PASSION FOR FASHION: Some of the most fantastical couture creations from Jamaican, regional and international designer labels will steal the spotlight this coming weekend (June 10-12) when the 11th renewal of Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW) opens at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston. Expect breathtakingly wonderful collections, respectful of the Caribbean and wider aesthetic, from, among over 30 others, Claudia Pegus, Lisa Walton and Gavin Douglas. Ratcheting up the entertainment quotient, catch performances nightly from Joe, Tanya Stephens, Beenie Man, Fab 5 and Machel Mantano, as well as scorching runway appearances from supermodels Jaunel McKenzie, Oraine Barrett (above) and Nell Robinson. For the full schedule of events, go to caribbeanfashionweek.com.
LIFT EVERY VOICE: Under the artistic directorship of Jamaican-born stage actor and vocalist Andrew Clarke, the Braata Folk Singers will unveil their 2011 concert season from June 18-19 at the Baruch Performing Arts Centre, Baruch College, in Manhattan. According to a release from the ensemble, this season will highlight the musical prowess of the group. “The musical range of the artists has improved over the past two years, and the selections, though musically challenging, have been mastered by the ensemble. Patrons can therefore expect to be thoroughly entertained,” notes musical director Garnett Mowatt. Showtimes: Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 6:00 pm. Tickets for the event are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, $15 for children under 12. For more info: (917) 668-2209.
REGGAE IN THE CITY: An end to Mudfest? Break out the chianti! Summerfest Productions, the team that each year painstakingly organizes the Reggae Sumfest showcase, is banking on renovations at Catherine Hall to this year minimize the huge quantity of mud and water that frustrates festivalgoers whenever summer showers ‘reign’ in the Second City. Indeed, last year’s event was so muddy that the team had considered switching locations, to the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium, for the 2011 staging. But speaking with the Sunday Gleaner, Summerfest announced that they have chosen instead to work on improving the facilities at Catherine Hall. "We are ensuring a more comfortable, hospitable, user-friendly venue for all our patrons that come here,” said Summerfest chairman, Robert Russell. “That's what we are committed to. The test on the venue is running and it's running like a charm.” Reggae Sumfest 2011 is being held July 17-23.