The International Reggae and World Music Awards better known as the IRAWMA was originally established in 1982. According to the official website, www.Irawma.Com, the mission of the award show "acknowledges and honors the accomplishments and contributions of Reggae and World Music artists including songwriters, performers, promoters, and musicians". Over the years, the annual award show has been hosted in numerous locations throughout the US as well as in Jamaica. For the 30th Anniversary, several locations were reviewed before Port of Spain, Trinidad was chosen. Having attended the IRAWMA for the last two years in NYC, this award show unlike other award shows I've been to includes the celebration of world music categories such as Soca/ Calypso, Salsa/Latin, Reggaeton, Hip Hop, Gospel, Poet, Soukous and Chutney, a new addition to the more than 40 categories of nominations. In just the past couple of years, I've had the pleasure to see top entertainers perform at the IRAWMA including Tarrus Riley, Julian Marley, Machel Montano, Beenie Man, Calypso Rose, Mighty Sparrow, Queen Ifrica and Tony Rebel to name just a few.
Nominations for the 30th Anniversary were announced on 3/16/2011 and voting on the website has officially commenced. Leading the list with 8 nominations is Jamaican Reggae Artist Gyptian who gained international recognition last year with his top charting cross-over song "Hold Yuh", followed by 7 nominations each for Trinidad & Tobago's favorite King of Soca, Machel Montano and Damian "Jr Gong Marley" who is recognized for his recent album collaboration & full tour with NAS. New to the list of nominees is rising reggae star I-Octane who has burst onto the scene with multiple nominations at the IRAWMA while claiming 3 awards at both the recent NYC Linkage Radio Awards in NYC and the Excellence in Music (EME) Awards in Jamaica. With visa limitations restricting many of Jamaica's top artists from traveling to the U.S. I hope to see many of those artists in attendance in Trinidad to support this significant milestone in celebration of World Music.
Stay tuned for more info on the 2011 IRAWMA including the announcement of scheduled artist performances. Please take a moment of time to view the full list of nominees and cast your vote. http://irawma.com/vote2011.html