CPR Reggae

CPR Reggae

CPR Reggae

Thursday, 20 October 2011 10:56

CPR Expands to Jamaica

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  • Reggae-conservation group to unveil plans for expansion

The Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music, Incorporated (CPR), a New York-based charitable organisation now in its seventh year, will tomorrow announce plans for the seventh annual Reggae Culture Salute, scheduled for New York on November 5, as well as programmes and initiatives being undertaken by the organisation.

The press event will also share information about emerging alliances with organisations based in Jamaica.

While in Jamaica, CPR will also make a presentation at the Edna Manley College conference on Thursday at 1:15 p.m. The presentation, 'Philosophising The Arts', will make the case for understanding the importance and significance of the emergence and development of reggae music, its impact around the world and the imperative of preserving and nurturing one of Jamaica's most profound gifts to the world in the 20th century.

Tuesday's press conference will afford the Jamaican press the opportunity to learn first hand about the programmes and activities CPR has championed over its six-year history. Chief among then is Reggae Culture Salute, the annual celebration of the unique relationship between reggae, Rasta and Jamaica, which has secured proclamations from the United States Congress for three roots reggae pioneers, The Mighty Diamonds, Ernie Smith and Manley 'Big Youth' Buchanan. CPR is also the convener of monthly fora examining the state of reggae music, free to the public and are streamed internationally via CPR's Internet broadcast platform, CPRLive, which mixes progressive programming with roots-reggae music streams to provide 24/7 broadcasting around the world via its heavily trafficked website, www.cprreggae.org.

CPR works with several entities in Jamaica and has cultivated strategic partners in pursuing its mission to raise the bar in the creation, development, promotion and presentation of reggae music. The press event will disclose details of one such emerging partnership with the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20111011/ent/ent1.html

Thursday, 20 October 2011 10:50

CPR Introduced to Jamaica

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Big Youth to receive CPR's 2011 Pinnacle Award for Excellence

Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter

With its roots already growing in New York, the seven-year old Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music (CPR) has finally been introduced to the Jamaican public.

Last Tuesday, during a press conference at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, CPR's chairperson Sharon Gordon and the organisation's president Carlyle McKetty introduced CPR to those in attendance.

Gordon explained that CPR started seven years ago after they saw reggae music going in the wrong direction.

"It has grown by leaps and bounds. We started off as a group of friends, industry folk who were concerned with where the music was going and what was happening at the time. There were a lot of negative stories coming out. We didn't know what to do, we were just frustrated," she said.

Gordon also explained that around the same time, Emperor Haile Selassie's coronation was coming up, so a decision was made to host a concert. The event, Reggae Culture Salute, has become the organisation's flagship event. Describing the first show as a huge success, Gordon said it was followed by fora and workshops.

CPR is a charitable organisation that works to preserve the art form and its traditional message of healing and unity. The mission of the Coalition is to raise the bar in the creation, development, promotion and presentation of reggae music, to elevate the profile of its purveyors and to research, codify, curate and disseminate information about the genre in order to increase understanding of its development, significance and influence around the world.

For years, Gordon said the intention was to introduce the organisation to Jamaica, and it finally became possible this year.

Something divine

"It was again one of those divine things. For years, a lot of people would come to New York and we would collaborate with them. We did a forum by Skype with Cordell Green, Freddie McGregor and Lloyd Stanbury, none of them was present at the forum. We kept having situations like that," Gordon told The Gleaner.

After talks with Stanbury, she decided to come to Jamaica for a presentation at the Rex Nettleford Arts Conference at Edna Manley. And, since she would have already been in Jamaica, Gordon thought it was the perfect time to host the press conference for CPR.

"It was like a synergy kinda thing, it wasn't like we sat down and thought about it. It just kinda came together naturally and we ran with it," she said.

