January 30, 2023
Reggae Month officially kicks off on Wednesday and Ewan Simpson, chairman of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), says this year’s honour awards recipients will be announced in late February.
“The announcement will be announced on February 26 at the awards launch,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
First handed out in 2009, the awards recognise excellence in local music by honouring individuals, groups, and institutions that have played an instrumental role in the creation, evolution, mentorship, and development of the industry, covering 28 awards in 18 categories. Last year, in keeping with Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence, three special diamond awards were conferred on icons of Jamaica’s artistic and cultural life. The recipients were first National Hero Marcus Garvey, folklorist Louise “Miss Lou” Bennett Coverley, and reggae king Bob Marley.
Speaking to the Observer recently, Simpson had also noted that all is being put in place to make this Reggae Month memorable.
“The plans are progressing well and the board has been meeting consistently. We’re also negotiating with our government and private sector partners in order to bring high-quality entertainment presentations across the country,” he said.
“In fact, we’re going to take some of our Reggae Month stagings outside of Kingston to Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. And we’ll be staging some daytime events to expand the offerings of Reggae Month free to the public,” he continued.
After a two-year absence, Reggae Month kicks off this year with Reggae Wednesdays on the Kingston Waterfront. The chairman thinks the venue is quite fitting.
“February 1 will be the first Reggae Wednesday on the Kingston Waterfront. We’re bringing the sounds of reggae to the waterfrontâ€¦ to the city of reggae. That is how we want to celebrate the coming out of COVID; the rebirth and re-energising of Kingston as a creative city of music. This is what JaRIA believes we should do and we’re partnering to make it happen,” he said.
Reggae Month was first celebrated in 2008.
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