INFOBUZZ, THEATRE BUZZ, FILM BUZZ

INFOBUZZ JA – A MAJOR STEP ON THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY

Mr. Ray Daley

A tech innovation — sometimes attempted but never yet achieved — was launched Friday, December 16 at the Margaritaville Blue Beat Bar on Montego Bay’s Hip Strip. The cosy bar was an appropriate venue for the hip new concept, and the velvet banquettes inside, as well as the softly-lit outdoor patio were made mellow with the buzz of happy conversations and the clink of wine glasses, as guests mingled before the official start of the function.

Vibrant PR personality Peta-Gaye King then introduced the audience to Mr. Ray Daley, CEO of INFOBUZZ JA.COM an online directory to provide Jamaican businesses with a one-stop website presence where information can be posted, advertised and sourced. Daley, a Remittance agent, Bill Express and FX trader, was inspired to create the service by his wife Oleithea, who was searching unsuccessfully for addresses and phone numbers of suitable schools for her son. The two decided that such an information gap should be filled, and the idea of an online directory was born.

Oleithea and Ray Daley

Offering three levels of online registration, INFOBUZZ-JA lists not only names and phone numbers, but also a clear location map for each listing. A Ship Schedule, regular News updates and an online Blog, as well as a Search option that enables access to information by type and location, are some of the accessible information points.

All schools island-wide receive a free listing on INFOBUZZ-JA and there is also a free access page for communities to post information about community activities, meetings and events. Customers using the services of INFOBUZZ-JA businesses can post their comments online to provide valuable feedback. An additional advantage is that all INFOBUZZ-JA listings can be shared on Facebook and Twitter.

FULFILLED A DREAM

Guest speaker for the INFOBUZZ-JA launch was Makonnen Blake Hanna, who said it fulfilled a dream of his from his days as a tech consultant to the Government of Jamaica, as it was an idea he suggested ten years ago to be implemented by Government as incentive to make small, medium and large-scale businesses more convenient and efficient.

Makonnen Blake Hanna

Describing how useful he found INFOBUZZ-JA to be, he said it was not just another website, but a milestone and step forward for connectivity and accessibility in Jamaica.  “This website provides location-centric information that can be tailored to fit the size and scope of your business,” he said, “all gathered in one location, beautifully laid out and with an easy-to-use interface.”

Predicting that INFOBUZZ-JA could become ‘as big as CraigsList’, he congratulated Mr.& Mrs. Daley for bringing this innovative development to the Jamaican technology landscape and praised the IT specialists who built the website. “I have to commend them on the development of their mobile app” he continued, “which is extremely robust and well thought out and proves Jamaican techies are as good as any in the world.”

Visit http://www. infobuzzja.com and have a look around this interesting new Jamaican web-space that brilliantly offers a new option for marketing our growing local businesses and services.’

‘JAMAICA FAREWELL’ RETURNS

Bizot Bar & Theatre

Jamaican actress Debra Erhardt gave a special presentation of her one-woman play ‘JAMAICA FAREWELL’ at the Golden Eye Hotel, Oracabessa on December 10. Held in a cool performance space upstairs the Bizot Bar, the event elicited the usual bursts of laughter and a thunderous applause at the of this unusual drama that tells an amusing tale of her determined escape from a politically-charged Jamaica of the mid 1970s.

Among the VIP guests at the exclusive resort performance were Maurice Facey, wife Valerie and daughter, acclaimed sculptor Laura, while seated front row were former Prime Minister Hon. Edward Seaga and wife Carla, who confessed they had tried once before to see the play but it was sold out on that occasion.   Mr. Seaga endorsed the play in the Guest Book with a special comment: “Truth is rarely more exciting than fiction. But this time it is. Jamaica Farewell authored and acted by Debra Ehrhardt recalls the never-to-be-forgotten period of the 1970’s in dramatic and traumatic episodes, brilliantly performed by Debra in a magnificent reawakening of the most tragic period in modern Jamaican History.