At the press conference, it was also disclosed that this year's staging of Reggae Culture Salute will be held in Brooklyn, New York, on November 5. The event will feature acts like Big Youth, Dubtonic Kru, I-Wayne, Qshan Deya, Ancient Vibrators, Major Daps, Coozie Mellers, Songbird Simone and Anthem Band, as well as selectors like Bobby Channel and Sir Tommy's. As part of the festivities the film Bad Friday: Rastafari After Coral Gardens will also be shown. Dubtonic Kru will receive the Simba Award, while Big Youth will be given the Pinnacle Award for Excellence.

Sponsorship needed

Although she believes the event has been successful over the years and would like to bring it to Jamaica, Gordon said much sponsorship would be needed to do this.

"From the first year we did the show, people have been asking us to bring it to Jamaica. To experience our event, it's a family event. Old people come in wheelchairs, young sexy things, my age group and older, children. It's not just a concert. We decorate the place like we are in Jamaica. When you come in you feel like you are in a Caribbean village. And the vibe, the music we play is roots reggae," she said.

But as a charitable organisation, Gordon said CPR is run solely by the annual membership of US$50 (J$4300) per year, donations and the concert. This money is used to offset the cost of running the organisation, its live streams, radio shows and its fora.

While Reggae Culture Salute will not be held in Jamaica in the very short term, Gordon said the long-term aim of CPR is to "move into getting music history and music culture into the curriculum in Jamaica. Our students need to learn music appreciation."

In addition, she said the intention is to visit Jamaica more regularly and build a closer relationship with other organisations like the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association, the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes & Affiliates and the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers Limited.

***Thanks to Sadeke Brooks and The Gleaner Company***

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20111017/ent/ent1.html

Saturday, 08 October 2011 09:40

In the Belly of the Beast

Despite the anxious efforts being made to alter the truth about his administration by corrupt members of the Jamaican Press, Bruce Golding’s tenure as Prime Minister has been a desolate and dangerous political failure. His close relationship with Christopher “Dudus” Coke led him to behave with arrogance and stupidity after the United States sought Christopher Coke’s extradition pursuant to the Extradition Treaty between Jamaica and the United States.

Christopher Coke is the head of the Shower Posse, a drug gang which controls most of the business of any type transacted between individuals and commercial enterprises inside Tivoli Gardens, a West Kingston political enclave. The United States Justice Department has characterized the Shower Posse as a racketeering enterprise that engages in the distribution of cocaine into the United States, the introduction of illegal firearms into Jamaica and cocaine connected alien trafficking.

Christopher Coke’s influence had become so powerful in 2009 that when the U.S. Justice Department attempted to extradite him he was able to exert influence within the Jamaica Labor Party to prevent his extradition. The close connection between Mr. Golding’s Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the Shower Posse became evident when Christopher Coke’s extradition was delayed for nine months while Prime Minister Golding and his Attorney General Dorothy Lightbourne used every possible method of illegally thwarting his extradition that was feasible.

During this period, Dr. Peter Phillips of Jamaica’s Opposition Peoples National Party (PNP), the former Minister of National Security, described Christopher Coke as the most “powerful” person in Jamaica. When Coke’s Tivoli Gardens barricaded itself and attacked the Jamaican Police as the extradition crisis between Jamaica and the United States heightened and at least 75 individuals including police officers and soldiers died in frenetic gun battles in Western Kingston, it certainly seemed that Coke was as powerful as the Prime Minister.

In order to maintain power and credibility, the Golding administration had to manipulate the local press in Jamaica. When public records of Golding contracting an American law firm; Manatt Phelps to lobby the White House to somehow thwart the Coke extradition request, Golding’s frequent falsehoods and parliamentary endorsement of Christopher Coke inevitably strained relations with Washington. The State Department was forced to question Jamaica’s reliability in the international war against drugs.

Last Month, Christopher Coke pled guilty to racketeering and assault charges and he admitted his leadership of the brutal Shower Posse gang. The U.S. Government indicated that they would prove had the case gone to trial that Coke used an Electric Saw to chop up a man while he was still alive, in punishment for not paying drug debts.

