JaRIA awards set for February 26
Chris Blackwell, the late Alton Ellis, Freddie McGregor and Dr Rita Marley, are among several persons from the music fraternity who are to be honoured at the annual Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) Honour Awards.
Chris Blackwell will be awarded in the Lifetime Achievement category, Alton Ellis, posthumously, for his exceptional contribution to the reggae industry, while Freddie McGregor and Dr Rita Marley will be awarded as iconic artistes in the music industry. They will join Michael 'Mikey' Bennett, Tata Ford, Kevin Downswell and GT Taylor, among several others to be awarded on the night.
Mary Isaacs, who is a part of the selection, committee, described this year's batch of awardees as special, as she recalled how difficult the selection process was.
"We have our selection panel, which is made up of people from the industry, music connoisseurs, persons from record labels, producers etc., as well as members of the association," she explained. "There are 12 members on the panel and we come up with five names for each category from a shortlist. We vote by secret ballot and those who get the most votes in each category win. The names of the winners are then submitted to JaRIA's board of directors for ratification."
The only exceptions to this procedure, she explained, are in Song of the Year and Breakthrough Artiste of the Year, both categories introduced in 2012. Nominations for these two categories are made by the Reggae Month Committee. No less than five nominees are then posted to the JaRIA website, where the public gets to voice who they feel will be awarded based on each category's criteria.
Both categories cover artistic works for a one-year period prior to the upcoming Reggae month staging - November 1, 2015 to October 31, 2016. At the end of the deadline period, the public results are sent to the Selections Committee which votes by secret ballot using the following criteria: originality, arrangement and popularity (global appeal). The scores are tabulated and sent to the board of directors for ratification. The winners for these two categories are announced on the night of the Awards.
There are 24 honour awards in 17 categories this year.
Set to take place inside the Courtleigh Auditorium on Sunday, February 26, the awards ceremony is expected to be one of the final events on the activities list for Reggae Month.