Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Jamaican broadcaster, Patrick Lafayette’s honoured in New York

Published:Friday | September 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Radio broadcasters Francine Chin and Patrick Lafayette.

Veteran Jamaican broadcaster Patrick Lafayette was on Saturday night recognised for his contribution to and preservation of Jamaican culture and music by the True Tribute Organisation at the Jamaica Performing Arts Centre in New York.

"This is my first award, and I am truly happy that my work over the years is being recognised,' said Lafayette, who heads the online radio station chrismixradio.com.

Lafayette has been producing audio content on Jamaican and Caribbean music for his station, as well as other entities such as VP Records, XM Satellite and the BBC, for a number of years.

Lafayette was one of 18 persons awarded. The other awardees were LeRoy Graham (journalist), Clement Dodd (music producer), Cecil Campbell, also known as Prince Buster (music producer and singer), Ronald Wilson (music pioneer), Patricia Chin (founder of VP Records), Francine Chin (radio broadcaster), Sharon Gordon (journalist), Monica Johnson, also known as Doreen Schafer (singer with the Skatalites), Safia Seivwright (radio broadcaster), Jefferson Barnes (radio broadcaster), Irwin Claire (co-founder, Caribbean Immigrant Services), Charles Cameron (music pioneer), Alonzo Connell (music arranger), Carl McDonald (singer), Eric Monty Morris (singer), Lester Sterling (founding member of the Skatalites), and Winston Tucker (radio host and community advocate).

"I was happy to be a part of it, and I am happy for Patrick," said Patricia Chin, founder of VP Records. "It's the uplifting of the spirit of the people."

Lafayette has worked on Jamaican radio for over 30 years on stations such as Fame FM, KLAS FM and Kool 97 FM - the last two, he helped to start up.

He started his online radio, which features Jamaican and Caribbean music content in 2014 and has a strong diaspora listenership. His radio station is also part of the World Wide Radio Network - a partnership he helped to form with over eight radio stations globally (including Kool 97 FM in Jamaica, Foundation Radio in Florida, 1095 JAMZ in New York, and Vybz Radio in London) that allows stations to syndicate selected content from each other.

In addition to production, Lafayette is also a singer. His latest single, Love Ain't Easy, was released in April and is available on iTunes/Apple Music. It debuted at number 22 on the Foundation Radio Network Top 30 Music Chart.

"Next steps for me are to finish my album. I have been working on that for a long time, and it's time to finish it," said Lafayette. "I also will continue with my audio features. It is so important for us to document our rich musical history."