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'Bring Your Own Cooler' novel beach party takes off
Submitted by Chester Robards   
Thursday, 05 March 2015 06:42

'Bring Your Own Cooler' novel beach party takes offNASSAU, Bahamas -- We are no strangers to BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer) parties. But, BYOC (Bring Your Own Cooler) - a whole cooler - unheard of!

Enter Aloha, the Ultimate Cooler Beach Fete, a novel beach party set for Sunday March 15th 2pm to 9pm at Niirvana Beach that will change the way the Bahamas does soca beach fetes forever.

“ALOHA” is promised to be an event like none other. It’s a Hawaiian themed beach party with a twist, where patrons can bring their own coolers with their preferred drinks," said organiser Stephan Rolle. "A fully stocked bar with bottle specials will be available for those who opt not to bring coolers. It features a non-stop mix of music from heavy hitters like Trinidad born and current South Florida resident, DJ Sinistar & Steelie Back and New Providence’s DJ John Doe."

Of course there are restrictions on cooler size, which cannot be larger than 24 by 36 inches. And no glass bottles are allowed.

Mr. Rolle, who recently formed the Blue Monkey Bahamas promotional company, said Bahamas is ripe for innovative and exciting forms of entertainment, and explained that “ALOHA, the Ultimate Cooler Beach Fete” will be testament to that come next Sunday.

DJ Sinistar, one of the biggest soca DJs in the Miami area, is making an appearance at Aloha. While he is likely no stranger to Bahamians living abroad, this will be his first time in the Bahamas, and he is looking forward to playing for Bahamians on their home turf.

Vibes on the Island returns to Sandals Royal Bahamian
Submitted by Chester Robards   
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 08:22

Internationally acclaimed reggae recording artist Tarrus Riley.Tarrus Riley and Chronixx to perform in support of Sandals Foundation & P.A.C.E. this April

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Sandals Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company and Caribbean Bottling Company Bahamas are excited to announce that “Vibes on the Island” has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2015.  

This year’s fundraising concert in support of the Providing Access to Continued Education programme (P.A.C.E.) will also be sponsored, in part, by: Flight Centre Travel Group, JetBlue Airways, Columbian Emeralds, and The Nassau Guardian Limited.

“Vibes on the Island 2015” will once again take place on Sandals’ Private Island at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island in Nassau, Bahamas. The charity fundraiser will feature live performances from internationally acclaimed reggae recording artist, Tarrus Riley with special guests Dean Fraser & the Blak Soil Band and reggae sensation, Chronixx and ZincFence Redemption.

All proceeds from this year’s benefit concert will go to P.A.C.E. and to the completion of their building fund. P.A.C.E. provides much needed support and education to teenage mothers while promoting awareness to help reduce teen pregnancy among young adults in Nassau, Bahamas.  As a proud partner, the Sandals Foundation – the non-profit arm of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Resorts – remains committed to raising funds that will see to the completion of building a brand new, multi-purpose facility ensuring that young mothers have access to a support center that will accommodate administrative, health care, nursery and academic services.

Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival returns to Exuma
Submitted by Kendea Smith   
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 08:16

Ministry of Tourism officials pose at the opening of Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival in George Town, Exuma.EXUMA, The Bahamas -- Domestic Tourism will get a major boost this month as Ministry of Tourism officials are preparing to host the Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival in George Town, Exuma. The event, which is scheduled for March 12-14, is going on its 11th year.

Its theme this year is “Celebrating The Islands of The Bahamas.”

Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival has various activities like educational storytelling, poetry readings, Bahamian history corner, arts and crafts, Bahamian dance lessons, sugar cane peeling, onion peeling and conch eating contests and culinary and bartending competitions. It will also feature gospel and secular music concerts each night of the festival.

Director of Domestic Tourism Jacqueline Ramsey said local businesses look forward to the event.

“It provides an opportunity for the small and large businesses to show their stuff and make some money. But what is most important about this event is that it encourages domestic tourists to explore the islands,” she said.

