Sumfest producer to get national honour
Sumfest promoter Robert Russell will next Monday be appointed a member of the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) for outstanding contribution to the music, entertainment, tourism and film industries.
He will be awarded during the National Honours and Awards ceremony at King's House on National Heroes Day.
"I feel very honoured and humbled by the kind of recognition I am receiving and hope that other young business people will see it as an incentive for them in whatever their chosen field is," he said.
The owner of the popular nightlife spot on the Montego Bay waterfront, Pier 1, Russell advises young entrepreneurs to set careful targets and move steadfastly towards their goals.
"Donít look left or right until you get there. And then, set another target and keep moving ahead and moving upwards, so you can contribute to Jamaica and to employment, and to the economy," Russell said.
The Calabar and St George's College old boy, in collaboration with a small group of Montego Bay business interests, founded the popular, internationally renowned festival Reggae Sumfest in 1993. He was chairman for 18 years and is still integral to the show's production following its sale in 2015. For 10 years, he also co-produced the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival.
In his earlier years, Russell was also keenly involved in the film industry, working with director Perry Henzell to produce the first feature film, written, funded and directed by Jamaicans - The Harder They Come - which would become one of the most popular local cult classics.
He produced a second film with Vista Productions called No Place like Home, which may be released this year.