Reggae legend Desi Jones dazzles with Skool after success with Chalice

By Carmen Glover


Desi Jones smiles with satisfaction as he plays the drums with an expertise that has earned him industry respect and clout.

The rich, pulsating, vibes emitted by drums fascinated legendary musician Desi Jones from his early childhood years growing up on the beautiful island of Jamaica so his progression from student, to inspiration, to teacher, has been a natural development. Along the way, Jones has toured the globe, treating fans to his flawless command of the drums.

“They used to call me boom boom when I was a child,” Jones recalled, laughing as he described how he energetically demonstrated his interest in the instrument during his formative years. “At age 9, I started playing the drums at the Institute of Jamaica. I used to play the conga drums that you play with your hands but after playing for a while I played with sticks at age 10 or 11.”


Desi Jones

As he was approaching his teenaged years, Jones played with the Salvation Army and other groups, honing his skills. By the time he turned 13 he was playing with Time Dimension, a group that was composed of teenagers ranging in age from 13 to 16. All the time, Jones was perfecting his craft while waiting for his one big moment, which came as unexpectedly as spot shower on a steaming hot day.
“In 1976, I played Carifesta. When the drummer for the Sonny Bradshaw band crashed, Dean Frasier, who was 19 and played the saxophone for the band, told Sonny about me. They hired me and that was my first professional job,” he said. After gaining a wealth of experience, Jones left Sonny Bradshaw in 1980 to join forces with other musicians, forming the group Chalice. The experience, from his recollection, was pivotal in propelling him to new musical heights.

late sonny bradshaw
Late bandleader Sonny Bradshaw gave Desi Jones his first professional gig.

“The group lived on the North coast for three to six months and we practised and practised,” he said. The dedication and discipline paid off in ways that the group members could not have envisioned. Chalice released its first album “Blasted” in 1982 and it was a resounding success, boasting three hits, “Good to be there,” which dominated the charts and was on the lips of the young and old alike, “I Still Love You,” and “I’m Trying.”

The group rode the wave of success brought on by their phenomenal debut album and soon they were the band of choice to back international acts. “Whenever they brought overseas acts like the Manhattans to Jamaica, we opened for them,” Jones said.
Paul Kastick of Groove Galore Records who co-produced The Voice’s Tessaane Chin’s hit “Hideaway” and has been the longtime drummer for Maxi Priest recalled being so impressed by Jones’ stellar skills on “Blasted” that it had him mesmerized with the possibilities that Jones’ skills caused him to contemplate. “Desi Jones revolutionized the music,” he said of Jones’ drumming talents on “Good to be There.”

dean frasier
Exceptional saxophonist Dean Frasier, at age 19, brought Des Jones to the attention of bandleader Sonny Bradshaw, who hired Jones for his first professional appearance.

Jones credits Bradshaw, arranger and producer Peter Ashbourne who enjoyed a long career creating jingles for commercials and Cedrick Brooks of United Africa as his three main teachers regarding the nuances of playing in bands. On the other hand, he lauds Tony Smith of The Mighty Titans, Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace, star of the iconic movie “Rockers” and Calvin Mckenzie of Inner Circle as his influences with mastering the drums. Inner Circle is a reggae band that was formed in Jamaica in 1968 with lead singer Jacob Miller. The band broke up when Miller dies but re-formed in 1986 and had the monster hit “Bad Boys” the long-standing theme song for the television show “Cops.”

These days, Jones plays with Chalice “on and off” because the group has scaled back its touring schedule.

“I stopped playing with Chalice in 1988 and formed Skool, a backing band,” Jones explained, of his scaled back interactions with the famous group, which lost its lead singer, Kevin Roper, to cancer in January 2013. But even as his musical repertoire has evolved, Jones has clung to the belief that it is important for experienced talents to pave the way for a new generation in every way possible and provide a template for them.

Desi Jones with Chalice
Desi Jones (second from left), with Chalice, the group with which he had his first taste of success.

