Wednesday, 18 November 2015

THE BUZZ REPORT (11/17): What’s new, what’s next, what’s trending in Jamaican pop culture

It doesn’t happen often enough but, by all indications, Jamaican gospel is having a moment. On the heels of Junior Tucker launching his new Christian ministry True Word & Worship at the New Kingston Shopping Centre, and his latest album, Jesus Famous, the can’t-stop-won’t-stop Tommy Cowan and Carlene Davis, two of Junior’s biggest supporters, headed across the waters last weekend for the 2015 renewal of Haiti Fun In the Son, which we look forward to hearing all about in the coming days….. As we speak, DJ Nicholas and the On the Shout crew are gearing up for a rousing Caribbean Gospel Escape, which promises to bring family fun and feel-good festivities galore to the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre on Nov. 28. Not to be outshone, Papa San and the Rescue
Package Foundation are bringing back Liberation but instead of returning to Jamaica College’s Karl Hendrickson Auditorium, the rag-waving frenzy will unfold in the grounds of St. Andre High, on December 5….. Kevin Downswell (above, centre) a man who’s been having a swell years, is among the headline acts who will bring the house down at Liberation. And to kick off 2016 just right, we hear the crowd-pleaser will also bring his brand of spirit-lifting praise and worship to Shaggy & Friends at Jamaica House on January 2….. and speaking of that highly anticipated mega-jam, the rest of the performance lineup remains shrouded in secret but members of the Diaspora can rejoice that at least two hours of the show will be beamed live, thanks to a partnership with iHeartRadio, whose representatives were in attendance at the recent launch at the Bustamante Hospital….. Over in the film world, while countless local fans are still reeling from the news that Shottas 2 won’t see the light of day, some are anxiously awaiting
the premiere of Jamaican Mafia, a gritty gangster flick whose producers Yaad Boyz Filmz won their battle to have it premiere at Carib Cinema, red carpet and all. Opening Nov. 27, the movie features performances by the likes of veteran actor Paul Campbell, Mykal Fox and dancehall’s own D’Angel, whom we bumped into at Sunday’s glitzy Mission Catwalk shinding at Devon House, looking like a tall glass of water….. And while we’re on the subject of leading ladies rocking the boat, Safia Cooper will take over as CEO of the Pulse empire when her legendary dad Kingsley Cooper (above, left) steps down in January, while the unflappable Romae Gordon (long-serving Fashion Director) is being promoted to the Board of Directors….. Hearty kudos and best wishes are also in order for James Moss-Solomon, (above, right) who has been appointed Chairman of the University Hospital, in the wake of all that unpleasant business with the ‘dead babies’. If there’s anyone who can usher in a brand new day at UHWI, James is the man for the job….. And, finally, having packed a very cinematic wardrobe (which she previewed for the press at the Spanish Court Hotel on Monday), Sanneta Myrie is off to China to take on the world. “I’m feeling confident. I’m thrilled,” our November cover girl says of her preparations thus far. “I feel like we’re representing the true Jamaica.” Stay tuned…..

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