Brooklyn, March 16th, 2011…Dancehall Artist, Mr. Vegas, has confirmed that he will be a member of the panel for the CPR forum slated for Tuesday, March 22nd. The Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music (CPR) will launch the 2011 Community conversation Series with a forum titled Who Mash-Up Reggae: Reining in the Almshouse Artists. Mr. Vegas, known for popular hits such as “I am Blessed” and “Heads High” will lend his voice along with those of other panelists in dissecting the issues and offering answers. Among those lending their voices to the discussion is Ansel Meditation leader of the seminal roots reggae group, the Meditations, whose perennial hits, “Running from Jamaica” and “Woman is Like a Shadow” remain classics in the pantheon of reggae music not to mention their backing vocals on Bob Marley’s “Rastaman Live Up,” “Blackman Redemption” and “Punky Reggae Party”. Also participating in what promises to be a dynamic evening, is radio personality and sound system operator, Chris DubbMaster long time host of Irie Jam radio on 93.5 FM whose recent decision to not play any Vybz Kartel songs during Black History Month caused pandemonium amongst his legion of fans. Journalist, radio commentator and now manager for singer Carol Gonzalez, Stan Smith will also bring his perspective to the conversation. Stan has been covering the reggae industry for many years. Bringing a female perspective to a male dominated field is artist manager, booking agent and web designer to the stars, Patrice Barnes who has honed her skills by being involved in varying aspects of the industry.
The forum will take a look the role of performers in denigrating the message and the ethos of the genre. Commentators for the evening will be Rob Kenner, VIBE Magazine’s Editor at Large, Neil Robertson, Head of VP Records Touring Division and Elio Morgan, president of the Jamaica Renaissance Society.
In the wake of the conviction of Grammy award wining artist, Buju Banton, the clamor regarding Vybz Kartel recent “lecture” at the University of the West Indies, the removal of the popular radio program, Ragashanti Live from the airwaves of Nationwide News Network by the Broadcast Commission of Jamaica and the melee at the Magnum Follow Di Arrow stage show where Bounty Killa and Vybez Kartel were advertised to “clash” it is only apropos to begin the series with a serious examination of the role the professional conduct and personal practices of artists, their teams and industry officials play in shaping the direction and perception of the art form.
Two years ago, CPR launched the Community Conversation Series with a forum titled Could Dancehall be the Ruination of Reggae and by extension the Jamaica Brand? Since then, the significance of the question has been demonstrated in many ways with the conviction of Buju Banton being a recent example. What is next? Where is the music headed? Can reggae reform itself or must the community take on the challenge of taking responsibility for reining in the almshouse artists? In his keynote presentation at CPR’s Reggae Month reception on February 22, the day of the Banton verdict, Musgrave Medalist Dermott Hussey drew parallels between Banton’s conviction and contemporary dancehall’s sullied reputation when he said “the music has been sidetracked by homophobia, misogyny and violence, and in a year when we have lost greats like Sugar Minott and Gregory Isaacs, what happened to Buju further damages our music.”
The community is invited to come out to the 3Ten Lounge, located at 310 Bowery, between Bleecker and Houston Streets in lower Manhattan and add its voice to the conversation. Don’t miss the first installment of the 2011 Community Conversation Series. The evening begins at 6:30pm with a meet and greet, and will include a showcase of emerging artists including songstress Khalilah Rose, roots reggae artist, Ossie Dellimore and DJ Junie Ranks who’s big single, “Bring Back the Love Inna De Dancehall” is a fitting tribute to this timely conversation. Mark your calendar for March 22 and plan to be on hand for an engaging evening of reasoning in the quest to preserve reggae music and arrest the lyrical deviations away from roots reggae’s expressions of empowerment for the downtrodden.
The Community Conversation Series is free and open to the public. All are welcome. For further information email email@example.com or call 718-421-6927 or visit the website www.cprreggae.org.
The Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music, Inc. (CPR) is a not for profit organization that works to preserve the reggae art form and its traditional message of healing and unity. The mission of the Coalition is to raise the bar in the creation, development, promotion and presentation of reggae music; to elevate the profile of its purveyors; and to research, codify, curate and disseminate information about the genre so as to increase understanding of its development, its significance, and its influence around the world. CPR conducts forums, presents events and broadcasts radio programs about reggae music and is open to all reggae lovers.
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