NYC: Dave Martins Heads GCA Awardees for 2019- By Francis Quamina Farrier

Guyana Cultural Association of New York, Inc- GCA Awardees for 2019

  • By Francis Quamina Farrier in New York

Musician, Composer and Columnist Dave Martins, AA, was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award, from the Guyana Cultural Association of New York, Inc. last Wednesday. The ceremony which was held at the Borough Hall in Brooklyn, New York City, was attended by a host of dignitaries, including Guyana’s Consul General in New York, Hon. Barbara Atherly, and other Guyanese associated with the performing and Visual Arts and Lovers of things Cultural.

Although not present in person to receive the physical award, Dave Martins was present in a larger than life image on a jumbo screen.   

His brief acceptance message to the GCA Awards Committee and the audience, which included many of his adoring fans, was about the founding of the Tradewinds Band and his fifty years in the entertainment industry. The applause at the end may have been heard way across the Caribbean Sea, to the Honeymooning Couple with glee.

Explaining “What We Do”, Chairman of the Guyana Cultural Association of New York, Dr. Vibert Cambridge stated, “Our Annual Awards represent our association’s sustained engagement with global Guyana. What we do is dependent on the community in which we live.” The GCA’s president also spoke of the Centenary Valerie Rodway Concert which was held in New York last Sunday, August 25, at the St. Gabriel’s Episcopal {Anglican) church. Valerie Rodway is one of Guyana’s celebrated composers of patriotic songs which includes “Oh, Beautiful Guyana”.

Many church choirs in New York performed at that concert last Sunday. Not from New York, the St. George’s Cathedral Choir travelled all the way from Guyana to New York for that special and historic concert to honor Guyanese composer, the late Valerie Rodway, on the occasion of her 100th. birth anniversary. The Concert was directed by Monty Blackmore, formally of the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown, Guyana.

Also addressing the audience was the Chairperson of the  Awards Committee, Ronald Lammy, who explained the workings of the committee and how the Awardees are decided. “Visionary and characteristics are prominent across multiple generations”, and pointed out the inclusion of Youth Awards.

Among those also receiving Awards this year, were Former Chairman of the Department of Culture in Guyana, Mildred Lowe, Pianist, Composer and Music Educator, Hugh Sam, Dance Educator; Mohamed Amin, TV and Theatre Award Winner, Simone Dowding, Musician, Composer and actor Courtney Noel, and Learning Drumologist, Kenton Wyatt. Receiving the Godfrey Chin Prize for Heritage Journalism were Mosa Telford, First Prize and Alex Arjoon Second Prize.  An Exemplary Award was presented to Stefan Bristol who has used his creativity in film production to showcase Guyanese talent.

Following that presentation much emotion overflowed between Bristol and his mother, to an equally emotional audience, Jonathan Locke, who together with Ronald Lammy, donated statuettes to the Awards for five years, Locke became emotional as he recalled his own mother working in Guyana in the visual arts for many years. Very unique this year, was the Father Ovril Solomon and his daughter Tunisia Solomon, who were both recipients of Awards for their contributions to Steelpan music. Tee Tee Solo as the daughter is also known, is a singer and composer.

There was also a moment of Silence at the Ceremony to the Memory of two former GCA Awardees who recently passed away; Folklorist, Cultural Educator and author, Peter Kempadoo and Entertainer Johnny Braff, who only this year was bestowed with a National Award.



Music and Culture Educator and retired Chairman of the Department of Culture, Mildred Lowe

Jumbo size screen with electronic image of singer/ songwriter Dave Martins, delivering his brief acceptance speech to an attentive and admiring audience.

An active member of the Theatre Guild and an Award Winning Radio actress Simone Dowding (Photo by Francis Q. Farrier)

International Dancer and Educator Mohamed A. Amin, AKA Zaman, is a pioneer in multi-ethnic craft. (Photo by Francis Q. Farrier)

Historic Father/Daughter Honorees Ovril Solomon and his Daughter Tunisia (Photo by Francis Q. Farrier)

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  • kamtanblog  On September 7, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Wow wow !
    On behalf of HRH QE2 of UK
    Please allow me to award Dave
    a well deserved “knighthood” for his
    contribution to WI culturally!
    Sir Dave Martins
    The Guyana high commission should make
    the recommendation to HRH QE2 ASAP.

    My this wonderful man live forever in the
    hearts and minds of all guyanese wherever
    they reside.

    Kamtan UK/spain

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