“What I try to do is hire a lot of young players for my shows that,’ he said. In an effort to give back to the upcoming musicians, Jones make an effort to share his talents in other venues as well. “At the Edna Manley School of Music I judge contests,” he said. Most significantly, Jones has been a barometer for his son, Joshua Jones, who also attended the Edna Manley School of Music and plays bass for reggae sensation Chronixx, with whom Joshua is currently on tour. Jones has also formed an alliance with Jazz extraordinaire Monty Alexander and base player Glenn Bunning as he expands his musical scope.

“I came back from tour last week in the Netherlands with Luciana and Mutabaruka,” he said, explaining that the tour, Reggae Sundance, featured Alexander and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, because of his preference to “back up the veterans.”
Jones reflected on the last 15 years when the “drum computer thing was the craze until after a while they realized that the live drum is the best thing so now we are getting back to the acoustic sound.”


As his musical journey has come full circle, Jones has seen the transformation across the entertainment landscape.

“When I was on tour recently all of the musicians were students or graduates of the Jamaica School of Music. Everything is live again and it’s only in some genres like hip hop that they use computerized drums,” he said. “Every other genre has gone back to the old style of music. Bob Marley and Peter Tosh music doesn’t get old because of that, the live, acoustic sound that you hear in the songs.”

While Jones feels good that music has come full circle with a greater reliance on live music, he is savvy enough to realize that he has to adapt to a new way of earning as a musician in the new age of free downloads that sabotage musicians’ desire to earn from their craft.

Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace drummer extraordinaire and star of the movie "Rockers."

Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace drumming phenomenon and star of the movie “Rockers,” is one of the entertainers who taught Desi Jones the finer points of mastering the drums.

“The main way to earn money nowadays is from real skills so your talent as a live player is crucial. When you make a record you don’t make money from it. Your record is just to promote you but the money is made from touring so your talent has to be there,” he said. As he examines the changing trends on the musical landscape, Jones offers a few words of advice to fledgling musicians:

“Prepare yourself for your big moment and know your instrument,” he said is the first lesson to learn. It is also important, he said to “play every show you get and do free shows to get exposure.”

Jones is comfortable with the trajectory of his career and splits his time between touring, producing and other projects. “It’s hard to quantify,” he said of the degree to which he does each, but he has worked in various genres including gospel. “I’ve produced quite a few CDs for Carlene Davis, Myrna Hague and others.” As Jones continues to do what he loves, his passion for the music is as unmistakable as his commitment to producing superior music that thrills, entertains and has the power to last a lifetime.–

Maxi Priest dazzles at BB King’s, Eddie Levert joins in for a duet



Maxi Priest had concertgoers on their feet during his performance, dancing and singing along to his songs.

By Carmen Glover

Reggae superstar Maxi Priest delivered a spellbinding performance at BB King’s Jazz and Blues Club in Manhattan on Wednesday, June 11, starting at 8:00 p.m. Priest took to the stage like a fireball of energy belting out Dennis Brown’s crowd pleaser “Should I,” as a strong statement that the night would feature a blend love songs that brought back memories and new songs that illustrated Priest’s versatility and longevity.


Maxi Priest is well-known for his spectacular performances which have attracted a loyal fan base.

“Are you here to party?” Priest asked from the stage, as rapturous fans screamed in unison “Yes!” He promptly followed Brown’s hit with his own songs, crooning out “I Want To Be Free,” “Should I Give My Trust To You,” “Just a Little Bit Longer,” “Temptress,” and “Some Guys Have All the Luck.”  Midway between his dazzling performance, Priest halted the show as one of the concert’s organizers emerged onstage with a birthday cake bearing Priest’s handsome face. The individual announced that it was Priest’s birthday and immediately led the guests in singing “Happy Birthday,” to Priest, while the singer beamed, eliciting laughter and cheers.

eddie levert

Eddie Levert of the O’Jays was in the crowd and was invited onstage for a Temptations duet with Priest.

