New York: Jamaican reggae, soul, pop queen Tessanne Chin, lived up to her billing, delivering a spectacular performance at the inaugural Oracabessa Festival on Memorial Day at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY.
When the season five winner of the Voice hit the stage with her Bread & Butter band in tow, excitement broke out in anticipation of the tasty musical treat that fans were to be offered. For close to 60 minutes, Chin served up a delicious palate of songs, including her hit single ‘Hideaway,’ ‘Stronger,’ ‘My Kind Of Love’ and ‘If I were Your Woman’ for the 15,000 plus fans who became locked in her constricting grip. She displayed stunning vocal range while performing her soon to be released single ‘Anything’s Possible.’ Her magnificent performance drew rapturous applauds from the crowd who howled for more.
“Tessanne came, saw and conquered today, much like she did during her journey on The Voice” said event organizer Bobby Clarke. “We are just thrilled that we had the opportunity to present her first full length performance for her adoring fans in the tri-state area” he gushed.
The Doctor Beenieman, who brought the curtain down on the festivities, demonstrated why he is still the reigning king of the dancehall, engaging fans with classic hits including “Who Am I,” “Old Dog,” “Girls Dem Sugar,” “King of the Dancehall” and “Back It Up.” DJs Assassin, Bugle and Konshens who performed earlier also had their moment of glory, connecting mainly with the younger crowd.
Apart from the wonderful assortment of music that the main stage provided, organisers added a Cultural Stage that featured the Braata Folk Singers and other local area performers. A sizzling fashion show (Irie Fashion Rave) that featured New York models and designers was also a highlight. Other attractions included a Domino Championship, ‘Ludi’ Playoffs, Kids Amusement Area, Business Expo, Health Pavilion, Arts & Craft and the Caribbean Heritage Awards which honored Tessanne Chin, actor Paul Campbell, NY State Supreme Court Judge Sam Walker; Team Jamaica Bickle founder Irwine Clare; actor/singer Andrew Clarke; Billboard Magazine journalist Pat Meschino; concert promoter George Crooks, broadcaster Milford Edwards among others.
Beenieman working his magic for the 15,000 plus fans
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke & Judge Sam Walker
Actor Paul Campbell was honored at Oracabessa Festival. Award presented by Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
Dubb Master Chris, Tessanne Chin and DJ Roy
Caribbean Heritage Award honorees along with Oracabessa festival founder Bobby Clarke backstage at the Oracabessa Festival at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY
Radio host Raggashanti
From the Irie Generation – Dubb Master Chris and Felecia Loud
Tessanne Chin happy to receive her Caribbean Heritage Award from Bobby Clarke of Irie Jam Radio
singer Sophia Brown was in the park for the Oracabessa Festival
WORD! – A Caribbean Book Fest
36 Writers from 18 Countries Celebrating Heritage
With tales for all ages to ignite the imagination on authors and storytellers along with publishers, bookstore owners, readers and the literary curious will come together in Brooklyn, NY – the world’s largest Caribbean meeting place – for a celebration of the magic of the written word.
WORD! – A Caribbean Book Fest, on Sunday, June 8,brings together three dozen of the most talented and dynamic novelists and poets from almost twenty countries and territories in the Caribbean and its diaspora for an afternoon-long carnival of sound and imagery at the Crown Heights campus of Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.
Now in its second year, WORD! -A Caribbean Book Fest celebrates the oft overlooked rich and complex literary traditions from the region’s cultural landscape.
Presented by the Caribbean Cultural Theatre in association with the Caribbean Research Center at Medgar Evers College, this year’s program boasts a stellar roster of seasoned critically-acclaimed wordsmiths as Trinidadian poet, Mervyn Taylor, and talented newer voices as Idrissa Simmonds, a Canadian national of Haitian and Jamaican parentage, short listed for the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and Joanne Skerrett (Dominica), short listed for the inaugural Burt Award (2014) for Caribbean children’s literature.
“We are especially delighted at the having writers who are specifically crafting stories at once firmly rooted in the culture of the Caribbean Diaspora and engage young readers by making their realities central to the narrative” says E. Wayne McDonald, Caribbean Cultural Theatre, artistic director.
In addition to Ms. Skerrett’s, Abraham’s Treasure, which introduces us to teenage twins brothers on a frantic hunt for treasure, buried during the days of slavery, other books for teenagers and young adults include Chen Chin’s, The Adventures of Flat Head, about finding one’s way ‘back home’, and CJ Farley’s hip-hop infused coming of age romp, Game World. Even younger readers will be delighted by the work of children’s book authors Ibi Zoboi, A is for Ayiti, Carol Ottley-Mitchell, Chee Chee in Paradise, and Kellie Magnus and her Little Lion series which chronicles the exploits of a precocious lion cub as he takes on some the world’s best in track & field and soccer.
“In a world where we have to compete with so many negative forces for the minds of our young, particularly in the media. We encourage, support and promote wholesome presentations from the cradle to adulthood” says, Dr. Waldaba Stewart, Senior Research Fellow, Caribbean Research Center.
The young readers platform closes with an Open Mic session for original work by aspiring teenaged poets and spoken word artists.
In addition to workshops on publishing, marketing and translations the festival will also explore the impact of images in storytelling with visual artists and children’s book illustrators including Ricardo Cortes (Mexico), Deborah Jack (St. Marteen/St. Martin), and Laura James (Antigua & Barbuda).
Not to be outdone are the entertaining, insightful and provocative readings for more mature readers from writers as varied as novelists Petra Lewis (Trinidad & Tobago), The Sons and Daughters of Ham, Katia Ulysse (Haiti), Drifting; Annette Vendryes Leach (Panama), Song of the Shaman;poetsAJA (Barbados), Hermina Marcellin (St. Lucia); Ras Osagyefo (Jamaica), Jason Price (Belize); Maria Rodriguez (Puerto Rico), and Go de R*ss to Sleep, a Jamaican patois translation of Adam Mansbach’s ‘adult’ bedtime story.
Being held in observance of Caribbean American Heritage Month, WORD! – A Caribbean Book Fest, takes place on Sunday, June 8, 2014, 2:00 – 8:00pm at Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225. For tickets and additional information telephone 718-783-8345 / 718-270-6218.
Created for lovers of the magic of the written word,the festival highlights the richness, complexity and diversity of literary work emanating from the Caribbean and the many talented writers invested in the narratives of the Caribbean Diaspora. A project of the Caribbean Cultural Theatre’s Poets & Passion series, the festival presents work in all the official languages of the region (Dutch, English, French; Spanish) and related native languages.
Presented by the Caribbean Cultural Theatre in association with the Caribbean Research Center at Medgar Evers College, the festival is under the joint patronage of the Caribbean Consuls General Corp and is made possible in part with support from of the Brooklyn Arts Council, Medgar Evers College (City University of New York) – Office of the Provost, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Poets & Writers, Inc, and Friends of the Caribbean Cultural Theatre; with additional programming assistance from Akashic Books, Anansesem – Caribbean children’s literature ezine, Franklin & Franklin Publishers, Friends of the Antigua Public Library, Guyana Cultural Association, Mosaic Literary Magazine, Secret Cravings Publishing, St. Martin/Sint Maarten Friendship Association and Union of Jamaica Alumni Associations.
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