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12-Year-Old Jalessa Gets ‘Shaft Vibes’ Approved, Calls on Youths To ‘Focus.’

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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

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One 12-year-old girl in Trinidad and Tobago officially began her journey to stardom last year, delivering her first studio release, and now, at this juncture, she is increasing momentum, teaming up with super-songwriter, Shaft, to see her dreams materialize.  

Jalessa Lazarus has the vocal ability of a seasoned vocalist and because of her natural talent, her mother has dedicatedly directed her child along the path she knows she was born to pursue. Earlier this year, Jalessa released a track called, ‘Kiddies Carnival,’ – a song with the children of carnival in T&T, in mind. She understands her cultural assignment but her heart pines for much more. The St. Charles High School student has big dreams of realizing her full potential as an international recording artiste and entertainer. Her mother, Phylesha, is behind her every step of the way. “Jalessa is extremely talented, and she’s full of life, full of joy and energy. She is also incredibly passionate,” explained Phylicia. She’s gone through the full gamut to prepare her eldest daughter for the world that lies in wait for her. “At the age of six, she entered an online competition hosted by Nailah Blackman and won. She was able to perform on stage with Nailah,” she said, noting that Blackman is one of the artistes that Jaleesa looks up to. 

Jaleesa is taking on the world.

The youngster’s talent was first introduced to the world through her mother’s social media platforms. “I would put her on my Facebook LIVE and she would sing. I always believed in my daughter,” said Phylesha. In September 2022, a video of Jalessa performing at a karaoke competition, singing Adele’s “Easy on Me,” became a viral TikTok video, with over 900,000 views to date. Competitions like the Lyndon Ross Talent Show and the Ministry of Education’s 2023 Junior Soca Monarch Competition, have yielded positive results for the pre-teen, Jalessa placing first and 2nd respectively. Phylesha stands firmly beside Jaleesa, ensuring that she has had vocal training under the tutelage of Tiffany Paul and via Curtis Jordan’s Training Academy. 

Jason Shaft Bishop heard Jalessa and immediately confirmed her talent.

Now, fully invested and ready to take on the world, Jalessa is set to release a new single, written by renowned T&T songwriter, Jason ‘Shaft’ Bishop. “I had been searching for a songwriter and was eventually sent his name and contact information. From the moment he heard Jaleesa’s voice, he was sold. He immediately sent a song to us,” said the excited mom. 

The new single, “Focus,” is being released as a summer anthem for young boys and girls. “It’s an Afro Beat track that offers good motivation for our country’s youths,” Phylesha explained. 

The Arima born artiste, who has two younger siblings, is proof that one can achieve one’s dreams with determination and the strong support of family. Excited for the triumphs of the future, mom Phylesha Lazarus is encouraging parents to listen to their children’s desires and stand with them to the end. “Let the children’s light shine. Believe in them, support them. The limit is beyond the sky. I mean… why not? If you have to spend all your money, why not?”

To keep up with Jalessa, follow her on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook @jalessa_lazarus. 

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Caribbean Buzz

Sizzla Kalonji Is Ready to Take The Stage, At Redemption 9. Promoters Conscious of Social Responsibility.

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Organisers, Tropix Entertainment, Java Nation and Johnny Q Limited, have made a major commitment to presenting the people of T&T with an elevated level of entertainment, the likes of which will see Steel Pulse, Collie Buddz, Christopher Martin, SuperCat, Jamelody and Mr. King, hit the stage, alongside Kalonji. 

SuperCat is ready to deliver.

This year’s concert follows a 2023 show, which was headlined by Buju Banton. “Reggae music is powerful and resolute in its affirmations of positivity,” said Java Nation’s Ian Pantin. The team’s unwavering effort to bring Trinidad and Tobago back to a place of peace, comes from a place of personal compassion for country. “There is no denying the fact that society’s moral compass has shifted somewhat and we see this in the news headlines daily. As partners in the entertainment business, we believe it is our social responsibility to direct our people onto a more positive path,” said Pantin. 

Each year, the tone for the show is depicted in the artistes chosen. Over the years, Tarrus Riley, Anthony B, Jah Cure, Sanchez, Luciano, Glen Washington, Beres Hammond, Morgan Heritage and countless others, have brought a variation of sweet reggae music. It is anticipated that this year, the addition of Super Cat will add some momentum – the artiste well known for hit dancehall tracks like, ‘Dolly My Baby’, ‘GirlsTown,’ ‘Cry Fuh De Youth,’ ‘My Girl Josephine’ and many others. 

Collie Buddz

Patrons, confident in the Redemption brand, have already expressed excitement for ‘The Way Forward,’ indicating their loyal support for the concert that has certainly stood the test of time. “We are truly pleased and humbled by the support shown to Redemption over the years- by both patrons and sponsors who we consider partners. Executing a show of this magnitude annually, is no easy or simple feat. We work dedicatedly behind the scenes, trying our best to accommodate every partner, while presenting live entertainment that is purposeful and enjoyable. It’s never easy,” said Pantin. 

Together with the team, Pantin says each year, patrons’ views are taken into consideration and efforts made to return one year later, with a show that is better than previously experienced. This year, one lucky patron will be the winner of a signature, gold and ruby encrusted, Redemption pendant, worth approximately $20,000TTD. 

Christopher Martin will be there.

For further details, persons can follow Redemption the Concert on Facebook and Instagram or call 780-SHOW (7469). 

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Ebuzz News

A Powerful Journey. Calypso Rose Fought All Odds. Queen of the Road Musical, A Necessary Reminder.

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Technology, social media and the ease of life we’ve all become so used to in this 21st century, is a far cry from the odds faced and overcome by so many who paved the way. This past weekend in Trinidad and Tobago, the delivery of ‘The Queen of The Road’ musical reminded patrons of this fact, and much more in its walk down memory lane which highlighted the life and times of the incomparable, Calypso Rose.

Queen of the Road, written and directed by Rhoma Spencer, was presented by Yes Productions on both Saturday and Sunday in Trinidad. It was first presented as a workshop in Canada in 2019 before premiering in Tobago in October 2023. The musical begins with Rose’s acceptance of the The Victoire de la Musiq Award- the French equivalent of the Grammy. She won the award in 2017 after releasing the album, ‘Far From Home.’ In her production, Spencer rewinds the life of the 84-year-old, taking the audience on a whirlwind- sometimes harsh, often humor filled, consistently thought-provoking adventure through the childhood, adolescence and adulthood of Calypso Rose.

Thara Howe (centre) plays young Calypso Rose.
Photo: Carlyle Morris

Her story, a remarkable testament of each human being’s purpose from birth, is unraveled bit by bit in the musical, with a young Rose played by 11-year-old, Thara Howe- a student of St.Patricks Newtown Girls Primary School. Throughout her on-stage performance, members of the audience could be heard gushing at the effortless ease by which Howe executed her part of the matriarch calypsonian, in her childhood years. “She has a big future ahead,” said one person in the audience.

The adult Rose, played by 2018 Calypso Queen, Stacey Sobers was undeniably the perfect casting. An almost too-close- to- understand re-enactment of the Bethel, Tobago entertainer hears Sobers deliver with ease, songs like, ‘Tempo’, ‘Fire in Me Wire’, ‘Her Majesty’, ‘Leh We Punta, ‘ Young Boy’, and many of the artistes other memorable hit singles. Supporting cast members included, Kearn Samuel as The Mighty Sparrow, Karen Francisco as Rose’s aunt Edith, Theresa Hope who played the very important role of Calypso Rose’s grandmother and Fabrice Barker who played the role of her father – a preacher who went on to leave Rose’s mother and their family for another woman.

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