People

Stories about people of Caribbean heritage around the world.

Cecile coming for LIME Montserrat opening of its Flagship

General Manager of LIME Montserrat Joseph Cassell speaks to reporters at the Thursday's press conference where he announced that next week's grand opening will feature Reggae Songstress Cecile.

SWEENEYS, Montserrat – Joseph Cassell, General Manager of LIME Montserrat announced Thursday that one week from today will be the grand opening of its new administrative building and retail store.

LIME, which has served Montserrat for over 85 years, has been using temporary quarters since the volcanic crisis. In late 2010, it broke ground at Sweeney’s on a permanent building which is to house the commercial and technical departments of the telecommunications giant.

“This building is simply our most profound statement that LIME is here to stay in Montserrat,” Cassell says. “It has been our honour to serve the people of this island through the good times and bad and we are committed to being a part of Montserrat’s redevelopment and re-emergence into the wider Caribbean and the world.”

The general manager shared details of the month-long celebrations to mark the grand opening, which is scheduled for Thursday, July 14. Celebrations will include an opening ceremony followed by an evening of entertainment featuring one of the Caribbean’s most popular and talented artistes Cecile. Cecile is also one of the faces of the new LIME Caribbean brand.

Cassell also announced that a three-person sales team is already at work making direct sales calls and visits to residents, to introduce them to new LIME services and products including Blackberry deals, broadband and much more.

“We want to offer more products and a higher level of customer service,” Cassell said. “This team along with our dynamic staff that you will find in the retail store and customer service sections of the new building are ready to offer this.”

In the coming days and weeks, LIME Montserrat will be giving residents chances to win mobile phones and other prizes via radio promotions, on its Facebook page and Twitter.

Become a fan of LIME Montserrat on Facebook by searching for LIME MNI or follow them on Twitter.com @limemni.

Lasana Sekou guest speaker at New York’s Hudson Valley college

Lasana M. Sekou (L) and HVCC Student Life director Louis Coplin (R), with recital guest and retired art teacher Catherine Reavis. <em>(Saltwater Collection)

ST. MARTIN —Lasana M. Sekou returned here last Friday following a solo-recital of his poetry, fictions, and spoken word videos at Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) in Troy, New York, on April 14.
Louis Coplin, HVCC Director of Student Life said that Sekou’s work was “impressive” for its informative and performance qualities. The St. Martin author spoke about his writings, Caribbean literature, showed spoken word videos, and read from his books Pelican Heart, The Salt Reaper, 37 poems, and Brotherhood of The Spurs. He also read new unpublished poems “Citizen,” “Labrish,” “Libya Unfinished,” and “Poem for the dead.”
The mid-day reading to students at the BTC auditorium was followed by a smaller late-afternoon recital that drew audiences from the campus and the Troy and Albany communities, said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP). Sponsored by HVCC Student Senate, the program included a book signing for Pelican Heart/Corazón de Pelícano, Sekou’s newest English/Spanish title from HNP. According to Coplin, the “literary event” is part of ongoing activities to enrich and interact campus and community life at HVCC.
Previous speakers at HVCC involving the college’s administration or the senate were educator Joe Clark, world-renowned poet Maya Angelo, and US President Barak Obama.

Bajan Artist Ras Akyem-I wants Caribbean Art global

Bridgetown, BARBADOS  – The time has come to create opportunities for Caribbean artists on the world stage, asserts a leading regional artist.

Barbadian Ras Akyem-i Ramsay, Director of the Barbados-based art-aniMAL Inc., lamented the under-representation of Caribbean visual arts across the world. This under representation, he contended, offered creative visionaries an opportunity for leadership in this “virgin space.”

“I hope to be to Caribbean Art what Bob Marley is to Caribbean music,” asserted Ras Akyem-i, who has earned global attention for his artwork.

“We are creating a collective of contemporary, forward thinking regional visual artists to overcome global perceptions that limit us to traditional images of fishing boats and palm trees,” he reported.

Recently funded by local venture capital firm BIM Ventures, art-aniMAL‘s chief executive believes he finally has the support system to fulfill such a grand vision.

“I have found in BIM Ventures the supportive, embracing, family-oriented model which provides a strong structure to survive in today’s competitive world,” he said.

The Rastafarian pointed to support in the form of finance and shepherding (mentorship) which has given him the launch pad to grow his young and progressive art company.

“There is something quite radically unique and daring about this local business organization’s decision to boldly circumvent the sterile domestic business traditions, and confidently invest timely funding in a visual artist or poet,” the Rasta mused.

Ras Akyem-i at work in New Mexico

Ras Akyem-i at work in New Mexico.

The campaign to give Caribbean art global prominence took off in November with a presentation at the Liverpool Biennial, one of the most exciting contemporary visual arts events in the United Kingdom. Later, art-aniMAL received positive reviews in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Ras Akyem-i collaborated with master printmaker Michael Costello of Hand Graphics Studio to produce a unique body of limited edition lithographs.

