Kingston, November 12, 2018 (JIS) - Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has applauded the late comedienne, Elva Ruddock, for her sterling contribution to the development of Jamaica’s entertainment industry.
At the celebration for the life of Ms. Ruddock, which was held at the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium, Jamaica College in St. Andrew on Saturday (November 10), Minister Grange said she helped to share our “one of a kind, Jamaican kind of vibe” with other Caribbean nationals and foreigners across the globe.
“We’re here to celebrate Elva…. One of the final posts that Elva made on social media simply read, ‘If it’s not uplifting, inspiring and resonating with my entire being, it’s a no’, and I think those words simply, succinctly, but adequately, sum up our dear friend, Elva,” Ms Grange said.
“She was such a positive person, so full of life, vibrant, joyful, hilarious; someone who could bring sunshine on a rainy day,” she added.
The Minister said she was Jamaica’s very own ‘Hero Duck’, which was an alias Ms Ruddock embraced since 2014, after a cashier she purchased a smartphone battery from mistakenly wrote her name as “Hero Duck”, instead of E. Ruddock.
“Elva believed that life will not be perfect, but we have to make it work by doing what is uplifting, inspiring and resonating with the entire being. With that mindset, Elva left the corporate world for the stage. When she left the corporate world, she needed to be free to pursue what she loved best – that was to bring joy and laughter to the lives of others through her comedy,” she said.
Ms Ruddock’s co-presenter for Bashco Infomercial, Omar Azan, said she was a hard-working woman.
“If you knew Elva, you know that the work comes first…. Some of you may have heard, how when we were filming the last infomercials, she really should not have been able to make it, but she took up herself… and [when] we said, ‘Are you sure you can make it?’ she said, ‘Make it?… Mi outside!’ Elva checked herself out of the hospital and came down to Bashco. She did the whole infomercial and checked herself right back in,” Mr Azan said.
“I truly enjoyed and loved every bit of my time knowing and working with Elva. Our bond on the programme and at the events became something I never expected or envisioned. We became amazing friends,” he added.
Mr Azan was supported on the stage by the entire production team of the infomercial when offering his tribute.
The celebration for the life of Ms Ruddock was conducted in the form of a comedy show, as she would have wanted it, with hosts Comedian, Chris “Johnny’ Daley and Dahlia Harris. Many of the island’s leading comedians brought laughter to the mourners.
In addition to serving as a host for the Bashco Infomercial, Ms Ruddock was also a comedienne on FAME FM’s comedy-driven programme, ‘Full House Friday’ and hosted numerous private shows and events for corporate companies.
She died on October 7 after a battle for years with the chronic illness, lupus.
Kingston, September 25 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has extended condolences to the family and close friends of iconic record producer of Channel One fame – Joseph “Joe Joe” Hoo Kim.
“He was one of a kind,” said Grange.
Hoo Kim died peacefully in the arms of his wife Joyce at his Long Island New York home last week Thursday, September 20, 2018, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Grange said the loss of Hoo Kim signals the departure of another of our pioneers in the creation of this great art form we gave to the world called Reggae Music.
Born on Maxfield Avenue to parents of Chinese and Chinese-Jewish descent, Joe Joe went into the music business in the early 70s. He founded the Channel One Sound System before building a studio with the same name in 1972, along with younger brothers Paul, Kenneth and Ernest.
The studio worked closely with the legendary Sly Dunbar, a collaboration which was responsible for the creation of the rhythm for the Mighty Diamonds mega hit “when the right time come”. It was unique in many ways, including the introduction of a new drumming style with emphasis on the rim shots. Robbie Shakespeare later teamed up with Sly, to signal the start of perhaps Reggae’s best known and celebrated rhythm duo.
The studio band at Channel One in the 1970s was The Revolutionaries, one of the most sought-after backing bands of the time.
The label was to achieve more success with many other well-known artistes including Leroy Smart, Freddy McKay, Wailing Souls, Black Uhuru, Horace Andy, and Delroy Wilson.
Joe Joe produced the first Jamaican 12-inch single which was a mix that combined versions of “Truly” by The Jays and Ranking Trevor, sung or deejayed by a slew of recording artistes. This is a clear prototype for the modern dancehall song as it evolved over time.
Joe Joe's footprints extended to New York where he, along with wife Joyce, operated HIT BOUND, a pressing plant for vinyl records and later CDs.
Minister Grange said, “Joe Joe Hoo Kim was without question one of Jamaica’s greats of the music business. He has left behind a lasting legacy, particularly the rich Channel One catalogue, for which generations of musicians will be eternally grateful. Walk good my friend”.
