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‘Real Rock’ inspires as JaRIA launches 15th anniversary celebrations

February 1, 2024

The Real Rock ‘riddim’ was the star of the 0pen mic segment of JaRIA Reggae Wednesdays Jamz and it was perhaps best that it concluded the night’s activities rather than started it. Chairman of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association, Ewan Simpson, was the first to jump on the rhythm and soon after, Miguel from One Third joined in, belting out boomshots such as Ronnie Thwaites’ Mr Luxury and Michigan and Smiley's Nice up the Dance.

But before all of that niceness, a lot of other good stuff happened as JaRIA launched its 15th anniversary celebrations and Reggae Month activities for 2024 with a big bang. The Footprints Café on Belmont Road has been hosting the exciting JaRIA Reggae Wednesdays Jamz since last year, so it was only natural that it was the venue of choice for this special occasion, which saw a number of industry bigwigs sending their pre-recorded congratulations to the organisation.

JaRIA to honour Ibo Cooper at special Reggae Wednesdays concert

October 23, 2023

The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) will be hosting a special ‘Reggae Wednesdays’ tribute concer on October 25 at Jamaica College to celebrate Michael ‘Ibo’ Cooper and honour his immeasurable contributions to the world of music and education.

Entertainment’s finest honoured at JaRIA Awards

April 11, 2023

HORACE Andy often tells the story of his first time at Studio One. He was lead singer for a harmony trio that auditioned there in 1971 — when the musicians heard his falsetto, they broke into laughter.

One year later he was a solo artiste and became a star through Skylarking, which is regarded as one of the great reggae albums.

Andy (real name Horace Hinds) was awarded the Icon Award at the JaRIA Awards on Easter Monday at Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

The 72-year-old Andy was present to accept his award, as were most of the honorees, including Astley “Grub” Cooper of the Fabulous Five Band, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jamaica Reggae Industry Association to Honor Billboard With ‘Extraordinary Impact’ Award

March 1, 2023

The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association’s JaRIA Honour Awards return on April 10 in Kingston, Jamaica. This year, the show will honor Dawn Penn, Horace Andy and Shaggy with the icon award, as announced Sunday (Feb. 26) in Saint Andrew, Kingston, Jamaica.

Twenty-six of the awardees have already been announced in 16 categories; on April 10, all 31 winners (in 19 categories) will be revealed. One of the already revealed honorees is Billboard, which is being recognized in the extraordinary impact on the reggae industry (media—new media) category.

JaRIA names its Icons

February 28, 2023

DAWN Penn, Horace Andy, and Shaggy are to receive Icon Awards at the April 10 Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) Honour Awards.

The announcement was made during JaRIA's media launch at Ribbiz Ultra Lounge in St Andrew on Sunday evening.

Ewan Simpson, chairman of the JaRIA, said this year will have a few additions.

"It's gonna be an amazing awards [ceremony] because, as usual, we are celebrating in many categories that people have always known, but we're adding some new categories this year. We're actually going Album of The Year. It is normally one of the coveted awards for any music awards. We are adding the categories — gospel, reggae, and dancehall. We are also going to move the awards to a new venue and will allow us to celebrate the awards in fine style," Simpson told the Jamaica Observer, while declining to name the venue.

"The range of the awards and their individual international reach will also make the awards most interesting. We are carrying on an advancing and expanding tradition of a broad-based awards," he continued.

Love a Dub vibes at JaRIA’s Reggae Wednesdays

February 17. 2023

KINGSTON, Jamaica – There is no denying the power of a classic lover’s rock tune to set the mood and February 15th’s staging of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association’s (JaRIA) Reggae Wednesdays achieved just that, under the theme ‘Love a Dub’.

The event, held at Festival Marketplace in downtown, Kingston boasted the likes of D Major, Denyque, Farenheit, Knixx Taylor, Vbrtns and stalwart Glen Washington.

The theme of love was apparent from start to finish as artistes - backed by the Kurfew band— each took their turn to serenade the eager audience.

Vbrtns kicked off the night's performances as he sought to impress a yearning crowd. The newcomer, discovered by JaRIA in one of their most recent competitions, performed 'Acoustic Love' along with other original songs.

Knixx Taylor, another talent discovered by the organisation, was also keen to impress the audience. She crooned through several original songs before seguing into a cover of Bob Marley's 'I Wanna Love You'.