Priest resumed the show with the title song to his new album “Easy To Love,” which created a pantomime of energetic dancing on the floor due to its pulsating, exciting beat. Slowing the tempo somewhat, Priest then treated the crowd to perennial fan favorite “Wild World” which caused the crowd to respond as if they were participating in a church service, dancing freely, singing easily and waving hands while snapping fingers in time to the music.


He then acknowledged Eddie Levert, the lead singer for the O’Jays and invited him onstage for a duet of the Temptations hit “My Girl,” which highlighted a fusion of Priest’s soft, seductive tone and Levert’s powerful, soaring baritone that had the crowd pleading for more.

Paul Kastick doing what he loves most, playing the drums.

Paul Kastick doing what he loves most, playing the drums, with the expertise that is hard to emulate.

Priest brought a local Jamaican dance hall singer onstage to sing “House Call,” which Priest recorded decades ago with rough and tumble reggae demigod Shabba Ranks. The duo performed a medley of reggae tunes before Priest closed the show with “Crazy Love,’ “Your Body Can’t Lie To Me,’ and “Close To You.” The crowd was reluctant to see the show come to an end and concertgoers milled around afterwards, dancing to intoxicating music being played by a disc jockey. Priest’s guitarists were great in their string dexterity but drummer Paul Kastick, who has produced hits for other singers such as Tessanne Chin’s “Hideaway,” was outstanding on the drums.

Maxi Priest

Maxi Priest’s new album , “Easy To Love” will be available in stores July 8.

Priest’s concert, was excellent and enjoyable as his shows usually are. He will continue his world tour with dates in his native England before returning to New York on July 20 for the Jerk Festival where he will join Etana to entertain the patrons. If you missed him at BB King’s treat yourself to his performance on June 20, and see for yourself why Priest will always be “Easy To Love.”  Purchasing tickets to the Jerk Festival to see Priest perform will be money well spent.–

Gifted musician Paul Kastick mentors, develops new singers

imageBy Carmen Glover

The picturesque beauty of the island paradise of Jamaica has nourished, soothed and nurtured many illustrious talents who have dominated on the world stage. From track stars Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce who were named 2013 World Athletes of the Year, to intellectuals spanning many fields, and recent season five winner of “The Voice” Tessanne Chin, Jamaica can effortlessly stake its claim on the diverse talents of its sons and daughters.

Tessanne with her producer Paul Kastick of Groove Galore Muziq and Big Mountain band.

“The Voice’s” Season Five Winner Tessanne Chin with her producer Paul Kastick of Groove Galore Muziq Productions and Big Mountain Band. Kastick and fellow producer Rudy Valentino produced her hit “Hideaway.”

Paul Kastick, an extraordinarily gifted musician who, with fellow musician Rudy Valentino, produced Chin’s resurgent hit “Hideaway,” is poised to dominate 2014 with his diverse skills of producing beautiful music while developing a new crop of singing sensations. Kastick has toured or played on the same shows with some of the elite names in the reggae industry including the 809 Band, Shaggy, Maxi Priest, Diana King, Steel Pulse and Ky-Mani Marley. As CEO of Groove Galore Muziq Productions and a member of Big Mountain Band, Kastick proudly points to his Jamaican roots and his early musical influences as the reasons for his stellar successes professionally and his profound determination to develop new musicians in 2014 and beyond.

Paul Kastick enjoys a light moment backstage with Shaggy.

Paul Kastick enjoys a light moment backstage with Shaggy at New York’s Barclays Center in 2012.

“When I was ten, growing up in Montego Bay, Jamaica, we used to have two marching bands: Montego Bay Boys Club and Tyson. It used to be mesmerizing to me to hear the marching bands coming through,” Kastick said reflectively, while musing about his childhood. “You would drop everything you were doing and just stare. I had an obsession with the bands and seeing the guy throw the drum sticks up in the air.”

Kastick explained how he would walk along the path on his way home from school and peek in on the Boys Club practice sessions. “When I saw a brown-skinned guy, Carlos Gonzalez, playing the drums, I said to myself: ‘He’s good. I could do that one day,'” Kastick recalled. He took his childhood dreams to heart and quickly began to play in his high school band, although he recalled that the band only played “orchestra music” at the time, requiring him to learn to “read music.”

