BY RORY DALEY—
Organizers of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) Honor Awards stressed its importance Sunday at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston.
“I just want to thank everyone that has stayed with the JaRIA awards for the past nine years,” said Ibo Cooper, JaRIA chairman.
For Cooper, the strong turnout of artists and fans was a direct response to the clamoring for Jamaica’s version of the Grammy Awards.
The sentiment was echoed by former JaRIA chairman Freddie McGregor who, upon receiving his Iconic Artist award, commented on the lack of knowledge locally about the awards.
“The vision is not only to honor those that laid the foundation for us, but for us to lay that foundation for a larger vision,” he explained.
The finale on JaRIA’s Reggae Month calendar, Cooper hopes the awards will grow in stature.
Throughout the evening, his Reggae Orchestra transitioned from one genre to another. They performed Shabba Ranks’ dancehall hit Mr Loverman, Millie Small’s ska classic My Boy Lollipop, and the gospel standard Man From Galilee. They found even greater form backing excellent performances by Noel Ellis, son of reggae great Alton Ellis, and McGregor.
The JaRIA Song Of The Year and Breakthrough Artist Of The Year went to Spanish Town Rocking by Chronixx and all-female reggae band Adahzeh, respectively.
The full slate of awards
. Lifetime Achievement: Chris Blackwell
Iconic Artist (Female): Rita Marley
. Iconic Artist (Male): Freddie McGregor and Lindon Half Pint Andrew Roberts
. Outstanding Contributions to the Industry (Promoter): GT Taylor
. Extraordinary impact on the Reggae Industry (Sound System): Jah Shaka and Winston Joseph
. Extraordinary Impact on the Reggae Industry (Engineer): Donovan “Peter Chemist” Thompson and Sylvester “Sly” Gordon
. Extraordinary Contribution to the Reggae Industry (Songwriter): Vincent “Tata” Ford
. Extraordinary Contribution to the Reggae Industry (Musician): Glenroy ‘Glen’ Browne/Robert “Robbie” Lyn,
. Iconic Award (Duo/Group): The Melodians
. Extraordinary Impact on the Reggae Industry (Mentorship): Michael Bennett
. Extraordinary Contribution to the Reggae Industry (Band): Carlos Malcolm & Afro-Jamaican Rhythms
. Extraordinary Contribution to the Reggae Industry (Producer): Harry Johnson (posthumous) and Joseph Hoo-Kim
. Iconic Award (Gospel Music): Kevin Downswell and Otis Wright
. Extraordinary Contribution to the Reggae Industry (posthumous): Alton Elis.
. Extraordinary Impact on the Reggae Industry (Media): Vaughn “Bunny” Goodison.