Reggae stalwarts Ernie Smith and Manley “Big Youth” Buchanan will receive congressional proclamations recognizing their accomplishments during their careers, each of which has spanned more than 40 years.
Carlyle McKetty, president of the Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music (CPR) on Oct. 20 announced that on Saturday, Oct. 30, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, of the 11th Congressional District in Brooklyn will make the presentations.
The proclamations will be presented when CPR stages its sixth annual Reggae Culture Salute celebrations at Nazareth Regional High School Performance Center, 475 East 57th St. in the heart of East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Congresswoman Clarke, who is of Jamaican heritage, expressed pleasure to be able to recognize two outstanding veterans of the art form.
Singer, songwriter, Ernie Smith and cultural chanter Big Youth are pioneers in their respective fields. Both have been entertaining reggae lovers for more than 40 years. Both artists became prominent during the early 70’s when reggae music was charting its course.
Ernie Smith won the Tokoyo Music Festival in 1972 with his composition, “Life Is Just For Living” and catapulted to world fame. Big Youth’s break away hit, “S90 Skank” became synonymous with the new sound coming out of Jamaica and he became an instant favorite, earning him a starring role in the movie “Rockers.” To date, both Ernie Smith and Big Youth have remained a driving force in the evolution of the genre.
“Big Youth’s unique singjay style and melodic sound have become embedded in Jamaican culture and Ernie Smith’s musical success has been celebrated worldwide,” declared Carlyle McKetty.
“As CPR salutes the foundation of the music, it is only right, that we honor these great men and recognize the impact they have made on reggae culture at this year’s annual Reggae Culture Salute,” he continued.
The family friendly event will also feature a tribute to the recently deceased Lincoln “Sugar” Minott with a tribute from Tony Tuff who sang with Minott as part of the African Brothers trio in the early 70’s. Also paying tribute to Minott will be his protégé DJ Nahki, who hails from Japan and New York based deejay, Mikey “Mack Daddy” Jarrett. Junior
“Gabu” Wedderburn and Ancient Vibrations will provide authentic Nyahbinghi and Kumina drumming and chanting, while saxophonist Douglas Guthrie will appear with Anthem Band alongside Mystic Bowie, front man for the group Tom Tom Club.
Reggae Culture Salute is a regal affair that honors the anniversary of the coronation of Haile Selassie the First and Empress Mennen of Ethiopia. The event, produced by TSO Productions LLC, will be topped with delicious Caribbean cuisine and a cultural marketplace. Mature audiences enjoy the annual event because of its family friendly, roots reggae vibes.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music.