Posted by: ivetteromero | January 3, 2014

Sandra Abd’Allah-Álvarez Interviews Deisy Toussaint

deisy-300x300Sandra Abd’Allah-Álvarez Ramírez (Negra cubana tenía que ser) recently interviewed Deisy Toussaint (a descendant Toussaint Louverture) who is now living in a legal limbo regarding her nationality and has played a role in the reconoci.do campaign in the Dominican Republic. Toussaint is a writer and student of communications. Here are just a few excerpts from this timely interview with a link to the full piece below:

To recognize that you are of Haitian descent in your country now is a situation that reveals certain tensions at the social level. Could you describe them concisely?

I do not know a culture or nation other than the Dominican Republic (DR), even though my mother is from Haiti; in my home we never spoke Creole or practiced any other religion other than Catholicism. I still do not know Haiti and for whatever reason, we never had any “closeness” to the Haitian culture, although I guess that my mother wanted to protect us as much as possible by concealing the Haitian part. I started to find my roots 3 or 4 years ago, to know about the reality of the other side of the island which also runs through my veins.

In your opinion, what would be the peculiarity of your case, being a descendant of Toussaint Louverture?

The levels of classism, xenophobia and racism are very high in the DR, as it has been demonstrated in recent years, especially now with the decision of the Constitutional Court. I don’t think that the fact that I have some ties to Toussaint Louverture is very important in this country, where sections of the Constitution are violated and laws are applied retroactively. If they know the laws and they still violate them, I do not think that they would care about my ancestry. I’m afraid that this part of history would not be of interest.

From the point of view of identity, as a Dominican daughter of a Haitian mother and a Dominican father, could one refer to your case as an example of transnationalism?

Of all my siblings, I am the only one that does not carry my father’s name; in this case, I am only seen the daughter of a foreigner. Perhaps the fact that it was my mother who recognized me legally, addresses the trans-nationalization that you mention. I am Dominican by birth and culture, but because of my legal name, as appears to be the case, I am denied a nationality. With the aggravating factor that I am not Haitian, neither by birth nor culturally. So then… What am I?

For full interview (in Spanish), see http://negracubanateniaqueser.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/soy-dominicana-por-nacimiento-y-por-cultura-pero-mi-apellido-legal-me-niega-la-nacionalidad/

Also see, https://es.globalvoicesonline.org/2013/10/29/soy-dominicano-como-tu-miles-de-dominicanos-de-origen-haitiano-despojados-de-su-nacionalidad/ and http://hoy.com.do/deisy-toussaint-enviada-al-limbo-por-su-ascendencia-haitiana/

For samples of Deisy Toussaint’s writing, see http://www.ciguapa.net/actualidad/item/62-doble-moral/62-doble-moral and http://www.acento.com.do/index.php/news/15787/56/La-carta-cuento-de-la-joven-narradora-Deisy-Toussaint.html

Posted by: ivetteromero | January 3, 2014

Panama Canal Expansion Stalled

Panama_Canal_Miraflores_Locks

Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli said Thursday that he’ll travel to Italy and Spain to seek their governments’ help in resolving a $1.6 billion dispute that’s threatening to halt the Panama Canal’s expansion. Some Caribbean countries have been banking on the expansion of the canal for their own economic plans, such as Jamaica, which (according to the Gleaner) hopes to realize its own Logistics Hub project to bring investments.

The consortium responsible for most of the expansion issued an ultimatum Wednesday giving the Panama Canal Authority 21 days to pay for a cost overrun that’s roughly half of Grupo Unidos por el Canal’s original $3.2 billion bid to build a third set of locks. The consortium is formed by Spain’s Sacyr Vallehermoso, Impregilo of Italy, Jan De Nul of Belgium and Constructora Urbana SA of Panama. The canal authority says the companies are responsible for the extra costs.

President Ricardo Martinelli said that Italy and Spain “have a moral responsibility” to help resolve the dispute between the companies and Panama. “It’s not possible for a company to just announce an enormous amount of cost overruns, when they had already fixed a price,” Martinelli said. “And now they’re coming forward saying that the price has risen.” The Panama Canal Authority says the business consortium is unjustly trying to force it to pay for the cost overruns with the threat to halt work. Each side says the other is responsible for the added costs.

