JR Pinchers

Artist JR Pinchers

 

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Tune in to listen to the live interview with Reggae Artiste “JR Pinchers” on the Island Culture Show on Saturday, August 12th, 2017 at 11AM CST, 12PM EST.

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Tyman Robinson

Interview

Tune in to listen to the interview with “TY ROBINSON” Author of The Blueprint of Darkness on the Island Culture Show on Saturday, August 5th, 2017 at 11AM CST, 12PM EST.

LISTEN LIVE ON THE AIR on Movements iRadio on Tunein-Movements iRadio or download the app for your Apple® or Android® smartphone or listen to the live stream public.radio.co/stations/scddef9294/m3u

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LANCE BYRON

Interview

Island Culture Magazine: Your Support as a baseball player with Caribbean roots from? What was the role of your parents? Have your parents always been supportive of your sports activities? Other than your parents who have been your biggest supporters?

Lance Byron: My mom, is from Trinidad and my dad is from St. Kitts. At 5 years old my mother registered me for Little League baseball in Stafford, Texas. She was always on the sideline videotaping and taking still pictures. My parents made numerous sacrifices to ensure I attended practices and games as scheduled. They did this while working full time. My mother was pursuing a Master’s Degree and was multitasking working full time, attending college and taking care of her children but always there.  Additionally, I played basketball, football and was an active cub scout.  My sister Keisha, my brother Kyle and my grandfather were my traveling fans and followed me whenever I played.

Island Culture Magazine: Your Baseball Highlights How old were you when you first got interested in sports and what position do you play? Who are your sports heroes, and what do you admire most about them. Please describe the highlights of playing baseball including records you’ve broken.

Lance Byron: My brother Kyle introduced me to basketball at my first birthday. I started to walk at 9 months old and was shooting on a toy basketball goal at 1. Organized league at Stafford Youth Basketball Association was competitive when I started playing at 5 years old. I was ahead of most kids my age because of my height and played Center position. My sports heroes are the Basketball player, Damien Lillard. My admiration for him extends beyond the court for his humble passive attitude and dedication to the game. He is relentless in his pursuit of excellence at every level and trains viciously. Baseball player, Robinson Cano second baseman from the Seattle Mariners, is originally from the Dominican Republic. He received the Golden Glove award in 2010 and 2012. He also received the Silver Slugger award in 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 with a high batting average. He is considered one of the greatest hitters in baseball with playing only 11 seasons in Major League Baseball.

Island Culture Magazine: Your Future Aspirations – What are your future aspirations do you aspire to become a Major League player? If so, what steps have you taken to accomplish that goal?

Lance Byron: I am very passionate about the game of baseball. After playing for the first year at Sta-Mo League, I was selected to the All-Star team. Every year since then I represented Sta-Mo League in every division, and our team won the Division Championship in Pinto division in 2005. Baseball fuels my adrenaline to be better at every phase batting, fielding, and pitching. I have played at Varsity level during high school while playing for the Houston Astros Urban Youth Team. For three consecutive years, we won the Regional tournament and had elevated to the RBI World Series. I had the opportunity to meet Jackie Robinson’s daughter, Cincinnati Reds owner and the commissioner of baseball.

Island Culture MagazineWhat do your coaches have in common? Name one or two things they do in training that directly contribute to your success. What were the obstacles you had to overcome while balancing academics and sports?

Lance Byron: My basketball, baseball and football coaches were all experienced coaches, fathers, and mentors. Their philosophy in life has been “ respect all but fear none.” The two things they do in training that directly contribute to my success are thoughtful planning and explaining the importance and benefits of a particular routine daily for success as an athlete.  The major obstacles I had to overcome while balancing academics and sports was time management and exceeding the expectations of my parents. Practice makes perfect and keeping a routine of school, practice and completing assignments could be challenging at times.

Island Culture Magazine: How will you create cultural value that leads to progress of social culture while playing Major League Baseball?

