Since arriving in JA my schedule has been packed and if you've ever been here you know that things usually take longer (and some times much longer) than you expect. There's a Jamaican expression that you say sometimes at the end of a conversation; 'more time'. Despite the reputation that this culture has for being chilled out, relaxed and slow, it always seems like ya need 'more time.
These 10 BLOG posts are from my amazing trip to Jamaica where I was conducting research for the Newbury Comics Faculty Fellowship grant I received (from Berklee College of Music, where I am associate professor of piano and teach a class on Bob Marley) to produce a reggae education video.
One of the immensely beautiful views at Goblin Hill, Portland Coast
I reserved Tuesday of this week to head up the new highway from Kingston to Ocho Rios to meet with Ernest Ranglin....one of my all time favorite guitarists because of his masterful career as a top ranking jazz and reggae player...and how he mixes the two styles so well. My Mix Up Mix Up project is largely inspired by he and JA pianist Monty Alexander. We got our lines crossed and he thought I was coming on Wednesday. At the same time as we realized this during a telephone conversation in Ochi, we also realized that we were about a block away from each other....so we met on the street, Ernie and his lovely wife Juni. They were in town getting some supplies for a small construction type project they were working on for their house. I'm glad to say that he's in GREAT shape and sharp as a tack. At one point we got into US politricks and Trump stuff. He said that yes, he's still performing some and would like to come to the US BUT not until 'tings cool down in the US'. He and Juni were deeply fearful about Trump's racism and didn't trust at all that they'd be safe if they came. There's some direct-from-the-street, out side-of-the-US perspective on the Trumpocalypse!
Next I decided to drive down towards the Port Antonio and the Portland coast. This area is ridiculously GORGEOUS, lush tropical, enchanting, stunning. Years ago I remembered that I stayed a night at an incredible spot somewhere, couldn't remember the name, and hoped that I'd just find it. Just past Port Antonio (a super cool little town, known to be a hang for celebrity types from the days of Ian Fleming, writer of James Bond books, to now) I saw signs for "SAN SAN" and I knew I was in the spot. San San is a nature reserve for birds and trees with lush rolling hills that crash directly into the ocean. Then I saw the sign "Goblin Hill". I drove up the barely upkept steep road and rounded the corner to the entrance to this super classy, un touristy, absolute get away and booked a room for the night. This place is a slice of heaven on earth. The villas are set up to stay for multiple days, with complete kitchens (there's no restaurant), and the space just feels amazing; artful, beautiful, simple, elegant in a quasi bohemian style, relaxing. If you want a get away, romantic or not, COME HERE.
Woke up early and with the little time I had, picked up a traditional JA breakfast of Ackee and salt fish (yum!) and went to Frenchman's Cove, one of the most beautiful little beaches by a river mouth and nature preserve places EVER. I wish I could have stayed there for a week!
Frenchman's Cove beach
Stopped by Boston Bay, one of the surf spots inna JA....FLAT, completely FLAT...oh well.