Canadian Reggae Music Conference
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Friday, August 18, 2017
The First Annual Canadian Reggae Music Conference takes place on Thursday, August 17, 2017 at the Toronto Plaza Hotel, and Friday August 18, 2017 at York University. The keynote speaker of the conference is entertainment attorney and music business consultant, Lloyd Stanbury, author of the book, Reggae Roadblocks: A Music Business Development Perspective. He will be joined by a host of other speakers who will be sharing their insights on the Reggae music industry. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to learn and network!
Lloyd Stanbury is a Jamaican music industry professional with a wide range of international experience and author of Reggae Roadblocks. His expertise includes the practice of entertainment law, artist management, music production, event promotion, research, creative industries policy development, and lecturing. He started his journey in the business of music in 1983 as a concert promoter in Jamaica, and was instrumental in the establishment of the world’s first all Reggae radio station IRIE FM in 1990. He has organized many events, and was Chairman for 4 years of the Caribbean Music Expo Convention and Trade Fair. As a consultant he has conducted research, been a guest speaker, and rendered music business training services in collaboration with entities, such as the Government of Jamaica, the Secretariat of the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM), UNCTAD, UNESCO, the Organization of American States, and the World Intellectual Property Organization. He has worked closely with departments of culture, artists and music associations in several countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, and has been a regular participant at music business conventions such as MIDEM, WOMEX, A&R Worldwide, the New Music Seminar, and South by Southwest. Between 2011 and 2015 he served as a member of the UNESCO Pool of Experts for Culture.
Despite Bob Marley’s recognition globally as one of the most influential persons in popular music history, many argue that Jamaican reggae music continues to struggle for a commensurate place within the mainstream music business space. Reggae Roadblocks takes a look at some cultural, geopolitical, and business related issues that impact the making, promotion, and presentation of Jamaican music globally. Lloyd Stanbury relies on his own research and studies conducted by experts, as well as his experience as a music industry practitioner, to examine the questions: Who is responsible? Are Reggae Roadblocks imposed by the Babylon system, or are they self-imposed?
Karen Marie Mason
A powerhouse innovator, Karen Marie Mason has successfully mastered and exerted cultural influence in the music, film, television, radio and publishing industries. Her wheelhouse of talents has etched superstars like Michael Jackson, Sade, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes, into world history. This Renaissance woman managed to do it all while being a single mother raising her daughter.
The Brooklyn, New York native of Jamaican heritage graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Communications and immediately realized her dream of working in the music business at Sony Music. Mason contributed to legendary projects from pop icon Michael Jackson, Sade and Alexander O’Neal and oversaw all marketing campaigns for the Ruffhouse label which included the Kriss Kross, Cypress Hill and the Fugees. She also created and directed the marketing campaigns for Jamaican dancehall giant Supercat, Terror Fabulous and Ziggy Marley and Mary J. Blige.
A focused multi tasker Karen also rose to be one of the top location scouts in Atlanta for film, television and commercials working on projects for Usher, Ludacris, Rick Ross, T.I. and also worked as a location manager for Tyler Perry Studios with credits including “Why Did I Get Married,” “The Family That Preys,” “Madea Goes to Jail,” among others. Her clients have included everyone from Sony Pictures, MTV to BET and TV One. In addition to film locations manager, Mason produced the independent film Switching Lanes, starring Terri J. Vaughn (“The Steve Harvey Show”) and directed by Thomas Mikal Ford (“Martin”). She also joined the production team of , Ir/Reconcilable, starring Jasmine Guy (“A Different World”) and Dick Gregory, which aired on the HBO networks. Karen is also host of WRFG’s “Sunday Night Fiyah.”
Currently Karen is a music supervisor and consultant completing project on a feature film for TV One, in pre-production for a new webseries and conducts weekly webinars for artists through her brand “Artist Launch,” which teaches artists how to launch their music in the new music environment. Karen is the manager of visual artist, Fahamu Pecou has exhibited nationally and has had his work featured in “Empire” and “Blackish.”
