Hip Hop legend Doug E. Fresh and Soca sensation Machel Montano will host the 26th International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA) at the world famous Apollo Theater located at 253 West 125 Street. The event will take place on Saturday, May 5th at 8:00 pm (general admission), 7:00 pm (VIP ticket holders), and 6:00 pm for nominees, performers, and sponsors.
Top nominees walking the red carpet include Sean Paul; Also hosts and performing nominees for the night include Doug E. Fresh, Machel Montano, Luciano, Macka Diamond, Ce’Cile, Lady G, Gregory Isaacs, Tarrus Riley, Leon & The Peoples, Half Pint, B.B. Seaton & the Gaylads, Tony Matterhorn, Alaine, Dean Fraser, Gyptian, Da’Ville, Ruff Stuff, Katalys Crew, Mutabaruka, Ed Robinson, Winsome Benjamin, among others.
He’s been dubbed the “World’s Greatest Entertainer” for his unrivaled ability to rock a crowd. Harlem native Doug E. Fresh began his musical career at age 13. He is the originator of the human beat box (vocally stimulating the sounds of drums and other musical instruments). Doug E. Fresh is best known for his multi-platinum hits, “The Show” and “La Di Da Di.” He was one of the first rappers to grace stages in Africa and the Caribbean, thus heralding the international popularity of hip-hop musical culture. For a complete biography, visit www.DougEFresh.com!
Machel Montano, born in Trinidad and Tobago is a Soca singer, record producer and songwriter based in the Caribbean. He is the front man of the immensely popular Soca band Xtatik. During his over 25 year career, he has recorded alongside: Alison Hinds, Beenie Man, Calypso Rose, Burning Flames, Drupatee, Red Rat, Shaggy, Sparrow, Denise Belfon, Destra, Wyclef Jean, Vybz Kartel, M.O.P, Black Stalin, Mr. Vegas, Doug E Fresh and many others. Over the years, he has won several IRAWMA awards. Machel Montano now stands as the most sought after Soca acts in the World. For a complete biography, visit www.MachelMontano.com!
The official announcement of the nominees was released during recent press conference held at the world-famous Apollo Theater in New York by Martin’s International and Associates. For this year’s event Martin’s Inter-Culture has joined forces with individual partners: Austin McBean, Clifton Edwards and Carlton Muldrew as Martin’s International & Associates, LLC to produce the IRAWMA Awards.
More than 150 entertainers and music industry professionals are nominated for the coveted IRAWMA, while others have been selected for special awards by music industry experts across the globe. Among the leading nominees are: Sean Paul and Buju Banton with nine (9) nominations each; Baby Cham six (6); Gyptian, Tanya Stephens and sound selector turned performer Tony Matterhorn with five (5) each; and Luciano four nods.
Oprah Winfrey and International Pop/Rock Star Bono will be given the Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award. Inductees to the IRAWMA Hall of Fame will be Boris Gardner and B.B. Seaton & the Gaylads.
Special Martin’s International and Associates Award of Honor will be given to:
Edmond “Bunny” Lee (King Jammy’s), Ed Robinson (E2 Recordings) and Don One Records. Special Producer’s Respect Award will be given to: Doug E. Fresh, Gregory Isaacs and Half Pint. Special Award of Appreciation will be awarded to: Winston “Niney” Holiness, Jerome Hamilton, WBLS 107.5 FM with Dahved Levy, Lorna Wainwright (Tuff Gong), Bobby (Culture Jam WVIP 93.5FM), and Dave Clark (Friends of Reggae).
Martin’s International and Associates warmly welcomes American Airlines on board as the official carrier for national and international travel to the 26th IRAWMA. American Airlines first inaugurated service in the Caribbean in March 1971 flying between New York and five Caribbean destinations. Today, American and its regional affiliate, American Eagle, fly from more than 13 North American cities to more than 36 destinations in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda. Visit www.aa.com!
Martin’s International and Associates also warmly welcomes LaGuardia Marriott Hotel as the official hotel for the 26th IRAWMA. For a special rate, call 800-882-1043 or book via the internet. Visit www.laguardiamarriott.com and enter the code: IMAIMAA!
The 26th IRAWMA is made possible through generous contributions from the following sponsors: American Airlines (AA), Strength of Nature PROFECTIV, Uptown Juice Bar, Café Veg, Gleaner/Star Newspaper, DJ Steve’s Tax Services, D. Wilshire Tuxedo Rental & Limo Service, C. Sea Perkins and Cyberwize Powered by Tunguska Blast; Sam Ash Music Company, Dennis Shipping, Caribbean Food Delights; CVM TV, Sams24-7.com, Linkup Media for Linkup Radio (WVIP-93.5), Jam Rock Magazine, Plush TV and Caribbean Link Newspaper; Dahved Levy’s Rockin’ You and Caribbean Fever (WBLS 107.5), Irie Jam Media; Trans Continental Express Shippers, The Eye Collection Clothing Co., Jamroppo, Atlas Vacation, Bennett/World Class Limo, Atlas Vacation, Ruff Stuff Studio, Liberty Star Newspaper, Keeling Records, Spencer Financial Services, Golden Krust, Moodie’s Records and Liberty Star Newspaper.
Tickets for this star-studded, made-for-television event are now on sale at the Apollo Theater box office (212) 531-5305 and thru Ticketmaster.com, 212/307-7171 and all Ticketmaster outlets! VIP Diamond box tickets are available only from Martin’s International and Associates at 877/9-REGGAE (973-4423). Prices are: General Admission $58, VIP Gold $102, VIP Platinum $128, VIP Diamond Box $1000/seat or $5000/Box for five persons. Catering for the VIP reception will be provided by Uptown Juice Bar and Café Veg.
Each year, the experts in the Reggae and world music industry select the nominees for the IRAWMA. Reggae, world music fans, and the general public have the opportunity to vote for the winners. Voting may also be completed online at www.IRAWMA.com or www.InternationalMusicAwards.com, or mail in your ballot to: IRAWMA-c/o: Martin’s International and Associates, P.O. Box 5836, Chicago, Illinois 60680. Ballots are available in various newspapers, restaurants and record stores, deadline for voting and ballot submission is April 20th.
For general info, to participate as a sponsor/category sponsor, or to advertise in the annual Awards magazine, call 877/9-REGGAE (973-4423), 312/427-0266, 718-398-2833 or visit our website at www.IRAWMA.com.
For United States:
Martin’s International & Associates
New York: 718/398-2770
New York: 845/206-5906
Odessa Chambers Media
International: 876 646/358-4482