Lance Byron: Baseball is a sport that is played globally. Unfortunately, it is an expensive sport compared to basketball and football. Bat, gloves, and ball are required. This puts economically challenged children on the back burner with getting the gears to be effective. I was fortunate enough to be one of the players selected by Major League Baseball to receive the exposure of traveling and participating in tournaments, and these gears and instructions were provided. My plans are to bring the game of baseball to more minorities and promote many opportunities available through this great American past time.

Island Culture Magazine: What programs would you implement into your community that empowers academically, economically and culturally?

Lance Byron: It has been my experience attending Boys and Girls Club of America for more than 3 years that school age children need extra-curricular activities but parents are so stressed with putting food on the table that they are not able to get their children involved by taking them to practice and games. The cost also associated with game gear and equipment is just not available. I would reach out to businesses and individuals to establish scholarships to provide a means for deserving students. This will extend beyond athletics and include opportunities for tutoring and cultural awareness. As an Eagle Scout and an Ambassador of the National Society of High School Scholars, I see this as my mission to reach the children with talent, skills, and ability to reach for the stars. Additionally, the children who may not have considered the game of baseball may need to know that they can excel with the right direction.

Island Culture Magazine: As the “New Face of The Caribbean,” how do you envision your legacy… to continue to inspire generations to come.

Lance Byron: As a freshman at Prairie View A &M University, I embrace the strong nurturing environment. Professors are not just imparting knowledge but building relationships and leadership skills in and out of the classroom. I envision my legacy to stimulate the next generation of leaders by returning to Stafford High School, Boy Scout troops, and other youth to pursue their dreams realistically and not be afraid to challenge themselves to learn something new and positive that their parents may not have encouraged. Families may all pursue medical careers, and that is okay, but I think it is also important to consider Engineering, Business or even Public Service to bring about awareness and balance.

Quadrille, European or Caribbean Culture?

Quadrille is traditionally a Euro-centric ballroom dance, taken to the Caribbean in the 18th century by English and French slave traders/masters and regularly performed at grand occasions in great houses. European musicians were transported to the Islands for such occasions to provide specific background music.
The enslaved Africans were stripped of their African cultural identity. They were forbidden to sing their own songs, play their own music, speak their own languages, or do their own dances, e.g. Etu, Gerreh DinkiMini, and Tambo. In order to endure their physical and emotional deprivation and intense pain, they inwardly knew they had to find some form of creative activity to communicate with each other, to keep their spirits high, and to develop and maintain comradeships and community support.
The opportunity arose when the privileged “house slaves” observed and sometimes participated in the quadrille dance, during the grand balls held in the great houses. They secretly demonstrated the BALLROOM STYLE QUADRILLE to the “field slaves”. This was a square dance, performed by 4 couples, involving them moving in unison to the beat of the music, marching up and down in straight lines in upright military posture, and turning their heads and feet from side to side. A strict hierarchical structure of dancing was involved where 2 couples (the head and foot couples) would dance first, whilst the other 2 (side couples) would patiently watched until it was their turn to imitate the movements. The field slaves began to secretly and frivolously mimic and ridicule their slave masters’ and their guests, however, they soon concluded that the ballroom quadrille dance was too restrictive and formal, was more for visual effectiveness and social acceptance, rather than enjoyment. They thought what their masters and guests were doing could not be called “real dancing”. They instinctively knew that when it came to rhythm and dance, embedded in their African Culture. They began to discretely adjust their masters’ formal ballroom dance, eventually developing a new quadrille formation dance known as CAMP STYLE QUADRILLE.

