Tag Archive: Kingston


My past weekend in Kingston, Jamaica was by far the best or one of the best I have ever had. In part because I was so busy. There is always some activity going on to entertain people here. One of my favourite places to eat out in Kingston is Jamaica Pegasus and they are up to date with Social Media. They tweet a lot and I follow them. Check out their Twitter Page. They had a Jazz Competition where they invited their followers on twitter to take a photo that signified Jazz. Interestingly, I won and instead of the two tickets, we got four. The winning photo is below.

The Winning Photo by Craig Bloomfield

Event: Jazz in the Gardens – Organs and Vocals in Harmony

MC: Michael Cuffe

Featuring: Dean Fraser, Robbie Lyn, Keisha Patterson, Desi Jones (drums), Diana Rutherford, Glen Browne, Dalton Browne, Ronald Buchanan and Lloyd Denton.

Celebrating ten years, the staging of Jazz in the Gardens at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in association with Capital and Credit Financial Group Limited was a huge success. With a cold front and chilly weather patrons were on time to relish and dance to the good music emanating from the stage.

To kick things off Diana Rutherford was amazing in her set, belting songs that Jazz lovers appreciated. She impressed many with her soulful voice and had many eating out of her hands, singing every line. She was charming throughout. After her performance, the emcee Michael Cuffe invited her back onstage for a second applause. She is married to a French national who resides in Jamaica. Of course, she said a few sentences in French which the audience did not understand but it sounded good.

Continuing an evening with lovely music, Dean Fraser, Robbie Lyn and Desi Jones lit up the stage with their set. The night was cold but you ignored you were outside and continued rocking to every beat they played on stage. I listened to jazz music all day Sunday before attending the show. I was surprised that they used an organ in their set. Normally they play the traditional piano, this was different. It worked though, it sounded very clean. Many of the ladies who came inappropriately dressed, based on the unexpected shift to the cold weather did not complain much. I guess the music had their full attention.

After the first half of the show, Jazz in the Gardens had an intermission which allowed the patrons to partake in the hors d’oeuvres which was lovely apart from the extra spicy chicken – it’s still hot :). Surprise guest artiste of the night Taurus Riley who flew in on the night sang to Nancy McLean (employee of Jamaica Pegasus) in honour of her birthday. This was well received and had the audience participating. Even more, a segment was dedicated to patrons who were celebrating/celebrated birthdays and anniversaries. They were feted to cake and drink which I am sure was good.

For the second half of the show Keisha Patterson took the night away. Belting out many songs, she was incredible. She performed Jazz Standard songs which had the audience singing.

I love Jazz music because of its rhythm and how smooth it flows. There was this gentleman sitting in front of me who was having a great night. He would hold his hands to his chest in awe as the music played. He gave a thunderous applause after each performance. Not to be outdone, there was a lady behind me who seemed to have known all the songs, even if they played the instrumental. Overall the night was amazing. I think I would be correct to say everyone got their monies worth – Jazz in the Gardens was ecstatic.

During the show they promoted the next staging of Jazz in the Gardens which will be on April 25, 2010. Even if I am not privileged to have a free ticket I will pay to experience an event like this. It felt like paradise. The event hit the right jazz notes to make you want to be there. From a marketing perspective I think the sponsors could have branded the location better. They must have known the night would have been windy and that should have given them ideas as to where they could have strategically placed their branding materials. They were out of sight; this means they are out of mind too. From a business point of view it would have been good to see them. It was also sad to have not seen more young adults there experiencing the good music. They are being fed mediocre styles of music so much that they have begun to think that popular music in Jamaica is all there is. It would have been heart warming to see more young adults at Jazz in the Gardens. We will get their though.

I do think for the April Staging that there should be a designated area for patrons to dance. On Sunday night, I saw patrons acting ‘wildly’ in their seats, they wanted to dance. I would have loved to see an area where persons could dance and really enjoy themselves.

While I am experiencing all of this, the journalist in me could not be contained and so I got two interviews. One is with Diana Rutherford and a gentleman called Patrick. If there is a patron who totally enjoyed it more than everyone present it would definitely be Patrick. The emotions he showed during the show, that will make me remember him.

Photos & Video

Diana Rutherford on stage

Hors D'oeuvres

My Interview with Diana Rutherford

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Vacation in Jamaica

We will all agree that life’s stresses and issues will cause us to take a well deserved break. People take vacations and a break from their busy schedules to de-stress and recoup from their myriad of problems. Wherever our vacation location might be it is all in aid to help us relax and ease the burden of life a little. Millions of people come to Jamaica every year and enjoy our scenic attractions and resort areas visiting the wonderful locations that make this island unique and beautiful, even if you’re here for business. For the citizens that live here for the most part most have not visited all fourteen parishes to enjoy what many tourists come to get a taste of.

Long Bay Portland

Long Bay Portland

I have lived here for 22 years and now I can proudly say that I have been to all fourteen parishes. The parishes I had not visited were Portland, St. Mary and St. Thomas. To justify why I didn’t visit these areas of the island was that they were out of my reach and I had no real reason to visit or to be there. I took a well deserved trip to these parishes and I must say how beautiful they are. For the first time I was proud of my country. We all know where that statement came from. Many people know Jamaica for the wonderful locations, beaches and the hotels.

After seeing these parishes I have come to the conclusion that if most Jamaicans take the time to appreciate what we own (the entire island) we would feel happier about our country and about ourselves. We were named the third happiest country in the world. I can only think we could be number one if Jamaicans knew their island paradise. We have not seen our island, the culture in its entirety so we cannot appreciate it. We are only concerned about living our own lives. For most people living in Jamaica they have only seen the parish they currently live in and maybe the parishes surrounding it. This is not only unique to Jamaica. Many other places in the world like the USA, most people have not travelled to other states and have the opportunity to embrace what life is like for others.