Paul Kastick doing what he loves most, playing the drums.

Paul Kastick doing what he loves most, playing the drums.

Honing his talent while passing time at his late mother’s store, Kastick said he would watch as various bands rehearsed nearby.

“I didn’t have a drum set at the time so I would play on my legs and in the air,” he said, laughing at the fond memories evoked by the imagery. “In 1982 my uncle went to New York for the first time and he came back with a video of MTV Top 40 Countdown. I saw Van Halen, Hall & Oates and the rock music brought out something in me. I started to get obsessed with the music,” Kastick recalled. “The defining moment for me was in 1983 when I joined with Benjy Myaz and we began to learn more about music. Shortly afterwards, Chalice’s album ‘Blasted’ with the hit single ‘Good to be There’ came out and the group’s drummer, Desi Jones, revolutionized the music,” he added.

New York based singer Faraji, is another singer whose upcoming album is being produced by Paul Kastick.

New York based singer Faraji is another intriguingly exciting singer whose upcoming album is being produced by Paul Kastick, who has a knack for producing memorable hits.

As Kastick matured, opportunities opened up to him and he landed a job as the drummer for the in-house band at Seawind Resort in Montego Bay. Throughout the tourist mecca, it was the norm to see Kastick, with his music bag slung casually over his shoulder, clicking his drum sticks in the air or randomly on cans and other surfaces, happily practicing notes only known to him, while residents and tourists simply stared and wondered: Who is that guy?. Kastick was caught up in his own musical realm, visualizing music’s vast terrain, while occasionally indulging in non-music related talk. His immense joy at being around music and being able to live out his passion daily was infectious. Music, unquestionably, was his life.

Belinda, who had a hit single in 1991, is working with Paul Kastick on her upcoming album.

Belinda Brady, who sang backup for Shaggy in the past, is working with Paul Kastick on her upcoming album.

For years, Kastick’s warm-up song was the sweet strains of Priest’s “Wild World,” though as a young man starting out in music, meeting Priest seemed like a far-fetched dream. But Kastick said he looked up one day while rehearsing with 809 Band at 2B Grove Road in Kingston, Jamaica, and saw Priest watching from the door.

“I could not believe it,” Kastick said emphatically, relishing the memory even decades later. A bond easily developed between the two musicians and Kastick has been touring with Priest since 2000.

Priest, who said he considers Kastick “a friend and co-writer,” describes him as “one of Jamaica’s all time greatest drummers both live, and in studio.” In an indication of Kastick’s life coming full circle. Priest, who Kastick admired so much as a young man, said that Kastick is “a true pioneer and I’m honored to have him as family, a member of my band, and a creative entity in my music.”

But it took Kastick many years before he got to the point of touring with mega-stars, running his own music company and producing work for fledgling singers.

Paul Kastick, (second from left) with the members of Big Mountain band.

Paul Kastick, (second from left) with the members of Big Mountain Band.

“In 1985 cabaret singer Dennis Malcolm came to me and Benjy to do a reggae cover version of Brook Benton’s “I Love You in So Many Ways,” Kastick said of the period shortly after he began to work at Seawind Resort. “Dennis was the first person who took us into the studio. I always thought that Benjy and I would be like the great Sly & Robbie team.” But their lives took different paths and in 1989 Kastick auditioned for 809 Band. “Four months later I got a message from 809 to come to Kingston on July 26, 1989 and by that time the Seawind Band was getting lots of attention,” he recalled.

Paul Kastick at Westlake Studios in Los Angeles, California, working with his Big Mountain band members.

Paul Kastick at Westlake Studios in Los Angeles, California, working with his Big Mountain band members.

Kastick’s involvement with the 809 Band led to an exhilarating journey during which he traveled regularly to Japan for the Japan Splash musical extravaganza, where he garnered attention for his talents but most importantly, cemented a loving, supportive and strong relationship with 809 saxophonist Dean Fraser.

