The ‘Happiest of Happy Hours’ at MoDA Launch
SOME OF the world’s top performers in the ska and rocksteady music genres will be on stage at the first Annual One World Ska and Rocksteady Music Festival, scheduled to take place at the Hope Road-based Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston on November 26 and 27.
Acts already confirmed are Toots and The Maytals, Lloyd Parks and We The People, The Skatalites (USA), Soweto Ska Band (Spain), Marcia Griffiths, Leroy Sibbles (formerly of the Heptones), B.B Seaton and The Gaylads (UK), Brooklyn Attractors (USA), U-Roy - king of Jamaican toasters, Derrick Morgan— king of ska, Stranger Cole, Sparrow Martin and Skasonic band, The Alpha School Band, Yard Beat and Earth Cry. They will perform from 3 p.m., to 3 a.m., on the first day, while a symposium on the originators of Jamaican music, two tours of Culture Yard in Trench Town and downtown Kingston music heritage sites, and two documentaries on the genres will be on from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, on day two. It is the first time that patrons will be witnessing a festival of this kind in the birthplace of ska and rocksteady, and it will also be the first time that they will see a line-up of this magnitude in the history of Jamaica’s show business.
Ska music, which was first played in the early 1960s by the Skatalites band in Kingston’s recording studios and nightclubs, is today played by thousands of bands around the world, while rocksteady, its offspring, is generally accepted as Jamaica’s most soothing and rhythmically alluring rock music form. Jamaica is the only country, apart from the United States, that has given the world multiple music genres — ska, rocksteady, reggae and dancehall, and the last two owe a lot to the foundation that was laid by the ska and rocksteady genres.
The festival’s main aim is to position Kingston as a cultural tourism destination. It is a production of the Sound and Pressure Foundation in association with Fiwi Productions Inc., (USA).
Sponsors include the Jamaica Tourist Board, National Integrity Action, Tourism Enhancement Fund, RJR Communications Group, the KSAC/UNESCO Creative Cities, the Knutsford Court, Courtleigh and Pegasus hotels, Power 106 FM, Kool 97 FM, The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited, Happy Ice, Bess FM and Jamaica Cultural Development Commission. Ticketing can be done online at Touchstoneticketing.com. EVERYONE WAS offered bright yellow, smiley face and butter cookies upon entering the Worthington at the Spanish Court Hotel recently. The open bar offered icicles, melting in a choice of rum or champagne, while DJ DuziGordon offered blends between Billboard summer hits, dancehall and synth pop and the event coordinators offered crayons - to add one’s own splash of colour to the ‘MoDA mandala-esque mural.’
Under the active theme of the ‘Happiest of Happy Hours, enveloped in the decor-theme ‘wood and water’, nestled the launch of the fifth staging of the Collection MoDA and its branches.
Grounded by hardwood flooring and aerated by the white, crisp walls of the Worthington, the launch introduced the MoDA Market with displays and installations from Rae Marie Fine Soaps and Textiles, Visionarri Creations, BaugHaus Design Studio and ‘artscapist’ Kaye Kelly.
“We have incredible Jamaican talent showing their work this year, established, sophisticated designers and artisans, plus new emerging creatives, whose work must be appreciated,” said Kerry-Anne Clarke, managing director of the Collection MoDa in a press release.
In keeping with the general attitude of the young and spunky, entertainment at the launch was provided through vocal performances by CubanJamaican singer Arii Lopez and singer/producer The Wizard (#thewixard), backed by DJ Duzigordon.
Clarke reiterated at the immersive launch event the Collection MoDa’s mandate — to strive, with dedication for the promotion of creative industries, through the business of fashion and lifestyle, particularly through the vision and works of Caribbean artists and artisans.
The first event of the threeday series, the MoDA Runway will take place on Friday, November 18. The following days - November 19 and 20, will see the opening of the MoDa Market, which will include a MoDA business seminar, ability to acquire a copy of on e of the 5000 copies of the MoDAMagazine.
The MoDa Series 2016 is sponsored by The Yellow Pages, Business Access TV, Tai Flora Lux, BaugHaus, Mystic Integrated, Tara Courier Services, Skaan Media, Campari, Black Ink Management and Digicel.
They were in the ‘Happiest of Happy Hours’ during the recent launch of the MoDA Series.