Ricky T Culturized

Interview

Tune in to listen to the live interview with SOCA ARTIST RICKY “T” on the Weekend Starter Show with host V.I. Finest and Lovella Mogere of the Island Culture Magazine on Thursday, June 8th, 2017 at 8PM CST, 9PM EST. LISTEN LIVE ON THE AIR on Movements iRadio on Tunein-Movements iRadio or download the app for your Apple® or Android® smartphone or listen to the live stream http://public.radio.co/stations/scddef9294/m3u

Official Biography for Ricky “Ricky T” Joseph

His rallying cry “Wham to Dem!” is immortalized on the 2007 hit “Pressure Boom”. It has become as synonymous with Ricky “Ricky T” Joseph as that monster hit that took him from Saint Lucian stages to the Trinidad Soca Monarch finals and later Madison Square Garden in New York where he performed alongside Trinidad soca legend Machel Montano.

He now stands as the most successful Saint Lucian soca artiste with 15 titles – an unprecedented six Road March, four Power Soca Monarchs, three Caribbean Soca Monarchs and two Groovy Soca Monarch titles.

The Guinness Freestyle musical competition was the first Ricky T ever entered. After that he worked with Derek Yarde of Saint Lucian band, DYP on the soca song, “Mange Manman’w” which then led to “Container” and his work with Penn and Ace of Studio 758. Born on November 26, 1982, Ricky T first tasted commercial success with the 2006 soca hit, which also made him a Power Soca Monarch finalist and led to his first of four consecutive Road March titles.

“Container” would prove to be the warm up when one year later; Ricky T released “Pressure Boom”. With the song, he would place third in the 2007 Power Soca Monarch and win his second Road March title. Like a soca tornado “Pressure Boom” would also barrel him to Trinidad and Tobago where he remains the only Saint Lucian to have represented the country in the hyper competitive Power Soca Monarch.

“Pressue Boom” also brought him to the attention of Machel Montano who invited Ricky T to join his Trinidad tour and later his first concert at Madison Square Garden in New York, the first time soca music had been a headline act at that world-renowned venue. Ricky T would follow the success of “Pressure Boom” with the 2008 hit “Wheel and Come Again” with which he would win his first of three Power Soca Monarch titles, first of three Caribbean Soca Monarch titles as well as his third consecutive Road March title. He would also again represent Saint Lucia in the Trinidad Power Soca Monarch.

In 2009, Ricky T again won the Power Soca Monarch and Road March titles, this time with “Like a Jumbie”. One year later, in 2010, he would retain his Caribbean Soca Monarch crown with “Cya Stop It”.

Vowing early on in the 2011 Carnival season to win every single soca title, Ricky T would start his date with destiny with “Indian Girl” which secured him his first Groovy Soca Monarch title. Two days later he would win the Power Soca Monarch and Road March titles with “Mad Ting”.

Undoubtedly the most successful Saint Lucian soca artiste to date, Ricky T is also the most toured with concert appearances throughout the region and the wider world including Martinique, Barbados, St Croix, New Jersey, Texas, Canada and the UK.

In 2012, he released “Mosquito” on the Stratosphere Muzic Riddim of the same name, coming in second in the Groovy Soca Monarch and “Everything” with which he came in third in the Power Soca Monarch competition. He would also release “Chanting” alongside Mongstar, Q-Pid, Ambi and Mr Killa from Grenada.

Ricky T began his 2013 Saint Lucia Carnival campaign with “40 Days and 40 Nights” on the Stratosphere Muzic Riddim of the same name alongside his younger brother Ambi, “Lucian Bacchanal (Oh Na Na)” on the Dutch Productions/Stratosphere Muzic Jump Over Riddim with Marie-Anne and “Junkie Bacchanal” on the Stratosphere Muzic Riddim of the same name, a duet with Mongstar. Months later he would release the power soca track “Mass Attack” on the Stratosphere Muzic Rampage Riddim followed by another groovy song, “Going Down De Road” on the Stratosphere Muzic Jump Over Riddim.

And one week after signing a deal to be the face of telecoms company Digicel 2013 Carnival campaign, Ricky T would also release the power soca song “Plenty Mash Up” on the Dutch Productions/Stratosphere Muzic Rebirth Riddim.