The Panama Canal’s administrator, Jorge Quijano, said the dispute won’t delay the completion of the canal expansion and that Panama is ready to finish it if necessary. [. . .] Quijano said Grupo Unidos por el Canal claims part of the increase in costs has to do with a hike in concrete prices but he added that the contract has clearly established “price escalation clauses.”

[. . .] The consortium won the contract to design and build a third set of locks with a $3.2 billion bid in 2009. Panama has estimated the full expansion program will cost $5.2 billion, with the new, wider locks allowing the 50-mile (80-kilometer) canal to handle ships far larger than those that can now navigate the century-old waterway.

Officials have most recently said the work should be finished by June 2015. Officials say the overall expansion work is 72 percent finished, with the locks themselves at 65 percent.

[. . .] Wikileaks cables from the U.S. Embassy said a confidential analysis by the American firm Bechtel, which lost the bid for the canal project , had claimed that Sacyr’s winning tender was unrealistic and would barely pay for the concrete, leading Spanish newspaper El País reported Thursday.

For original article, see http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/panama-seeks-international-canal-fight-21405742

Also see http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303370904579296071342783410 and http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=50298

Posted by: ivetteromero | January 3, 2014

Toni Braxton to Headline Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 2014

Toni Braxton

Grammy award winner Toni Braxton is set to perform at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, scheduled for January 30-February 1, 2014 at Greenfield Stadium in Trelawny. Braxton, who is known for the hit song “Un-break My Heart,” has previously performed in Jamaica in 2009 at Reggae Sumfest.

Joining the singer is Chaka Khan, country singer Crystal Gayle, and R&B singers Chrisette Michelle and Aaron Neville. This year’s Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival will begin at the end of January to avoid bookings clashes with next year’s Grammy Awards, which will be staged on January 26 in Los Angeles. Several patrons in Jamaica and overseas have reportedly made advanced ticket purchases.

For more information on this year’s festival and how to get tickets, visit their official site at http://festly.com/jamaica-jazz-and-blues-festival-2014-lineup-1478

For original post, see http://www.caribbeanemagazine.com/2014/01/toni-braxton-to-headline-jamaica-jazz.html

Posted by: ivetteromero | January 2, 2014

New Tourism Angle: Lionfish Hunting Trips

lionfish_invasion_23

An ad for lionfish hunting package on the Atlantic Edge Dive Center page caught my attention: “Bahamas Lionfish Hunting Trip February 26-March 2, 2014” in the Bahamas (Stuart Cove’s in Nassau). It seems like this is not the only place offering these lionfish hunting trips or safaris (as they are sometimes called); a quick search led to other offerings in Mexico (Quintana Roo and Cozumel) and Curaçao. Here is an excerpt from the Atlantic Edge Dive Center ad, which suggests that this is a diving trip with a cause: helping to eradicate the lionfish.

Pacific Lionfish in the Caribbean are a fast moving, voracious invasive species that immediately threaten the reef system as we know it. Lionfish in the Caribbean have no natural predators, and can decimate the population of small fish on a reef by as much as 80% in just a few short months! This trip will be one of a series of trips Atlantic Edge is sponsoring aimed at analyzing and controlling the Lionfish problem in the Bahamas.

About This Trip: This trip is a 5 day, 4 night trip with 3 days of Lionfish hunting/study work. We will be diving with Stuart Cove’s in the Bahamas and staying at the Orange Hill Beach Inn. You will dive morning and afternoon if you’re up for it to collect lionfish. In the evening you will have the option of working with some of the collected specimens for scientific data or relax.

For full ad, see http://www.atlanticedge.com/node/10916

Also see http://www.akumaldiveshop.com/lionfish-hunting/ and http://www.reef.org/enews/articles/2014-field-survey-trip-schedule-coming-soon

Photo from http://www.earthtimes.org/conservation/special-elf-mini-harpoons-caribbean-lionfish-invasion/353/

Posted by: lisaparavisini | January 2, 2014

We ignore the disastrous storms in the Caribbean at our peril

Colombia floods 2011

Storms have taken lives in the Caribbean, and caused chaos in the UK – climate change is eroding certainties across the globe, Carrie Gibson reports for London’s Guardian.