Kingston, 30 August 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says her Ministry will organise a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the late Jamaican music pioneer Count Prince Miller.
Minister Grange said this was one of the commitments she gave to Count Prince Miller when she visited him in hospital in London shortly before his passing.
“The Thanksgiving Service will be held at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre at a date to be announced, and will be open to members of the public who wish to pay their last respects to this patriot who has played such an important role in bringing our music and culture to the world,” said Minister Grange.
The Culture Minister said the Government was giving official support to the family of Count Prince Miller in the arrangements for the singer and actor’s final farewell both in Jamaica and the United Kingdom.
The Thanksgiving Service in Jamaica will follow cremation and a service of celebration in the UK on Tuesday, 4 September 2018 at the Holy Trinity Church, Prince Consort Road. The Jamaica High Commission in London will host a repast.
Clarence Linberg ‘Count Prince’ Miller passed away on August 16. He had been ill for a while. Minister Grange has described him as the quintessential showman. He was a recording artiste and an actor of note with the James Bond film ‘Dr No’ and the iconic record ‘Mule Train’ among his work.
Kingston, 16 August 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has given the following statement at the death of Jamaican singer and actor Count Prince Miller.
Minister’s Statement follows:
“I received the sad news today of the passing of Count Prince Miller. He had been ill for some time and I had the chance to visit him in hospital in London a few weeks ago — a meeting that I will cherish.
He was one of the greats and I thanked him for his role as one of the pioneers who took the music of Jamaica to the world.
Count Prince Miller had a stature, a voice, a humour that made him the quintessential show man. He was a recording artiste and an actor of note with the James Bond film ‘Dr No’ and the iconic record ‘Mule Train’ among his work.
Only recently he was a part of history when he played the role of grandfather in the first nationwide television advertising campaign in the United Kingdom to feature an all-black family.
He was a proud Jamaican and we are very proud of the way he represented our country on the world stage.”
Minister Grange has offered condolences to Count Prince Miller’s son, Jean-Pierre.
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has told finallists in the Miss Universe Jamaica 2018 Pageant that the Ministry is willing to work with them especially since they all have interests and skills related to her portfolio. Minister Grange received the contestants when they paid a Courtesy Call on her at the Ministry on Wednesday during which they were also introduced to the Honourable Alando Terrelonge, Minister of State in the Ministry.
Kingston, August 13, 2018 – Cedella Marley, eldest daughter of Reggae icon the Honourable Robert Nesta Marley, has donated a rare set of Marley albums from her personal collection to the Jamaica50 Time Capsule that will be sealed at the Bank of Jamaica, to be opened in 2062 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Jamaican Independence.
The gift of Marley’s complete Island Recordings in a package design that repeats the famous Zippo lighter cover of the first Marley album, includes nine studio albums as well as two live albums, including the critically acclaimed Catch A fire, Burnin', Rastaman Vibration and Exodus, which was declared the "Best Album of the Twentieth Century" in 2001 by Time magazine.
In a message to the Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport, Ms. Marley said she was happy to donate her copy of Bob Marley & The Wailers complete Island Recordings box set to the Time Capsule of Jamaican artefacts and history.
“This notable body of work represents a significant period of my father's life and musical career and has helped to establish Jamaica and Reggae on the world stage. Through his music, my father fearlessly shone light on the injustices and inequalities of the world even as he implored us to come together in love through an acceptance of all,” she said. “It is my hope that when the capsule is opened in 2062, the melody and message of my father's music will captivate and inspire its audience just as much as it does today.”
Replying to Ms. Marley, Minister Grange said: “Thank you so very much Cedella for recognising the importance of preserving a slice of your father’s legacy in the Time Capsule, so that in the year 2062 our children and grandchildren can hear some of your father’s music that played such a major role in building Jamaica’s outstanding international reputation.”
Among the many items donated to the Time Capsule commemorating the first 50 years of Jamaican Independence are a Maroon abeng, relics unearthed from the Taíno archeological excavation at White Marl, St. Catherine; photos of Jamaican Prime Ministers and Governors General, posters featuring Jamaica’s UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Blue & John Crow Mountains, Jamaican art and craft, as well as items of popular culture such as a poster of Dancehall Queen Carlene.
The process of filling the Jamaica50 Time Capsule is scheduled for completion by the end of August. The Time Capsule will be locked away following an official ceremony hosted by the Governor of the Bank of Jamaica.
