Posts Tagged ‘#Musicnews’

Remembering My Friend Harry Belafonte

By Dr. Monty Alexander

CARIBPR WIRE, Tues. May 23, 2023: On April 25, 2023, the world bid farewell to Harry Belafonte, a true icon of music, cinema, and activism. I not only mourn the loss of an extraordinary individual, but also a dear friend.

Growing up in Jamaica, my home, Harry played a significant role in my life. In 1956, his album “Jump Up Calypso” emerged, validating the heritage music of Jamaica. The delightful songs sung by Harry, such as “Banana Boat” and “Island in the Sun,” brought smiles to everyone’s faces.

Long before the rise of Bob Marley and the popularization of reggae, Harry was already putting Jamaica on the map with Calypso, or as we called it then, mento. He brought Caribbean rhythms and influences to the forefront of popular music, paving the way for generations of artists who followed in his footsteps.

Harry possessed both striking looks and a compelling voice. When he appeared in movies, his talent as an actor shone brilliantly. I recall watching him in the 1959 film “The World, The Flesh and The Devil,” and I distinctly remember my mother having a crush on him. In fact, Harry Belafonte was adored by many ladies of that era.

As I began my own journey in music, Harry became one of my influential figures. His attitude, grace, integrity, and warmth left a lasting impact on me. Our friendship flourished when I moved to the United States, as we shared a common Jamaican heritage. Despite being an American born in Harlem, his parents hailed from Jamaica, and he even attended high school there for a few years.

Harry always treated me with great kindness. Whenever he saw me, he would joyfully exclaim, “cousin!” Our bond grew stronger over time.

I also cherish the memory of Harry’s contributions to the civil rights movement in America. He leveraged his celebrity status and rallied his Hollywood friends, including Paul Newman, Tony Bennett, and his dear companion from The Bahamas, Sidney Poitier, to join Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in raising awareness for the cause before marching in Selma.

Harry’s activism extended beyond the borders of the United States. He utilized his fame and influence to shed light on human rights abuses in South Africa and other parts of the world. He embraced his platform as a performer to champion the issues closest to his heart, inspiring countless others to do the same. Harry Belafonte was not only an extraordinary entertainer but also an unwavering advocate for social justice and civil rights.

In recent years, I had the privilege of spending time with him on several occasions. Our last meeting occurred on December 16th, 2021, when Harry received the distinguished title of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor from the President of the Republic of France. I was honored to be among the select few non-family members present at the private ceremony held in his New York City home. Though time had passed, and Harry seemed quieter than usual, we shared a wonderful moment, exchanging smiles and embraces. During that special event, Mrs. Belafonte, Pamela Frank, took this lovely picture that I share with great honor and pride.

Losing him fills me with deep sadness. Harry, I will miss you and the tremendous difference you made as an activist for people of color and the less fortunate.

Harry’s legacy serves as a powerful reminder of the transformative power of music. His music brought joy and inspiration to millions around the world, while his activism fostered real and lasting change.

As we remember Harry, let us draw inspiration from his example and continue to utilize music and art as vehicles for promoting social justice and equality for all.

In closing, I would like to share a quote from Harry Belafonte that has always resonated with me: “The artist is the radical voice of society.” Let us all strive to be that radical voice, and to use our talents and platforms to make the world a better place.

Au Revoir Harry. God Bless, and Happy Journey Home.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Monty Alexander, C.D, is a Grammy-nominated, award-winning Jamaican-born, world renown musician who was recently awarded the Order of Jamaica (OJ) for sterling contribution to the promotion of Jamaican music and the Jazz genre interpretations globally. Hear his version of Harry Belafonte’s ‘Island In The Sun’ at


CAPTION: Dr. Monty Alexander, C.D., (l), with Harry Belafonte at his home in Manhattan, NY, in 2021. (Pamela Frank image)

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Exploring Time and Color with Bulby York

New Album Takes A Comprehensive Look At The Career Of Award-Winning Producer & Engineer

New Album Takes A Comprehensive Look At The Career Of Award-Winning Producer & Engineer

CARIBPR WIRE, Kingston, JA/New York, NY, Thurs. Feb. 23, 2023: - From learning about recording from the iconic King Tubby to being an engineer for the likes of Sly & Robbie and Winston Riley to working with pop icons like Rihanna and Britney Spears, Collin ‘Bulby’ York has been a central figure in Jamaican music for more than 30 years. With his latest album Time & Color, Bulby is drawing from his expansive career with a variety of Caribbean and Latin-American flavors and a roster of talent that spans decades.

