JaRIA honours the extraordinary

April 3, 2024

article reposted by Chelsea

via jamaicaobserver.com

Drift, the infectious track by Teejay that made dancehall-reggae charts in Jamaica and the United States, won Song of The Year at the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) awards last Wednesday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

The track topped Praise Jah in The Moonlight by YG Marley, My Sweet Lord by Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, and Fight For Us from Masicka to take one of the event’s blue riband categories.

YG Marley was selected Breakthrough Artiste of The Year over Johnmark Wiggan, Nigy Boy, Amanyea, and Janeel Mills.

Kevin Downswell’s Grace won Gospel Album of The Year over John Mark Wiggan’s Validation, Humble’s Decalogue: The Heart of Work, and Jesus In The Middle – Save Me by Jai Kingston.

Album of The Year went to Old Soul by Stephen Marley. Samory I (Strength), Buju Banton (Born For Greatness) and Marcia Griffiths’ Golden were also nominated.

Four were cited for Extraordinary Impact on the Reggae Industry. They are veteran broadcaster Clinton Lindsay, Reverend Vivian “VB” Burker, Caribbean Buzz magazine and the Jamaica Observer.

Lindsay, who was recognised five days earlier by the International Reggae And World Music Awards (IRAWMA) for his groundbreaking work on Caribbean radio in New York City, was elated.

“When you are being recognised and honoured for your work it is always a satisfying feeling. And… I welcome the fact that local organisations are seeing it fit to honour people like me who have carried the Jamaican flag high and with pride in a foreign land, even when we were teased and told to go back on the banana boat with our jungle music,” he told the Observer. “Still, others who were there before me, folks like Ken Williams, Karl Anthony, Earl Chin, Jeff Barnes, and Ronnie McGowan, should be given the same honour too. I hope I am just the start and JaRIA will continue to reach out to these outstanding pioneers who put country and culture first.”

Singer Beres Hammond was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award, while Bernard Collins of The Abyssinians was acknowledged for Exceptional Contribution to the Reggae Industry as a songwriter. Collins is co-writer of Sata Masa Gana and Declaration of Rights, that group’s signature songs.

Music producer and operator of Uptown Mondays dance, Whitfield “Whitty” Henry, was awarded for Extraordinary Impact on the Reggae Industry, while the Sagittarius Band won a similar accolade.

Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts received the inaugural Ibo Cooper Icon Award. Danny Browne, whose Main Street Records has produced hit songs by dancehall and gospel artistes, was recognised For Extraordinary Impact on the Reggae Industry for Mentorship.

Two prolific, yet unheralded musicians were rewarded for Exceptional Contribution to the Reggae Industry. They are the late percussionist Uzziah “Sticky” Thompson and bass player Daniel “Danny Axeman” Thompson.

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