Kingston, July 31 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has said “a cloud of sorrow has settled over the music fraternity and those in health care, in particular, with the sudden passing today of Irvin 'Carrot' Jarrett, former member of Third World Band and latterly a Naturopathic Health Practitioner.”
Minister Grange said that shortly after she was informed of Jarrett’s death, she spoke with his wife, Alicia, who said she wanted everyone to know he “was at peace”.
Minister Grange said that Jarett, who was regarded as one of the world’s foremost percussionists and performers, and who had charted courses in Integrative Health Healing and Wellness for the past two decades, would leave a void difficult to fill.
“This is so because wrapped in 'Carrot' was a percussionist, singer, drummer, dancer, performer, concert producer, inventor, songwriter, painter and teacher.
“Carrot was just so talented, knowledgeable and helpful to scores of people. I was a faithful member of his radio audience on a Thursday night and would look forward to the advice that he and his dear Alicia shared with the public."
Minister Grange recalled that he was one of the original members of Third World, assisting the Band to establish itself and staying with it for 16 years until his departure in 1989.
“Carrot’s talent no doubt contributed to Third World becoming what has been described as more than just one of the top Reggae bands of all time but an institution that held firm to the cultural and ancestral roots of its members while pushing forward the cutting edge of music worldwide. An institution whose themes are positive, progressive and internationally relevant.
“Irvin 'Carrot' once said ‘I would like to be known as a positive potent power to those whose lives I’ve touched, while leaving a worthwhile legacy that will triumph over the rigours of space and time.’”
“I express my deepest sympathy to Carrot’s family, his relatives, his friends, his associates, the music fraternity and the health care fraternity. May his soul find rest Eternally.
London, 20 July 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has paid a visit to Jamaican singer and actor Count Prince Miller at hospital in the United Kingdom.
Count Prince Miller, who is based in the United Kingdom, is “regarded as one of the pioneers who took Jamaica’s music to the world,” said Minister Grange.
The Minister expressed best wishes and appreciation to Miller for his role as a cultural ambassador.
Minister Grange learnt that Miller was critically ill and was hospitalised when she arrived in London, en route to Windhoek where the Government of Namibia will bestow a special honour on National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has expressed sorrow at the passing of Suzanne Couch, well-known Jamaican singer, pianist, composer and producer, who was equally famous as a speciality caterer.
Minister Grange recalled that Mrs Couch joined the band ‘Native’ as a keyboard player with her husband Peter and lyricist Brian Jobson in 1980 and began writing songs together including ‘Fortunes of Love,’ which appeared on the soundtrack of Stephanie Black's famous documentary on Jamaica’s economic problems ‘Life and Debt’.
Suzanne became a featured singer on several Jamaican record releases, including Steely & Clevie's version of the Carly Simon song ‘Why’, Monty Alexander's album ‘Many Rivers to Cross’ and singles with Maxi Priest, Toots Hibbert, Mutabaruka, among others.
I was happy when Suzanne’s debut album - ‘Lifeline’ - appeared in 2001. Its excellence was praised in Jamaica and across the world, with some reviews recommending it for the Reggae Grammy award. She continued singing, composing and playing the piano, with special solo performances at Red Bones Café and, most recently, at a special benefit concert featuring Joss Stone at Strawberry Hill Hotel just a few weeks before her death.
Suzanne’s generous hospitality at her home studio introduced her friends to her tasty cuisine and they persuaded her to use this second talent profitably, so Suzanne grew into one of the best-known caterers for special events.
Suzanne Couch was more than a great Jamaican musician, songwriter and singer. She was a great Jamaican woman. I shall miss her, but Jamaica will be forever enriched by the music she left for us to enjoy. I send my condolences to Peter and their daughter Sarah. Rest well Suzanne Couch.
Kingston, July 12 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has said that events such as Gosplash“reinforce the contribution of the cultural and creative sectors to the economy.”
According to the Minister several stakeholders, including owners and operators, suppliers of goods and services, hoteliers, taxi operators, the peanut man, jerk chicken man among others derive economic and social benefits from the hosting of events such as Gosplash which will be held on August 1.
Minister Grange was speaking at the launch function on July 11 at the LiguaneaGolf Club in New Kingston.
Citing a report by the Jamaica Constabulary Force the Minister said that “19,158 event permits were granted in 2017, a one percent increase over the 2016 figures. These events provided more than 30,000 temporary jobs.”
Between 2013 and 2017 the value of entertainment to the economy was estimated to be J$107 billion/ [US$836 million].”
The Minister said that such figure was “an undervaluation” since not all the entertainment sub-sectors were accounted for.