Karen has lectured, presented and conducted workshops at International Music Conference, the Soul Music Conference, New Music Seminar, CMJ Music Marathon, Jamaica Music Conference, Caribbean Music Conference, CD Baby DIY Conference, NABFEME, Impact, Wonderoot Arts Organization, City Of Atlanta and many more.
Marvin is known for his unique sound rooted in an intricate fusion of reggae & HipHop. He has proven successes as a Producer, Songwriter & Turntabilist with a keen ear & passion for finding new talent. He has been instrumental in the discovery and development of unsigned artists, taking them to international status.
At just 17 years old, Marvin discovered and was instrumental in the development of the Canadian recording artist “Snow”. As a result, “Snow” was signed to a major label East/West Records U.S.A. and in 1993 the debut album “12 inches of “Snow” was released. Marvin was a key contributor on the album, co-producing and writing 5 songs including the chart topping, record breaking single – Informer. “12 Inches of Snow” sold over 8 million copies worldwide, while “Informer” remained #1 on the American Billboard chart for 7 consecutive weeks. “Informer” has been recorded twice in the Guinness Book of World Records, as the biggest selling reggae single in U.S. history and the highest charting reggae single in ever.
Marvin went on to manage, write, produce and shop for artist such as “Whitey Don” and Hip Hop ensemble “Crooked aka G-lock”. Under his management, both artists were signed to Jive Records U.S.A. and debuted on the “Booty Call” movie soundtrack with songs produced by him. The soundtrack sold 1,000,000 copies in the U.S.A. achieving certified Platinum record status.
Marvin has been recognized worldwide for music he has produced through various artists. He has been the recipient of prestigious awards such as certified multi-platinum plaques from the U. S. A., Germany, Japan, Australia & Austria. Japan has awarded Marvin with the equivalent of their Grammy award and he has won a Juno award in his native Canada.
More recently, Marvin Prince produced the radio hit song “Found the One” by Belinda Brady feat. Chip fu.
Marvin Prince & Chip fu (former member of the 90’s platinum rap group fuschnikens) designed a workshop called M.A.A.T.H (Music Appreciation Arts Time Healing) which is currently running in 7 schools in New York City. M.A.A.T.H. has now been introduced into a college in Baltimore. Since M.A.A.T.H. has been extremely successful in the United States, we are working with a group of prominent people to implement it in the Canadian school system and the Toronto Community Housing Cooperation.
Beverly ‘Sista Irie’ Shaw
Sista Irie is an internationally known reggae radio producer and photojournalist. She has covered the reggae scene since the mid-eighties, and launched her Austin based radio program “The Conscious Party” on KAZI FM in 1988. The Conscious Party offers an inside view of Jamaican music and culture from ground level. Her visits to Jamaica began in the mid 1970’s inspiring her to photograph and observe major stage shows such as Reggae Sunsplash, Western Consciousness and Rebel Salute. From her home in Negril she gained exposure to the legendary DeBuss, Roots Bamboo and other landmark venues where Culture, Burning Spear, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown and many early foundation artists were regular performers. Her knowledge of reggae music and Rastafari culture grew from that point.
Her activities at KAZI FM include participation as Producer and Host, Board of Directors member, and Programming Representative. She has been on the air for the past 28 years, and became known as more than a radio show host. She was acclaimed by many Jamaicans as a critical information source about Jamaican culture and music education. She has met and interviewed many top personalities in reggae including Lucky Dube, Chronixx, Protoje, Jah9, Kabaka Pyramid, Steve Newland, Pentateuch Movement, Inner Circle, Raging Fyah, Damian Marley, author Dutty Bookman, Dejazmatch Kwasi, and Lloyd Stanbury, to name a few.
