David Boothman was chosen to honour renowned jazz pianist, Jamaica's Monty Alexander OD, at the recently held 2012 Caribbean Heritage Awards.
Boothman dedicated his composition "Village of Nations" to Alexander, who was given the Luminary Award. Other awards given at the gala for 2012 were the Vanguard Award going to Anya Ayoung Chee; the Lifetime Achievement Award to Robert Greenidge and the Excellence in Sports was awarded to Shaka Hislop.
At the gala, Boothman's performance, which delighted the audience, showcased a new genre of music, which he calls transcendental Caribbean style. Transcendental Caribbean music was coined in his 2008 music CD D'Embellisher. It is a music that explores and expresses the multicultural tapestry of the Caribbean, its romanticism and transcendence. In an interview, Boothman says about Alexander: "He (Monty) is much more than a classical or jazz musician. He is a consummate artiste. In any genre, he adorns them with fine style, high aesthetic, and a romantic Caribbean musical language he engages without compromise. Boothman went on to say that the Caribbean has a romantic musical language that comes from the Divine. Artistes like Monty, Kitchener, Bob Marley, Jon Lucien and others alike have tapped into this. Yet, he said, there is so much noise we call music. Boothman, a crusader for the creation of a Caribbean Renaissance, has written a manifesto to showcase what he thinks needs to happen to move his vision forward. Boothman stated that " a Caribbean Renaissance is an opportunity to raise awareness of all things Caribbean, including food, music, art, film, which will revitalise our Caribbean identity internationally. In so doing, we will create a buzz for tourism, investments, new markets and some needed financial sustainability".
He has also created three interweaving conceptual projects: Caribbean Rainbow Culture Coalition (CRCC); a youth empowering and mentoring project for the Caribbean (Caribbean Identity Revitalisation); Caribbean Cultural Scholastic Tourism (CCST) and the CAVE Project Carnival Arts Village Education. "These projects are vital towards a Caribbean Renaissance," Boothman says.
The Caribbean American Heritage Awards were established in 1994 by the Institute of Caribbean Studies in Washington, DC. The gala honours those who have made outstanding contributions to American society, promoted Caribbean culture and interests in the United States, as well as to friends of the Caribbean. An annual event that usually takes place in November in Washington, DC, the Caribbean American Heritage Awards recognises and celebrates the contributions of Caribbean-Americans in various industries and sectors.
Past honoUrees include Geoffrey Holder, actor, choreographer (Trinidadian heritage); Eric Holder, US Attorney General (Barbadian heritage); Ambassador Andrew Young, (friend of the Caribbean); Jean Augustine, MP, Canada (Jamaican heritage); Earl Graves, CEO and publisher, Black Enterprise (Barbadian heritage); Cicely Tyson, actress (St Kitts and Nevis heritage); Jimmy Cliff, reggae legend (Jamaican heritage); CCH Pounder, television actress (Guyanese heritage); Dawnn Lewis, film and television actress (Guyanese heritage); Randall Robinson, founder and executive director, TransAfrica (friend of the Caribbean).