Fahrenheit followed and came armed with a Dennis Brown cover of 'Should I' along with original songs such as 'Seven Days' and 'On The Line'.

'Reggae Month needs corporate Ja support'

February 17. 2023

Ewan Simpson, chairman of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), says although Reggae Month celebrations have not received ample support from the private sector, organisers are not disheartened.

"Things have been going well. I would've loved to have seen bigger crowds and I'd love to see more of corporate Jamaica participating, but the people who have come out have enjoyed themselves and people have been asking for more, which means [that] our offerings are good," he told the Jamaica Observer at Reggae Wednesdays, held at Festival Marketplace, downtown Kingston.

The concert, themed 'Love a Dub', was poorly attended. Those who turned out, however, enjoyed the sets by Fahrenheit, D-Major, Vbrtns, Knixx Taylor, Denque, and headliner Glen Washington.

Washington's performance received the loudest cheers. The singer's set included hits such as Kindness For Weakness and Strangers In The Night. He also did Wayne Wade's (cover of) I Love You Too Much, and ignited cheers from the audience when he brought out his wife, Jackie, to perform I Bless The Day I Found You.

Reset Jamaica: Love & Reggae - Maintaining The Culture | Sunrise | CVMTV

February 13, 2023

We are exploring reggae as a cure for Jamaica’s current illnesses and whether we should celebrate Reggae music in just one month with the Chairman of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JARIA) Ewan Simpson.

Reggae Wednesdays off with a bang

February 3, 2023

AFTER a two-year hiatus due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Reggae Wednesdays was back in full swing at the Festival Marketplace in downtown Kingston. It is being held under the theme "Revolution: Celebrating the Crown Prince."

There was a slew of performances from the Aqaba Drummers to steel-pan player Samantha "Rissa" Williams, to vocalists like Miguel Walters of trio One Third, Shanice Sewell, Ras-I, Christopher Martin, and George Nooks.

Martin — a standout act — gave a groovy set with favourites such as Guaranteed, I'm A Big Deal, and Mama.

The venue was not packed to capacity, but the scores who turned out thoroughly enjoyed and sang along to his lyrics.

George Nooks aptly paid tribute to Dennis Brown, who would have been 66 years old on Wednesday, with numbers like Money In My Pocket, Tribal War and Zion Gate. However, the most poignant moment was his closing track God Is Standing By.

Marketing director of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) June Isaacs said she could not have been more satisfied with the performances.

JaRIA To Expand Outside Kingston For Reggae Month

January 31, 2023

The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) is expanding its geographical footprint beyond Kingston during reggae month this February. 

The news was confirmed with the unveiling of its 2023 reggae month calendar on Monday afternoon. 

“JaRIA has always intended to expand its operations outside of Kingston and has previously conducted seminars across the island,” JaRIA’s chairman Ewan Simpson said. “This year, with the support of the Urban Development Corporation, we have been able to secure ideal venues in a partnership that will make it easier to realise our dream of bringing concerts to the wider Jamaica. This is a start on which we will expand throughout the year.”

The calendar features its Reggae Wednesdays concert series, music edu-forum Reggae Open University (ROU), JaRIA Honour Awards launch and other events. 

Reggae Month heads to Florida

January 30, 2023

Reggae Month comes to South Florida in February with a number of events throughout the region staged by the Inner Circle band and Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA).

Activities kick off on February 1 with a dance featuring sound system selector Rory "Rory Stone Love" Gilligan at the trendy Racket venue in Wynwood, downtown Miami.

Abebe Lewis, Inner Circle's marketing manager, told the Jamaica Observer that Reggae Month's events promise "a little taste of everything" for lovers of Jamaican culture. He said that will be reflected at the Wynwood show.

"Wynwood is a great cultural area, because it's a melting pot of Miami. There's Caribbean, Latin culture…there's a great diversity and we plan to mix it up," Lewis stated.

BBC Sounds: The People - Ewan Simpson

January 29, 2023

A BBC interview with Chairman Simpson & Director Lincoln starting at 1:29:00

Up & Go with Richie B

January 25, 2023

An interview with the Chairman, Ewan Simpson starting at at 28:08

Rootsology Live on Roots 96.1 FM

January 23, 2023

An interview with the Chairman, Ewan Simpson

Reggae Month to cover a ‘broad-based’ spectrum of the arts

January 18, 2023

With the new festival marketplace at the waterfront in Kingston announced for February’s Reggae Month activities, the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) is hoping to create a cultural epicentre for residents, members of the diaspora and tourists to explore.