Set for release on his birthday, February 24thTime & Color is a reflection of the range and scope of work he has produced over the years with names ranging from Reggae legends Beres Hammond and Ali Campbell (of UB40) to Panamanian artist El Maleante and new vocalist Stacey Mirander.

“This album is a reflection of my career, in both time and what I call ‘color,’” explains Bulby. “It features timeless music with ageless artists like Beres, Ali, Bounty Killer, Tanya Stephens, Admiral Bailey, and Richie Spice.” Most people think color is what they see, but I am referring to sound. How music colors what we feel and how we see the world. The kind of music we listen to even colors our identity.”

Time & Color features 13 tracks colored with the sounds of Gospel, Reggae, Dancehall, and Latin music. The latest single “Good Time” by Richie Spice is a feel-good bass-heavy roots Reggae single that is currently streaming on all platforms. The album also features spiritually uplifting songs from

Jahvinci and Stacey Mirander, a smooth lovers rock single from Beres Hammond, and a remake of a pop music classic with Ali Campbell and Bounty Killer.

Previously released singles on the album include dancehall singles “Queen” with Tanya Stephens and Malica, “Ignorant” with Admiral Bailey and Christopher Martin, and “Race to Waste Your Life” with Spragga Benz, and the pop tinged “Want her Love” with Maxi Priest.

Bulby’s 30-plus-year journey in music began when he started following his uncle, George “Dusty” Miller of the famous Firehouse Crew band, to King Tubby’s studio in the Waterhouse area of Kingston. Bulby learned the art of recording and engineering from the master and even helped Tubby build his state-of-the-art studio, assisting with rewiring and soldering. Bulby eventually created the Fat Eyes label with Lynford ‘Fatta’ Marshall and produced classic hits like “Stop Live Inna Di Pass” (also known as

“Memories”) by Beenie Man, “Suspense” by Bounty Killer, “Down By the River” by Morgan Heritage, and “Want You Back” by Singing Melody. He has engineered tracks for No Doubt, Chaka Khan, Cyndi Lauper, Sinead O’Connor, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and Sean Paul. He launched his own label Bulby York Music in 2016.

“To be honest, I can’t even remember all the albums I’ve worked on and all the people I’ve worked with,” Bulby chuckles. “I’ve been involved in music since I was very young. It’s been a long time and A LOT of


Time & Color is Bulby’s fourth studio album on the Bulby York Music imprint, following Epic & Ting (2016), Master Blaster (2018), and Heart Crafted (2020). Additionally, he has released juggling projects Padang Padang Riddim (2021) and Far East Riddim (2022).

Time & Color will be released on all platforms on Friday, February 24th.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Images for use with this release is available for use as follows:

Jamaican-entertainer-Collin ‘Bulby’ York’s Time & Color drops on his birthday, tomorrow Feb. 24th. (Rohjay Anderson image)

Collin ‘Bulby’ York.  (Rohjay Anderson Image)

Time & Color Album Cover

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Grammy Nominated, Jamaican-Born Jazz Great Brings A ‘Love Note’ To West Palm Beach This Valentine’s Day

CaribPR Wire, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Fri. Feb. 3, 20223: On the heels of the release of his ‘Love Notes’ album and an Order of Jamaica from his native land, Grammy-nominated jazz great, Dr. Monty Alexander, is set to bring a Valentine’s Day performance to West Palm Beach, Florida this February 14th that will see the marriage of Jamaican rhythms and vibrations with the great American song book of love songs.

The world-renowned, international musician will perform ‘Love Notes’ at the Rinker’s playhouse at The Raymond F. Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33401, on Feb. 14th, for two shows only – at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The intimate and romantic evening, according to Dr. Alexander, will feature songs from the greats he grew up with as a child in Jamaica, such as Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday, as well as Jamaican musicians from the era of ska and reggae, including Sly and Robbie.

Alexander was blessed to not only grow up on the music of the American greats he listened to as a child in Jamaica, but later to play with some in his early musical career, including the legendary Sinatra.

The Feb. 14th Valentine Show will also feature international vocalist, Caterina Zapponi, as well as Cleveland-born American jazz trumpeter, composer, and big band leader, Dominick Farinacci; acoustic guitar and talented Jamaican-born electric bass player, Joshua Thomas; world renown drummer on the Jazz scene, Jason Brown, and New York City-based jazz bassist, composer and teacher, Luke Sellick.

