Over the years the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) has made sure that it takes time and pride to highlight people in the Jamaican music industry. The effort is taken on so that the public will remain educated about the work that has happened in the past. while also being informed about what is currently taking place within the Reggae industry. JaRIA has taken this on through year round events geared toward uplifting its members and the general public.
On the JaRIA website the company’s overview states, “JaRIA is an independent, non-aligned, non-governmental, non-profit organization through which all stakeholders in the music industry can continuously collaborate with each other, as one, united, independent collective interest”.
One of the events that the public looks forward to annually is the JaRIA Honour awards. This years staging of the awards did not disappoint as the two hour event left the audience wanting more. A full spectrum of emotions could be witnessed throughout the night. From laughter at the MC team of Owen “Blakka” Ellis and Coleen Douglas to the tearful celebration of the I-Three’s accepting the Iconic Music Group award. All three of the I-Threes were in attendance. “Harambe forever” was the statement echoed by Marcia Griffiths when shouts of it came from the audience.
Although all the awardees made the night special, the icing on the cake was the quality of music coming from the 30 piece orchestra befitting the status and accomplishments of each of the 25 awardees. The orchestra was lead by JaRIA chairman Michael “Ibo” Cooper, represented the foundation and the up and coming instrumental talents. As explained by Naomi Cowan, “The future of our music is in good hands”. Naomi made this statement while accepting the award for breakthrough artist of the year. Some of the other awardees were Harry “Harry J” Johnson, George Nooks, Grace Jones, Sandra Brooks, Donovan Germaine, Felix “Deadly Headly” Bennett, the Ruff Kut band, Derrick Morgan, Derrick Harriot, Renaissance Sound System, Anthony Miller, Tanya Stephens, and many more. To get the full list, please visit the JaRIA website.
The night was filled with Jamaican pride, love and honesty as some of the awardees expressed special thanks that they were being awarded in this way by their own people in their own country.
Great job JaRIA for once again staging what can only be seen as one of Jamaica’s top band ambassadors.