Were it not for the Internet Blogs in Jamaica where the Government dominates about sixty percent of the radio medium and is closely connected to a major newspaper, the public would have been actively misled on many issues concerning Golding and his relationship with the Shower Posse.

The Shower Posse operatives may have paid major Jamaica newspaper columnists and radio commentators to take a pro Coke stance during the period 2009 to 2011. For instance, the fact that Christopher Coke was deported from the United States in the 1980s was deliberately ignored by elements of  the Jamaican media to give the impression that Christopher Coke was a Jamaican native who had never left Jamaica. Motions and legal arguments made by Christopher Coke in his Federal case and comments by Christopher Coke’s Lawyers were promoted by the pro Government, pro Posse elements of the media. They were reported as if they were heroic utterances.

Only the venerable Daily Gleaner and a smattering of courageous radio commentators dared to criticize Christopher Coke and urge that Jamaica comply with its Treaty obligations. Coke’s indictment by the United States was condemned by a prominent JLP Government Senator and close colleague of Mr. Golding as “hype”.

The current United States Ambassador to Jamaica Pamela Bridgewater is probably the U.S. State Department’s most adept and most experienced crisis manager. In her speeches she has reminded Jamaica over and over again that the wanton corruption associated with the Shower Posse will scare away investors, tourists and restrict Jamaica’s future economic development. The murder rate in Jamaica has declined by more than 60% since Coke’s Extradition; however, Jamaica still has one of the highest murder rates in the World.

Perhaps Golding’s resignation will release Jamaica from the “Belly of the Beast” of the Shower Posse. Hopefully, his resignation will lead to (1) The selection of a JLP leader who has no links to drug traffickers and (2) a prompt General Election for Jamaicans to decide their political future.

BY: Professor David P. Rowe, University of Miami Law School

     

Friday, 23 September 2011 11:57

Dubtonic Kru Comes to Brooklyn

Dub Tonic Kru comes to Brooklyn, New York

Fresh off a momentous victory tour spanning the western US and European, world champions Dub Tonic Kru, winner of the 2010-2011 Global Battle of the Bands competition head to Brooklyn, New York for the 7th Annual Reggae Culture Salute. For Dub Tonic Kru, hard work paid off earlier this year when the five piece ensemble travelled from Kingston, Jamaica to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to compete in the final battles of more than four thousand bands spanning various genres and emerged victorious.

Their win heralded a significant moment for the movement of modern roots reggae. At a time when negative press was circulating in the headlines about some aspects of Jamaican music, Dub Tonic Kru's win in Malaysia gave the nation and the movement something to celebrate. Founded by drum and bass duo Jubba and Stone, the members hail from all over Jamaica. Their songs and spoken words are thought provoking and their rhythm and dub are "strictly rub a dub." They will feature prominently  at Reggae Culture Salute, a coronation celebration in honor of Emperor Haile Selassie I on Saturday, November 5th, 2011 at Nazareth Regional High School Performance Center.
The family friendly event will be the high point of the band's Reggae Futures Tour as they take their victory lap to eastern and Midwest USA in November.  
Once you have experienced a Dub Tonic Kru performance, you will never forget this group; they love to perform and you can't help but feel the vibe.
For information on Dub Tonic Kru, log on to www.dubtonickru.com.
For information on Reggae Culture Salute 2011, visit www.cprreggae.org.
Friday, 23 September 2011 10:02

Talking Reggae with Ossie Dellimore

Reggae star Ossie Dellimore has built a varied career in the art form with albums like “Freedom’s Journal,” “Reggae Music” and the recent single “Gone So Far.” The native of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ style is at the cutting edge of reggae music today. Caribbean Journal talked to Dellimore about his musical inspirations, what he sees as the world’s biggest music market, and how the reggae industry can develop.

Who are your inspirations musically?