As tens of thousands people suffered through a flooded and powerless Christmas in Britain, 5,000 miles away unexpected weather was also unleashing havoc on the Caribbean.

Torrential rains on Christmas Eve, with 15in falling in 24 hours, led todramatic floods and landslides that washed through St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia and Dominica. So far eight people in St Vincent and five in St Lucia have died, water and electricity are down and thousands of properties have been damaged. The clean-up bill isexpected to be in the millions.

The crisis cut short the holiday of the prime minister of St Vincent, Ralph Gonsalves, who happened to be in storm-hit London, after a trip to see the pope in Rome. Gonsalves – whose cousin was killed in a landslide during the rains – said it was “a disaster of a proportion the likes of which we have not seen in living memory”. The secretary general of the Organisation of American States, José Miguel Insulza, also noted the “unreasonable nature” of the rains, and said “the flooding raises once again the impact of climate change in the Caribbean region”.

Many years ago, during a rainy spell in Britain, a South African colleague at my office grumbled that Britain didn’t have a climate – it only hadweather. I chuckled at the time, but it seems that this now goes well beyond the UK. Unmoored from what usually happens during a given season, we are increasingly vulnerable to the brutal force of extreme weather events at short notice.

The Caribbean’s climate does involve a rainy period – it is part of the hurricane season, which starts around June and usually lasts until around mid to late November. The 2013 hurricane season was thequietest in 30 years, with only two storms, and they did not even reach an intensity of category three or above. With regards to these recent rains, public opinion appears to agree with Gonsalves: these downpours were unprecedented.

There is no doubt that something is amiss in the tropics, and has been for some time. For instance, in 2011 in the north-east region of Colombia, the rain almost never stopped, and floods devastated the country, with hundreds of thousands of homes damaged and millions of people left suffering. And Trinidad and Tobago, too, has been experiencing severe and often unexpected flooding in the past few years, due to heavy rains.

The Caribbean is on the receiving end of the effects of climate change – it has to adapt and respond to the consequences, even though it has contributed little to the problem. Like other island nations, rising sea levels are a particular threat. A recent report by the Inter-American Development Bank claims that the tourism industry could lose some $900m a year (£550m) by 2050, and that flat, non-volcanic islands likethe Bahamas are considered especially vulnerable.

There is also the risk that more people on the islands will choose to live abroad – if they are not evacuated first. But erosion is not something from a computer model – it’s happening now. For instance, Varadero, Cuba – where more than a million tourists descend every year – has lost between 40,000 and 50,000 cubic metres of shoreline (430,000 to 537,500 sq ft), and a recent report says around 84% of the island’s beaches are threatened.

For the Caribbean, unpredictable weather and eroding beaches could harm the vital tourism trade. In addition, the islands have a range of environmental issues to tackle, from mining in Jamaica to deforestation in Haiti. There is a rich ecosystem across the region – forests and biodiversity above water, and precious coral reefs and aquatic life below – that is increasingly under threat. The islands are trying to cope, earmarking scarce funds to deal with these challenges, set against a backdrop of economic struggle and often poor infrastructure. But moves have long been under way in places such as Belize, Dominica, and Costa Rica to encourage eco-tourism. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre was set up in 2005, which involves most of the Caricom members (18 of the English-speaking states of the Caribbean, as well as Haiti and Suriname), and most islands have scientists monitoring changes in climate patterns, and taskforces to attempt to deal with the consequences.

Whatever you think about climate change, the onset of erratic and extreme weather erodes any pretence of certainty. Modern life, as recent events in Britain have shown, has no time for floods, storms, downed power lines, delayed trains or flights – but this is our future. So in this sense, small islands, whose tribulations are often are ignored, are really the canaries in the coal mine.

This Christmas the impact of climate change reached across the Atlantic: developed and developing worlds were brought together in a misery of rising flood waters. We ignore what is happening to the places on the frontline of this changing climate at our peril.

