New York: A large gathering of veritable who-is-whos descended on the Calvin Klein Room at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn recently for the Caribbean Night Awards, a precursor event to the Inaugural Caribbean Fever Music Festival at the same venue.
The award ceremony honored excellence in various fields from medicine to entertainment—the honorees all Diaspora Caribbean Nationals.
Honoring these persons of excellence was the brainchild of Dahved Levy, radio announcer of WBLS 107.5 FM, and head honcho of the Caribbean Fever brand, who saw the occasion of the first Caribbean event at Barclay’s Center as more than just an entertainment event.
“Billing it as ‘Caribbean Night’ allowed us to incorporate other elements to highlight the fact that we are more than music; that we are a collective of talented people and high-achievers,” He proclaimed.
Andrea Daley, event producer and award chair, reiterated; " We really worked hard to identify a diverse mix of people who we feel have contributed in very significant ways to a strong Diaspora and by extension the Caribbean region. Represented were experts in the fields of medicine, science, entertainment, the literary, culinary and media, the trailblazers and those who are now setting the pace in their respective fields. We were humbled to be blessed with such immense talent all in one room."
The impressive honoree list included, Dr. Velma Scantlebury-White, a native of Barbados, who holds the distinction of being the first African-American female transplantation surgeon, Dr. Henry Lowe, a Jamaican scientist and researcher whose groundbreaking research has identified cancer fighting properties in the Jamaican Ball Moss plant. He also holds the credit along with Drs West and Lockart for creating the first medicinal drug (cortisol) from the ganja plant; Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, a Jamaican native who holds the distinction of being the first Caribbean-born woman elected to the New York City Legislature, and Jumaane D. Williams, (Grenadian heritage) councilmember, 45th District, Brooklyn who is considered a rising-star in the New York City Council. Also honored were Dr. Vincent HoSang, (Jamaica) businessman, owner of Caribbean Food Delights; Irwine Clare, Snr, (Jamaica) community advocate, Irvin Burgie, (Barbados) Hall of Fame composer (Harry Belafonte’s Day-O & the Barbados National Anthem) and Dr. Elizabeth Nunez, (Trinidad) accomplished author and CUNY Professor.
Others celebrated for their trailblazing work were, [Radio]: Gil Bailey & Pat Bailey, Prince Kalunda, Edwin “Bajan King” Howell, Bobby Konders & Jabba, Fran Chin, Donn Bob, DJ Roy, Clinton Lindsay, Jeff Barnes, Neville Bush, John Melbourne, and ‘Dubmaster’Chris. Pioneering record shops, Moodies Records, Straker Records, Charlies’ Records, J.W. Records and Keeling Records, also received honors. The old and new guards in sound systems DownBeat The Ruler and Mighty Crown and the hottest young gun selectors; DJ Young Chow, Back To Basics, Platinum Kidz, and Steelie Bashment. Special Awards were handed out to Sesame Flyers and the West Indian Carnival Association (WIADCA) pioneering promoters of Caribbean Culture and Jennefier Ewers, noted Caribbean restaurateur.
Along to celebrate these remarkable individuals were members of the New York Political landscape, State Senators, Eric Adams and Kevin Parker; Council Members, Jumaane Williams, Leroy G. Comrie, Jr; and Mathieu Eugene. Also in attendance were, Kings County Supreme Court Judge, Honorable, Sylvia Ash and Deputy Borough President, Sandra Chapman.
Members of the Consul General Corp were also out in full force; Herman LaMont, Consul General, Jamaica; Omyma David, Deputy Consul, Grenada; Arthur Barrington, representing the Trinidad & Tobago Consulate, Victoria Bousquet, representing the Consulate General of St.Lucia; Lennox Price, Consular General Barbados. The event was sponsored by Guinness and Caribeanfever.com.