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Island Soul (August 1 to August 4) - Part of World Routes(Presented by RBC)

TORONTO, July 16, 2008 — Tour the Caribbean in your own backyard at this year’s FREE Island Soul festival with legendary musicians such as The Abyssinians, Michael Rose, Crazy and Calypso Rose, as well as a reading by Rachel Manley and Jamaica vs. Trinidad comedy events.

Harbourfront Centre provides an accessible way for audiences to criss-cross Caribbean cultural borders – shaped by African, Indian and European influences. This festival follows this process of intercultural mixing and invisible borders from island to island, as it finds its way in the food, music, dance, film and more. The festival runs August 1 (7 p.m.-11 p.m.), August 2 (1 p.m.-2 a.m.), August 3 (1 p.m.-2 p.m.) and August 4 (1 p.m.-6 p.m.).

For more information and high-resolution photography visit our World Routes media site at

Island Soul presents concerts that engage and educate audiences in Caribbean music on the SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage. Headlining acts feature some of Trinidad and Tobago’s, Haiti’s, and Jamaica’s premier artists.

Free all-ages concerts begin Friday night with the body-moving sounds from internationally known soca artist, Crazy. Hailing from Trinidad and Tobago, “the lovable lunatic” performs his soca anthem Cold Sweat and other classics. Following his performance, Trinidad’s Queen of Calypso, Calypso Rose, graces the stage and infuses the rhythms of Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean into a sweet oh-so-spicy bouquet.

Saturday night, groove to the sounds of legendary Jamaican reggae performer Michael Rose (formerly of Black Uhuru). His distinct vocal style is sure to inspire as he performs reggae classics and songs from his solo albums, including his chart topping smash, “Shoot Out,” recently remixed with Damien “Junior Gong” Marley.

Sunday evening features a range of legendary performers from across the Caribbean. First, Montreal-based Haitian singer, composer and kompa jazz guitarist Philippe Toto Laraque offers his musical soul food to the masses. Then, legendary reggae royalty, The Abyssinians, perform some of their greatest hits including one of reggae’s national anthems Satta Massagana.

Other musical performances include a daytime performance by Steel Pan Block-O featuring award winning steel bands Pan Fantasy and Afropan; an evening performance by Northern Exposure: Canadian Calypso All-Stars featuring Jayson, King Cosmos, Structure, Dick Lochan, Susan G, and Neu Jenarashun; as well as the Green, Gold and Red Music Session with Omega One.

Looking for a laugh? Island Soul also presents the Jamaica vs. Trinidad Island Soul Edition comedy series. Sunday afternoon Jay Martin and Jean Paul host an all-ages comedy show featuring comedians from Jamaica and Trinidad. Later that evening is an adults-only version.

Literature lovers will enjoy a book reading and Q & A with Jamaican/Canadian literary figure Rachel Manley. In partnership with Harbourfront Centre International Readings, Rachel Manley, granddaughter and daughter of two of Jamaica’s national leaders, tells the story of Jamaica’s most prominent and glamorous political family and the house that nurtured them.

Weekend culinary highlights include demos from some of the best Caribbean chefs in Toronto who will provide tips and tricks on preparing delicious island fare. Spice addicts will delight in the healthy Jamaican cooking demos prepared by the experts and roti lovers can uncover the secrets to making the perfect roti and other great curry dishes.

In an effort to find the “Best Roti in Toronto,” visitors are also urged to vote online prior to the festival (details on our website to come). Following the announcement of the best roti, Once upon a Roti chef Jules Bedeau will demonstrate how to make various styles of roti.

Creole food also makes an entrance, as distinguished Haitian chefs create dishes based on Creole and French cooking styles that sets Haitian food apart from other islands.

Dance highlights include a performance by the Caliente Dance Collective, mixing traditional Salsa and Merengue steps with hypnotic pulse, dramatic movements and acrobatics. This non-stop high energy performance includes captivating belly dances, tropical carnival showgirls and more. Next, the Caribbean Folk Performers, an Afro-Caribbean Performing Arts Company combine traditional folk dances, songs and costumes developed from the influences of African, Spanish, French, British and Indian customs. Finally, experience the exhilarating drumming, creole songs and the Bele dancing of Dominica with Reggie Ambrose & Maboya Performers. It’s the only dance in Dominica that is truly African in origin.

