After Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel was convicted of murder and subsequently sentenced to life in prison, another legend of the genre will have to wait several more months before his long-awaited murder trial is finally set in motion. Recently, Desmond Ballentine, more popularly known as Ninja Man appeared in a Kingston court where he was scheduled to kick off the trial.
However, the deejay, through his attorney, K.D. Knight, issued an application to have the case thrown out. Knight argued that the case against Ninja Man and two co-accused should be dismissed given a breach of the constitutional rights, considering the length of time the case has yet to be tried. That application was soon rejected by the presiding judge who then issued a November 10th date for the commencement of the trial. The court proceedings took place just over five years after the fatal shooting of Richard Johnson in March 2009. The deejay was charged with murder, conspiracy to murder, shooting with intent and illegal possession of a firearm in relation to the incident. Ninja Man’s son, Janiel Ballentine and another man, Dennis Clayton were jointly charged in the incident. The trial has endured several delays since then, though Ninja Man has been on bail since March 2012 and has since revived his nearly three-decade-long career after joining forces with Downsound Records.
Recording artiste Jah Vinci was nothing short of brilliant at a recent concert on the African continent. Dubbed the ‘AllStar Live Series’, the 14th staging held in Ghana, saw the ‘Watch Yuh Friends’ singer attracting over 20,000 fans in the Ghanaian capital as part of their 57th Independence celebration. Despite being his inaugural visit to the continent, it was hard to discern as Jah Vinci quickly adapted to the local culture and delivered a great set as patrons within the capacity filled venue showered bountiful adulation on the melodic crooner.
Local and international fans of the Greatest Reggae Show on earth can now purchase tickets at reduced rates for the event scheduled for July 13-19 at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay. Reggae Sumfest organisers are giving die hard fans access to what promises to be an exciting event with an early bird special which began on April 1 and ends on April 30. Johnny Gourzong, Executive Director with Summerfest Productions, organizers of the event notes that his team is always looking to give patrons value for their money and this Early Bird Special is one such initiative. “We know that Reggae Sumfest is loved by Jamaicans at home and abroad and also boasts admirers globally. In harsh economic times impacting the world we want to reward those committed fans with saving on their tickets which is why Early Bird tickets are available for one month and we encourage persons to buy early. This year’s show will be phenomenal,” he explained. Fans are urged to beat the rush and get your tickets now because passes are likely to sell out fast given that Tessanne Chin, Sanchez and Wiz Khalifa are already confirmed and more artistes will be announced soon. Tickets may be purchased online with a credit card at the Reggae Sumfest website, www.reggaesumfest.com.
Courtney Mac understands that singer/songwriter Omi, who shot onto the scene two years ago with the hit song Cheerleader, has signed a recording deal with American company Ultra Music. Details of the arrangement have not been released but one of Omi’s first projects for the label is a remix of Cheerleader and this will be produced by Ricky Blaze. Blaze who is contracted as a producer to Ultra Music is of Jamaican parentage however Ultra Music specializes in electronic dance music. It is owned by former Polygram and Virgin Records executive Patrick Moxey, who signed Beenie Man to Virgin Records in the late 1990s. Ultra Music made a big step by merging with Sony Music. Among its biggest acts are producers/DJs David Guetta, Benny Benassi and Calvin Harris, dance act Kaskade and rapper Pitbull. The 28-year-old Omi, grew up in Clarendon and attended Garvey Maceo High School.
International Reggae Queen Marcia Griffiths and legendary reggae/gospel singer Judy Mowatt, two thirds of the world famous I-Threes group, who provided backing vocals for reggae superstar Bob Marley in the 70’s, were honored with the “Reggae Ambassador’s Award” in New York by VP Records and Groovin Inc, sponsor and organizer of the fourth annual Groovin In The Park concert respectively.
The awards were presented to the ladies for their supreme artistry, outstanding achievement and contribution to the development and promotion of reggae worldwide. Griffiths, who made the trek from Kingston to attend the presentation, used the opportunity to thank Miss Pat, co-founder of VP Records and event founder Christopher Roberts for considering her for the special award.
“I feel like I am truly blessed as this award is deeper than music. Thank you for allowing me to share this journey. Without you I would not have reached this milestone” she said to thunderous applause.
Chronixx is getting rave reviews on “Dread and Terrible” Tour of Europe. The Dread and Terrible project is a compilation of 7 tracks & 3 dub versions produced by various producers. Chronixx and the Zincfence Redemption Band along with Kelissa and Dre Island are on tour. They recently completed a show in Barcelona and Portugal. The Dread & Terrible world tour started in Amsterdam on March 27.
E Zone International
Selena Gomez has just fired her mother and stepfather as her managers. Sources close to the singer says that Selena axed her parents Mandy and Brian Teefey last month, permanently relieving them of all duties related to the management of her career. Selena’s parents had managed her since her big break at Disney. It is understood that Selena feels she’s outgrown her parents. She believes she’s now old and famous enough to have a seasoned professional manager with other A-list clients. Selena has argued plenty with her parents over the direction of her career reports are that family friction was not the reason for the split and Selena remains close with both of her parents.
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