by Howard Campbell
SOUTH FLORIDA – Anyone familiar with Denver “JAMUSA” Silvera knows the broadcaster/sound system selector is rarely at a loss for words. One of those occasions was September 4 at Gold Choice Ballroom in Margate, venue for an event marking his 60th anniversary in the music business.
Members of his family including twin brother Cornel, sister Dawn and daughter Nikecia helped him celebrate his ‘Diamond Jubilee’. So did friends including singers Audley Rollen, Wayne Armond, Barry Biggs and Hal Anthony, Lauderdale Lakes mayor Hazelle Rogers and sound system colleague Waggy T.
JAMUSA was overwhelmed by the support.
“One never knows what’s gonna happen in their lives. This was one of the most joyous moments in my journey. Everyone made me feel like it was just a family gathering filled with love,” he said.
A South Florida resident since the late 1980s, JAMUSA hosts Making Tracks With JAMUSA on WAVS 1170 AM three times a week. He settled in the region after many years manning the popular Mello Canary sound system in Jamaica.
Born in St. Mary, a parish in eastern Jamaica, he started his career in the early 1960s with sound systems in Kingston, the country’s capital. Migrating to New York City later that decade, JAMUSA cut his teeth on the Big Apple’s burgeoning Jamaican dance scene as well as debuting as a broadcaster on WWRL.
He returned to Jamaica in the late 1970s for a senior role with Mello Canary, one of the top ‘sounds’ in the country at the time. JAMUSA joined WAVS when it had Spanish ownership and has seen the radio station evolve into one of the largest sources of information for South Florida’s Jamaican and West Indian communities.