MIND MUSIC: As anticipation builds toward the release of his new solo album, Mental Maintenance (due out later this summer), dancehall star Konshens granted fans and industry insiders a preview of the record at a special listening session and concert on Tuesday at the CPTC in Kingston. For me, this is one of the most keenly awaited albums of the year.
THE TALENTED MR. RILEY: Reggae's reigning golden voice, Tarrus Riley, came out to support his lil' bro at the Mental Maintenance listening session and concert on Tuesday, later hitting the stage for a performance of their smash 2009 collabo "Good Girl Gone Bad."
SUPER MARIO: The legendary Apollo Theatre in NYC isn't the only stage Mario Evon has been rocking these days; the eclectic singer also reached out to fans at last week's well-attended Grace Jamaica Jerk Festival, where he bumped into the ever-lovely Ayisha Richards-McKay (Miss Jamaica World 2000). In other news, Evon heads into Round 3 of the Apollo's Amateurs' Night contest series, scheduled for early August.
WONDER WOMAN: As one of the few entertainers to bring an actual musical instrument onstage at last weekend's Reggae Sumfest, rebel songbird Cherine displayed some appealing versatility during her superb set (with her guitar/boyfriend, Taylor), adding another layer to the performance.
GRAMMY KID: Ahead of his scheduled appearance on TBS' Lopez Tonight to perform his latest hit, "Sugarcane" (and to promote his latest CD, Summer in Kingston), megastar Shaggy stopped by Grammy Headquarters in LA on Tuesday, rocking sleek shades, fine jewels and a chill vibe.