Island Soul film highlights include the masterfully executed film Africa Unite by Stephanie Black. This concert tribute, travelogue, and humanitarian documentary centres on the Bob Marleys’ first family trip to Ethiopia in 2005, including rare footage of this world-renowned reggae icon.

Audiences can experience the renowned Paris concert by the band that created creole zouk music in the film Kassau Carnival Tour or travel to Trinidad and Tobago in Soca Power in Trinidad and Tobago, which follows four of soca’s most influential local talents behind the scenes and into the streets during a single Carnival season.

Completing the film line-up is Freddie’s First, a reality based, cultural docu-trip, narrated by reggae music veteran, Freddie McGregor. This film highlights the differences and similarities in traditions, culture, music styles and influences between Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago in an effort to educate, identify and unify the two islands. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the director, Lonai Mosley, and Funsation4 Founder, Rhea Smith.

Other weekend events include the Domino (by The Lake)! Domino Tournament and Workshops. Watch and learn the how-to of championship dominos, from the basics to the advanced, as the Ontario Domino League hosts a two-day tournament and workshop. Bring your best hand and smack the bone down!

For information on Island Soul events, call 416-973-4000 or visit

FREE unless otherwise indicated

Venue Terms for Listings Below:
SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage (SSRS) Toronto Star Stage (TSS) Brigantine Room (BR) Lakeside Terrace (LT)

Friday, August 1
8 p.m. (SSRS) – Crazy – One of Trinidad and Tobago's top calypso and soca performers popularized parang and chutney soca styles
9:30 p.m. (SSRS) – CalypsoRose – The Queen of Calypso is a fiery live performer and the writer of calypso anthem Fire In Me Wire
Saturday, August 2
8:00 p.m. (SSRS) – TheArsenals – Toronto ska legends create a signature blend of authentic Jamaican ska, rock-steady rhythms and pop appeal.
9:30 p.m. (SSRS) - Michael Rose – An evening of Black Uhuru anthems from the group's lead singer who has also experienced solo success with his distinct Reggae scatting singing style
11:00 p.m. (BR) – DJ Patrick Roots and DJ Chocolate with special guest Progress Negus – a night of sweet reggae music mixed with a dancehall style and a touch of hip hop
Sunday, August 3
1:00 p.m. (TSS) – Levitasyon and the Creole All Stars – French-Caribbean rhythms with Toronto's premiere zouk and kompa band
2:00 p.m. (SSRS) – The Mighty Organs – Legendary roots reggae artist of the Bob Marley era.
3:30 p.m. (SSRS) – Silhouettes Steel Orchestra – One of Canada’s premiere steel pan ensembles
5:00 p.m. (TSS) - Philippe (Toto) Laraque – This outstanding Haitian guitarist, part of Haiti's renowned Caribbean Sextet, brings the Kompa beat
7:00 p.m. (TSS) – S.W. Storm – A fusion of soca, flavoured with blends of R&B, Indian, bhangra, pop, reggae and rock
8:00 p.m. (SSRS) – Northern Exposure: Canadian Calypso All-Stars – A calypso showcase featuring the first Juno-winning calypsonian Jayson, the legendary King Cosmos, multiple Canadian Calypso Monarch title holder Structure, Dick Lochan, Susan G, with Toronto’s top Soca band Neu Jenarashun
9:30 p.m. (SSRS) - The Abyssinians – One of reggae's original and most successful acts as well as the writers of the anthemic Satta Massagana
11:00 p.m. (BR) - The Green, Gold and Red Music Session with Omega One - Pan-African musical collection featuring the Trinity Drummers, Zion Spice, Express Devine, Singing Spirit, Blackus Ninjah, Obi, Stir Ru Graph and Django
Monday, August 4
1:00 p.m. (TSS) – Pass the Torch Project – Toronto-based school for training youngsters in calypso and soca arts performs songs from their second CD
3:00 p.m. (SSRS) – Pan Fantasy (Steel Pan Block-O) – Award-winning collective of vibrant musicians has earned top distinctions both in Toronto and internationally
4:30 p.m. (SSRS) – Afro Pan (Steel Pan Block-O) – Afropan "the people's band" is Toronto's oldest and most successful steelband

