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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » NEW YORK CITY’S IRIE JAM RADIO TO MARK MILESTONE, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6!

NEW YORK CITY’S IRIE JAM RADIO TO MARK MILESTONE, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6!

 By Kevin Jackson—
 Top:(L) Bugle (R) DJ Roy
Bottom: Dub Master Chris, Bobby Clarke, Lo Loca, DJ Roy–

IRIE Jam Radio, the biggest outlet for Caribbean music in the United States, will celebrate its 22nd anniversary with a major stage show at the Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York, on Sunday September 6.

The event will feature performances from a number of top acts, including Dexta Daps, Christopher Martin, Agent Sasco, Bugle, Chi Ching Ching, Ding Dong, Tifa, Kranium, Ky-Mani Marley, and soca star Edwin Yearwood.

Bobby Clarke, CEO of Irie Jam Radio, recalled the objectives he initially had to set up the entity.

“Honestly, I was just not happy with the quality of radio in the New York tri-state area. So initially, job one was to improve the level of radio broadcast delivered to the millions of Jamaican nationals here,” Clarke told Jamaica Observer.

The 47-year-old, who was born in Jamaica and attended Excelsior High, migrated to the United States 29 years ago.

He explained how the station has evolved in more than two decades.

IrieJamRadio:logo

“The evolution has seen Irie Jam Radio move from being a small voice, late at night, to now being one of the largest Caribbean media houses in North America, with daily radio shows on two of New York’s top-rated stations. Irie Jam has the largest share of this market’s Caribbean listeners, and this company is a household name in New York and has expanded to include event production, and now is embarking on television production for a hungry Diaspora audience,” he said.

The offices of Irie Jam are located in Rosedale, Queens, New York.

“Our radio broadcasts emanate from 93.5 WVIP in New Rochelle, New York, and Radio 103.9 in Manhattan,” said Clarke.

Some of the DJs who worked with Irie Jam in the early days include Pat McKay, Milford Edwards and Ainsworth ‘Big A’ Higgins.

“Irie Jam started out as a historical live broadcast that saw a live link between Jamaican listeners for IRIE FM locked into 93.5 WRTN every Saturday night from midnight to 2:00 am. From the starting DJs we have had major contributors, like Shinehead, Shelly Thunder, Carlene the Dancehall Queen, Aubrey Campbell, Douglas Fiddler, Collin Hinds, Judith Bodley, Oliver Samuels, David Rodigan, Nikki Z, Felicia Loud, Raggashanti, Spreadlove Bobby, Vinnette Pryce, Janice Julian, and Anthony Turner among others. Now the current line-up of DJs includes DJ Roy, Dubbmaster Chris, Jabba, Cali B, Markus Wanted, DJ Stretch, DJ Oxtail, Irwine Clare and Lester Hinds,” said Clarke.

Bobby Clarke of Irie Jam FM

Bobby Clarke of Irie Jam FM

He said Irie Jam has made a significant contribution to the Jamaican and Caribbean Diaspora.

“Irie Jam is directly attached to every single facet of the local Jamaican and Caribbean community here in the tri-state area. We serve as the voice for reporting the latest news, sports, and entertainment as it happens in Jamaica and the Caribbean. Current affairs and all things important run through our airwaves to keep the Jamaican community here abreast. We have found a way to donate a community upliftment radio show to enhance the lives of our Jamaican audience with our moving forward campaign,” Clarke explained.

Irie Jam Radio covers the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

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