Western Conciousness unveils lineup

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Reggae pioneer Bunny Wailer, veteran show promoter/music consultant Ronnie Burke and stage production guru John Swaby, were given recognition for their sterling service to the music industry by the promoter of Western Consciousness at the launch of that event on Tuesday at the Pegasus Hotel.

Promoter Worrell King of King of Kings Promotions unveiling the poster with the line-up of artistes billed for this year's Western Consciousness.

The 21st anniversary of Western Consciousness featuring a host of entertainers will be staged on Saturday, April 25, at Paradise Park, Savanna-la-mar, Westmoreland. Billed on the star-studded line-up are Capleton, Ras Moses (better known as Beenie Man) Jah Cure, Errol Dunkley, Romain Virgo, Empress, Empress Robertha, Konshens, Lil' Hero, I-Octane, LUST, Terry Linen, Ernie Smith, Half Pint, Kenyatta Hill, Luciano, King Sound, Johnny Clarke, Leroy Gibbon, Admiral Tibet, Natural Black and scores of others.

Speaking at the launch, which had performances from some of the artistes billed for the annual festival, co-host Cordel Green in putting into perspective the process of honouring people in the music fraternity who have given yeoman service to the industry, said that it came out of an idea to use the event dubbed as a "Celebration of Good Over Evil" to recognise stalwarts.

"And sometimes not just the obvious ones, but very, very powerful people who because of their own demeanour usually do not spotlight themselves," Green said. The first of the honourees was Bunny Wailer who earlier gave the main address.

"As the person who have laid the foundation on which we are building, it's a joy. We need not say more, it's just a joy to have you here with us. We give thanks," Worrell King, of King of Kings Promotions, organiser of the event, told Bunny Wailer while presenting him with his plaque.

In his reply, the legendary entertainer said he accepted the accolade bestowed on him on behalf of all his peers who have contributed to the development of the music. "So I am honoured to received this plaque in the name of consciousness. Give thanks," Bunny Wailer said.

In making the presentation to a man whose name conjures up images of stage decor, sound, lighting and power, Worrell King admitted in saying, "I must tell you that it is through John Swaby why I am able to through with Western Consciousness.... So words cannot express such appreciation to John Swaby..."

Not one of many words, John said he really enjoy doing what he does best and attributed to his passion of 31 years. "And I'll continue to use John Swaby's Entertainment as a platform for anybody who really and truly love this business....you can always call me and there's a place there for you," was the assurance he gave while predicting that his daughter, who is presently preparing to take over the business, will be a major force in the making.

Three honourees displaying the plaques presented to them in recognition of their service to Jamaican music. From left: Ronnie Burke, Bunny Wailer and John Sweby. (Photos: Marlon Reid)

"The next recipient has a reputation which precedes him all over the world. We are so very much indebted to this very outstanding Jamaican and a visionary... just a very humble and brilliant human being," declared Cordel Green in reference to Ronnie Burke.

Added Green, as he read the citation which gave the background of Burke whose involvement in music began with the formation of his production/distribution company Micron Music Limited. "...That entity created history by selling in excess of 25,000 copies of Bob Marley's Natty Dread album. But it was in 1977 that he truly made his outstanding mark and helped to transform Jamaica and in a sense the world. He joined forces with other young Jamaicans, John Wakeling, Don Green, Tony Johnson. They formed Synergy Productions Limited and then they launched out with the Caribbean first reggae music festival, Reggae Sunsplash."

With the reading of citation completed, Worrell King in making the final presentation said to Ronnie Burke: "You have motivated me. Bunny Wailer started it by doing it and you continue it by doing what you do best. And I've watched you over the years... But you are certainly one of my heroes."

It was now time for Ronnie Burke to make his acceptance speech. "Brothers and sisters the work of Reggae Sunsplash was built on the foundation of our pioneers. Before saying anything further I want to give full recognition to two of them who are here presently. Bunny Wailer (Jah B) and Johnny Clarke who are sitting quietly over there."

Burke then said that over the years he had received a number of awards and recognition, but this particular one stands very tall and is significantly valued. Source

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