My first inspirations were my mother and my father. My family inspired me first of all. My oldest sister, who passed away, she used to play the piano in the house, and I remember not being able to see the keys, but just being able to reach them and hit them – I was like three years old. I remember my mother and father singing one Sunday because a friend of theirs had passed away – and I never knew they could sing –and they were singing in harmony – what a ting! But musically speaking, as far as musicians, my inspiration comes from all genres, all musicians throughout the world. My inspiration was not limited to reggae music, even though reggae music had a great, great influence on me from a young age. It was not just reggae music – it was classical – I enjoy all forms of music. So the influence, I would definitely say, came from a wide range of genres.

What are you working on right now?

I’m always working on new music. I feel that the industry has changed greatly over the last 15 years, where the emphasis is less on the album, and more on the single. So therefore, I’m constantly releasing singles, followed by the video, and, once I have enough singles, I put it all together and say it’s an album. To me, an album these days, it’s really if you want to have a hard copy in your hand. If everyone who bought my album were to love every song on the album, I’d say hallelujah. However, as a reggae fan myself, if I buy an album, most of the time, it’s one or two of those tracks that grows on me until I have to keep playing them and put them on my ipod, stock.

How much has the market changed in that respect?

These days, people choose singles, they want the singles. I have much more single downloads than album downloads. The message is clear – it’s a singles market now. If we as reggae artists and the reggae community look at the hip-hop community, as a route to follow, we’ll see it’s a singles market. Also, when you release singles, it keeps you in the hype, it keeps you in the game. It keeps you visible all the time, rather than waiting a whole year or two, hiding your work before you give it to the public. I love to give my work to the public as soon as it is done, because I’m so excited about letting other people share it. It’s not mine, once it’s done.

Is the reggae scene in St Vincent different than in Jamaica?

The reggae scene in St Vincent is pretty much the same as it is everywhere in the Caribbean. People throughout the world love reggae music. I think reggae has the largest market – I keep saying it – it has the largest market worldwide. However, because of the nature of the industry, accessibility to current reggae music, music which is cutting edge, is not as easy as other genres, and that’s because of old taboos that still exist, old habits that are hard to break in the industry. But if they had a good infrastructure in the reggae music industry – let me tell you something. I know so many great artists out there who are not getting exposure they deserve. Some people say, “Yeah, Ossie, you’re included in that bunch.” Now, I don’t really dwell on that. Because I see myself as a success already – I’m already successful doing what I’m doing, producing the music, producing the music videos, getting television airplay. However, the difference between my success, and, let’s say, Movado’s success, is that he’s a lot more popular than me. That’s all – that’s the only difference. And what can change that is developing a strong infrastructure in the reggae industry, whereby this large market – and it is the largest market – if the market could have the infrastructure whereby they could go and purchase good roots, cutting edge music, the market will grow, the money will come in.

–CJ

http://www.caribjournal.com/2011/09/15/talking-reggae-with-ossie-dellimore/

*CPR thanks Alex Britell and Caribbean Journal for their support of the Coalition to Preserve Reggae.*

Friday, 23 September 2011 09:53

Ed Robinson - The Global Art Form

Ed Robinson on the Global Art Form

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Ed Robinson occupies several seats in the world of reggae—from a long career as a reggae drummer to broad work now as a reggae singer. It’s taken him from his native Jamaica to Brooklyn, which he now calls home. Caribbean Journal talked to Robinson about his current projects, his unique inspirations and reggae as a global art form.

How would you describe your music?

What can I say – it’s basically what it is – reggae music. It’s straight up, real reggae music. We’re not into that fabricated, clone stuff.

Who are your inspirations?

I have many inspirations. As far as my musical inspirations, I have Prince as one of the main ones, surprisingly. Dennis Brown, as far as reggae, Alton Ellis is my favorite reggae artist. And there’s many others that I really looked to for inspiration. I really love and respect their music – including Third World, Bob Marley and all of them.

What are you working on right now?

We’re in the process of working on a second album right now. The first album just hit the streets and is the one that’s really doing well right now. It’s called “Written in Stone.” The second number one single from it, which is “If I Follow My Heart,” the first one was “Our Heroes.” So we’re in the process of working on the second project right now, and just completed the second song for it.

