Toots Hibbert and Jimmy Cliff among the top honorees for the upcoming Jamaica Music Experience Awards (J.A.M.E.).
Legendary Jamaican musicians James Chambers, popularly known as Jimmy Cliff, as well as Lloyd “Judge Diamond” Ferguson of The Mighty Diamonds and Toots and the Maytals’ leader, Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, are some of the great names on the list to be honored at the annual J.A.M.E. and True Tribute Awards set for September 10, at the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center in Garden City, Long Island, New York, and will be presented by the True Tribute Organization (TTO), founded by famed musician LeRoy Graham Jr.
The event is a distinctive acknowledgment of individuals who have significantly impacted the music industry and have helped to perpetuate the uniqueness of Jamaican culture. It is designed to highlight the achievements of Jamaicans, both past and present, who have pioneered Jamaica’s musical ingenuity and cultural heritage to the rest of the world.
In addition to this, the event raises funds and awareness for several educational projects in Jamaica and the United States, organized by the True Tribute Organization Foundation.
Jimmy Cliff and Lloyd Ferguson were not the only Jamaican musicians nominated in the entertainment category. Other artistes such as Derrick Morgan and Johnny Osborne, and Beverly Kelso, of the original Wailers, and Doreen Schafer, a revolutionary female vocalist with the Skatalites, have also been nominated in the same category.
The roll of honor for the Organization Leadership Award this year includes Faye and Karl Rodney, who are the founders and editors of Carib News, Michael R. Duncan, president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and Africa Communities League (UNIA-ACL) and Lesleyann Samuel, president of the Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (UJAA), USA, Inc.
Graham gave a synopsis of the event’s importance, indicating how vital it is to maintain and preserve the culture of the island.
“Our inaugural presentation took place in 2018,” he said. “However, due to the COVID 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.”
He continued, “Our mandate is to acknowledge, preserve and continue the achievements of Jamaican foundational musicians and pioneers, who truly embody Jamaica’s rich music and cultural legacies. These individuals have exhibited an indomitable spirit and fortitude to overcome tremendous obstacles in pursuit of sustainable progress and have positively influenced society through their dedication, character and principles during their lives,” he said.