Joseph Bogdanovich IRAWMA Philanthropist Award
Published in the 39th edition of the IRAWMA Magazine
Los Angeles Native, Josef Bogdanovich began visiting Jamaica in the early 1990s before settling in Kingston in 1999. He started his Acid Jazz record label in 1992 ; a year later he founded Downsound Records and released music from an eclectic array of reggae and dancehall artists. The entrepreneur is a KLE Group shareholder, which operates Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records, the popular Sports bar/restaurant co-owned by the celebrated Olympian. In 2016, he acquired Hardware & Lumber, the island’s larges retail hardware chain. In 2017 he established “Caribbean Love Now’ to aid Caribbean Islands ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Bogdanovich took over the reins of Reggae Sumfest in 2016. He introduced Live streaming a 360 virtual reality access app and expanded the now 26-year-old festival to eight days. The Sumfest Inspire Awards, Reggae Business Symposium and an international sound system clash followed. Downsound Entertainment pioneered a reciprocal promotion strategy between Sumfest and Damian Marley’s Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise. In 2020, the business mogul donated $1.5 million to support Jamaica’s continuing efforts to battle the COVID 19 crisis. Bogdanovich and his companies have so far donated $5 million to the Government and prominent charities via Reggae Sumfest’s philanthropic arm and “Caribbean Love Now” to assist directly with COVID-19 relief efforts. This includes his Downsound Entertainment food distribution to the vulnerable, initiative. In addition, Hardware & Lumber, committed to donating a percentage of its online sales to prominent charity “Food for the Poor”.