How does coming to America from Jamaica impact your music?

It has impacted the music, as far as me, what I sing about – I would say more experience. I don’t think it really changes or changes the music for me. We don’t lose it.

How much do you think reggae will continue to change?

I can’t tell. It’s hard to really define that. Reggae music has been one of the evolving things over the years. Put it this way. I used to hear reggae music was the root and other things, but you will always have branches and flowers, and certain seasoned people sing about certain things. And certain times, when they stop singing about that, they start singing about something else. Reggae music is one of those things that will forever be evolving, so it’s hard to really say where it’s going next.

How global is reggae?

If you have another earth somewhere, if you have another world somewhere, reggae is there. Reggae music, personally, I think is the biggest music in the world. There’s no other music that’s as big as reggae. As far as my traveling, and I’ve been around the world – the only place I’ve never been but really want to go to is China –but I’ve basically been to all the major continents in the world as a musician, as a drummer and as a singer also, and that is the music that basically everybody is in to. So I would say it’s the biggest thing in the world.

How important does roots reggae continue to be to people?

Put it this way – the younger they are, the less important it is to them. They start realising the mature path of it. But roots reggae music will always be there – it’s not going anywhere. It has the possibility of getting bigger, but it will always be there.

–CJ

http://www.caribjournal.com/2011/09/19/ed-robinson-on-the-global-art-form/

*CPR thanks Alex Britell and Caribbean Journal for supporting the work of the Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music. *

Thursday, 15 September 2011 01:28

How to Define Reggae?

Above, from left: Major Daps, Ossie Dellimore, Ed Robinson, Qshan Deya (Photo: Caribbean Journal)

What is reggae? It’s a word that has a meaning simultaneously static and dynamic. To answer the question, Caribbean Journal talked to four major reggae artists from around the Caribbean at the Coalition to Preserve Reggae in Brooklyn, New York. We talked to Jamaica’s Major Daps and Ed Robinson and St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Ossie Dellimore and Qshan Deya. The moral of the story? As Ed Robinson sees it, defining reggae is simple: it’s real. See the video below for more, and follow CJ as we place the spotlight on each of these artists in the coming weeks.

–CJ

Thursday, 15 September 2011 01:09

Membership Has It's Privileges!

Spotlight on CPR Member - Major Daps!

September 13, 2011 | 6:05 pm | Print

Born in Clarendon, Jamaica, Major Daps is working on a synergy of the roots reggae music of the past with that of the present. In this CJ Spotlight, we talk to Major Daps about what makes his music and what his music means. To see his definition of reggae music, click here.

Talk about your music.

I do reggae music – positive reggae music to uplift the people. For the future is here right now, so we’re going beyond the future to teach the next generation – that’s how we roll.

Who are your inspirations?

Everybody that does positive work in the music field, from the heart, is my inspiration, really. But my main inspiration as a youth growing up was Lieutenant Stitchie, because of how he wrote lyrics and represented to other people. That would be my inspiration — to climb the ladder of success.
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How would you describe your music?

I would say a positive vibration for everyone’s heart to feel, in a positive sense. Just to uplift everyone – culturally, in a mental way, and to be an inspiration. I would describe my music as message music.

How much is spirituality a part of your music?

A million percent or more. That’s how it goes – a million percent or more spiritual. It’s all spiritual. – it never changes.

You’ve lived in Jamaica and in the US. Does your music take on aspects of where you live?

Yes. From my upbringing coming up, whenever i would venture out of one area to the next, it’s an experience. So it brings a lot more to your knowledge, so you write from where you’re coming from, where you’re headed, where you’re going. That’s how it has to be – you write what you experience, what you believe, and what you know. So my music comes across through the powers of Rastafari, that’s how it rise.

What are you working on right now?

Currently working on another project to come out. I just finished Dapsthology – it’s already on the road. Then we’re working on finishing the album.

