September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document


Article Order:4

Title:A message in the music

Author:Morlette Cowan

Publication:Weekly Gleaner

Original Language:English





Body:Its Easy Like Sunday Morning. Forgotten sounds of Jamaicas yester-years: Buju Banton, Beres Hammond, Spragga Bens, Ruler Brown, and Wayne Wonder are serenading listeners across airwaves of 88.7FM WRSU, in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

One cant help but feel relaxed, perhaps nostalgic, as we remember home in the Caribbean back in the days, as we would say.

The Reggae Kaleidoscope is heard every Wednesday night from eight to 10 p.m.

This conscious and eclectic mix of reggae music is deliberate, and the name is fitting. The people in charge of the program have a mission; they are not just your typical DJs playing the same songs over and over again. The music selection is thought through before it hits the air and the two people responsible for this fusion of old and new share the same vision. Their mantra is, giving to the Caribbean people clean and conscious lyrics that entertain and foster cultural pride. The words, clean and conscious, are not limited to reggae music of old; however, it spans across the years to include current dance hall hits.

Natty G and Genesis, as the dynamic duo are known, broadcast on the airwaves each Wednesday night.

For the past 15 years, Caribbean audiences in and around New Jersey have responded positively to this fresh new take on reggae programming. Response has been shown in the steady increase in listeners. Both the 20-year-old, who perhaps can only relate to artists like Shaggy, and the 40-year-old who can name all the great singers of yester-year can find their voice throughout the wide range of music on the Reggae Kaleidoscope program each Wednesday night. Catering to the Caribbean community, and all racial groups, the music spans from rock steady to dance hall, calypso to soca.

The programs flair includes having well-known artists as guest hosts, and spotlighting emerging artists who cannot get airplay elsewhere.

Genesis, whose real name is Dennis Lue, has been with the station since its inception over 15 years ago. Not seeking personal accolades, Genesis gives two hours of his time each Wednesday night because music has always been his passion. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and City College. Holding Bachelors and Masters degrees in psychology, he has been a teacher and practicing psychologist for the past 18 years.

Involved in the music business for the past 30 years, Lue, a Jamaican, is known by many of his peers, some of whom are respected artists in their own right.

When co-producer Garfield Natty G Francis joined Reggae Kaleidoscope over two years ago, he brought with him a fresh and new approach to the shows format.

With a voice made for radio, Francis brought with him also the experience of being involved in the music scene. A teacher of communications, Francis also holds a BA in communications from Glassboro State/Rowan University. His involvement in the music industry includes hosting of several stage shows as well as being the co-executive producer of A TOWN MUZIK, (a label that produced a 14-track CD.)

Mr. Lue and Mr. Francis, with their diverse backgrounds and a shared passion for music, continue to be mavericks in their fields. After 10 p.m. when the sounds of Reggae Kaleidoscope have fizzled into the air, the two continue to affect the Caribbean community positively.

Lue is the vice president of the Starlight Sports Club in New Jersey. For the past 15 years, he continues to give back to the community by sponsoring annual tournaments and trips to Canada for the clubs members who are mostly Caribbean youths.

Francis, though unsure of where this new path in the radio will take him, is destined to stimulate the minds of people young and old. He recently compiled a book of thought provoking poems, and is currently working on a childrens series.

Displaying an acumen in a music industry that is continually changing, Garfield Francis and Dennis Lue have learned how to mold and shape the quality of the sound on the air waves, so that the end product to the listening ear is positively beautiful music.

For the DJs of Reggae Kaleidoscope, their story is just the beginning.

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