T&T to host 2011 IRAWMA Awards

Reggae fans will jam the soca city of Port-of-Spain next year when the International Reggae & World Music Awards travels south to honor acheivers in both music genres as well as those lesser in mainstream media.

After almost a year of scouting locations, founder Ephraim Martin disclosed an arrangement with the government of Trinidad & Tobago to host the oldest Caribbean awards showcase of music talents.

At press time, Martin had not yet confirmed a venue or exact date. However, he assured Pure Class that a press conference slated for Nov. 16 would clarify any information puzzling fans. potential guests and media.

Martin had been shuttling from Illinois to Port-of-Spain since the Mothers Day weekend festivities held in Jamaica, Queens, New York. At that time, a buzz about the next venue pitted T&T and Jamaica as the likeliest locations. However, the notion of Jamaica hosting crumbled with Martin saying he had gotten no rconfirmation or official response from the powers there. The French island of Guadeloupe became a contender and finalist with New York still firmly in the minds of insiders who had become accustomed to welcoming the travelling honors.

In previous years, the awards were held at Columbia University, Manhattan Center’s Hammersmith Ballroom, The Apollo Theater and York College. With Guadeloupe the most impractical location to contend, New York seemed the next best locale for the 30th anniversary celebration.

“I always hoped it would be T&T,” Calypso Rose stated.

The staunch supporter of events staged by Martin and his Chicago-based organization seems elated that her twin islands has been chosen the only Caribbean destination — aside from Jamaica — to host the prestigious awards.

Martin curried the allure by adding T&T’s Indian-flavored chutney to the long list of categories voted annual by fans and music insiders.

Rita Marley Named For Marcus Garvey Award

Rita Marley will have to make space for another award destined for display her honor.

It is the Marcus Garvey Lifetime Acheivement Award which she will accept on Nov. 12 in Washington D.C.

Presented by the Institute of Caribbean Studies the singer, matriarch and philantropist will be named the 2010 Caribbean Heritage Award honoree.

“Nana Rita was a perfect recipient for our Marcus Garvey award. This award recognizes those who unselfishly advocate to empower and to uplift the people of the Caribbean and Africa,” Dr. Claire Nelson, ICS president and founder said.

“Throughout her life, through her music and her numerous actions, Nana Rita has demonstrated an unconditional to helping youth, lifting the image of Africa on the global stage, and to assist her Jamaican people. We are honored that she has accepted this award.”

The Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award is presented each year to an outstanding individual whose life work demonstrates a commitment to the principles of human empowerment and unity of people of African descent. Previous recipients include reggae artist Jimmy Cliff, Slinger Francisco, also known as ‘The Mighty Sparrow’, and Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert of Toots and Maytals.

As the executive director and founder of both the Bob Marley Foundation and the Rita Marley Foundation, Nana Rita has been instrumental in solidifying her husband’s iconic status and empowering youth in Africa and Jamaica. She transformed the Bob Marley house into the Bob Marley Museum, manages the renowned Tuff Gong International recording company, and has been recognized for her stellar voice as a member of the legendary I Threes.

Through the Rita Marley Foundation, she promotes Jamaican and African culture and music among youth including at the foundation’s annual Youth Symposium.

She continues to advocate for Africa and has assisted more than 200 African children and adopted 35 children in Ethiopia.

Also named for this honor, Grenadian Roy Hastick, founder of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. The gala follows a one-day symposium, Invest Caribbean 2010, which will focus on emerging markets in the Caribbean.

Under the theme, ‘Emerging Opportunities in the Green Economy’, the Invest Caribbean 2010 forum will highlight business opportunities in the Caribbean, and feature as speakers US and Caribbean government officials, policy makers and private sector leaders.

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