Queen Ifrica rules awards
Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer
Rising roots performer Queen Ifrica was the toast of the International Reggae and World Music Awards, which was held May 2 at York College in Queens, New York.
Ifrica, whose Montego Bay was one of the most popular reggae albums of 2009, walked away with four awards - Artiste of the Year, Most Educational Artiste of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Best Female DJ/Rapper.
Roy 'Gramps' Morgan and Trinidadian soca king Machel Montano each took home three awards. Morgan, a member of the Morgan Heritage group, embarked on a solo career two years ago. He won for Best Song (Wash The Tears), Best New Entertainer and Best Crossover Song (Therapy).
The latter was co-written by American neo-soul singer India.Arie, who Morgan toured with in 2009.
Montano won the Entertainer of the Year Award, as well as for Most Outstanding Showband and Best Calypso/Soca Entertainer.
Four persons were inducted into the IRAWMA Music Hall of Fame - Tony Ryan, Noel 'King Sporty' Williams, sound system operator/producer Maurice 'Jack Scorpio' Johnson and saxophonist Tony Greene.
Each recipient has been in the music business for more than 35 years. Greene, a graduate of the Alpha Boys School, made his recording debut in the mid-1970s on singer Max Romeo's Three Blind Mice, which was produced by Osbourne 'King Tubby' Ruddock.
He went on to play in several bands, including Bare Essentials, Sonny Bradshaw, Roots Radics and Lloyd Parkes and We the People. He has recorded 10 solo albums, the last being Midnight Blue, which was released in 2008.
"It shows that there are people out there who appreciate your work. The recognition feels good," Greene said.
The IRAWMA was conceived by Ephraim Martin, a Jamaican entrepreneur who has lived in Chicago for many years. Martin is also founder of the annual Chicago Music Awards which also debuted in 1982.