Fans will also be able to meet Dr. Alexander after the last set at a special CD signing of his ‘Love Notes’ album that’s available for sale on Amazon. Songs on the latest album include: ‘These Love Notes,’ ‘Moon River,’ ‘Faith Can Move Mountains,’ ‘As Time Goes By,’ ‘The Nearness of You’ and ‘Island in the Sun,’ among other.

Alexander says the show is also a celebration of his recent award from the Jamaican government and a tribute to his roots. Tickets for each show range from $39.00 – $69.00 and are available for purchase HERE only or on the Kravis Center website.


Nearly sixty years after he moved to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica, his hometown, Alexander remains an American classic, touring the world relentlessly with various projects and delighting a global audience drawn to his vibrant personality and soulful message. A perennial favorite at Jazz festivals and venues worldwide, including at the Montreux Jazz Festival where he has appeared 23 times since 1976, his spirited conception is one informed by the timeless verities: endless melody-making, effervescent grooves, sophisticated voicings, a romantic spirit, and a consistent predisposition. As Alexander accurately states: “to build up the heat and kick up a storm.”

In the course of any given performance, Alexander applies that aesthetics to a repertoire spanning a broad range of jazz and Jamaican musical expressions in what can only be dubbed “the American songbook and the blues, gospel and bebop, calypso and reggae.”

Documented on more than 75 recordings and cited as the fifth greatest jazz pianist ever in The Fifty Greatest Jazz Piano Players of All Time (Hal Leonard Publishing), the Jamaican government designated Alexander Commander in the Order of Distinction in 2000 and conferred on him the national honor of the Order of Jamaica in 2022 for “Sterling Contributions to the Promotions of Jamaican Music and the Jazz Genre Interpretations Globally.” In further recognition of his accomplishments, the University of The West Indies bestowed him with an honorary doctorate, (DLitt).

Alexander’s latest album, released August 19, 2022, is titled, ‘Love Notes,’ and is his first recording featuring his vocals. Also, in the works is “The Monty Alexander Movie,” a documentary on Alexander’s life and music. Directed by Academy Award© winning cinematographer Jefferson Miller, and veteran filmmaker Arthur Gorson, the project is currently in production in Jamaica, the U.S. and Europe.

For more visit Alexander on YouTube or at You can also like him on Facebook at or keep up to date on his performances on Twitter at @montyHKE.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An image for use with this article is available HERE

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Caribbean Artists And TikTok Influencers Join Forces To Communicate Hurricane Season

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. June 29, 2021: TikTok Influencers, top West Indian cricketers and music stars are joining arms as the new “Disaster Fighters,” a team of influential figures, to disseminate informational messages on fighting the impact of hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, COVID-19 and other hazards.

Starting June 28th, West Indian cricketers, DJ Bravo of Trinidad and Tobago; St. Lucia’s Daren Sammy, and St. Kitts & Nevis’ Kieran Powell, have joined forces with musicians, Mr Killa of Grenada, Tafa Mi Soleil of Haiti and Ricky T of St. Lucia, for the TikTok campaign kick-off.

Popular Caribbean TikTok creators will go live and connect directly with the audience in real time to help spread hurricane preparedness messages and hear about the personal experiences of those who have lived through disasters. They will also invite users to show their support for the Disaster Fighters campaign by creating videos using the hashtags, #DisasterFighters and #HurricaneSeason.

A TikTok Challenge #MakeAPlan will be launched to inspire and encourage the general population in order to raise awareness about hurricane preparedness through creating and sharing creative videos, singing the famous Jahmar Hamilton phrase: “Make A Plan,” in a 10-second segment of the Disaster Fighters song.

The 2021 hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th. The impact of hurricanes in the Caribbean region is growing every year, and it’s important to alert nationals and send relevant preparedness messages. TikTok, the leading destination for short-form mobile videos has partnered with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, (CDEMA) on this regional prevention campaign to raise awareness about the hurricane season in the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM) region.

TikTok will support the Disaster Fighters campaign to encourage people to be prepared for the hurricane season and provide access to informational messages on preparedness before, during and after a hurricane. They will also engage in livestreams and the creation of videos to improve community preparedness and resilience to risks such as hurricanes in the region.

The initiative is supported by the World Bank, TikTok, the European Union’s Caribbean Regional Resilience Building Facility, the Canada Caribbean Resilience Facility, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery and Binance Charity. The campaign has been developed by the risk communications firm Pacifico.