“The Ministry of Tourism is working hard to plan this event so that we can enjoy our heritage and music. This is going to be a good event and I am really excited about it. The more we participate the more we understand what we are all about.”

KB to headline ‘Chillin’ by the Dock of the Bay’ on February 28
Submitted by DP&A   
Monday, 23 February 2015 13:01

KB Headlining – Five entertainers, including headliner Kirkland ‘KB’ Bodie,  are combining forces and voices to raise funds for and awareness of the environment during a concert February 28 at Grand Bahama’s Flying Fish Restaurant on the waterfront starting at 4 pm. FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- When Save The Bays hosts its first Grand Bahama fun-raiser, Chillin’ by the Dock of the Bay, February 28, it will link five performers who have never before performed together but are united over a cause that each is passionate about – protecting the waters of The Bahamas.

Headlining the concert set for 4 pm on the waterfront at Flying Fish Seafood Restaurant is the top-selling musician Kirkland ‘KB’ Bodie.

“KB rose to fame with songs like ‘Bush Mechanic’ and ‘She Fat’ but in recent years he has lent his talent to social causes, penning numbers that point to political will, transparency and accountability,” said Save The Bays CEO Lindsey McCoy. “One of his latest songs, ‘Hold dey feet to da fire’ is among the country’s biggest hits.

“It is encouraging to see artists like the legendary KB (Kirkland ‘KB’ Bodie) share a stage with the talents of a jazzy Marina Gottlieb Sarles who is performing with master guitarist Steve Persaud in Bossa. We also have Tim Tibbitts who is one of those multi-talented individuals who can whip up a restaurant meal with the same pizzazz as he can stir a crowd’s enthusiasm. Tim, who is Bahamian, had a successful run in Canada and we’re just grateful he came back home and cares so much about the environment.

“And we have one of Grand Bahama’s local favourites, Derek Gape, who can take a simple tune and a guitar and turn it into a performance that rouses an audience and makes everyone in the crowd happy to be there.”

The worth of the artist
Submitted by Nat Cambridge   
Thursday, 19 February 2015 09:48
Recently I took the reins of the Grand Bahama Entertainers Musicians And Artists Assc. (G.B.E.M.A.A.). In the short time that I have been at the helm of this once again fledgling organization some things have become clear to me, some disturbing and some reassuring. One reassuring thing I have discovered is that there is a wealth of talent and skill present in the entertainment and arts community of Grand Bahama and in even in the everyday not interested in that artsy stuff Grand Bahamian. More than you would normally find, per capita, just about anywhere in the world. This is due primarily, in my opinion, to the fact that talented and skilled entertainers and artists frequented this little island from the 60’s trough early 90’s and invariably left offspring that carried the genes of musical and artistic geniuses. Everyone from Teddy P to Pebo and even the great bands of the 80’s were here in Freeport. And it was documented. All but the after party activities of course. Add to that the already immensely talented locals. The Swain, the Kemps, the Penns’, the Mitchells, the Coakleys and the list goes on.  

The disturbing thing is that with all the talent and entertainment and artistic skill on Grand Bahama, we have not continued to remain at the forefront of the entertainment and art world. We have seen the steady decline of the support of live entertainment, the arts and live music on this island over the past 20 years. There is no significant funding or initiatives for entertainers and persons that are interested in becoming involved in the arts. Parents now even discourage their children when they say they want to be a singer, poet, painters, sculptors, musicians, dancers etc. where once ago it was the in thing. Our tourists complain of little to do and nearly no live entertainment. No regular and easily accessible arts, food, music and entertainment opportunities. There are no initiatives or mandates that seek to address the issue of the decline of live entertainment and cultural opportunities for locals, expats and guests. The ministry of tourism develops entertainment laden programmers and pencils us in as opposed to consulting us on the development of programs to promote Bahamian artists and entertainers.  

