Founded in 1999, Jako Productions is a cultural and entertainment enterprise that seeks to encourage the artistic expression of St. Lucian culture and to promote that culture worldwide. Jako Productions has been pursuing this mission through its website, the social media, the publication of books and magazines, the production of music and film, the management of bands and artists, and the staging of musical, literary and other cultural events.
Besides many singles, Jako Productions has produced three notable music albums (Freedom by Sylvester “Itoobaa” Peter, Changes in Tyme by Jean Severin, and Can’t Stop Us by 4th World) five critically acclaimed music videos (Freedom by Sylvester “Itoobaa” Peter, Legacies by Aschadan Duplessis, Black Cinderella by Brandon Harding, Settle the Score by Lenny Deneb, and Can’t Stop Us by 4th World). In 2001 Freedom was awarded the St. Lucia M&C award for second best Album of the Year, and in 2012 Can’t Stop Us won the National Arts Award for Album of the Year. The company manages two bands, namely Phases and the 4th World reggae band and several artist, including Nijah “Cold Sweat” St. Catherine, Alleyne “Kyatt” Collymore, and Sylvester “Itoobaa” Peters.
Besides music, Jako Productions has published six books, including the novels, Death by Fire and The Stall Keeper by Anderson Reynolds; The Struggle for Survival: an historical, political, and socioeconomic perspective of St. Lucia, also by Anderson Reynolds; Phases, a collection of Poetry by Modeste Downes; The Brown Curtains, a novel by Clive Sankardayal; and Rhythms of the Ghetto by Ken Ballantyne.
Death by Fire was the winner of 2001 M&C main prize for literature; The Struggle for Survival won a 2003 M&C prize for prose; Phases was the winner of the 2005 M&C main prize for literature; The Brown Curtains was the 2004 winner of the M&C prize for prose, and was short listed for a 2007 Guyana prize for best new fiction; and The Stall Keeper was the winner of the 2012 National Arts Award for Prose.
In addition to its own productions, Jako Productions provides support to Iyanola Pictures in its movie productions. So far Iyanola Pictures has produced four movies including Nana’s Paradise, Troubled Waters, Tears in the Valley, and the international award winning movie, Ribbons Of Blue.
In 2005 Jako Productions launched The Jako, a magazine charged with presenting the best of S. Lucian writing and with encouraging and advancing St. Lucian culture and views worldwide. The Jako was the 2006 winner of the St. Lucia National Prize for Creative Journalism. However, due to a lack of funding Jako Productions was only able to publish three issues of the magazine.
Jako Productions is based in Vieux Fort, the industrial and fishing capital of St. Lucia. Situated at the southernmost end of the island, Vieux Fort is a hotbed of soccer, track and field, and reggae music. The area was St. Lucia’s first point of European settlement, and before the Europeans, it was home to a large community of Amerindians. Archaeologists digs have and continue to find a wealth of Amerindian artifacts. As home to the island’s international airport, Vieux Fort is truly the gateway to St. Lucia; and Jako Productions is proving to be a pioneer in the cultural industry of St. Lucia.
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