“Dean was like a father to me,” said Kastick, who has never met his father. As a father himself, Kastick realizes the important roles fathers play in children’s lives. “When I had off days and would travel to see my girlfriend at the time, Kathy Williams, Dean was the one driving me to see her,” he said. The 809 Band is a highly respected band in reggae music and stars such as Luciano, Sizzla and a host of others have had hits produced by former members of the band.

Paul Kastick is lost in his private thoughts, as he ponders what's involved in producing new hits for his singers.

Paul Kastick is lost in his private thoughts, as he ponders what’s involved in producing new hits for his singers.

As the need for large bands waned in the mid-nineties, Kastick shifted his focus to diversify his opportunities by accepting an offer to tour with Diana King in 1995. He then joined Shaggy on tour in 1996, after first meeting him in 1993 when he played with the 809 Band at the Japan Splash and the band backed Shaggy, Gregory Isaacs and Buju Banton.

“In 1995 Shaggy came back with “Bombastic” but we were on tour in Trinidad with Beres Hammond and Shabba so we were unavailable to tour with him, but the night when Shaggy won the Grammy for “Bombastic” his manager called me and said they wanted to change their band and they wanted me, Michael Fletcher and Christopher Birch to join them,” he said.

After rehearsing for a week in Jamaica in 1996, Kastick and the rest of the band went on world tour with Shaggy, visiting South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Poland, Beirut, Lebanon; Belgium and Germany, among others. He recalled that the South African stop was the most memorable.

“The tour was two years after Nelson Mandela came to Jamaica and I played for him,” Kastick said. “When I landed in Johannesburg I felt like I was coming home to my roots. Maybe it was subliminal based on the history of apartheid.”

Paul Kastick gives his all in his performance.

Paul Kastick savors the power of the music and its impact in transforming the lives of music lovers across the globe as he renders yet another solid performance.

Kastick toured with Shaggy extensively until 1998 on the “Spirit of Unity Tour,” featuring Shaggy, Buju Banton, Steel Pulse, Beres Hammond and Lucky Dube. The tour was a summer tour in the U.S, and it ended in Hawaii. At the end of the tour, Kastick accepted an offer from Big Mountain Band.

“The manager of the band, who I knew from before, called to say the band needed a new drummer to build something solid,” he said of the transition. Joaquin “Quino” McWhinney, lead singer of Big Mountain Band, remembers observing Kastick in 1997 while on a European tour in Amsterdam during the period when Kastick was playing drums for Shaggy.

“We were sound checking at the Milky Way music club when I noticed Paul standing in the middle of the dance hall with his arms crossed, studying us intently,” McWhinney said, while adding that over the past 16 years “Paul became my close friend and partner.” Straddling a blend of reggae that incorporates a variety of styles, McWhinney explained that “Big Mountain is committed to create a sound that does not exclude any racial or cultural community and Paul brought to Big Mountain an extensive array of experiences in reggae music but he also taught us not to be afraid of our American roots.”

Kastick’s decision to accept the offer to join Big Mountain Band changed the trajectory of his career and led him to  producing, which allows him to expand his repertoire by working with new singers to help shape their careers. As Chin basks in the success of winning “The Voice” and continues to enjoy success from the Kastick/Valentino produced hit “Hideaway,’ Kastick is firmly focused on developing two singers who have enjoyed modest acclaim on their own: Belinda Brady and Faraji.

Paul Kastick shows that deep concentrating is necessary for a great show.

Paul Kastick shows that deep concentration is necessary for a great show.

“Belinda used to sing background for Shaggy in 1995 and she is Jamaican with Canadian heritage,” Kastick explained. “She sings big and powerful like Tessanne and she called me after she heard ‘Hideaway’ to discuss working together,” he said.

Although Kastick is producing an album for Brady, she is also working with Sly & Robbie and Tony Kelly as well. Faraji, on the other hand, whose style is of the soul reggae alternative genre, with songs such as “Come Again” and Sensimellia Love,” has a different connection with Kastick.

