you a very heavy fine.
Finally the police department wants to thank and congratulate the entire community for their cooperation and good behavior during this jump-up and is looking forward for the same type of cooperation and conduct over the entire carnival season.
PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten Management, on behalf of the supervisory board of directors, and staff, would like to wish the entire population a Safe and Happy 2016 Carnival celebration under the banner, ‘Come Experience Life.’
Carnival Village opened on Thursday evening, 14 April which kicks off the start of two weeks of national cultural festivities.
Port St. Maarten is doing its part to encourage cruise passengers and crew to visit the Carnival Village. Between April 14 and May 3rd, close to 82,000 passengers will visit the destination, and this is an opportunity for the aforementioned to enjoy this cultural experience.
Several tour companies and taxis are working with the Port and Carnival organizers to drive business to the village, and Port St. Maarten would like to thank the aforementioned for their leadership in this area with respect to taking the initiative.
In addition, Port St. Maarten is also working with the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation to give away bags with goodies inside to promote cruise passengers and crew to visit the village.
The participation of the cruise sector by the aforementioned patronizing the various booths would add an economic contribution to booth holders which is part of the port’s economic mission statement where it concerns economic development of the country.
Port St. Maarten will do its part in being active during the next two weeks of Carnival celebrations to promote the country’s premier cultural event of the year to cruise passengers and crew about visiting the Carnival Village to experience some of the local cuisine and any activities and events that would be taking place during the day while passengers and crew move around on the island.
The beach promenade and Front Street are in easy walking distance to the Carnival Village and taxi’s and tour operators could also stop by the village during their island tours.
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