For the original report go to http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/31/storms-caribbean-uk-climate-change

Posted by: lisaparavisini | January 2, 2014

British Media Looks Into Jet Landing on Flooded Runway in St. Lucia

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Virgin Atlantic jet averts disaster in flooded runway landing, aviationpros.com reports.

Under the headline “Terror as Virgin jet avoids disaster landing on flooded runway in dark, storm-hit St Lucia”, Britain’s Daily Express newspaper on Tuesday described how a “plane carrying terrified British tourists on a luxury Caribbean holiday came close to disaster when it landed on a runway suddenly flooded with water, mud and debris from a river that had just burst its banks.”

As previously reported by Caribbean News Now, a Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330-300 flying from Tobago suffered substantial damage to its landing gear when it touched down on a flooded runway at Hewanorra International Airport in Saint Lucia on Christmas Eve. No injuries occurred.

According to reports of the incident, flight VS-98 was on its final approach to Saint Lucia at about 7:40 pm and had just received landing clearance when a nearby river burst its banks from torrential rains and flooded the airport, washing away the weather station and depositing mud and water on the runway. The aircraft touched down on the flooded runway and managed to come to a stop.

According to one report, the entire airport terminal building was flooded with muddy water.

A Google earth graphic showing the river adjacent to the airport, which may have tried to reclaim its pre-diversion route to the sea. (Graphic: AVH/Google Earth)

Pilots of the Virgin Atlantic jet were said to have been given no warning of the night-time flash flood at Saint Lucia’s main airport, where the runway lights had also been obscured, the Daily Express reported.

According to the newspaper, an internal investigation has now been launched by the airline to determine what happened.

A spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic said 18 passengers had been on the Airbus when it landed in Saint Lucia.

In a statement, she added: “Upon landing in Saint Lucia airport on December 24, Virgin Atlantic engineers spotted minor damage sustained to the aircraft. Safety and security is the airline’s first priority so an internal investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the damage.”

In response to an inquiry by Caribbean News Now on Tuesday, the duty officer at Britain’s Department for Transport press office, was not aware of the incident or any official investigation but promised to respond more fully to a follow up email.

Virgin Atlantic’s press office was closed for further comment until January 2.

One unconfirmed online comment suggested that the plane may have hit a large luggage container that had come loose and floated across the runway in the storm. However, one aviation expert contacted by Caribbean News Now discounted this theory as, he said, the damage would have been far more severe and could have resulted in a major disaster which, he suggested, would have been greatly exacerbated by the contemporaneous breakdown of much as the island’s infrastructure, including emergency and medical services, as a result of the bad weather.

The flooding in Saint Lucia resulted from torrential rains on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when over six inches of rain fell in the space of 24 hours.

The storm caused widespread damage on the island, washing away roads and bridges and killing six people.

According to aviation experts, responsibility for the state of the runway, and the timely reporting of any actual or potential hazards, rests with the airport operator. This information is forwarded to air traffic control for transmission to the aircraft.

. . .

In the meantime, repairs to the Virgin Atlantic Airbus in order to make it airworthy may prove to be problematic since even temporary repairs will need specialist parts, technicians and equipment and may need approval from the manufacturer as, according to one comment, any aerodynamic deviation can adversely affect airflow all the way to the tail surfaces.

. . .

For the original report go to http://www.aviationpros.com/news/11287913/virgin-atlantic-jet-averts-disaster-in-flooded-runway-landing?page=2

charles-campbell-head-shotThe National Gallery of Jamaica announced the appointment of its new Chief Curator, Mr. Charles Campbell, a Jamaican-born multidisciplinary artist, writer and curator, who has been based in Canada, England and Jamaica. Mr. Campbell will take up office on January 13, 2014.  Executive Director Veerle Poupeye commented that “Charles Campbell is a well-respected, thoughtful and principled critical voice in the Caribbean art world, with a sound grasp of the region’s art history and the critical issues [. . .].”