In early June Ricky T would qualify for the Groovy Soca Monarch final with “40 Days and 40 Nights” and one day later the Power Soca Monarch finals with “Mass Attack.” While focused on competition he would also continue to tour extensively performing at every major event for Saint Lucia Carnival 2013 namely Cooler Lime, Piton Rev Up, Colour Me Red, Sexy in Black and SOS.

On Saturday July 13, 2013 Ricky T was crowned the Groovy and Power Soca Monarch winning both titles as he had in 2011. Days later on Wednesday July 17, his power song “Mass Attack” was also named the winner of the Road March title.

Weeks later, Ricky T would sign with Saint Lucian record label Stratosphere Muzic. The label is owned and operated by producer Courtney “Curty” Louis with whom Ricky T had worked exclusively with in 2013.

In late August 2013, the Saint Lucian Soca King left the island for New York part of a Saint Lucia government contingent to promote Saint Lucia Carnival during Labour Day activities in New York. The same night he arrived in New York, Thursday August 29, Ricky T closed down Caribbean Woodstock, an event that also featured other Caribbean artistes. Days later on Saturday August 31, he also performed at Carnival Mania, an event produced by noted American DJ and promoter Dahvid Levy and held at the renowned Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Ricky T would continue to perform throughout Labour Day 2013 including on Sunday September 1 at an event at the Saint Lucia House and on the Saint Lucia Truck during the West Indian Day Parade on Monday September 2, 2013.

Ricky T would return to Saint Lucia to work on the music video for his title winning songs “40 Days 40 Nights” and “Mass Attack”. In October, he headlined the annual Oktoberfest concert produced by the Windward and Leeward Brewery.

Months later, in December, he released “Christmas Day” on the Dutch Productions/Stratosphere Muzic Christmas Cock Riddim. Ricky T would also headline the Youthfest 2013 concert held in Vieux-Fort in December.

He would begin 2014 with the release of “Jiggle It” featuring Marie-Anne, a song that is featured on the SocaSunshine Riddim produced by French based DJ Fly. Months later, in March 2014, Ricky T would also release “What is Going on?” on the Dutch Productions/Stratosphere Muzic Friendship Riddim, a video medley for which he was also featured.

In April 2014 Ricky T would be featured on the Dutch Productions/Stratosphere Muzic Truck Horn Riddim with his “More Rum”. He also closed the soca segment of the Opening of the 2014 Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, performing after Saint Vincent Soca King Skinny Fabulous, Trinidad Groovy King Kerwin DuBois and Grenadian Soca Artiste Mr Killa.

In May, Ricky T would continue his work in the studio, getting ready to defend his triple crowns releasing “Rahhhh” off the Dutch Productions/Stratosphere Muzic Mad People Riddim and “Nasty Pressure” on the Dutch Productions/Stratosphere Muzic Pretty Bounce Riddim as well as being featured on “In Di Middle Of Di Road” with Nicole David.

Ricky would continue releasing music for Saint Lucia Carnival 2014 including “De Pavement” off the Dutch Productions/Stratosphere Muzic Bacchanal Overdrive Riddim in early June 2014.

Ricky released three songs in the latter part of June 2014. First, “De Truth” off the Dutch Productions/Stratosphere Muzic Black Assassin Riddim followed by “Bad Company” for which a music video was also produced. The song was a collaborative effort with Trinidad Soca Monarch Shurwayne Winchester.

His third release was the groovy number “Don’t Let Go (I Am Soca)”.

A son, father and brother, Ricky T is one of the most toured artistes to emerge out of Saint Lucia whose success in competition – 15 titles to date – remains unmatched. He is also a member of the Take Over Tent.

Senator Terrence “Positive” Nelson

Interview

Tune in to Movements iRadio to listen to the ISLAND CULTURE BROADCAST with VIRGIN ISLANDS SENATOR TERRENCE”POSITIVE” NELSON on Saturday, May 27th at 11 AM CST, 12 PM EST.

 

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Happy Birthday, Bob Marley!

Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley, was a Jamaican singer-songwriter, musician, and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim, blending mostly reggae, ska and rocksteady in his compositions. Starting out in 1963 with the group the Wailers, he forged a distinctive songwriting and vocal style that would later resonate with audiences worldwide. The Wailers would go on to release some of the earliest reggae records with producer Lee “Scratch” Perry.

Today, fans around the world are celebrating his legacy as an activist and as an artist. From his early days with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in the original Wailers, to his iconic days as a solo superstar, Bob Marley’s music and message have lived on despite his tragic death in 1981 of cancer.

It was reported that a collection of Marley’s lost masters were found and mostly restored after nearly being ruined by water damage in the basement of the Kensai Rise hotel in North London, where Marley and the Wailers had stayed while touring Europe in the 1970s. The Guardian reports that the tapes have the original live recordings from Marley’s concerts in London and Paris between 1974 and 1978, including live performances of songs like “No Woman No Cry,” “Jammin,’” “Exodus” and “I Shot The Sheriff.”

So in celebration of the Tuff Gong’s birthday, here are some beloved Bob Marley performances and songs.

CHECK OUT THESE BOB MARLEY CLASSICS:

 

Banana The World’s Agricultural Bliss

16387089_1821237564805298_7969079862438391208_nThe banana defined as the perennial herb is one of the world’s healthiest foods.  A banana’s trunk has many leaves tightly wrapped around a single stem. The flower emerges at the top as the stalk and eventually bears the fruit we love. There are many types of bananas including plantains.

They vary in size, color, and firmness, are usually elongated and curved with a creamy starch flesh covered with a skin that may be yellow, purple or red when fully ripe. Worldwide, there is no sharp distinction between bananas and plantains. Especially in America and Europe, banana usually refers to soft, sweet, dessert bananas. Bananas are the Cavendish group; Gros Michel, Lacatan, Sucrier, and silk, which are the main exports from banana-growing countries. By contrast, plantains are firmer, less sweet with more starch.

Bananas grow the tallest of any flower on earth, some varieties to 40 feet, without a woody stem. There are approximately 500 species of bananas. Researchers believe bananas originated in Malaysia. India has cultivated the banana for at least 4,000 years. The earliest written reference is a Sanskrit text from around 600 BC. Alexander the Great discovered bananas in his conquest of India in 327 BC. Nomadic Arabs brought bananas to Palestine, Egypt, and Africa. The word ‘banana’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘banan’ meaning ‘finger’. The finger reference may be where the term ‘fig’ meaning banana is derived.

Alexander the Great’s army carried plantains to southern Europe during his world conquest. The history of banana and plantain in the Caribbean has been traced to a Portuguese Franciscan monk who brought them to Hispaniola from the Canary Islands in 1516.

Bananas have become expensive. They are easy to grow and look good in any backyard if properly landscaped. The problem with bananas is you must control their growth. A banana is grown from a shoot/eye that comes from the base of a mature tree. A healthy tree getting enough water may have eight to ten feet. Those shoots mature each having more feet, and then you have what is known as a stool. With the banana tree reproducing so fast it would be easy for the Caribbean to become self-sufficient within a short while and our farmers would be getting the money instead of outsiders. Bananas are a good crop to farm because they are not seasonal, which means a payday almost every week.

Only half of a large plantain provides little sodium, is high in potassium and vitamin A, and a good source of fiber. Plantains may be consumed at all stages of ripeness. Green-skinned plantains are more like an Irish potato with a starchy texture. The fruit is cream colored and firm, used more for side dishes. Yellow-skinned plantains with some black spots are the middle stage of ripeness and can be eaten as both vegetable and fruit. The yellow plantain has a firm, but sweet taste. Black-skinned plantains are fully ripened and are used typically in sweeter recipes. These plantains are all black or spotty black and are soft. Black plantains can be eaten out of hand.

