Gordon Henderson Receives Trailblazer Award in Washington DC

by Tarnia Green

Dominican music pioneer, Gordon Henderson was among (8)eight outstanding Caribbean nationals who were honored at the 22nd Annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards (CARAH) on Friday, Nov. 20 in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Gordon Henderson, who is based in Paris, the first Creole Musician to sign a major French label, and known as the Godfather of Cadence-Lypso received the Trailblazer award at the awards gala in the presence of hundreds of Caribbean -American nationals including representatives of the Rebuild Dominica organization based in Washington.
Henderson dedicated his award to his homeland Dominica and the “Rebuild Dominica” post Tropical Storm Erika recovery efforts.
“You may be aware that Dominica was devastated by a tropical storm whose name we will not forget, Erika. I feel very emotional when I think of Dominica these days because we were struck heavily and my wife and I we live in Paris, so you would imagine after Erika in Dominica, you know what happened in Paris recently. I wish to thank an organization based in Washington DC called “Rebuild Dominica”, for doing everything possible for me to be with you tonight to receive this award,”.
The Caribbean American Heritage Awards began in 1994 as the annual signature fundraising event for the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the US society, promoted Caribbean culture and interests in the United States as well as friends of the Caribbean.
This year’s honorees were recognized for their extraordinary contributions and philanthropic efforts in the Caribbean-American and other communities.
“Each year, ICS is honored to profile and highlight the amazing stories of our Caribbean-American brothers and sisters in the Diaspora. Over the years, we are pleased that CARAH has become the premiere event where Caribbean-Americans’ gather to celebrate and learn about each other,” said ICS President and Founder Dr. Claire Nelson.
“More importantly, CARAH is where the accomplishments of Caribbean-Americans are on display for the wider American community to learn how we are lending our skills to our adopted home.”
The other awardees at Friday’s gala included Barbara Hutchinson for Excellence in Medicine, Lt.Col.Shawna Rochelle Kimbrell, the first female African -American fighter Pilot received the Vanguard Award, Magdalah Racine-Silva, walked away with the outstanding Entrepreneurship Award, Miguel Southwell received the Outstanding Public Service Award, Michael Thompson received the outstanding community service award, Beverly East received the Forerunner award while Jamaican Reggae star Max “Maxi Priest” Elliott received the Luminary Award.
Proceeds of the awards gala go towards supporting ICS projects and programs including Caribbean American Heritage Month, LifeSEED, and youth empowerment and entrepreneurship program.
Since its creation in 1993, the CARAH awards have honored more than 100 Caribbean-Americans.
Past honorees include Susan Taylor, former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine; Rita Marley, reggae matriarch and philanthropist; musician Jimmy Cliff, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; Earl Graves Sr., publisher of Black Enterprise; Congresswoman Barbara Lee and former ambassador the Honorable Andrew Young.
To learn more about CARAH, visit caribbeanheritageawards.org.

Rebuild Dominica Inc Welcomes 2015 Trailblazer Gordon Henderson to DC!


Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Henderson arrived safely in Washington,  DC today and will both be attending the historical Caribbean American Heritage Awards (CARAH) gala on FRIDAY November 20th!

Dominica’s own, Gordon Henderson, will be presented the 2015 Trail Blazer Award and is set to also perform on SATURDAY Nov. 21st at Irie Grille Caribbean restaurant in Lanham, MD during the DOMINICA BENEFIT SHOWCASE presented by Rebuild Dominica Inc! The showcase will also feature live music from the musical genius of IMAGE BAND and many great Calypso & Reggae artists such as Super L, Desii Hyson, Tronada, Jerome Austrie, and more!

If you haven’t already purchased your tickets, please visit RebuildDominica.org & CaribbeanHeritageAwards.org today to join in the celebration during the Weekend in Solidarity With Dominica!!!

A Weekend in Solidarity With Dominica



(Washington DC) – Rebuild Dominica Inc. gears up for its “Weekend in Solidarity With Dominica” event series. The festivities begin with a spotlight on The Commonwealth of Dominica during the annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards (CARAH) on Friday, November 20th, 2015. CaribNation TV will broadcast this cultural event worldwide to over 22 Caribbean territories, the USA, Toronto (Canada) and the United Kingdom. The gala begins at 6:30 pm EST and will film at the Hyatt Regency hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.

The Caribbean American Heritage (CARAH) Awards were instituted in 1994 by the Institute of Caribbean Studies in order to demonstrate the contributions that Caribbean immigrants make to the USA. It is a campaign to ensure that the dialogue on the future of America and immigration includes acknowledgment of the united and ancient linkage between the US and the Caribbean. During the CARAH gala, the Trailblazer Award will be presented to Dominican-born music legend, Gordon Henderson, the godfather of cadence-lypso: a fusion of cadence rampa from Haiti and calypso from Trinidad and Tobago.

