Caribbean Life’s Associate Editor Grenadian-born Kevin Williams was among three outstanding community figures honored last Sunday at the first award ceremony of the Brooklyn-based Grenadian cultural group Quake USA.
The other honorees – all Grenadians – were Gentle Benjamin, a television producer and videographer, and Val Adams, renowned calypsonian and mas producer.
The ceremony took place during Quake USA’s Annual Tea Party Cultural Extravaganza at St. Catherine of Genoa School Auditorium on Albany Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Councilmember Jumaane Williams presented citations on his behalf and certificates of special congressional recognition from Congresswoman Yvette Clarke while Malcolm Mc Daniel, constituent liaison for Brooklyn Borough presidentpresented proclamations from Senator Kevin Parker and certificates of recognition from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
The group said the awards were presented for “outstanding service and preservation of cultural heritage.”
Williams expressed gratitude to Quake USA for selecting him for the award.
He informed patrons that Spice Island Youthquake will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2020 in Grenada and that he expects to see many of Quake USA members to be there.
“It is really a great honor to be recognized as one of three persons making contributions to the development and promotion of the Grenadian culture at Quake USA first award ceremony,” said Williams, who is also a sound technician, photographer and videographer.
In the 1980s, Williams contributed to the development of Spice Island Youth Quake as a foundation member.
Benjamin, affectionately called “Gentle Ben,” is the primary founder, producer and videographer of Gentle Ben Television (GBTV) and CultureShare.
Renowned as a world class musician, Benjamin is the father of Grenada’s only Grammy Award winner, Casey Benjamin.
Adams, the longtime supporter and producer of multiple Caribbean artforms, composes and plays music.
His carnival costume-making has resulted in a record number of wins for his 500 Story band in the small-band category in Brooklyn’s West Indian American Day Carnival Parade.