Charles Campbell holds an MA in fine art from Goldsmiths College University of London and a BFA from Concordia University, Montreal. Campbell is a passionate and outspoken advocate of Jamaican and Caribbean contemporary art and has experience mounting exhibitions and running arts education programs for non‐profits in Canada and England. He has also been attached to the visual arts programme of the MultiCare Foundation, a local non-profit for inner-city development. Campbell has worked as an arts writer and editor for the Gleaner and Jamaica Herald and is a regular contributor to ARC Magazine, a Caribbean arts journal. His most recent publication is a review of the 2012 National Biennial, which appeared in Jamaica Journal 34/3. As an artist he has represented Jamaica and Canada in events such as Infinite Islands: Contemporary Caribbean Art, at the Brooklyn Museum in 2007; the 2009 Havana Biennial; and Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean Interventions, held at the Art Museum of the Americas in 2011.

As Chief Curator, Campbell will focus on developing the National Gallery’s exhibitions programme. This will include a special exhibition to commemorate the National Gallery’s 40th anniversary, the expansion of the Biennial exhibition, and the establishment of a specially designated project space to exhibit smaller artists’ projects. Two of Campbell’s priorities will be to deepen the National Gallery’s connections to the Caribbean region and its Diaspora and to increase local engagement. “It’s an exciting moment for Caribbean art as artists throughout the region are discovering new commonalities and striding confidently into global arts arenas. As the English-speaking Caribbean’s oldest and largest National Gallery, we have a key role to play in developing and strengthening these networks,” says Campbell. [. . .]

For full article, see http://nationalgalleryofjamaica.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/introducing-charles-campbell-new-chief-curator-ngj/#more-5396

Posted by: ivetteromero | January 2, 2014

Eastern Caribbean Disaster Appeal

SVG-Milton-Cata-Hospital-Flooded-Courtesy-SVG-TV

In “Death in Paradise: Eastern Caribbean Disaster Appeal,” Gus Franklyn-Bute, Editor-in-Chief of Acu/Bien, sends out an appeal to help the Eastern Caribbean islands of St Vincent & The Grenadines, St Lucia, and Dominica, where so far 23 have been reported dead and others remain missing. He gives details below and calls for any type of contribution—large or small—through organizations such as the Eastern Caribbean Flood Relief Fund/Janice Lyttle Foundation, SVG Red Cross, and Action Bequia.

It was no Merry Christmas in paradise for Caribbean islanders and visitors on St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia and Dominica. While the world outside was in full preparation and heightened excitement on Christmas eve for the imminent holiday season, a powerful trough weather system swept through the tiny Eastern Caribbean islands. The prolonged rainfall, strong anti-clockwise gales, and intense flooding caused catastrophic landslides, ripping houses apart, shattering bridges, toppling power lines and leaving thousands traumatized, homeless and at risk.

In the St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the public Milton Cato Hospital [shown above] was flooded with wards under water and patients at further risk. The current death toll are 9 dead in St Vincent and the Grenadines, 5 in Dominica and 8 in St Lucia, with several others still missing. The number of dead is expected to rise. Among the victims in this tragic holiday season in St Vincent is 2yrs old Shelani Headley, who had been vacationing from Canada with her mother and three siblings.

Local communities on each of the islands, as well a neighboring countries like Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados have been sterling in their response to the tragedy, including islanders in the tiny Grenadines island of Bequia, who organized collections of essential supplies – drinking water, food and clothing. The Caribbean Diaspora in the UK, Canada and the US have also mobilized resources, yet the need is so, so great the Eastern Caribbean islands are appealing around the world for further assistance, particularly during this Christmas season of goodwill to all.

ACU|BIEN kindly ask that as we turn our attention to welcoming the 2014 New Year, the people of St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Lucia and Dominica are in dire need of funds and other assistance to aid the clean-up, recovery and rehabilitation. [. . .]

1. Eastern Caribbean Flood Relief Fund: In collaboration with St. Vincent born recording artist, Kevin Lyttle and his family foundation (Janice Lyttle Foundation) in St. Vincent, a tax exempt Relief Fund (Eastern Caribbean Flood Relief Fund) has been established in the United States to facilitate receipt of financial contributions to support relief efforts through the Red Cross societies of the impacted islands of St. Lucia, Dominica and St. Vincent & Grenadines. Established in 1967, The Miami Foundation [. . .] allows the Eastern Caribbean Flood Relief Fund to achieve its philanthropic mission and provides strict oversight and accountability of the Fund by the Board of Trustees of the Miami Foundation.