Bananas have been cultivated for thousands of years. Ancient Hindu, Chinese, Greek and Roman literature mention the banana. The region of Southern Asia including the islands of the Philippines, Sumatra, Java and Borneo may be the ancestral home of the banana, which was later introduced to Africa. The man who discovered the Galapagos Islands, Friar Tomas Berlanga, introduced bananas from the Canary Islands to Hispaniola in 1516. From there the banana spread to other Spanish settlements in the western hemisphere. Some botanists argue Columbus found bananas growing wild when he first landed in the Americas.

Bananas only grow between thirty degrees of the equator north and south and must have a temperature between 10 and 40 degrees Celsius. They basically used the same tools in practice today minus the spray can. Their digging tool is called a luchette and of course the cutlass. As time evolved so did the species. The Cavendish line including Gro Michael was brought to Jamaica from Martinique in 1820 yet the Jamaicans take credit for developing this creamy wonder. More than a century later diseases would develop as Sigatoka and Panama disease to which the Gros Michel and most other banana types were not resistant. Presently various viruses are a huge threat to worldwide banana production.

Although several thousand types of banana are grown around the world, The Cavendish, which was first grown in the Chatsworth greenhouse of the William Cavendish, sixth Duke of Devonshire consumed the British market. Today Cavendish accounts for 99 per cent of international consumption. The UK is the largest consumer of this banana. Unfortunately, the Cavendish in danger from a fungus termed Tropical Race 4. It has already destroyed acres of crops across Taiwan, Indonesia, and Malaysia is threatening the plantations of South and Central America. This fungus will stay in the soil for decades, with the possibility a catastrophic outbreak! The Caribbean must have agents watching all imported bananas or cease importation and create our own state-of-the-art plantations.

After the initial work banana farming becomes easier. Plantains and bananas need sunshine and rain, good soil with adequate drainage. The Caribbean, especially the north coast, is perfect for this crop. The biggest enemies of growing bananas are the viruses, worms or nematodes, ants, fires, and thieves. As we import more bananas we also import more diseases and pests from other countries. To plant bananas you need to have a luchette, which is a single wide almost square-shaped blade with a stout pole handle. This tool acts like a wedge to cut the shoots from the mature tree and also used to plant.

After the shoot is about a foot high use phosphorus fertilizer mix to increase the roots. More roots make the tree stable and easier to obtain water and nutrients. Every 3 months it is wise to spray the base of the tree with an insecticide mixed with a soluble fertilizer. This sounds like work, yet once everything is clear walking among the trees of your banana or plantain garden takes a little time and gives much satisfaction.

It takes at least eight months for the first bunch. Watching the banana or plantain grow is a wonder because it is the only fruit that starts pointing downward and then curls upward.  More water and fertilizer will increase the weight of the bunch. Almost all plantains are artificially ripened with a chemical ripening agent that is poured over the green bunches and then covered with a cloth or dried banana leaves termed trash. To be successful carefully cover the bunch with a light translucent plastic bag. The old banana leaves are used to cushion the banana when hauling to market. Every bruise becomes an unattractive black spot on the skin and will rot quicker.

Bananas should be yellow when ripe except the variety green cooking fig used boiled or in soups and the red matta borro that get purple and then brilliant red. Plantains sweeten as they become ripe and can be used in every shade green, yellow and brown (overripe). Green can be shredded and fried in oil like a hash brown potato cake. They can also be sliced, fried, pressed flat with a spoon and re-fried. This is an excellent appetizer/cutter named tostones. Yellow plantain can be boiled, fried or baked with spices. Over ripe brown plantains are very sweet and can be fired with cloves and cinnamon then sprinkled with brown sugar as an excellent dessert.

Health Note:

The plantain averages about 65 percent moisture content and the banana averages about 83 percent. Compared to the banana, plantains have twenty times the vitamin A, about three times the vitamin C, double the magnesium, and almost twice the potassium. Compared to apples, bananas have less water, fifty percent more food energy, four times the protein, half the fat, twice the carbohydrate, almost three times the phosphorus, nearly five times the vitamin A and iron.

"The New Faces of The Caribbean"

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