Not all of us can afford to take a vacation though, and take time off from work to see areas they have not seen. It took me 22 years to experience that. If you are financially stable and can take that trip, I would advise persons to take a trip and get to know something different.

Most visitors to the island would have been to Montego Bay, Ocho Rios or Negril. If you visit Jamaica especially Portland and St. Thomas you would know that they are coastal parishes. The views were breathtaking. I was in awe for the entire time. I couldn’t believe I was in Jamaica because I have not seen these parts before. They were not the places you would typically see on television or even in the media about Jamaica. The rich blue sea, clear white sands, and beautiful shores were captivating.

A vacation is not only used to de-stress and enjoy the views but you are forced to think on life. This is an important aspect I think because we ought to analyze where we are in life and where we want to go. Taking moments to mediate and finding time for you is critical. You may be happy or sad about some aspects of your life; you must however, endeavour to be grateful for the gift of life amid all the happenings of life.

The Trident Castle Portland

The Trident Castle Portland

So as my vacation comes to an end I am indeed happy I took it. Life is not always on that perfect path but moments like these help you to see things in perspective and assist you in making the right directions. The views I had will always be etched in my mind and the future I have will always look bright. This vacation was well deserved. Yeah!

My day in Parliament

Many times we see politicians on the job and wonder what it is like to be there to experience the moments. Recently I was invited to share in the festivities at our parliament in Jamaica. The experience was spectacular.

parliamentAs I entered the doors I was greeted to security systems beeping clearly signalling what kind of possessions I had on me. There was security all around clearly you could tell security is a major issue when so much power comes together. No alarms rang; I walked up to the gallery. In the gallery clearly there were sections outlined. One section had high profile persons; managers, CEOS, investors all ready to hear what the minister had to say. Dr Christopher Tufton would be presenting on recent developments in the Ministry of Agriculture.

All my life the proceedings, all the pictures I have seen of parliament were aerial shots focusing on the speakers on any particular day. Clearly sitting in the gallery I had a bird’s eye view of the proceedings seeing all the politicians who appear to be at the helm of the country.

As I sat I was in awe the entire time, couldn’t believe I was granted this experience to see parliament in action. I looked around seeing the power of the people in the gallery, the media section etc. The media area shocked me. There were not a lot of media personnel covering the event. I found it amazing but daunting. I believe the more journalists covering events like these and even working in the industry the more objectivity and coverage regular citizens will have of what is really happening at the highest level of government.

From watching parliamentary proceedings on television as well, one cannot ignore how noisy the politicians are. Most of them on television would be gyrating and chatting away as the speakers made their points.  Found it embarrassing. Well, the same greeted me. The politicians showed no regard for those who were speaking. Most were reading documents, shouting across the isle, signing documents, sending messages continuously, the constant walking in and out etc. I was amazed but not impressed. I feel that when a presentation is being made your duty is to listen with the intention to make suggestions or ask questions at the end. This was not so in parliament. However, I do not feel that persons must sit throughout presentations for over two hours without even commenting on an issue with the person near you, but the constant chatting and disrupting behaviours must not be condoned.

p3_2 When I entered the gallery and looked down at the seats I noticed that some seats were empty but documents were thrown all over the area in front of the chair signalling that someone was sitting in the seat. Later, former Miss World winner now turned politician Lisa Hanna walked in with another member of the Opposition. I have not fell that feeling in a long time. Her beauty mesmerized me, I was shocked, amazed, even flabbergasted.  Even years after winning the title Lisa Hanna is able to look refreshing, great and constantly keeping up with fashion and style. She truly added to the excitement of the afternoon.

As the speech went on, more members walked in clearly they took breaks, some even conducting business on the floor while the speech went on.

Later the leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller, Phillip Paulwell etc walked in to take their seats. What was interesting was that most members of the governing party were present while most of the Opposition were evidently missing in action.

Joke of the day

roger-clarke-pointingRoger Clarke former Minister of Agriculture when his party ruled was present for the proceedings. There has been characterisation of him in the media as a negative famer who opposes everything the ruling government does. Recently he was portrayed as a fat rice eating famer who eats everything on a farm. In the minister’s speech, he referred to the successful rice testing done by the government and brought into parliament packaged rice products for his demonstration. This was seen as a positive movement for the government because previous governments have not been able to achieve this level of success where they are able to produce value added products for the international and local market.

There was a huge uproar by politicians on the floor who sought to ensure that the minister gave Roger Clarke all the rice he brought to parliament. This was a light moment but everyone had a moment to laugh and take it all in.

The speech was very long but the time was allotted to Dr Christopher Tufton to complete his speech.

peter-bunting-gen-secAfter his speech ended Opposition member Bunting gave a speech on his constituency and even commenting on changes that should be made to Jamaica Constabulary Force. What was amazing the ruling party teased him before he began his speech calling him ‘Facebook’.

Recently, after the Opposition lost two bi-elections Bunting made remarks on his Facebook page about a leader not searching for consensus but a molder of one. This was seen as controversial and was reprimanded by some for his comments. The teasing I found very alarming because I think he was ashamed in the moment.

This teasing was obvious right through the proceedings with members from both sides shouting defaming slangs at each other. I found it disgusting at times but I guess people can have fun.

So my day ended with me experiencing parliament. Not many citizens will ever get to go through the doors at our parliament but this day will always be treasured by me. I enjoyed my day, while some parts were horrible to digest I was able to take it all in and see what parliamentary proceedings were all about.

Corve DaCosta