Sista Irie’s photography has been published in Island Stage Magazine (USA), Reggaeville (Germany), United Reggae (France), the Reggae Festival Guide (USA) and Reggae Vibes (Netherlands). Her photographs are featured in Lloyd Stanbury’s book “Reggae Roadblocks, A Music Business Development Perspective”. She has participated in music business workshops and panels in the Seychelle Islands and at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, and was guest radio DJ on Rototom Sunsplash Radio in Spain. Her accomplished work takes her to the best reggae festivals in the world including Summerjam (Germany), Rototom Sunsplash (Spain), Rebel Salute (Jamaica), SXSW (Austin), Austin City Limits Festival, Austin Reggae Festival, Montreal Reggae Fest (Canada), Sierra Nevada World Music Festival (California), as well as providing publicity support for the launch of the documentary film “Songs of Redemption” in Kingston, Jamaica and London, England.
She is a partner with Lloyd Stanbury in the arts and culture publicity agency Majesty Media. As Executive Director of KOOP 91.7 radio, Sista Irie manages the daily operations of the station while being exposed to ‘in-depth’ musical history of all genres. The station hosts many international stars in studio, and captures history rarely delivered through traditional media. Her position gives great insight into the daily challenges of artists and supporting personnel, while observing the rapidly changing music industry and its impact on the economic welfare of all who participate.
Klive Walker is a Jamaican-Canadian author, music historian and cultural critic. His specialty is the history of reggae culture, its birth in Jamaica and its adventures in Canada, the United States and the UK. He also writes about jazz, rock and hip hop. He is an analyst of international cinema with a focus on Caribbean films from the region and the diaspora. His book Dubwise: Reasoning from the Reggae Underground was published by Insomniac Press in 2005. His essay The Journey of Reggae in Canada appeared in The Global Reggae Reader edited by Carolyn Cooper (UWI Press, 2012). His reggae timeline is featured in Nadia Hohn’s children’s book Music (Rubicon, 2015). A special Bob Marley edition of the Americas Society journal Review 81(2010) published his meditation Tuff Gong Lost: In Search of Bob Marley. Articles he has contributed to CBC’s music website include The Women of Reggae (2015), Get Up Stand Up: 50 years of Jamaican Music (2012), Sate and the Black Rock Paradox (2016) and Dancehall: The Sound of Summer ’16 (2016). Walker was a keynote speaker at the inaugural Global Reggae Conference in Jamaica and has guest lectured at Ryerson, University of Toronto, York University and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbour. He has lived in Jamaica and the UK. He currently resides and works in Toronto.
Jay Douglas first took to the stage in Montego Bay, Jamaica many years ago as youth. With over 40 years of showmanship, he has developed a wide-ranging repertoire of American blues, West Indian rhythms, jazz standards, fancy footwork, and plenty of stage charisma. Back in the early ‘60s, Jay fronted tough R&B band “The Cougars,” who, with their skill and verve, lit up Toronto & Montreal bars in the late 70’s with Soul Funk & Reggae music. Jay has since shared his talent with several cities all the way from Hong Kong to the Mediterranean.
A Seattle, Washington based promoting company, “Light in the Attic” sequestered Jay as catalyst and band leader for their “The Jamaica to Toronto” concert launch on July, 2006, at Harbour Front Centre, Toronto. This successful show has since been to Vancouver and Montreal.
Over the past 10 years, Jay has also graced the stage of well-known annual events like the Beaches Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival, JerkFest, A Taste of Lawrence, Jamaica day, Global Grooves Yonge/Dundas Square, Luminato, The CNE and several R&B Festivals across Ontario. Jay was proclaimed winner of NOW Magazine’s Toronto’s “Best R&B Act” (2006), and The Annual Toronto Reggae Award’s “Male Reggae Vocalist of the Year 2007.” He is also a 2 time Juno nominee. As well, in March 2012, The Toronto Harry Jerome Awards granted him the male Entertainer of the Year Award. Jay was nationally featured on CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos’s Christmas Show a couple years ago. Jay currently performs in-and-around the Toronto area.
