The International Association of African-American Music (IAAAM), a Philadelphia area based non-profit organization, paid tribute to some of the best and brightest in black music during its 24th annual celebration of African-American Music Month. Co-sponsored by BMI, the IAAAM 2002: Visions in Music Celebration was held at the African-American Museum of Philadelphia on June 7 and 8. The 2-day celebration featured a Coca-Cola/IAAAM Youth Day, music photo exhibitions, panels, networking receptions, showcases, a gospel brunch and ended with the Diamond Awards Gala for Excellence.
BMI's Kimberly Dawkins and BMI songwriter Dionne Warwick
As the cornerstone of the IAAAM celebration, the Diamond Awards Gala pays homage to major artists who have made substantial contributions to the promotion and preservation of black music and culture worldwide. Hosted by prominent broadcaster Cathy Hughes, Chairman and Founder of Radio One, this year's honorees included BMI songwriters and artists Dionne Warwick, the Heath Brothers and Kool & the Gang, as well as a tribute to three decades of Gamble & Huff's Sound of Philadelphia honoring Dexter Wansel and McFadden & Whitehead. Other honorees were the Rev. Hezekiah Walker, smooth jazz soul singer Will Downing and Sound of Philadelphia's Jean Carne. Honorary Chairpersons of the Gala, solely sponsored by BMI, included BMI songwriter/artists James Mtume and Jaguar Wright.
BMI's Kimberly Dawkins and music photographer Ronnie Wright
IAAAM event organizer Shani Gonzalez and BMI's Kimberly Dawkins
BMI songwriter Abby Dobson performs at the Emerging Artist Showcase
BMI's Catherine Brewton (2nd left) congratulates the Heath Brothers
BMI songwriter Glenn Lewis performs during a jam session at the Diamond Awards Gala
BMI songwriter Kyle Vereen and BMI's Kimberly Dawkins