 

“We are pleased with the success of our Santa Fe trip and the work that was produced there. We have sold seven out of 10 exclusive pre-released prints and have generated a number of leads,” said art-aniMAL managing director Adam Werth.

Ras Akyem-i, whose work has recently been on exhibition in Martinique, now looks forward to this weekend’s Caribbean Fine Art Fair in Barbados.

Dr. Basil Springer, BIM Ventures Project Manager, will be participating at the Fair in a panel discussion  entitled “Visual Art, a Cultural Industry, and its Role in Economic Development”.

About art-aniMAL Inc.

art ani-MAL Inc. offers a rich collection of work by some of the most contemporary, forward thinking, visual artists in the Caribbean region. Established in 2010 by Caribbean artist Ras Akyem-i, art-aniMAL brings the creativity and credibility of the region’s best artists to the world.

About Barbados Business Enterprise Corp.

Barbados Business Enterprise Corp. (BBEC) is a public/private sector partnership with the Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust (CBET) Inc. BBEC manages the Barbados Revolving Seed Capital Fund and the Barbados Entrepreneurs’ Venture Capital Fund. BBEC is a virtual organisation that focuses on promoting economic development in Barbados. The trustees of BBEC are respected Barbadian business and development experts, Sir Neville Nicholls (Chairman), Sir Stephen Emtage, Peter Boos and Hazel Highland.

For further information, visit www.bimventures.com

Sadiki & UK Singer Sandra Cross to release “Believe” – Benefiting Japan Relief Effort

ORLANDO, FL – “Believe, He won’t give you burdens that you can’t bear” – The lyrics to the chorus of the new single, “Believe” (Buckley Records), from Sadiki & Sandra Cross, speaks directly to the will of a people, and encourages them to be steadfast in the rebuilding of their nation.

Both have released multiple albums and toured Japan extensively. “Japan has been a great friend of Reggae/Dancehall and the Jamaican culture and people in general”, said Sadiki. “It’s only fitting that we show our appreciation in their time of need”. The single “Believe”, is a truly collaborative effort produced by Sadiki, Japanese singer/producer machaco, and Sandra Cross.Through Zojak Worldwide, “Believe” will be released in digital format in most territories on 3.29.11.

To schedule interviews or for more information, please contact James Lord at james@zojakworldwide.comor Alex Rozay at asrozaypr@hotmail.com

DJ Rekha spins into Jamaica, Queens

NEW YORK (March 25, 2011) – An internationally known musician from Queens is ready to rock her hometown with the infectious rhythms of South Asian music at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC) this Saturday, March 26.

The respected Rekha Malhotra, one of the most influential South Asians in the United States, is a DJ, producer, curator, lecturer and founder of the long-running Basement Bhangra™ parties at Manhattan’s storied downtown music club, SOB’s.

The popular British-born, New York-bred Rekha is excited about performing in her home borough and at such a history-filled location.

“No matter where my travels take me, Queens will always be home. Expect a night of non-stop Bhangra dance music. The dance lesson will warm us all up and then I will keep everyone going through the night,” DJ Rekha promised as she was preparing to return to New York from Florida this week.

Bhangra, the infectious music and dance form that originated in Punjab, has in recent years drawn on hip-hop, reggae and dance music to become an international phenomenon.

DJ Rekha is one of the most influential South Asians in the United States. Photo Credit Brad Hodge.

The eclectic DJ Rekha, who also lectures at New York University’s Department of Recorded Music, fuses traditional folk with contemporary forms of music to create an infectious sound that compels attendees to dance.

“DJ Rekha is representative of the diversity of creative artists who perform regularly at the newly renovated JPAC,” said Phillip Willis, executive director of Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, managers of JPAC. “Her music appeals to wide audiences, transcends culture, ethnicity and age, and we are looking forward to a grand old time this weekend.”

 

DJ Rekha is set to spin her musical melodies at 8 p.m. at JPAC which is located at 153-10 Jamaica Avenue (at 153rd Street). Not familiar with Bhangra dance style? No problem, because doors open at 7:30 p.m. for the group dance lesson.

For tickets, visit www.jamaica-performingartscenter.org or call 718 618-6170 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 718 618-6170 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. General admission tickets are $22, while the charge for World Music Institute Members is $18.

About Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL)
For almost 40 years, the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) has served as an arts oasis in a section of New York City where cultural opportunities are extremely limited. Created in 1972 as part of an effort to revitalize Jamaica, JCAL has earned a reputation for inspiring youth to take an interest in the arts, showcasing the talents of up-and-coming local artists and performers, and creating dynamic multicultural programs and workshops that have been embraced by the community. Each year, tens of thousands of visitors of all ages, backgrounds and skill sets pass through its doors to attend classes and workshops, view art exhibitions, attend
performances or immerse themselves in an art residency.