Cadence-lypso is a popular music genre originating in the 1970s; primarily from the Caribbean islands of Dominica, Guadeloupe and Martinique. The music genre’s pioneer is the group Exile One, led by Gordon Henderson, and other important groups that include Midnight Groovers, Les Aiglons, Liquid Ice and Les Gramacks. Cadence-lypso is the antecedent to the worldwide phenomenon known as Zouk music.

The fête continues at the National Harbor on Saturday, November 21st as SPAGnVOLA Chocolatiers launches Chocolat de La Dominique; a unique tasting that features premium dark chocolate bars made of Dominica’s cacao. The experience will run at SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier’s retail location from 12 pm to 2 pm at 181 Waterfront St, Oxon Hill, MD. The tasting allows guests to explore what Dominica has to offer and savor the rich and luscious flavor of an artisan delicacy. It’s an exclusive occasion for lovers of high-quality chocolate to see the world a little differently.

During the gourmet session, guests will also be presented a display of Dominica’s indigenous crafts while mingling with ambassadors and dignitaries who support Dominica’s reconstruction efforts. In collaboration with CiBEXO Group Dominica, the Law Office of Gabriel Christian and Caribbean Agriculture Network, SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier has joined the relief efforts for Dominica victims of Tropical Storm Erika: 100% of the proceeds will go towards storm victims in Dominica.

Following the decadent affair, Irie Bar & Grille Caribbean restaurant at 2200 Petrie Ln (Lanham, MD) hosts the Dominica Benefit Showcase, where supporters of Dominica can party for a great cause. The celebration kicks off at 9 pm and Gordon Henderson will deliver one of his powerful performances alongside live entertainment provided by the premier Caribbean ensemble; Image Band. Additionally, the showcase will include pulsating performances by a lineup of Caribbean artists. This includes Dominica’s own Desmond “Desii” Hyson (Grammy Nominee), Joseph “Ras Iwa” Lambert, Brian “Rocket” Rocket, Levi “Super L” Loblack, Jerome Austrie, Garner Fingal, Challenger and the Core Band, Sammy Garraway and Tronada. The bash is also sponsored by Darren “DJ Sprang” Solozano. This showcase is sure to bring back memories of Dominica’s cool breezes and natural ambiance. The emcee for the evening is Fox45’s news reporter and producer, the vibrant Chardelle Moore; an accomplished Caribbean woman from the Nature Island of Dominica.

The festivities wrap up on Sunday, November 22nd with a 10:30 am church service at Evangel Assembly at 5900 Old Branch Ave in Temple Hills, MD. Attendees are encouraged to wear Creole National Wear in observance of Dominica’s Independence. The service will be led by Dominican native, Pastor St Clair Mitchell, who has a long history of giving back to his birth island.

Following the mass, the Rebuild Dominica Inc and Evangel Assembly team up to bring traditional dishes to share for a community potluck-style brunch, which will be served for added enjoyment and spice.

Weekend Schedule:

Friday, November 20, 2015 – Caribbean American Heritage Awards (CARAH) Gala at Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill @ 6:30 pm where Gordon Henderson will be awarded the 2015 Trailblazer Award. Visit CaribbeanHeritageAwards.org for tickets!

Saturday, November 21, 2015 – Launch of Chocolat de La Dominique at SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier from 12 pm to 2 pm.

Saturday, November 21, 2015 – Dominica Benefit Showcase at Irie Grille in Lanham MD from 9 pm to 1 am featuring a live performance by Gordon Henderson and The Image Band with an appearance by DJ Sprang! Plus, more live performances by Desmond “Desii” Hyson (Reggae singer and Grammy Nominee), Joseph “Ras Iwa” Lambert, Brian “Rocket” Rocket, Levi “Super L” Loblack, Jerome Austrie, Garner Fingal, Challenger and the Core Band, Sammy Garraway, & Tronada!

Sunday, November 22, 2015 – Dominica Independence Mass at Evangel Assembly @ 10:30 am followed by a Potluck Brunch.

To purchase tickets to the Dominica Benefit Showcase, please visit www.RebuildDominica.org/buy-tickets/ or contact The Law Offices of Gabriel Christian @ 301.218.9400.


About Rebuild Dominica, Inc:
The Rebuild Dominica is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to raise and distribute funds, expertise and material resources in support of the recovery and reconstruction efforts of communities on The Commonwealth of Dominica that were impacted by floods from Tropical Storm Erika.

Rebuild Dominica Inc aims to make a sustainable, long term impact, and focuses on programs that address the unmet needs of communities around Dominica. The organization is inspired by the spirit of volunteerism, team work and cooperative self-help. Dominica has a long heritage of working together for the common good. In Dominica’s French creole language, those values of community self-help have a name; it is called: Koudmen. Rebuild Dominica serves to personify this spirit of Koudmen.


This write-up was prepared by the Media Relations Team at Rebuild Dominica. For more information regarding this post, contact LaDàna Drigo at 202.670.6489 or info@AbovePrestigePR.com.