February 1, 2023

‘Catch A Fire’/MIST Harlem hosts Caribbean film fest

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Catch A Fire’

By Toni Dubois From Caribbean Life

Thousands of reggae music lovers congregated for the summer’s biggest Reggae Tour “Catch a Fire” (named after Bob Marley and Wailers 1973 album) in Central Park Summerstage, N.Y. on Aug. 30. Many came to bear witness to Reggae royalty Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Stephen “Ragga” Marley kick off the most anticipated tour of the year in what would have been Bob Marley’s 70th birthday.

Catch a Fire concert lineup of acts included Bob Marley’s grandsons Skip Marley and Joe Mersa, the Royal Family of Reggae- Morgan Heritage and one of the leading ambassadors of modern day Reggae-Tarrus Riley, rounded out the line-up.

Looking around the crowd, there was an exceptionally diverse group of people that you can tell truly enjoyed their music. While waiting for the performaces to start at 6pm, couples, families and friends were either lounging on the grass or patiently wating on the long lines for food while enjoying the one love vibe that was in the air.

Tarrus Riley who opened up the show with “Promise me Love” and a crowd favorite “She’s Royal” which brought the crowd to a fever pitch. A touching moment was when Tarrus brought out his wheechair–bound father, the legendary Jimmy Riley on stage as the two performed together. Royal Family of Reggae Morgan Heritage who have established themselves as the premiere live group on the reggae circuit showcased their musical virtuosity repeatedly throughout their set. They performed “Strickly Roots” “Don’t haffi Dread” (VP records) and fan favorite “She still in love with me.”

Around 8:30 pm one of the members of the Marley crew was waving the Rastafarian flag while another unveiled a golden lion sculpture that was on the stage. The crowd instantly knew that Stephen “Ragga” Marley was about to perform. When he finally made it on stage the crowd erupted with a loud cheer. Stephen opened up with his father’s anthem “Lively Up Yourself,” which had the crowd swaying to the music and singing with such enthusiasm. He covered many of the classics such as “Roots, Rock, Reggae” and “Iron Lion Zion.” As he was about to perform another one of has father’s classics a fight broke out in front of the stage, it was quite obvious he was displeased with the interruption the fighting had caused. Stephen paused for moment and had the band stop the music, he asked the audience or rather it was more of a statement “This is the wrong house, it is not the house of Rasafaria” the crowd agreed in harmony and the performance continued without a hitch.

The youngest son of Reggae legend Bob Marley, Damian “Jr. Gong” (first ever artist to win a Grammy outside of the Reggae categrory) bought a different vibe to the stage, he had a commanding rockstar swagger about him, the energy in the crowd was contagious. Coined as the “spirtual revolution­ary” he opened with “Confrontat­ion” which has vocal samples from Haile Selassie, Bunny Wailer and Marcus Garvey. Marley’s reedy, accented voice as he added his rapid-fire, dancehall-style bursts danced around the stage as he performed his 2010 collaboration with hip-hop artist, Nas “Distant Relatives” brought the crowd into a frenzy. Before thanking New York (by then it had started raining) Damian brought out a special, tiny guest. His son Elijah took the mic and called out, mimicking his dad and uncle, “Are you ready? Are you ready?” and then gave a rapid-fire rap before surrendering the mic back to his father. Damian jubilantly sent fans home with “Get Up, Stand Up,” “Road to Zion,” and his monster hit “Welcome to Jamrock.”

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/stories/2015/9/2015-09-11-toni-catch-a-fire-cl.html

IMAGE: http://www.wolftrap.org/tickets/calendar/performance/15filene/0905show15.aspx

MIST Harlem hosts Caribbean film fest

Songs_of_Redemption_1_t750x550From Amsterdam News New York

Creatively Speaking Film Series celebrates the opening of its 20th consecutive season Sept. 11 to 13 with “Spotlight Caribbean” at MIST/Madiba Harlem. From Jamaica to Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago to Haiti, the season premiere of our monthly series features a diverse selection of documentary and narrative films, with each screening followed by a dialogue with the filmmaker.

