After a three-year hiatus due to COVID, and under the theme ‘Honoring ordinary people doing extraordinary things,’ the Jamaican American Connection, (JAC) New Haven resumes its annual fundraising trailblazer and scholarship gala. It will host the event on Saturday, September 24, at the Omni New Haven Hotel starting at 7:00 p.m.
The signature fundraising event allows the JAC to perform essential work of uplifting communities by recognizing individuals and organizations that blaze the trail as they perform incredible work in their communities.
This year’s keynote speaker is the dynamic Anthony McDonald, executive director of the Shubert Theatre, while the master of ceremonies is Andrew “BRAATA” Clarke, singer, actor, and founder/creative director of Braata Folksingers and Braata Productions.
The 2022 Trailblazer honorees are Richard Simpson, senior engineering director of research and development with Medtronics, and Cultural Musicologist, Kenneth Joseph, HD. Mr. Simpson is passionate about engineering, leadership, and helping young professionals unlock their true potential. Mr. Joseph has over thirty years of steelpan experience, including performing, teaching, adjudicating, arranging, and composing music. He has also performed as a soloist with chamber groups and large ensembles in the United States and internationally.
The JAC recognizes these two outstanding honorees for their extraordinary achievements, success, and efforts while raising scholarship funds for deserving students.
President of JAC Karaine Holness commented, ”Bringing people together is the primary mission of the Jamaican American Connection, Inc; and our annual trailblazer and scholarship gala allows us to celebrate and honor the culture, traditions, and heritage of the Jamaican-Caribbean diaspora.” Ms. Holness also stated that JAC is committed to serving the New Haven community’s unique and cultural needs and has done so for the last twelve years by hosting various community events.