To hear the single “Play Jah Music” from Major Daps’ “Dapsthology,” click here: 01 Play Jah Music

–CJ

***Thanks to Alex Britell, publisher of Carib Journal for this testament  to the viability of the Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music, Inc.***
Thursday, 01 September 2011 12:10

No NYC Proclamation for Beenie Man

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(Beenie Man-The Doctor)

Re-posted from www.chatychaty.com

August 23rd, 2011

No NY Proclamation for Beenie Man from Councilman Comrie

The office of Councilman Leroy Comrie has denied all media reports stating that he will be presenting Jamaican dancehall deejay Moses 'Beenie Man' Davis with a proclamation from the New York City Council.

The councilman's office has stated emphatically that at no time did Mr Comrie agree to honour Beenie Man, as has been stated in a release quoting Bobby Clarke, CEO of Irie Jam Radio and promoter of the Reggae Rhythm & Blues Concert for Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York on September 4, 2011.

In a release to the media, New York City Council Deputy Majority Leader Leroy Comrie (D-27th District), noted that "there have been several news reports generated which alleged that I would be presenting a New York City Council Proclamation to dancehall reggae artist Beenie Man. This report is untrue ..."

The release further states that Councilman Comrie is aware of the event, as he has "worked with the concert promoters to secure the site for this event and support their efforts to host a safe, enjoyable and entertaining day for the residents of Southeast Queens."

He pointed out that his office has not made any announcement of such action, as would have been the norm. And, in an interview with chatychaty.com, the councilman's public relations officer, Rance Huff, pointed out that their ofice would have been the one to send out a release of that nature.

"If Councilman Comrie were making such a presentation, then our office would have sent out the release, as we have done in the past," Huff noted, adding that he was surprised that responsible media in Jamaica could have carried such a release without consulting their office. "The release did not even have a comment attributed to Councilman Comrie. Shouldn't that have alerted media houses in Jamaica to confirm that this is in fact so."

Huff added, "And we would more than likely have made  the presentation at City Hall in a more formal environment, rather than at a concert,"

When asked to comment on reports that the Councilman backed out of the agreement to give Beenie Man a proclamation from the New York City Council because of  pressure from the gay community, Huff was quick to dismiss such allegations. "That is entirely untrue. In fact, that's called a spin," he said.

"The fact is that while Councilman is supportive of the event and agreed to attend, at no time was he asked, or did he agree to honour Beenie Man. There has been absolutely no contact from the gay community at all. What gay activist do they say is leading this?" Huff queried.

Huff pointed out that it was mainly Jamaican media that had carried the story and it has not been picked up on an international level. "No international media has called me about this proclamation and I am sure the gay community does not even know about it," Huff said.

In closing, Huff reiterated that Councilman Comrie had not been asked to honour Beenie Man with a proclamation from the NY Council. "The Councilman was shocked when he saw the media reports," Huff said.

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(Councilman Leroy Comrie)

Letter from Councilman Comrie:

FROM THE OFFICE OF

HON. LEROY COMRIE

Council Member– 27th District, Queens, NY

Deputy Majority Leader of The NYC Council

Chair, Committee on Land Use

For Immediate Release:

August 19, 2011

Statement From NYC Council Member Leroy Comrie

NEW YORK, NY- New York City Council Deputy Majority Leader Leroy Comrie (D-27th District) issued the following statement today in response to erroneous news reports that alleged he would presenting a proclamation to dancehall reggae artist Beenie Man:

“It has come to my attention that there have been several news reports generated which alleged that I would be presenting a New York City Council Proclamation to dancehall reggae artist Beenie Man. This report is untrue- at no time have I agreed to issue a proclamation nor has my office made any announcement of such a action. No news organization called my office to confirm this allegation before going to publication. I am respectfully asking that any news organization which published this allegation publicly print a retraction.

"I am aware that Beenie Man will be performing during a pre-Labor Day concert that will take place at Roy Wilkins Park in my district and features several music artists such as Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and Machel Montano.