For more information on The Miami Foundation, please visit www.miamifoundation.org. Financial donations (100% tax deductible) can be made Via Check: Make checks payable to “The Miami Foundation” and include the Fund name “Eastern Caribbean Flood Relief Fund”; Via Credit Card: Direct link http://bit.ly/1btRDyZ; Via Cash Wire Transfer: JPMorgan Private Bank – DE 500 Stanton Christiana Rd Newark, DE 19713 EFT/ACH ABA #267 084 131 Wiring ABA # 021 000 021 Account of: The Miami Foundation Account # 403251668

2. SVG Red Cross: The SVG Red Cross https://www.facebook.com/SVGRedCros has appealed for monetary donations (All cheques payable to “SVG Red Cross”). All monies will be converted into the following items:

Medical supplies; Mattresses and cots; Blankets, sheets sets- full and queen, pillows and linens; Toiletries- Toothpaste, Soap, Toothbrushes, Deodorant, Toilet Paper, Paper Towels; Bath Towels; Diapers- adult and baby; Bottled Water; Mops, Buckets, Washing powder, soap powder, disinfectants etc. For more information you may SVG Red Cross may be reached at (784) 456-1888; please ask for Mrs. George or Ms. Creese. If you consider that it may be cheaper to buy and send the listed items above, please do so, and contact the SVG Red Cross directly. ANY and ALL support is very welcomed.

3. Action Bequia: Action Speaks Louder than Word

Action Bequia is continuing to raise funds in support of the victims of the December Floods. They have set up an online donation which is a quick and efficient way to get much needed relief to those in need. Visit www.actionbequia.org under the heading “Donations“. Go to the “dropdown box” and click “How To Donate.” Choosing “One time Donation” on the final page you may selection “St Vincent 2013 Flood Relief” as the target for your donation. ‪#‎RISEUPSVG

[. . .] Once we have further information on further ways to give in the UK and Canada we will keep you posted. In the meantime, you may follow the progress reports on the following sites:

RedCrossSVG Red Cross Facebook page
SVG TV Facebook page
I-Witness News Online

For original post, go to http://acubien.com/caribbean-disaster-appeal-2014/

Posted by: lisaparavisini | January 2, 2014

RICKY MARTIN IS ABOUT TO RELEASE A SONG WITH JENNIFER LOPEZ & WISIN

ricky-martin-moon-palace-performance-cancun

This article appeared in Latina.com. Follow the link below for the original report and additional photos.

What do you get when you take Ricky Martin and drop him off to perform in Cancun, Mexico in front of 13,000 of his fans from all over the world? Deaf ears. We’ve never experienced so much screaming (and we were screaming ourselves!) as we did this weekend at his live outdoor concert at the beautiful Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort.Ricky rocked an 18 song set including his latest hit “Come With Me” and past favorites “María”, “She Bangs” & “Shake Your Bon Bon” before the party continued at the hotel’s glam discoteca Noir. But before all the dancing, screaming, and well, more screaming, we got to meet the man himself for an exclusive Q&A. Check out what Ricky had to say about his latest album, his sons’ future in music, the song he’s creating with JLo andWisin and more.

Latina: With the holidays just having passed, we want to know what your boys Matteo & Valentino got for Christmas!

Ricky Martin: They got everything they wanted! And, it wasn’t necessarily because I got it all. Grandma and grandpa [spoiled them too] and there’s nothing you can do about it. You cannot tell them what to do. The boys are into music. Grandma brought them some heavy, tiny Spanish guitars and they really got into it.

L: Do you think you have some future musicians on your hand? And would you support that?

RM: I don’t know!  Of course I support it! Whatever happens, happens. I just want them to be happy. Even if they become lawyers and they just have music to disconnect, that’d be good!