“Faraji is like a brother to me while Belinda is a friend that I linked up with,” Kastic said. However, one thing is clear: He is fiercely committed to both singers. “I am fully vested in them,” he said firmly, emphasizing his laser-like focus on solidifying the singers’ respective careers.

Kastick also works with Dorrett Wisdom (Dwisdom), who, he said, “In 1991 she had the hit single ‘First Real Love,’ which was produced by Willie Stewart of the group Third World. Dwisdom has been singing backup over the past 15 years for Beres Hammond and touring with him. She is working on her second album with Harmony House and Kastick is producing a remake of her 1991 hit “First Real Love.”

The music has captured Paul Kastick's body, mind and soul as he gives it his all.

The music has captured Paul Kastick’s body, mind and soul as he gives it his all.

King, who fondly refers to Kastick as “Styk,” said she “cannot imagine being without him.” She speaks highly of the 20 years that she has been working with the gifted musician and is rueful that he doesn’t have “a few clones” due to the intense demand for his indomitable musical skills. “Not only is he super talented as a live drummer and musical director on stage, he is just as talented and innovative in the studio when it comes to drum programming and producing,” she explained. “He’s on top of his game in every way.”

King expressed admiration for Kastick’s tendency to keep current with technology and musical trends while retaining his passion for musical excellence. “He isn’t afraid to say exactly what he thinks because he believes in the integrity of the music, which is why all the top international Jamaican artists’ first choice to work with is Paul.”

Kastick sees great things ahead for both of his singers as he works diligently to expand their musical reach and expose them to a wider audience. At the same time, Kastick is committed to continuing to tour with Priest, producing sweet music with Big Mountain Band, accepting other musical engagements and spending quality time with his family.

Gonzalez, who used to play drums with the Boys Club Band and whose late father was a saxophonist from Puerto Rico, was surprised when he learned that Kastick used to watch him play in their shared hometown of Montego Bay.

“That makes me feel good that I was like a role model to him and I’m happy that Paul went on to follow his dreams and do well,” he said. Gonzalez, who is no longer involved in music and resides in Toronto, Canada, said: “It just goes to show that you should never give up on your dreams.”

Paul Kastick and the members of Big Mountain Band rehearsing.

Paul Kastick and the members of Big Mountain Band having fun while rehearsing.

McWhinney agrees with that sentiment wholeheartedly and credits Kastick with helping him embrace the full scope of his dreams.

“Paul encouraged me to be myself and not try to copy Jamaican reggae. He encouraged me to reach deep into my experiences in life. I can’t stress enough how important it was for me to understand that,” he said. Savoring the richness of their close bond, McWhinney is pleased that as Big Mountain Band returns to the studio to record an album after a long break it will be with Kastick’s involvement.

“I’m so proud and happy to have my brother Paul by my side,” he said. “Paul Kastick is one of those rare examples of talent, professionalism and sincere heart that keeps reggae music alive and well in 2014.” Infused by the comfort of Kastick’s presence for the next phase of the band’s journey he added: “Big Mountain is back.. Big Time….” Undoubtedly, Kastick, who is described by Priest as an “amazingly versatile musician,” would agree.

The sky is the limit for Kastick as the New Year unfolds and his musical expertise expands. it seems that his work ethic will continue to be his strongest asset.

“Paul takes his work very serious: Always organized, early for work, the first in rehearsals, the last to leave, and enthusiastic when touring,” said Priest.

As Kastick continues to demonstrate his highly developed sense of professionalism while thrilling audiences with his vast skills, the world of music will continue to celebrate his tableau of musical passion, genius and excitement, mixed with a spirit of collaboration, all honed and nurtured on the breathtakingly beautiful island of Jamaica, where he grew up and still calls home.–

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Tessanne Chin is the new “Voice” winner

Tessanne Chin belting out the late Whitney's Houston's "I Have Nothing."

Tessanne Chin belting out the late Whitney’s Houston’s “I Have Nothing.”