For more information visit


TikTok at

Twitter at

Facebook at

Instagram at


For media interviews contact the Disaster Fighters team at [email protected]

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Jamaican Born, Grammy Nominated Maestro Dr. Monty Alexander Spotlights On Rastafarian, Thelonious Monk And The West Indian Influences Of Jazz On New Album

Dr. Monty Alexander, CD. (Hollis King Image)

Dr. Monty Alexander, CD. (Hollis King Image)

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs.  Sept. 19, 2019: Jamaica’s world-renowned, Grammy-nominated international musician, Dr. Monty Alexander, CD, celebrated his 75th birthday in style this year, releasing his new album that has already grabbed the number 1 spot on US Jazz and NACC radio a mere 2 weeks after its release.

‘Wareika Hill RastaMonk Vibrations’ is an album unlike any that Dr. Alexander has released in his more than five decades in the music business. Perhaps it is the wisdom of getting older and reflecting on one’s own musical journey that has resulted in the Mountain View, Kingston-born, Caribbean immigrant taking fans on a historical stroll down the jazz alley he has trodden, which pays tribute to the West Indian musical influences and influencers of the genre in American history.


As Dr. Alexander tells it, the album is a compilation that encapsulates the genres of roots, reggae, ska and jazz into one album – all of which have had significant impact on his musical psyche and made him into the West Indian jazz maestro he is today.

From a child of 8 observing Rastafarians going up Wareika Hill behind his house in Mountain View and hearing the sounds of their drums, to  sneaking into the Federal Recording Studios at age 14 to play piano rhythms with the musicians accompanying Jamaican singers like Keith and Enid Laurel Aitken and others recording for producers like Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid and Chris Blackwell, and then learning of American Jazz musician Thelonious Monk from Rasta trumpeter Jackie Willacy to hearing and then meeting the North Carolina-born jazz musician, Alexander’s ‘Wareika Hill RastaMonk Vibrations’ captures it all, while paying the most profound compliment to Monk and Rastafarianism.

“Maybe it was just my childhood memories connecting the two, but I was left with a deep impression that the world of Monk and Rasta were one spirit,” commented Dr. Alexander.   “I always thought that Monk’s compositions naturally lent themselves to West Indian and Rastafarian rhythms, perhaps accidentally or perhaps because as a child in Jamaica I had unconsciously merged and fused Rastafarians with Thelonious Monk.”

The 14-track album is dedicated to Theodore Sonny Rollins and the memory of Melbourne Bob Cranshaw and includes Dr. Alexander’s adaptation of several songs written by Monk such as ‘Misterioso,’ ‘Rhythm a ning’ and ‘Nutty,’ as well as two songs Monk played but did not write: “Abide with Me,” a beloved Christian hymn, and “Bensha Swing,” which was written by Monk’s friend and drummer, the Barbadian-roots Denzil Best.

“This should have been spelled ‘Bimsha,’ which is how Barbadians refer to themselves,” said Dr. Alexander. “‘Bemsha Swing,’ Barbados and swing – the connection with Monk and Jazz and Island rhythms was there all along given that Monk vibrated with West Indian roots musicians like Herbie Nichols, Russel Procope, Matthew Gee, Blue Mitchell, Fats Navarro, “Tricky” Sam Nanton, Carmen McRae, Arthur Taylor, Leonard Gaskin and a host of others.”

Musicians Ron Blake, Wayne Escoffery, Andrae Murchison, Joe Lovano John Scofield, J.J. Shakur, Jason Brown, Obed Calvaire, Karl Wright, Leon Duncan, Courtney Panton, Junior Wedderburn, Abashani Wedderburn, Bongo Billy and Earl Appleton appear on Dr. Alexander’s new album, merging their talent with his to create an indomitable sound that is truly and distinctly ‘RastaMonk Vibrations.’

For a sample from Dr. Monty Alexander’s latest album or to hear the backstory, visit  him on YouTube or at You can also like him on Facebook at or keep up to date on his performances on Twitter at @montyHKE.


Felicia J. Persaud

Hard Beat Communications


[email protected]

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Baltimore On His Mind – Dr. Monty Alexander Returns To ‘Charm City’

Dr. Monty Alexander, CD.

Dr. Monty Alexander, CD.

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Tues.  July 9, 2019: Jamaica’s world-renowned jazz maestro, Dr. Monty Alexander, has Baltimore on his mind this summer.

