The arts play big part in this year's National Honours

Published: Wednesday | August 7, 2013 Comments 0
HAMMOND
HAMMOND

Beres Hammond has been one of the legends of Jamaican music for more than 40 years, with his first hit coming in 1978 as lead singer for the group Zap Pow.

Since then, his music has been timeless, and yesterday the Government of Jamaica, which had already seen fit to present him with an Order of Distinction, again honoured the legend.

Hammond earned the Order of Jamaica for his contribution to music.

OM for Lewin

Entertainment in Jamaica is a varied thing, and even more impressive than Hammond's honour is the posthumous respect paid to Dr Olive Lewin, whose work in the fields of folk-music research and performance and music education, has earned for her an Order of Merit, the highest on offer this year.

Lewin passed away on April 10 this year. She was 85.

Her influence on maintaining culture through folk-music research is well known. The book, Rock It Come Over - The Folk Music of Jamaica is arguably the most definitive about the music which led to ska, rocksteady, reggae, and dancehall, some of Jamaica's most significant exports.

Professor Carolyn Cooper, who is seen as a friend of Jamaican entertainment and culture, has also been honoured, her Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) bestowed for her contribution to education.

In truth, Professor Cooper has been more than an educator and for a long time now, has used her hat to become an advocate for Jamaican culture, especially its music.

Another professor, Lorna Goodison, was also honoured with a CD, hers coming for her contribution to poetry.

Mercedes Kirkwood, Orrett Rhoden, and Delroy Wilson (posthumous) round out the list of persons to have earned CDs in relation to entertainment and the arts.

Kirkwood's honour comes from the contribution she has made to Jamaican musical theatre, while Rhoden, who recently announced the digital release of a live performance he had earlier this year, was honoured for his contribution to classical music.

Wilson, one of the most phenomenal hitmakers in Jamaican music history, especially during the emergence of early popular music culture, was a child star who 'turned the corner' like not many have.

Graduating from his early hits of the ska era, Wilson lead the transition of Jamaican music to rocksteady with massive hits like Dancing Mood, Get Ready, and Ungrateful Baby.

Wilson went further, taking Jamaica into the early 1980s with reggae hits of no mean order.

Charlie Chaplin, real name Richard Bennett, and Filberto Callender, earned Orders of Distinction in the rank of Officer (OD) for their contribution to music, while David Reid was honoured for contributing to musical theatre.

Volier Johnson has been in theatre and on screen for more than 40 years. That is a long time for any profession, but more than that, he has been brilliant.

Johnson began serious acting in 1970 with Trevor Rhone's More Please, before moving on to The Harder They Come in '72.

He did a number of pantomimes as part of a prolific career and is probably most memorable as the laughable Maffy in Oliver at Large.

His most recent on screen appearance came in Better Mus Come where he plays a taximan.

For those efforts, Johnson has earned an Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer.




 

 

 

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