My wife went to Nashville for her Bachelorette party. She went back 7 months later for her friends bachelorette party. I was just invited to a 32nd birthday party/bachelor party in Nashville. I started thinking, what the heck is going on? What’s the hype all about? Nashville can’t be that much fun.

Here was my experience. I went to nashville and was expecting to see a couple good rock bands and some overpriced cowboy boots along with drunk girls. Guess who arrived and got proven to be a genius, THIS GUY!

We went downtown to listen to some of the bands play. The street was completely littered with bars and drunk girls. It sounded like a calamity outside because all of the music from every bar reigns out onto the street. We ended up venturing into Kid Rocks honky tonk. I’ll tell you what, it was cool. There was so many spilled drinks on the floor, I had to find out who was responsible for it all. It turns out an epoxy floor coating company in nashville does all of the restaurants in the area so they are slip resistent to drunk girls at bachelorette parties.

Next I went into a cowboy boot store and got to gaze upon $2,500 cowboy boots. Woowwiiie. They weren’t anything special.

End of story. Nashville was cool and definitely has some good rock. It was a little bit too much for me and I don’t think I’ll be going back anytime soon. Although, I do see why it’s a good destination for a weekend Hurah.

Balcombe Drive

Balcombe Drive

Balcombe Drive is located in the community of Waterhouse, Western St. Andrew, Kingston 11, Jamaica. Historically, this section of urban Kingston has been a mecca for reggae music and a strong cultural base for the Rastafarian movement. See (Who’s who)). However, in recent times, increased gun violence has affected all aspects of life in this once striving community. The situation facing residents is further compounded by changes in the Jamaican economy, growth in inequality etc. which has imposed additional difficulties, eroding person-hood and social infrastructure. As a result, between 1990 and 1998, the homicide rate in Waterhouse (estimated population 50,000 ) averaged 5 per year. For a good discussion of poverty and violence in urban Jamaica, see World Bank report,1996, of the same name. 

Our goal is to establish a fully equipped state-of-the-art community-based computer lab. By so doing, we aim to train residents, 15 to 29 years, in IT skills, network administrator, data entry, and repairs for free or at a low cost. Graduates will be bonded for a period of service of no more than three years. A fulltime staff of 3 individuals will administer and operate this facility, under the guidance of a community-based Board of Directors. The Tech Center will be accessible to other residents, teachers, students, and social services organizations within the targetted area:

  • Balcombe Drive Primary and Junior High School,
  • Dewsland Primary
  • Balmagie Primary
  • St. Patrick’s Primary

We long your support. Already, long term partnerships have been established with the South End Technology Center @ Tent City in Boston, Massachusetts. This Tech Center is run by Mr. Mel King, a long time community activist and former head of the Community Fellows Program at MIT. The Technology Center @ Tent City will be the consultant to this project, providing technical support, training for our staff and working with us to solicit overseas support, funding and donations. Another partner is the Undergrad School in Kingston. It will train those who are recruited. 

We hope to improve the socio-economic conditions of families within the Waterhouse community by increasing income and employment/self employment through backward and forward linkages within the local computer industry. Thus, we aim to improve the level of education and skill base of the community, increasing social capital, and the capacity of residents. 

A (site) has been chosen at Militant Boulevard/Balcombe Drive, Kingston 11. In the 1970s this site was stated to be a community center, as part of a World Bank funded Squatters Upgrading Program in DewsLand, Balcombe Drive. Subsequent changes, in the Jamaican government and public policy, has caused the targeted building to fall in disrepair. Donation of cash, computers, software, and technical support are welcome. Please contact us for additional information.

Garth Dennis

Garth Dennis

Garth Dennis is an original member of the Trenchtown musical fraternity, the birthplace of reggae. He has work in the entertainment industry for some 30 years now. He is brother to Joan Dennis, a/k/a, “Joey” of the famed Ska duo “Andy & Joey” which was responsible for the 1960s monster hit ” You are Wondering Now.” Another of her many hits ” Dont Cry Over Me” is also featured on the CD, Wailers & Friends, (Heartbeat# 11661-7701-2). Garth is also related to Joe Higgs, and is father to the California-based band “Reggae Rock.”Garth Dennis, “Fowla,” as he is affectionately called by residents of Waterhouse, is an accomplished singer, song-writer, arranger and producer who has performed extensively in North America, Canada, South America, Brazil, Agentina, and across Europe, including France, Spain, Italy, Holland, Germany, Austria, Finland and England. He also performed at the 1996 Olympic Village in Atlanta, U.S.A.Garth Dennis has received numerous awards and recognition from the entertainment industry. Such as “The Diamond Award of Excellence” from the International Association of African-American Music; Four ( 4) Grammy nominations in the Reggae Music Category ( 1990,1991, 1993 and 1994) from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, NARAS; Keys to the City of Boston;and, a Certificate of Merit from Washington, D.C. His proudest moment came when children from the Hopi Nation, Native Americans, in Arizona, presented him with poetry and pictures, in celebration of his music. His video ” Tip of the Iceberg” which dealth with the 1992 Los Angeles Riot and featured international Rapper Ice T, also won numerous awards from the industry. Today, he continues his mission to unite all cultures, especially the African race, through music. His favorite artists include the Wailers, Impressions, Beatles, and Joe Higgs. One Love! 