Dr. Alexander returns to the ‘Charm City’ for a four-night performance at Baltimore’s premiere music venue, Keystone Korner at 1350 Lancaster Street Baltimore, MD 21231 from July 18th-21st.

The Grammy-nominated international musician will be joined for this performance by bassist J.J. Shakur and drummer Jason Brown. The concert is sure to take fans through a musical journey within Alexander’s own ‘brand of jazz’ that features not just traditional jazz that purists have come to know and love but the rhythm of his homeland, including calypso, reggae, mento and other island music. As with his performances, fans are sure to get into the beat while jazz purists are certain to be baptized into true fans of ‘Alexander’s jazz’

Tickets for the shows start at US$30 can be obtained here. Showtime on opening night, Thursday, July 18th, is 7 and 9 p.m., respectively while performances for Friday and Saturday July 19th and July 20th are starts at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., respectively. On Sunday, July 21st, fans can catch Alexander’s performances at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Alexander, CD, late last year received an honorary Doctorate of Letters of the University of the West Indies Mona Campus. Born Montgomery Bernard Alexander on D-Day in Kingston, Jamaica in 1944, the musical virtuoso has five decades of performances and over 70 CDs under his belt.  Alexander began his musical career at age four by playing Christmas carols by ear. He is now most widely known as an upper echelon master of the swinging piano trio function as he has demonstrated with several top-shelf groups, including iconic units with bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton, and with the legendary bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis.

Dr. Alexander also performs frequently with Harlem-Kingston Express, a double trio in which he coalesces his love for hard-swinging jazz with musical flavors that reflect his Jamaican heritage, shifting between an acoustic trio and master Jamaican practitioners of electric bass and drums.

At 75, he continues to tour the world relentlessly with various projects, delighting a global audience drawn to his vibrant personality and soulful message.

For more on Dr. Monty Alexander and his amazing brand of jazz, visit him on YouTube or at You can also like him on Facebook at or keep up to date on his performance on Twitter at @montyHKE.


Felicia Persaud

Hard Beat Communications


[email protected]

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A Benefit For Music And Education In The UVI Is Set For St. John


CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. May 6, 2019: Less than two years after Hurricanes Irma and Maria slammed into the U.S. Virgin Islands, a technology, media and entertainment company that calls the islands home, is focused on helping the music students at the University of The Virgin Islands who were directly impacted by the disaster.

Intellectual Global Concepts, (IGC), has teamed up with The Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis, The RTPark, The University of The Virgin Islands, (UVI) and Grammy-Award winning Jazz Drummer, Dion Parson to present the first “Music Is Life” benefit.

The free event, with Eventbrite RSVP required for entry, is set to get underway at 5 p.m. on May 18th and run through 12:30 a.m. on May 19th at the St. John Bayfront at The Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis, 10-41 Estate Carolina in Coral Bay, St. John.

This event has a limited number of attendees and will be held in an enclosed area, so music fans must register for entry only on Eventbrite or donate US $10-50 for a variety of donation packages, including T-shirts and free drinks at the venue.

All event proceeds and sponsor donations will go to UVI for hurricane relief, music education and recruiting students for performance ensembles through the music program at the UVI campuses. Since 2017 the UVI’s music program has been led by Grammy Award-winning NYC renowned drummer and USVI native, Dion Parson.

“The UVI Music Program offers an amazing opportunity for students attending the University of the Virgin Islands to earn the honor to teach within the K-12 arena, providing local jobs, furthering the music culture in the USVI and continuing to bolster the local communities,” said IGC executives. “We are proud to be able to support this program through scholarship funding for additional university expenses such as fees, housing and books and supplies.”

The May 18th event will feature world renowned South African electronic music maestro, Hyenah, who is known for his elusive identity, top charting tracks on ‘Resident Advisor,’ and his performances at top clubs across the globe. Additionally, the event will showcase USVI’s own Cool Session Brass Band and the SHUT Down Band along with DJ Mike Swells of NYC and local fire dancers and a drum circle.

Event attendees will also be able to experience the local culture with several amazing food vendors and various local merchants placed throughout the venue and the online Silent Auction at, that features a fantastic selection of prizes, with winners of the auction announced live at the event.

Taxis will be available to bring guests to the venue and back for US $6 each way, while boat operators will offer trips from St. Thomas to St. John throughout the entirety of the event along with late night options for transportation after the event ends.

For more information see Facebook at and Eventbrite at

Sponsors interested in collaborating with IGC on this event can contact organizers at [email protected].

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