Masani Montague is a playwright, novelist, journalist, and youth worker active in the Rastafari and Black communities in Toronto for the past 40 years. She has written, directed, and produced several plays, radio plays, documentaries, and the author of the novel, Dread Culture. She co-coordinated the First International Rastafari Conference held in Toronto in 1982 and co-coordinated the Second International Rastafari Conference held in Jamaica in 1983. She has a diploma in Journalism from Humber College, BA(Hons) in Creative Writing and MES in Environmental Studies from York University. She is currently completing her Masters degree in Education at York University. Owner of Masani Productions for the past 37 years Masani is the coordinator of the annual reggae music festival, Rastafest for the past 17 years; coordinator of the annual multidiscipline women’s festival, SistahFest and the artistic director of Upfront Theatre Foundation for the past 17 years. Masani has received many awards for her work in the Rastafari community in Toronto including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 and the Order of York, Centre Award in 2015.
Kwasi Osei Bonsu, Esq.
Mr. Bonsu attended Howard University and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2000. Mr. Bonsu graduated from Howard University School of Law in 2003. His course concentration in law school included copyright law and legal issues related to music publishing. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Bonsu worked with Rose Law Firm, LLC on employment discrimination matters. Since 2004, Mr. Bonsu practiced and continues to practice in civil litigation and entertainment law. Additionally, Mr. Bonsu worked with Managing Attorney George Rose, and the Ras Tafari Elders in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore areas to establish the 501(c)(3) charitable organization known as I-niversal Development of Ras Tafari Inc. (IDOR). In entertainment law matters, Mr. Bonsu has represented and currently represents prolific artists including: the award-winning Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima, the award-winning Pan-African publisher Third World Press, and the award-winning Canadian actor Mark Taylor. Kwasi is also one of the founders of the Jamaica Music Conference, an annual 4 event where attendees experience multiple facets of Jamaica’s dynamic music industry. Kwasi is also a recording and performing artist and host of the music industry podcast, Mix N Master Radio.
Keron Salmon, known by his fans as Kabaka Pyramid, is an ever-evolving artist that has numerous ways of expressing his creativity. Reggae music has always been a strong influence on the Kingstonian lyricist, but during high school it was Hip Hop music that captivated him, and you could find him walking to the canteen reciting his favorite Canibus or Inspectah Deck lines. The influence of both genres can be easily detected as he, and other Bebble Rock artists such as Koro-Fyah, seek to find the perfect fusion of the two cultural expressions.
The name “Kabaka” is Ugandan for “King” and Pyramids are thought by the artist to house the mathematical proportions of Universal Laws that are eminent in the creation of this universe. He seeks to embody these laws in his music, spreading truth and higher knowledge to the people who are prepared to listen. His “Rebel Music” EP is a fusion of roots rock, reggae, dancehall and hip hop and is intended to show the world where Kabaka Pyramid is looking to take Jamaican music, as well as spread the positive messages of spirituality and conscious evolution that you find whenever he grabs a mic! “To me….Reggae and Hip Hop go hand in hand….when they procreate, Rebel Music is born! Some believe that each art form must remain pure….I’m not here to oppose. But fusion is the foodstuff of evolution, and evolution is constant – both physically and spiritually”
Ras Sekou Tafari
Ras Sekou Tafari was born on the colonial Caribbean island of Trinidad in the 1950’s. Sekou grew up in Belmont, just outside of the capital, I.e Port -Of-Spain . As a student, Sekou became involved in the sweeping tide of the Black power movement of the late 1960’s & 70’s. He was a member of the National Organisation Of Revolutionary Students.( N.O.R.S.), the student arm of the National Joint Action Committee (N.J.A.C). Sekou is well known in some areas of the Caribbean for his militant poetry. He is a graduate in Social Science, specializing in International Studies and Industrial Relations . Sekou also attended graduate business school in Britain where he studied Accountantcy, Law & Economics. Ras Sekou worked in Free Revolutionary Grenada from March 1979-1980. He was the founder of the popular newspaper, Rastafari Speaks and a founding director of The Copyright Organisation Of Trinidad & Tobago, which replaced the Performing Rights Society of Britain . He currently resides on the South side of Chicago where he is the publisher & CEO of Frontline Books, the largest Rastafari Book publishing house in the world ; one if not the last of twenty African American black book stores . He has authored two titles and has written many articles and prefaces in many books .