Hon. Edward Seaga & Debra Erhardt

Saying how glad she was for ‘any excuse to come home to Jamaica’, Debra did a second performance the following day at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Hotel in Ocho Rios,  then returned to continue her series of sold-out performances in the USA, before production starts on the film version of the play being produced by Rita Wilson, wife of actor Tom Hanks.

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Christopher Byfield, a young Jamaican film maker whose entry in the 2011 Reggae Film Festival/RBC Make A Film In 24 Hours competition earned third prize, has completed an interesting new Jamaican short film Red, Amber, Green  he hopes will become a TV series.

Depicting a day in the life of some Kingston youths who hustle a living at the major traffic intersections, young film dynamo Byfield has captured a slice of urban life in this sometimes-amusing, sometimes-sad drama that shows what can be done with a tiny budget and an enormous will to succeed. Have a look at his effort, which deserves huge congratulations and an A+ for effort.

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Wishing all my readers a Peaceful and Holy CHRISTmas, and a special Greeting to those celebrating KWANZAA at this time of year.

THE ANNUNCIATION: Blessed Virgin Mariam, Archangel Gabriel - Ethiopian Orthodox Church icon


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MAKONNEN RETURNS FROM CANADA

MAKONNEN RETURNS FROM CANADA

C0mposer/Producer Makonnen Blake Hanna, returned December 1 from a 3 month stay in Toronto, Canada where he signed with EZ Mak Records, founded by well-known Trini-Canadian artist Kamakaze. Makonnen worked as production manager and in-house producer for artists on the label, including tracks for a new album and mix tape for Canadian rapper QUANCHE, just signed to EZ Mak Records and heralded as ‘the next big thing to Drake” in the North American music market.

The EZ Mak Record label has just negotiated a distribution deal with Universal Records, Canada and plans for the launch of the artist and album in 2012 are being manged by Universal Records Canada which also handles noted rapper Drake. This signing comes in the vein of previous label deals such as Cash Money Records and Rick Ross Mayback Music Group, which were all independent entities before signing with major music companies.

Quanche

THE WEEKEND, WUTANG KLAN & MORE

Makonnen arrived in Toronto for the Red Carpet launch of the studio on September 17, held at the Kelly Rowland After party celebrating the end of her ‘Motivation’ tour. While in Toronto, Makonnen got to work closely with and do a remix for rising Ethiopian-Canadian star The Weekend, recorded with a number of EZ MAK artists including Soca-Dancehall artist Study Rider, Neza The Songbird – an African-Canadian singer, crossover singer SamC and had the privelege of having the rap legend Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan record some tracks on his riddims during an extended visit to the EZ MAK Studio.

Makonnen, US actor Bokeem Woodbine, EZ MAK CEO Kamakaze

The direct links with Universal Records management provides connections for distribution and promotion of the Jamaican artists Makonnen works with and opportunities to cross over to the North American market. EZ MAK Records includes the already-established film division that will see developments including the use of Jamaica as locations for feature films and videos

In January 2012 Makonnen joins the EZ MAK Records booth at MIDEM, the major international music gathering in Cannes, France.

 HITZ & MORE

Since 2001 Makonnen has helped to bring hits to such artists as Capelton (“Pain”), Andrew & Wadda Blood (‘Money Print”), Teflon (“Jailhouse Rock’), Vybz Kartel (“Tenth Stage of Evil’) and more recently Keke-I (“Go Round Dem”, “Tivoli Worries”) . He has also participated in starting the careers of several artists including Aidonia, Turbalance, Droop Lion and Abdel Wright.

Fujy De Konero

Makonnen has recently been producing tracks for Sugashak Records solar-powered studio in Mango Valley, St. Mary, where the singles he produced for artist Keke-I have cemented the artist’s name and further proved him as one to watch in 2012. The roster of MultiCast artists extends to Africa, with the signing of Ghana artist Fujy De Konero, whose first single “Queen of the Night” will be an early 2012 release. Upcoming Jamaican reggaeton artist DonRico, a co-founder of MultiCast Entertainment whose single and video “Dally Mammy” is enjoying some popularity, has welcomed the opportunities generated by the company’s expanded business connections.