By Carmen Glover

Riding a wave of enthusiastic support from an impressive fan base, Jamaica-born singer Tessanne Chin, 28, was named the season five winner of NBC’s singing contest, “The Voice,” on the Tuesday night finale. Chin, who was coached by Adam Levine during the contest, beat out Jacquie Lee, who was coached by Christina Aguilera and Will Champlin, who was also coached by Levine, to become the newest winner of the popular talent search show.

The highly watched finale took place over a two-day period, beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Monday night as the three finalists belted out various songs designed to show their range and expertise. Chin electrified the crowd with her powerful rendition of the late Whitney Houston’s hit “I Have Nothing,” causing Levine to rise from his seat and state:

” I don’t know what else is left for Tessanne to do. She’s the winner.”  Viewers of the show have voted in large numbers for Chin, and have also encouraged others to watch the show and vote for her. The winner was announced Tuesday night after a recap of the season. Chin could barely contain her excitement when her name was announced.

An emotional Tessanne Chin performs on "The Voice."

An emotional Tessanne Chin performs on “The Voice.”

“Oh my God,” Chin said, when her name was announced. Happy tears slid down her cheeks and she held her face in a combination of joy and shock. Levine hugged her happily while her husband and mother embraced at the edge of the stage. After holding the trophy briefly, Chin sang the single that “The Voice” is releasing on iTunes at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday. In addition to being named the winner, Chin, who has been a backup singer for reggae star Jimmy Cliff, will be given a record deal by the producers of the show. Chin expressed her “love” and gratitude for Levine and the dedication he has shown in coaching her during the competition  Levine expressed feeling “happiness” when his team wins and he could not disguise his pleasure that Chin emerged as the season five winner. He said often during the completion that she deserved to win.

When the parents were asked how they felt about their children progressing to the finale, Tessanne’s mother, Christine, a musician herself, did not hold back. “I’m very proud of Tessanne,” she said, urging Chin to “be yourself,” while explaining that Chin is representing her family as well as “a nation, Jamaica.” Social media exploded with positive feedback when Chin sang the duet “Love Can Move Mountains,” with multiple award-winning music icon Celine Dion.

Tessanne with her producer Paul Kastick of Big Mountain Records.

Tessanne with her producer Paul Kastick of Big Mountain Records.

Throughout the contest, Chin has won fans far and wide, but Jamaicans across the globe have mobilized en masse to watch diligently each week while reaching out to residents in the U.S. to host various voting parties, since voting was restricted to the U.S. As Chin distinguished herself week after week, her fan base grew steadily while she has thrived, exuding class, dexterity, humility and a fun-filled aura that supporters have found refreshing.

For Paul Kastick, CEO of Groove Galore Muzik Productions and member of the Big Mountain band, who spotted Chin’s talent, nurtured her musical dreams, produced her chart-topping single, and worked tirelessly to get her air play when she was being snubbed by radio programs, her latest achievement comes as no surprise. “Let me tell you, Tessanne is one of the best voices out there right now,” he stated, boldly predicting her victory on Sunday night when he was vacationing in Malaysia. “My team was the original team that worked with her from the ground up. We were there with her from day one, working with her because we could see that she was just a natural with the music,” he said.

Chin’s album, “In Between Words,” has been rising steadily on iTunes, as she continues to revel in the embrace of the U.S. fans. Chin thanked her well-wishers from the “tiny island of Jamaica and her new fans in the U.S,” saying she was “grateful for their support,” throughout her journey on “The Voice.” She also thanked her husband, who she said has “been there” through it all. By winning “The Voice” contest, Chin is now poised to take the musical world by storm, building on her past achievements while enjoying well-deserved, long-overdue recognition on the international stage. Her victory on “The Voice” signifies that she has broadened her appeal, won new hearts and fans who saw her in their living rooms for weeks and fell in love with what she delivered. Well done Tessanne. –

 Please follow us on twitter @OnPointPress_, Facebook: Carmen Glover.