Spotlight Caribbean opens Sept. 11 with a sneak preview of Gladstone Yearwood’s narrative film “Sweet Bottom” (2015). When Roy Ashby is suddenly deported to his native Barbados, he is desperate to return home to Brooklyn, where he immigrated as a child. With a new love interest and no means of support, he turns to an old friend who takes Roy’s life in a dangerous direction. “Sweet Bottom” tells the story of the emigrant experience as rarely seen from inside the Caribbean. Roy’s journey reveals how understanding one’s culture and the power of love can lead to a surprisingly positive path.

“Art Connect” (2014) by Miquel Galofre reveals the profound impact of creative expression on a group of students from Laventille, one of the most economically challenged communities in Trinidad and Tobago. The Art Connect program at Success Laventille Secondary School offers students the opportunity to collaborate with local artist Wendell McShine and musicians from the Freetown Collective. Galofre documented this life-changing experience and provided students with GoPro cameras so they could actively participate in telling their stories. “Art Connect” was selected as the Best Documentary Feature at the MAC Film Festival in Brazil, Best Documentary at FEMI in Gaudeloupe, Best Feature and People’s Choice Award at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival.

“The Price of Memory” (2014) by Karen Mafundikwa examines the enduring legacy of slavery and the case for reparations in modern Jamaica. When Queen Elizabeth II visits Jamaica for her Golden Jubilee in 2002, she is petitioned by a group of Rastafari for slavery reparations. The film traces the ensuing lawsuit brought by attorney Michael Lorne and the history of the fight for reparations from the 1960s to today. The film was nominated for Best Documentary at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival and was an Official Selection at the Pan African Film Festival and the Africa in Motion Film Festival.

“Songs of Redemption” (2013) by Galofre and Amanda Sans explores the transformation of inmates at the General Penitentiary in Kingston, Jamaica under a superintendent who implements programs in practical training and creative expression. Told from the perspective of prisoners, the film is a moving story of redemption and rehabilitation. “Songs of Redemption” won the audience prize for Best Documentary and was co-winner of the jury prize for Best Documentary at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival.

“Women of the West Indies” (2012) by Stephanie and Steven James presents portraits of 41 Caribbean women from across the Diaspora. This screening will feature portraits of Lili Bernard, Rosie Gordon Wallace and Nora Gasparini. Lili Bernard, born in Cuba and residing in Los Angeles, is an actress and activist campaigning for the visibility of Black, Asian and Hispanic artists in the vast California cultural landscape. Rosie Gordon Wallace founded the Diaspora Vibe Gallery of Miami Beach, a platform to cultivate the vision and diverse talent of emerging artists from the Latin and Caribbean Diaspora. Nora Gasparini is originally from Martinique and now resides in Bali, where she has established L’Atelier Parfums et Creations, an olfactory workshop where visitors can develop their own perfumes from local, natural resources.

“H-2 Worker” (1990) by Stephanie Black reveals the systematic exploitation of Caribbean laborers by the Florida sugar industry for more than 40 years from 1943 through the 1990s. Providing historical context for the current crisis surrounding the denationalization and deportation of Dominicans of Haitian ancestry, the film also illuminates the current debate over guest worker provisions in immigration legislation. Winner of the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival, the film was clandestinely shot in the cane fields near Lake Okeechobee, Fla.

The Creatively Speaking Film Series has become known as the leading film series for presenting independently produced media of realistic, universal portrayals of people of color. Shorts, documentaries and narrative films tell universal stories that are rarely presented in the mainstream media. Screenings are followed by lively and thoughtful discussions about the art and craft of filmmaking as well as the social issues presented in the films.

All screenings are at MIST/Madiba Harlem, 46 W. 116th St., New York, N.Y. Advance tickets are available at http://tinyurl.com/PC9QAYU. For information and showtimes, visit www.creativelyspeaking.tv or http://bit.ly/1U4OaDn.

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