L: You’re collaborating and singing a song for the World Cup FIFA soundtrack and there’s a contest involved. Are you judging the contest?

RM: I wouldn’t say I’m judging the contest, although I’m choosing the song with Sony Music and FIFA. It’s a really cool concept because it doesn’t matter where you’re from — you can be from Indonesia, Korea, South Africa — and you can write the official song of the official album of the World Cup. I’m releasing a song with Jennifer Lopez and Wisinnow. Right before the World Cup, we’re doing a little TV special on it. We’ll be doing a reality thing where we go into the studio, we record, we write the song, we go to the country of the person who has started writing the [World Cup] song and we take them to Brazil. It’s a whole production.

L: What are you going to be looking for when you pick this song?

RM: I’m looking for a hook and for the message. The message has to be about uniting the world. I performed “The Cup of Life”, which is a song that metaphorically talks about the Cup of Life in general. It talks about the cup and the competition and the spirit of competitiveness that helps us in many ways. It’s always about that catchy song, but mainly, it’s about the message: Unity and breaking boundaries.

L: We’re excited to hear your album will be out before the end of 2014. Give us a little preview of what we’re going to expect.

I’m in a very earthy place right now. I need to go back to some heavy roots and look for that. I want to go to Africa to look for sounds, and I’m going to Brazil and Spain as well. All this is in search of something culturally rich and very organic. I need real sounds and real instrumentation and to create heavy fusion, culturally speaking. That’s the white canvas that I have in my mind, but it could change. I also have the second CD, which could be the remixes of everything I do. It could be a heavy Buena Vista Social Club approach. It could become dance immediately if you look for the right remixer.

L: You’re about to return to Australia for the second time to judge on The Voice. What if a spot opened up on the American Voice? Would you ever want to fill it?

RM:  [Sarcasm] Uhhh, I don’t know! That’s funny because I have a friend who was doing The Voice in Mexico and The Voice in Spain at the same time. Yeah, crazy frequent flyer mileage and he’s lost a lot of weight, but he’s doing it! If the opportunity to work with young, talented people that are willing to grow as artists is there, it’s something that I must never say no to. Because, yes, I’m giving all my information, but I also receive so much from them.

L: With everything going on like the new album and The Voice, where do you find your zen?

RM: I don’t know if it’s zen [laughs], but I find moments of tranquility. And then when I became a father, the tranquility went out the window again. It’s another frequency, and I give my kids a lot of credit for — believe or not — my sanity! Just looking at them I know that I have to be well. They only have me and that helps me to find that moment of serenity, to meditate, to do my yoga and to go jogging.

L: Regardless of your set list tonight at Moon Palace, what’s your favorite song to perform live?

RM: I just did an amazing tour in Australia, and yes, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” was very powerful, and the reaction to it and “She Bangs” was amazing. We went into the ballads when you bring up the Latin sounds — the very Caribbean, ethnic, percussive African sounds — that’s when people go crazy! I love performing that, as well. It’s in my veins. The beautiful part of it, is that no matter where you’re from, you will understand it because it’s about the rhythm and the sound.

For the original report go to http://www.latina.com/buzz/ricky-martin-interview-jennifer-lopez-wisin-song-fifa-world-cup-soundtrack?page=1

Posted by: lisaparavisini | January 2, 2014

Ricky Martin Single Again

ricky-martin3

Ricky Martin is Livin’ la Vida Soltero at as of the holidays, The Back Lot reports. According to a report by El Nuevo Día (confirmed by Martin’s publicist) the singer amicably ended his relationship with long-time partner, Puerto Rican financier Carlos González Abella.

Martin came out in 2010 after the birth of his twin sons Matteo and Valentino. He didn’t reveal the name of his partner until 2011 during a Behind the Music  interview with VH1.

“My boyfriend is very smart, very compassionate. But most importantly, he loves my children. It is very beautiful. Super cool. I’m very happy.”

Martin was born in Puerto Rico but he obtained Spanish citizenship two years ago. Herecently told Agencia EFE that he hoped to get married in Spain. Looks like that might be on hold.

For the original report go to http://www.thebacklot.com/ricky-martin-single-again/01/2014/

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