She said the staging of the Auto Channel Gosplash in Kingston is a welcome addition to the calendar of events for the UNESCO designated Creative City of Music.
Gosplash, now in its sixth year, has changed venue location from Portmore in St. Catherine to the Liguanea Golf Club in New Kingston.
Minister Grange commended the organisers of Gosplash and praised the sponsors for seeing the value in it.
“It is resilience and creativity that have brought the event this far and so we are resolved that my Ministry will continue to work towards the creation of a facilitating and supportive environment where everyone has a place and an opportunity to be a part of the solution. All genres of Jamaican music will thrive,” Minister Grange said.
The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport through its agency the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission has signed a multi-million dollar deal with fast food chain Tastee Limited in support of the 2018 Festival Song Competition.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says creative practitioners such as: musicians, dancers, visual artists, film makers, among others, must prepare themselves for retirement and death.
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, recipient of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association Lifetime Achievement Award for contribution to the Music Industry, in conversation with fellow awardees Rodney ‘Bounty Killer’ Price; Manley ‘Big Youth’ Buchanan and Rondell Positive (left to right). The awards ceremony was held on Sunday at the Courtleigh Auditorium in Kingston.
KINGSTON, Feb. 21 (JIS):
The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is working on building a framework for Kingston to fully operate as a musical economic zone.
This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, during a reggae month reception on the lawns of Jamaica House on February 20.
“Having received the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) designation, we must now translate that into greater tangibles for our people,” she said.
Kingston was one of 47 new locales added to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in December 2015.
Ms. Grange argued that reggae is the strongest component of brand Jamaica. “Reggae is hot commodity and the world has embraced it, but we are proud to declare that we still own it... (and) the celebration of Reggae Month is a symbolic mark of respect for the eight genres we have given to the world,” she noted.
Ms. Grange said that the importance of reggae music to Jamaica should never be undervalued, adding that “it is the lifeblood”.
“When we look at the role that reggae music has played… the anthropological role in the development of Jamaica as a nation, its role in the transformation of the lives of many young people, its role in the struggle for human rights and freedoms in places like Zimbabwe and South Africa, we must hail and respect our music and the sounds of Jamaica,” she said.
In the meantime, she informed that plans are under way to build a world-class concert hall in Kingston.
“We want to see more global superstars coming back to Jamaica to perform. We want to see a thriving entertainment industry where all the stakeholders can have a livelihood and the production line can continue well beyond our time,” she said.
The reception, which was hosted by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is expected to become a yearly event on the calendar of activities for Reggae Month in February.
The function, which featured musical tributes and dance performances, was attended by members of the musical fraternity, including artistes, producers and promoters, members of the Government and the wider society.
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has identified Reggae music as Jamaica’s most valuable yet undervalued export.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced Recording Artiste Etana as the first female recipient of financial support from the Ministry’s Artiste Ambassador and Tour Support Programme.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has congratulated Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley on winning the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport, has congratulated Damian Marley for winning the Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Award for Best Reggae Act.
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has announced the return of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition which will now offer a record prize purse of $10 million in cash and prizes.
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, says she is “happy the Jamaica Federation of Musicians and Affiliates Union has been resuscitated.”
The Honourable Olivia Grange Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport today announced Fort Rocky in Port Royal as Jamaica’s first Entertainment Zone.
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has said that with the passing of Headley Jones, Jamaica has lost a great son, who was “a wonder man”.
The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is pleased to announce that popular eclectic reggae band No-Maddz will represent Kingston at the World Music Festival in Hamamatsu, Japan, between November 2 and 6.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honourable Olivia Grange has congratulated Freddie McGregor on his nomination for the ‘Guachupé de Oro’ award in Colombia saying, that “he truly embodies what the award is all about.”
The Honourable Olivia Grange has announced that the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport in partnership with the family of the late Prince Buster, will host a special tribute to the legendary Ska icon at the Institute of Jamaica Auditorium on Saturday, September 24, 2015, beginning at 4 pm.
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kevin Downswell Ministries, creating a partnership between the two as Downswell promotes his new album ‘All the Way’ across the island.
Culture and Entertainment Minister, the Honourbale Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, speaking at the thanksgiving service for veteran reggae singer, Jimmy Riley, held at Webster Memorial United Church, pledged her commitment to making Jamaica’s music industry among the best in the world.
Culture and Entertainment Minister, the Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, today, April 2, 2016 paid tribute to Winston ‘Merritone’ Blake and urged family members and friends to preserve his legacy and memory.