Wed | Apr 1, 2020

25 to be awarded by JaRIA this Reggae Month

Published:Sunday | January 19, 2020 | 12:53 AM

Each year, to cap the celebrations of Reggae Month, the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) honours stalwarts in the music industry for their exceptional contribution. This year, the organisation will issue 25 awards across 18 categories.

A veteran of the ska era, singer Eric ‘Monty’ Morris tops the list for February 2020. He is the recipient of this year’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognises him for living “a life of dedication to the music industry”.

JaRIA has bestowed the title ‘Iconic Artistes in The Music Industry’ on Lady G, Shabba Ranks, and Garnet Silk (posthumously). Chevelle Franklyn and the now defunct group David Keane and the Sunshine Singers are the recipients of this award for Gospel.

With the exception of the Song of the Year and Emerging New Artiste of the Year titles – which are decided by online votes – the other awardees are recognised for either their ‘Extraordinary Impact on the Reggae Industry’ or their ‘Exceptional Contribution to the Reggae Industry’. Among these awardees are musician and saxophonist extraordinaire Dean Fraser; trombonist Vin Gordon; drummer Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace; producers Alvin ‘GG’ Ranglin and Philip ‘Fatis’ Burrell (posthumously); engineers Ernest Hoo Kim and Collin ‘Bulby’ York; Mark ‘Buju Banton’ Myrie for songwriting; journalist Elise Kelly; the band Chalice; and roots group, Israel Vibration.

Musician-producer Wycliffe ‘Steely’ Johnson and Lee Gopthal of Trojan Records will both be recognised posthumously. Sound system operators will also be honoured, and this year’s recipients are Michael ‘Mikey Faith’ Gordon-Martin, owner of the Empire Faith sound system, and the Ray Symbolic sound system. Orville Hall of Dance Xpressionz will walk away with the Gregory Isaacs Foundation Award.

JaRIA president Ewan Simpson, told The Gleaner that the selection process has remained the same as in previous years.

“A selection committee of JaRIA picks the nominees (some are shortlisted from previous years) in each category and then votes by secret ballot. Top votes (winners) are ratified by the JaRIA Board. Some categories have one winner, others have two,” he said.

Simpson disclosed that two of the 18 categories are selected by popular vote, with those nominees named by the Reggae Month Committee and posted on JaRIA’s website for popular vote as the people’s choice. The winners of these two categories, Song of the Year and Emerging New Artiste of the Year, are announced on the night of the awards.

The JaRIA Awards will be staged on February 25 at the Little Theatre in Kingston.

– Yasmine Peru