Endorsements

Endorsements

Michael and John    My congratulations to you and my commendations for your persistent loyalty to the upliftment and development of your community. I admire you for your efforts and want to say that I fully support your drive to set up a computer lab. I am glad that you single this area out for development because I don’t see any area with a greater developmental potential than IT. Not only that, the computer is fast becoming what reading and writing was to our people a hundred and fifty years ago. The aim of the lab, therefore, ought to be to enable those who use it, especially our males, to become computer literate and proficient in the technology. Good luck in this your endeavour. Prof. Barry ChevannesDean, Dept of Sociology, U.W.I., Jamaica.A beautiful website and glorious mission… Mneita, I could not help check your site. Uplifting. I am very impressed with your concern about bringing more resources to the people of your community. I only pray that one day, I can be of some benefit to you. May the wisdom and guidance of the Most High abide with you every day. Trod gently in Jah’s Light. Rastafari love.Sista Irie, Austin, Texas

Reggae Routes

Reggae Routes

In the modern musical world, Kingston, Jamaica, is best know as the birth place of reggae music. This genre emerged from within the recording studios, dancehall, sound system dances and Rasta camps in the late 1960s and early 1970s, almost a decade after the local popular recording industry had begun, and ever since has been ubiquitious presence in the soundcape of the island, Jamaica.A dancehall/sound system dance is a social occasion characterized by the presence of pre-recorded music as opposed to a live band. The venue possibilities are fexible:characterically, however, it is an outdoor event, occurring in neighborhoods yards or other outdoor compounds. Sound system dances may occur any night of the week, though most of the activity occurs on the weekend,particularly, Saturdays. In lower class communities, a sound system dance can be initiated by the informal gathering of friends.” Jamaica JournalKingston and St. Andrew is a living cultural museum. Indeed, in various parts of this city, interested individuals, ethnomusicologist, students of popular culture etc. can easily locate historical relics and modern instituions which contributed to the development of reggae.For example, in the East, there is Wareika Hill from whence came Count Ossie, “Dizzy Johnny” and the Skatalites, ushering in a new sound in Jamaica. Located at South Camp Road is Alpha Boy’s Home, the nursery for brass band music. The Ward Theatre, once the primary entertainment spot in the 1930s, is located at downtown Kingston, not far from where Marcus Garvey was once based, Liberty Hall on King Street. A few streets up is the famous Orange Street, Beeston Street, and “Big Yard,” which was once Dennis Brown’s base. Over in the West, is Trenchtown, Jamaica’s Harlem and home to Bob Marley, the Wailers, Joe Higgs, Heptones, Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson and many more artists. Further West is Waterhouse, a cultural mecca from whence came Rub a Dub and the Sleng Teng rhythm. The internationally reknown King Tubby’s recording studio is here also, as well as King Jammy’s. This community is also resident to over thirty (30) internationally acclaimed personalities in reggae. See (Who’s who).Our service is geared toward education, facilitating those individuals interested in learning about the socio-cultural environment which gave birth to reggae music,this hypnotic music and lyrics which are so poetic in describing the realities of life for the oppressed of this world. Naturally, we charge a fee for this service and ask that you tell us about desires, objectives,etc.

Roots Rock Waterhouse

Roots Rock Waterhouse

Reggae gives meaning and pleasure to life. It encourages us to understand our own place in this ‘story’ and helps us to challenge established social and political conventions. We believe strongly that this genre is not just about entertainment; reggae should also be used for the mobilization of communities around social problems. In this regard, we salute the ‘singers and players of instruments’…the people of Waterhouse for their contribution to the development of Jamaica’s popular culture. 

We are an ‘edutainment’ services corporation that license, market and promotes reggae. We also cater to individuals seeking to investigate the socio-cultural environment which influences the production and performance of reggae. We also book a Kingston-based sound system for dancehall events and facilitate vacationers interested in experiencing Rasta hospitality & tourism. 

Friends of Jamaica, we welcome your support: promoting your music; planning your vacation, and/or study in the land of roots, rock, reggae. 

A percentage from our service fee and your purchase at our online music store will be used to support construction of the Technology Center @ Balcombe Drive, Kingston 11. Donations of up to date hardware/software and technical support are also accepted. 

We use reggae ‘musiking’ to liberate subordinated communities and encourgae the unification of all cultures. Out of Many, We a One!