Now before anyone begins to think I am complaining or begging for assistance, allow me to clear the air on how I feel about the state of our arts and entertainment industry. There are some things that we as entertainers and artists of all types have allowed or even propagated over the years. We have fought among ourselves, we have under bid each other, we have cut each other down and criticized each other to our public and economic detriment and without sharing alternatives or solutions to the shortcomings we have pointed out in our fellow artists. We have been lazy, slothful, unresponsive, stuck in an archaic mold. We have not progressed with the times, we have not evolved with the industry. But even more detrimental to our survival and growth is that we have not been proactive and have allowed our destiny to be determined by those who have no vested interest in our development or those who would benefit from our demise.  

So we find ourselves in a rut. Less than 2% of the artists and entertainers on this island are actually making a living from their talents and the profession that brings them joy. We are now mechanics, taxi drivers, teachers, carpenters, and mostly security guards. Guarding the places, building the sites that house and maintaining the vehicles that transport countless numbers of visitors that in another era we would be performing for and bringing joy to the hearts of and also sharing our culture with. We have come a long way since the booming Grand Bahamian 70’s. Sadly though, it’s a long way in the wrong direction. The decline of the arts and entertainment industry on Grand Bahama is directly correlated to the decline of the tourism product and performance, The degradation of the cultural, social and spiritual wellbeing and the self esteem of the average Grand Bahamian. We are not as in touch with who we are and we relate more to foreign cultures and lifestyles and feel they are superior to ours.  

It is, has been and will always be the duty of cultural practitioners to define for a nation and a community who they are, and what makes them different and special. Legislators cannot do this, though some feel they can. It is their job to encourage, make occasion for and foster this. Educators can’t, though they try. It is their job to share the history of and relate the relevance of it and to reinforce our relevance to its existence and growth to their pupils. Legal practitioners can’t do it. Though it is their duty to protect it and persons practicing it from plagiarism and usury. And the media can’t do it. It is their duty, as the fourth estate, to share and allow, even foster, its expression and growth. Each knowing their role in the growth and protection, education and facilitation of cultural expression and identity these 4 estates can, through the arts and artists, foster a better Bahamas.  

Hundreds turn out for 5th BOB Love That Child event to raise funds for children’s homes
Submitted by DP&A   
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 10:43

Funky D – Funky D takes his legendary high-energy dance, song and story style to the audience during the action-packed Love That Child show at the St. Andrew’s School Performing Arts Centre. Pictured to his left is Palm Cay’s Zack Bonczek and to his right with bright smile is BOB Corporate Secretary Laura Williams, a strong supporter of Love That Child. The annual production began five years with a song by the same name written by a successful Bahamian who grew up at children’s homes and wanted to give back. Since then, it has raised thousands of dollars for three children’s homes in Nassau and helped raise awareness of the needs of places that provide a roof over young heads and a safe, caring place to call home.   NASSAU, Bahamas -- They danced, they sang, they wowed the crowd and, in the end, the young entertainers who took to the stage Sunday, January 18 showed the real meaning of caring -- giving every last ounce of talent and energy to raise funds for three children’s homes.

The show was the 5th annual BOB Love That Child musical extravaganza. Held at the St. Andrew’s Performing Arts Auditorium, the event drew hundreds for a celebration with a cause, to show those children and teens who call the Children’s Emergency Hostel, Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home and Ranfurly home that they are loved.

From co-choreographers from Nassau and Philadelphia to entertainers ranging from the jaw-dropping stunts of Emanji Circus to the 5-foot-high splits of 10-year-old Justin Hudson, from the agility of dozens of dancers to the stunning voice of little Rachel Thompson, the show was a fast-paced, action-packed two hours emceed by Funky D along with a multi-talented human pretzel named Mouse.

But it was a small performance by the youngest group of all, the Children’s Emergency Hostel, hat stole hearts and left hardly a dry eye in the crowd.

“A few weeks ago, we did not even know if we would be able to have this show this year,” said Karen Rawlings, producer. “But it’s been amazing how everything came together. When we didn’t have a venue after they said the Rainforest Theatre would be closing earlier than anticipated for renovation as part of Baha Mar, we had to scramble to find a new venue. St. Andrew’s not only came through, but a member of the St. Andrew’s family paid the rental fee for this beautiful auditorium and we are so grateful. One thing after another fell into place and this has been one of the best shows ever!”

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