The prestigious Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari Legends Award will be presented to Grenada’s best-known composer and arranger James Clarkson on Saturday 29th June at the festival’s opening concert in Mt Cinnamon Garden. The presentation will be made by Hon Alexandra Otway-Noel, Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture.

The first Naniki Caribbean Jazz Legends Award was presented in Barbados to Trinidad born and Barbados based pianist Ebe Gilkes for his sterling contribution to the jazz movement in the Eastern Caribbean. Antigua’s Winston Anthony Bailey received the second Jazz Legends Award for his contribution to jazz and music in general in Antigua

James Clarkson was born in Grenada on 21 April 1944, has had a distinguished lifelong career in music with early exposure at the age of 12. He later joined the Royal Grenada Police Band, appeared on stage with his father’s band and by 17 was a member of the Trinidad Defence Force Band as lead arranger and first trumpet player.

Clarkson attended McGill University (USA) and studied conducting and arranging and his list of North American credits is long including playing in Canada for Lionel Hampton on tour and in the front band for Miles Davis shows. He was the first person to record a combination of brass and steelpan and has played with bands from South America, Africa, Europe and North America.

By 23 years of age he was the director of Music of the Royal Grenada Police Band and soon became the arranger for the very successful Republic Bank Angel Harps Steel Orchestra, a post he still holds today.

The Awards ceremony and presentation of the Citation will be a highlight of the Opening Concert of the Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari, with performances from Peter ‘Zack’ Bernard, (Grenada/USA) Derek McKeith’s Blues Band, (USA) and Quiet Fire will bring to an end an exciting first night of music. The festival continues on Sunday 30th June from 5pm in the Mt Cinnamon Gardens. Tickets can be purchased in advance. Online or Local island Box Offices: All Bryden & Minors Retail Outlets, Presents at Excel Plaza, Grand Anse and Ramdhannys Travel, Grenville.

The Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari Grenada is sponsored by Mount Cinnamon Resort & Beach Club, Flamboyant Hotel and Villas, LIAT, Grenada Board of Tourism, United Insurance, USA Embassy, Sagicor, The Traveling Guitar Foundation (USA), The Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) Klassic AM, Coca Cola, Etang, Quinn Company Limited, Stoli, Presidente, El Dorado Rum, Grant’s Scotch Whiskey, Campari and Nedd’s Rental & Services.