JAME honour for Jimmy Cliff, Toots, Judge Diamond
Legendary vocalist James Chambers, popularly known as Jimmy Cliff; Lloyd ‘Judge Diamond’ Ferguson of The Mighty Diamonds, and the late Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert are among the artistes from the Jamaican music industry who will be honoured at the second annual Jamaica Music Experience (JAME) and True Tribute Awards on Saturday, September 10 in New York.
The event will take place at the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center in Garden City and will be presented by the True Tribute Organisation, founded and headed by popular musician and educator, LeRoy Graham Jr.
The organisers note that the JAME and True Tribute Awards is a unique celebration of Jamaica’s culture, history and development within the music industry and beyond. It commemorates the achievements of Jamaicans past and present, highlighting their commitment and pioneering efforts to share Jamaica’s cultural heritage and musical legacy with the world. The event also raises funds and awareness for several education projects in Jamaica and the USA.
“Our inaugural presentation took place in 2018,” Graham shared. “However, due to the pandemic, we have been unable to host the event for the past few years. So we are titling this year’s event the Second Annual Presentation even though in fact several years have passed since the first.”
This year’s list of honorees includes some of the most popular and recognisable names associated with the Jamaican music industry over many decades, and is divided into three categories: Entertainers, Radio Personalities and Posthumous Awards. A fourth category, the Organisation Leadership Awards, will honour Jamaicans from the diaspora who are actively working to document and promote Jamaica’s music and culture.
The other honorees in the Entertainment category are Derrick Morgan, Johnny Osborne, Beverly Kelso, and Doreen Schafer. They will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards. Posthumous honorees alongside Toots Hibbert include Don Drummond, Roland Alphonso, Cecil ‘Sonny’ Bradshaw and Sonia Pottinger. Radio personalities to be honoured are Ken Williams and Conroy Allison, while this year’s roll of honour for the Organisation Leadership Awards includes Faye and Karl Rodney; Lesleyann Samuel; and Michael R. Duncan.
Graham believes it is especially important that the organisation tries to honour individuals during their lifetime, while they are still around to appreciate the accolades.
“Just in April, we lost not one but two members of the incredible Mighty Diamonds, Donald ‘Tabby’ Shaw and Fitzroy ‘Bunny’ Simpson. It is therefore most fitting that we honour the last surviving member, Lloyd Ferguson, in person at this year’s ceremony. Regarding Toots, he was slated to be honoured at our inaugural event in 2018, but couldn’t make it. We agreed that we would do it the following year but COVID intervened, and then, sadly, we lost him,” he said.
Graham is promising a glittering and exciting musical presentation on awards night in September.