The Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) is excited to announce the inclusion of Hon. Steven (Cat) Coore among the esteemed honorees at the highly anticipated 30th Annual Caribbean American Heritage (CARAH) Awards (CARAH) Gala. Steven will be presented with the Luminary Award.
This prestigious event, themed "A Celebration of Excellence and Service" is scheduled for Friday, November 17th 2023, at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC The occasion is dedicated to recognizing the exceptional achievements and groundbreaking contributions of Caribbean American leaders across various sectors, including Arts, Entrepreneurship, Science and Technology, Sports, and Community Service, who have become conduits of inspiration for future generations.
In the vibrant heart of Kingston, Jamaica, Stephen "Cat" Coore, a name destined for greatness, came into the world. He was born into a family of distinction, with his father, the Honorable David Hilton Coore, standing as a Jamaican scholar and a beacon in the political landscape, serving as Deputy Prime Minister of Jamaica from 1972 to 1976 and contributing his wisdom to three different ministries. Cat's mother, Rita Angela Innis Coore, hailing from Trinidad, was no less impressive, having pursued her passions in music and broadcasting at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and later at the prestigious Royal College in London.
It was in this musically enriched environment that the seeds of Cat's destiny were sown. His mother, who had the privilege of learning from none other than Lloyd Webber himself, father of the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber, recognized the unique connection between her son and music from a very tender age. At the age of four, she initiated young Stephen into the world of melody, teaching him the piano. Rita, who had become one of Jamaica's most revered music educators, was already held as an adopted daughter by her beloved Jamaica. Yet, it was not the piano that ignited the spark in young Cat's soul. It was the resonating notes of Pablo Casals, the unparalleled cellist, that made his heart dance. Witnessing Cat's entranced reactions, Rita had an epiphany - "Maybe I'll send him to cello lessons."
This decision proved to be a turning point. Cat embraced the cello with open arms, and his love for string instruments was born. Under the tutelage of Noel Foster Davis, whom Cat reverently credits for shaping his musical foundation, he graced many stages, including unforgettable performances like playing "The Swan" for Princess Anne at Kings House and clinching a silver medal at the Jamaica festival when he was just ten years old, competing against contestants far older than him.
As Cat turned twelve, he fell in love with the rhythms of Ska, Pop, Rocksteady, and Reggae. The Beatles captured his heart, and he yearned for a guitar. His mother, supportive and nurturing, granted his wish, setting in motion a love affair that would last a lifetime. His rapid progress led to his entry into the Inner Circle as the lead guitarist when he was a mere thirteen. For four years, Cat's talent shone as he performed throughout Jamaica, and the Caribbean, and even ventured to North America. In 1971, his distinctive guitar work graced the festival song "Cherry O Baby," which went on to win the prestigious Jamaica Festival Song Competition, marking his first commercial recording credit. The reward: a humble 10 Jamaican Dollars.
At the age of seventeen, seeking new horizons and challenges, Cat embarked on a musical journey with his friend Colin Leslie. Soon, another lifelong friend, Ibo Cooper, joined them, marking the birth of the Third World. Cat has been the backbone of this iconic group for an astonishing fifty years, a tenure adorned with monumental success, chart-topping hits, nine Grammy nominations, the United Nations Medal of Peace, and a treasure trove of awards that have transcended borders and resonated globally. In recognition of his immense contribution to the musical world, Cat was bestowed with the National Honors, and inducted into the Order of Distinction of Jamaica in 2005.
Throughout his illustrious career, Cat's talent and dedication have not gone unnoticed. He has received countless awards and accolades, including the Keys to the Cities of Key West, FL, Brooklyn, NY, Atlantic City, NJ, Hollywood, FL, and Hartford, CT. His name shines bright at the National Black Arts Awards by the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the JaRia Instrumentalist of the Year award, and Lifetime Achievement Awards by Jamaica Jazz and Blues, Reggae Sumfest, Island Records, IRAWMA's, and many more.
Beyond the stage and studio, Cat carries the torch of goodwill and responsibility as the Ambassador for the Alligator Head Foundation in Port Antonio, Jamaica, and the Goodwill Ambassador for the Issa Trust Foundation in his homeland. His unwavering commitment to these causes reflects his profound love for Jamaica and its people.
In the realm of inspiration, Cat pays homage to his own influences: the legendary Pablo Casals, cellist Jacqueline Du Pre, Bob Marley, and Carlos Santana. These luminaries have played their part in shaping his extraordinary musical journey.
The life of Stephen "Cat" Coore is a testament to the power of passion, the harmony of dedication, and the crescendo of talent. From Kingston to the world, his name echoes through the corridors of music history, a melody that will linger eternally. The 30th Annual CARAH Awards Gala proudly honors this exceptional individual with the Luminary Award.
These awards, integral to the organization's core mission, play a pivotal role in fostering enlightening discussions about immigrant contributions to America and the future of the American dream. The CARAH Awards serve as a celebration of the rich cultural contributions and accomplishments of Caribbean Americans, reinforcing the overarching mission of the National Caribbean American Heritage Month (NCAHM).
Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to connect with Hon Steven 'Cat' Coore and the vibrant Caribbean immigrant community!
The CARAH Awards is presented by the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS), the leading Caribbean-American advocacy organization responsible for securing Presidential Proclamation of June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month. The prestigious honors recognize the contributions and accomplishments of Caribbean leaders in various fields while celebrating Caribbean pride and the great promise of Caribbean immigrants to America and the world.