Personal blog of Derek and Margaret, now living in Dominica, W.I., founders of Ozone Zone – an Independent Canadian book publisher specializing in coffee table books of architectural treasures and lush gardens. We also promote fine artistic photography. This blog contains unofficial reports and comments from our various trips, photo sessions and jobs – an unofficial scrapbook of our travels, explorations and photo-related work. See “about” for more.

Archive for the ‘Jamaica’ Category

Independence Day Celebrations – Dominica 2014

So, we are in Dominica, organizing our things and awaiting arrival of our container from Canada.

Main stage of the concerts in the Stadium, opening night.

Main stage of the concerts in the Stadium, opening night.

We arrived in Dominica just in time for Independence Day celebrations: over two weeks of music festivals, parades, national dress contests and all sorts of lively events. Dominica gained independence only 36 years ago, and Dominicans are very passionate about it. Many of them living abroad come to the island on this special occasion to join in all festivities.WMCF2014small-0928

Music festivals attract also large crowd from French speaking neighboring islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique as well as Spanish and English speaking regions. WMCF2014small-9867They share love for the Caribbean rhythms of reggae, soca, zouk and bouyon performed at the World Creole Music Festival- three long nights of pulsating, electrifying music.

The World Music Creole Festival concerts were well organized by Discover Dominica, and there were enough bands to offer something to everybody. Surely, we all have different tastes and expectations and some bands were not as good as others – but that can be said about practically every festival, and we were impressed with professional organization, sound system, and visual presentation of it all.

Smiling Drummers gave a performance full of rhythms and flair

Smiling Drummers gave a performance full of rhythms and flair

Concerts started soon after sunset and lasted until morning hours – quite a marathon! Then, during day time there were many other attractions worth considering (we will share a story about this in our next post).

The biggest star this year and a crowd’s favorite was Jamaican reggae sensation Jah Cure. We quickly became fans of Dominica’s own bouyon group Triple Kay Band, after their energetic and groovy performance. Not only their playing was clearly at a high skill level, but the songs were full of surprises, cleverly composed and uplifting.

Triple K performing in the park

Triple Kay performing in the park

We quickly agreed with a paraphrase of a popular song they created: “When Triple Kay plays – nobody can say -No!” We will be following career of this fine local band and we hope to see them spread wings far behind Dominica.

Traditional performances took place in the park.

Traditional performances took place in the park.

Triple Kay also took part in the Creole in the Park- four days of music performances on the grounds of Botanic Gardens. We immensely enjoyed not only the music but also a more relaxed, casual atmosphere and the strongly present sense of togetherness of all performers and audience. CreoleInPark2014small-1427This event is a magnet for people of all age groups including families with children who are having a great fun together.

We hope you enjoy our photos from these events.CreoleInPark2014small-03924

In next post we will share our experience from other festivities, such as colorful parade, dress contests, and fantastic food offered during the celebrations. Stay tuned, share if you like it, and FOLLOW to be notified about it!
Thank you!

All photos copyright Derek Galon. Story by Margaret Gajek. Please respect our copyright. No usage without authorization, please.



Easter in Panama

After our week-long photo-shoot in Jamaica, we spend the Easter Sunday in Panama City, awaiting connection to Honduras.
Jamaica was busy, quite busy indeed. We had to photograph there several resorts, including some famous “all inclusive” super-clubs.
Much noise, lots of people, plenty of activities around – not the easiest setup for architecture photography.
From many various resorts we visited (including Hedonism II), our most favourite one is the Sunset Negril resort. Located in the most West part of Jamaica, it has nice surroundings, and has the most privacy. It is set in a tropical jungle-like surroundings, with song birds around you, beautiful flowers, etc.
Hidden between lush plants wooden cottages are equipped nicely, but have the matching character of simplicity without pretence. A perfect spot to unwind in a friendly atmosphere, close to nature (and a perfect sandy beach!) with good food and simply AMAZING service. Yes, the service there gets our maximum rate, as it is simply unmatched in our experience. We can only wish such quality service is offered in Canada.
This is really a place one may want to return to.
Thank you Sunset at the Palms (in Negril) for your hospitality!

I post here couple of photos from Sunset in Negril, Jamaica. You can see nice open spaces offering fresh breeze near reception and bar, and surrounded directly by lush tropical plants, and on another pic – traditional Caribbean ceiling of the open-walls restaurant…

Other Sunsets have also an amazing service, although these places (Sunset Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios, and Sunset Montego Bay) have a bit different character. Well, I guess the quality must be the signature of their owner and management…

OK, time to pack and soon to go to airport – Honduras is our next stop…
Until next time, Happy Easter!

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