After the Government of Jamaica declared February officially as Reggae Month in 2008, the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts was the summit. In subsequent years, JaRIA-planned events have been held at Emancipation Park in New Kingston and at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

According to JaRIA’s Chairman Ewan Simpson, the location, in addition to the events and activities that will be staged there and across the island, are meant to “sell the best of reggae” to a wide cross-section of consumers.


JaRIA head wants embrace of new reggae voices

January 16, 2023

Chairman of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), Ewan Simpson, has warned of serious implications for reggae music if new-age entertainers are not made to feel welcome in the space.

"Locally, we need to embrace reggae, which means embracing the new voices of the genre," Simpson told THE STAR in an interview.

"Reggae music cannot be seen as music done in 60s to 70s but it has to be seen as what is being done now. And so, if we, as an organisation that supports the reggae industry, ostracises or ignores the new generation of writers, of creators, of technicians, then we are doing it to our own peril," Simpson said.

The JaRIA chairman said that the organisation has been providing a platform for emerging acts to showcase their talents.

"The Chronixx's and Kabaka Pyramid's of this world came through a JaRIA Reggae Wednesday," Simpson said. "We have a history of emerging acts who have progressed and continue to do very well, and we will continue to do that with our future Reggae Month executions."

The Bad Boys of Reggae Inner Circle and JaRIA Bring Reggae Month to South Florida

January 16, 2023

SOUTH FLORIDA – To celebrate Black History Month, the Bad Boys of Reggae Inner Circle and Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) are presenting Reggae Month Miami during the entire month of February.  The goal of Reggae Month Miami is to bring awareness to the entire South Florida community.  Reggae Month Miami will offer FREE live music, meet and greets with reggae performers, networking and a conference in South Florida. Reggae Month Miami will highlight Jamaican artists, business and entrepreneurs in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

JaRIA readies for Reggae Month

January 11, 2023

EWAN Simpson, chairman of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), says plans are in high gear for this year's staging of Reggae Month which is celebrated in February. According to the chairman, his organisation will be ensuring the celebrations are more inclusive this time around.


March 14, 2022

Legacies mean just as much as hit songs for some artistes, including JC Lodge. The London-born singer is among the recipients of this year's Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) Awards...

JaRIA Honour Awards Virtual Presentation Slated for July 4th

June 28, 2021

Luciano, Stephen “Cat” Coore, Owen Gray and the late Ewart “U-Roy” Beckford Among 27 Awardees Kingston, Jamaica –The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) will stage their much-anticipated annual awards ceremony, the JaRIA Honour Awards, on July 4, with 18 distinct award categories recognizing the Exceptional Contributions and Extraordinary Impact of a broad swathe of local and international music practitioners.

The JaRIA Honour Award goes to...

January 17, 2021

THE Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) has released the names of the recipients of it annual Honour Awards which is set for Sunday, February 28 to cap off the month-long celebrations of Reggae Month.

Gospel Spotlight: Spirit-filled Reggae Wednesdays at the Park

February 28, 2020

Just in case everybody didn’t know, “Sin nah wear again!” Those were the words of Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) alum, Ryan ‘Testify’ Davis, before he exhorted the crowd to “buss a worship” inside Emancipation Park in Kingston, at the Ash Wednesday curtain-closer for Reggae Wednesday...

Industry Players Hail Reggae Month 2020

March 1, 2020

With over 100 events unfolding over a blissful 30 days, all of which enjoyed varying levels of success, Reggae Month 2020 is being hailed by many industry players as the best ever. The calendar was chock-full of ­activities, among them the weekly Tuesdays on the Mound, Reggae Wednesdays, Children of the Icons Concerts, Grounation, JaRIA Reggae Open University, Reggae Films in the Park, Dennis Brown Tribute Concert, JaRIA Reggae Awards, Meet Us On Beat Street and Jamaica Music Conference (JMC)...

JaRIA Honours Reggae Pioneers, Upstarts at 12th Award Show

March 02, 2020

Local music trailblazers were commemorated for their cultural excellence and impact at the 12th annual Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) honour awards held last Tuesday (Feb. 25) at the Little Theatre, Kingston.
The signature award show, which convenes the series of activities hosted for Reggae Month, unleashed magical moments of the island’s rich musical and cultural history...

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