The organisers of the concert, in response to a request for a comment on the matter, has since sent out the following: Last week, Reggae Rhythm & Blues issued a statement to the media regarding reggae artiste Beenieman receiving a proclamation at the Reggae Rhythm & Blues concert slated for Sunday, September 4, 2011. There was a mis-communications between our office here at Reggae Rhythm & Blues and the office of US Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) as such Beenieman will not be receiving a proclamation as was previously stated. We apologize for the error and for any damage it may have caused his office. This is now behind us and we are now focused on putting together the best concert possible at the inaugural Reggae Rhythm & Blues Concert slated for Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York on Labor Day Sunday, September 4, 2011.

Yours truly

Bobby Clarke - Irie Jam Radio / organizer of Reggae Rhythm & Blues 2011

http://www.chatychaty.com/index.php/en/news/popular-news/1956-no-ny-proclamation-for-beenie-man-from-councilman-comrie

 

 

Thursday, 01 September 2011 10:15

"I am Guilty," says Dudus

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Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter - The Jamaica Gleaner

CONFESSED GANGSTER Christopher 'Dudus' Coke is facing a maximum 23 years behind bars following a guilty plea in the United States Southern District Court of New York yesterday. The 42-year-old pleaded guilty before US District judge Robert P. Patterson.

Coke, who was extradited to the US on June 24, 2010 to answer narco and firearm charges, will be sentenced on December 8 around 4 p.m.

Court documents released by a United States press office stated that the former Tivoli Gardens don confessed to racketeering conspiracy in the US and conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering.

Plea document

"The defendant hereby acknowledges that he has accepted this agreement and decided to plead guilty because he is in fact guilty," the plea document signed by Coke states.

It added that, "By entering this plea of guilty, the defendant waives any and all right to withdraw his plea or to attack his conviction either on direct appeal or collaterally, on the grounds that the government has failed to produce any discovery material."

On the racketeering-conspiracy charge, Coke faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a maximum term of five years' supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the pecuniary gain from the offence.

On the conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering charge, he faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison, a maximum term of one year of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the pecuniary gain.

The sentencing guidelines of the United States in federal cases show that Coke would have faced 262-372 months' imprisonment.

However, because the counts carry a combined statutory maximum of 276 months' imprisonment, the effective guidelines range is 262 to 276 months' imprisonment.

The sentencing court may also impose a fine ranging from US$25,000 to US$250,000.

Extradited after stand-off

Coke was extradited following a near one-year stand-off between the Bruce Golding-led government and the US. Then Attorney General Dorothy Lightbourne refused to sign the authority to proceed against Coke, saying his constitutional rights were being breached.

Golding's JLP then engaged US law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in a bid to lobby the US government on the matter.

However, under public pressure, Lightbourne signed the authority to proceed against Coke. That was to lead to a stand-off between men loyal to Coke and members of the security forces. A bloody battle in Tivoli led to the deaths of more than 70 people.

Coke went into hiding and was captured, allegedly disguised with a woman's wig, in the company of clergyman Al Miller. He waived his right to fight his extradition to the US and has been awaiting trial since.

Coke last week suffered a major setback when Patterson rejected his motion to suppress wiretap information.

In obtaining a grand-jury indictment against Coke in August 2009, the prosecutors focused on taped telephone conversations he reportedly had with co-conspirators based in the US.

The prosecutors claimed that in one telephone conversation on or about April 3, 2007, Coke spoke with three co-conspirators concerning firearms that were to be shipped from the US to Jamaica.

The prosecutors also claim that about April 11, 2007, Coke had a telephone conversation with another co-conspirator concerning the sale of marijuana in New York, while a May 8, 2007 recording had Coke discussing the distribution of firearms that had arrived in Jamaica.

However, Coke's lawyers argued that the wiretaps were shared with the US law-enforcement agencies illegally and that their use would be in breach of Coke's rights under the Fifth Amendment of the US constitution.

Patterson, however, ruled against Coke, saying he "falls far short of establishing that the conduct of US or Jamaican government officials violated his due-process rights".

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20110901/lead/lead1.html

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