Fri., Aug. 1, 7:00 p.m. (TSS) – Soca performance and socasize workshop with Tamala Matthews
Sat., Aug. 2, 2:00 p.m. (TSS) – Caliente Dance Collective – A non-stop high energy mix of Latin dance plus belly dances, tropical carnival show girls and more
Sat., Aug. 2, 5:30 p.m. (TSS) – Reggae dance performance and Reggaerobics workshop with Jade “Hollywood” Anderson
Sat., Aug. 2, 7:00 p.m. (TSS) – Caribbean Folk Performers – Toronto-based Afro-Caribbean performing arts company displays the Art of the Limbo
Sun., Aug. 3, 2:00 p.m. (TSS) – Reggie Ambrose & Maboya Performers, Dominica Dance performance – the Bele dance of Dominica accompanied by live drumming and creole music

Sunday, August 3
1:30 p.m. (LT) – Creole Cooking with Ambience Catering
3:30 p.m. (LT) – Haitian Cooking with Lakay Caribbean Restaurant
5:30 p.m. (LT) – Once Upon a Roti with Chef Jules Bedeau – Demonstrates how to make the best Roti
Monday, August 4
2:00 p.m. (LT) – Healthy Jamaican Cooking with Chef Lisa Tai
4:00 p.m. (LT) – Trinidad Buljol with Chef Christopher Pinheiro`

Sunday, August 3
3:00 p.m. (Studio Theatre) – Jamaica vs. Trinidad – Toronto’s two largest Caribbean communities expose their cultural differences on stage in a stand-up comedy (Family-friendly show)
11:00 p.m. (Studio Theatre) – Jamaica vs. Trinidad – Toronto’s two largest Caribbean communities expose their cultural differences on stage in a stand-up comedy (Adults-Only Show)

Sat., Aug. 2, 6:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre) – Africa Unite – directed by Stephanie Black; includes rare footage of reggae icon Bob Marley.
Sat., Aug. 2, 11:00 p.m. (Studio Theatre) – Soca Powerin Trinidad and Tobago – A behind the scenes journey with four of the genre’s most influential talents during a Carnival season in Trinidad and Tobago
Sun., Aug. 3, 2:00 p.m. (Studio Theatre) – Kaussau Carnival Tour – Paris concert from the No.1 Zouk band
Sun., Aug. 3, 5:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre) – Freddie’s First -Where Reggae Meets Soca!Followed by Q&A with the producer and director – a Canadian preview of work in progress this docu-trip highlights the differences and similarities between Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago
Mon., Aug. 4, 3 p.m. (Studio Theatre) – Soca Power in Trinidad and Tobago – A behind the scenes journey with four of the genre’s most influential talents during a Carnival season in Trinidad and Tobago

Sun., Aug. 3, 4:00 p.m. (BR) – Rachel Manley book reading and Q&A – Excerpts from the story of Jamaica’s most prominent and glamorous political family

Children’s/Family Activities:
Fri., Sat. & Sun., 9:15 p.m. (Anne Tindel Park) – Hot Dog Inc. – Featuring awe-inspiring fire manipulation
Sat., Sun. & Mon., 1:00 p.m.– 6:00 p.m. (Natrel Pond) – Canoe Rides
Sat. & Sun., 2:00 p.m.– 7:00 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace Tent) – Go Domino (by The Lake)! Domino Tournament and Workshops – Learn the how-to's of championship dominos, hosted by the Ontario Domino League
Sun. 2:00 & 4:00 p.m. (Kid Zone Tent) – Interactive Pan Workshop with Joy Lapp of Steel Pan Experience
Mon., 3:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. (Kid Zone Tent) – Interactive Pan Workshop with Joy Lapp of Steel Pan Experience

Harbourfront Centre presents top Canadian and International music artists at each World Routesweekend and select weekdays starting June 17 through September 1. All festivals are FREE and suitable for all ages. Some ticketed events occur. World Routes is presented by RBC. For World Routes 2008, Harbourfront Centre engages an exploration into the idea of borders. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Canada. For more information and to buy tickets for all events the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit

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Media Contacts:
Shane Gerard (416-973-4518 -
Althea Linton (416-973-4644 -
Cary Mignault (416-973-4655 -

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