Reggae Month 2009 came to a pulsating climax with impressive performances by Freddie McGregor, Tanya Stephens, Lloyd Lovindeer, TOK and Professor Nuts, at the inaugural Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JARIA) Honour Awards on Sunday (March 1).
In an atmosphere of glitz and glamour, 11 stalwarts of Jamaica’s music industry were honoured and celebrated, for their invaluable contribution to its development and international penetration.
Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari (MRR) won the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Pam Hall and Dennis Brown were honorees in the artistes category.
Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, shares a special moment with the longest serving member of the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Brother Sam Clayton, at the inaugural Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JARIA) Honour Awards, on March 1, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston. Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Syd Bucknor and Sylvan Morris, who worked with greats including the late Bob Marley, the Wailers and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, were the honoured as engineers; Leslie Kong and Sonia Pottinger as producers; King Tubby’s and Jah Love Music, as sound systems; and Lennie Hibbert and Ansell Collins as musicians.
Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, thanked the honorees and their representatives, and described the awards as a “giant step for the music industry in Jamaica.”
“This is an occasion when you are honoured, not because you are popular but, because you are the music, you have laid the foundation and you have paid your dues,” she said.
The Minister also used the occasion to encourage members of the music fraternity to join JARIA, which was also officially launched at the ceremony.
“I am saying to all of you, get on board and get involved in this organisation, make it work. There are a lot of opportunities if you are a part of an organisation: there is international funding, there is help with capacity building, there are partnerships, there are all kinds of awesome possibilities. We have a reputation of not keeping it together, but I am hoping that this time around we will,” she said.
Reflecting on Reggae Month 2009, Miss Grange told JIS News that it went well.
“It was not a month where we just talked about celebration. It was a month where we tried to put structures in place to consolidate our gains over the years, and to make sure we were poised to take on the rest of the world,” she said.
The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JARIA), a non-governmental, non-profit organisation was conceptualised and given the task of organising events for Reggae Month 2009.
The main objective of JARIA is to reposition Jamaica at the centre of the global Reggae movement and culture.