March 16 2013 heralds the Fourth Annual Linkage Award Show
Media houses were invited to witness a sample of the upcoming show at the Press & Media launch of the event at the Elegant Rose Hall in the Bronx on Thursday February 28. The Award show (promoted under the Linkage Productions Inc., umbrella) is the brainchild of Dexter Blake (Father Linkage), local entrepreneur and radio station owner whose larger than life personality was in full effect before the mainly Caribbean press in attendance.
The media launch acted as a showcase for some of the up-coming artists who will grace the stage on March 16. More than ably backed by Rhythm Masters Band, Derek Auto (singer and auto dealer) Culture Wise, Gumbae Culture, Rojah, Nadine Queen, Omeal, Double Deuce, Iestro, Yanks, Rupee T and Dr. Love all gave credible performances with a feisty set from Omeal garnering her an encore request. Closing out the night, upcoming sultry singer Kamsha who seized the opportunity and gave in to calls from the crowd to seal the night with an unscheduled rendition of her self-penned song Dream.
Host Fireball was also in attendance with his unique brand of humor and verve. Brother Tyson Beckford, Gospel Singer, was a somewhat surprising addition to the proceedings who, along with Linkage Radio Presenter Denise ‘Lady D’ Gomez did a great job of reading a list of nominees for the categories of Breakthrough Reggae Artist, Breakthrough Gospel Artist, Most Consistent Recording Artist, Most Consistent Performer, Male DJ, Female Artist, Singer of the Year, Singjay of the Year, Song of the Year, Male Culture Artist, Female Culture Artist, Most Improved Artist, TV Personality, Entertainer of the Year, Promoter of the Year, Selector of the Year, Street Promoter, NY Radio Personality, Jamaica Radio Personality, Outstanding Achievement in Music. Lifetime Achievement Awards go to John Holt, Lady Saw and Cocoa Tea. The Reggae Ambassador of the year award will be presented to Bunny Wailer, while Linkage Hall of Fame Inductees include Bunny Wailer, John Holt, Cocoa Tea, Lady G, Sanchez and Marion Hall (Lady Saw). Mayor of Mount Vernon, Mayor Ernest Davis will present City of Mount Vernon proclamations to John Holt, Cocoa Tea, Lady Saw and Bunny Wailer.
Spotted in the crowd representing various media houses, DJ Roy from Irie Jam, Chip Smith of Caribbean One and E2onair Radio, Anthony Turner (ImagesNewsletter), Maxine Greaves (GMax), Fat Foward (WB Radio – 93.5 fm), Backyard TV, Kali Nyabinghi, Devon Wheatley (5th Element Records), Mishiboo (93.5 fm), Kay Starr (5-Star Recording Inc), Betty Love (TouchFM). In a Kumbaya moment, Father Linkage called all former and current Linkage Radio DJ’s to the front so that he could personally thank them for their time and effort in building the organization. Stefany Linkage and Shrivonne Browne, two of the hardest working ladies in the Linkage organization are responsible for the continued growth of the awards show and in this fourth year I’m anticipating seeing the end product of their hard work.
Long time supporter, City of Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis was also in attendance, giving a short congratulatory speech and lauding the Linkage group for their continued hard work and support of Mount Vernon by staging the Award show in that city. For the first time, the Award show will take place at the Mount Vernon High School, 100 California Road having been moved to this new venue to accommodate the record crowd anticipated to be in attendance for the legendary Bunny Wailer in one of his rare New York City appearances.
Patrons can look forward to a star-studded night with a diverse array of artists like Sanchez, Tony Rebel, Gramps Morgan, Spanner Banner,Noddy Virtue, I-Octane, Christopher Martin, Romaine Virgo, Khalilah Rose, Kukudoo, Brotha George, Khago , Specialist and Jabez. The red carpet will be rolled out at 6 pm sharp for the fashionistas and their consorts to strut their stuff. Always a highlight of this event are the elegant couples who come to not only celebrate the award recipients, but also to see and be seen.