Dec 01 - James Montegriffo Wins The 2017 Michael Danino Award

Last Wednesday evening saw the first annual Michael Danino Award Ceremony take place at Rock on The Rock. The award, which is a brand new initiative by the Gibraltar Live Music Society (GLMS), aims to reward the recipient with the most energy, passion and drive.

The event was kicked off by GLMS Secretary Nick Gonzalez who asked the audience to participate in a one minute silence in tribute to the recently passed away Tyrone Moya who formed part of bands ShotBreak as well as The Layla Rose Band.

Shortly after that Michael’s daughter Megan Danino, the reigning Mrs Gibraltar, took to the stage to speak about her father and how he would have been so humbled by the occasion and that although she doesn’t remember much, he is still her hero.

From there GLMS President David J Diaz introduced Glow onto a stage. This was their first performance as Glow in sixteen years! Diaz went on to explain how the idea of Glow performing on the night happened and admitted he was just hoping for Lawrence (Imossi) to just say a few words but it was Lawrence who said perhaps a few songs won’t hurt. From there Corey and Mark the fellow members of the band got the ball rolling. Their set only consisted of three songs but was still a nice flashback to those in attendance who would see them perform on a weekly basis at Sax II. (Now Eroski at ICC).

The presentation of the award was up next and it was bound to be more emotional. After speaking a little on the recipient without divulging names, it was announced by GLMS President David J Diaz that the award recipient was James Montegriffo. James, at just the tender age of twenty-three, passed away in late April. He was a part of local trio Side Project alongside father and son duo Jeremy and Robert Perez. Before inviting the Montegriffo family to the stage, we heard some tributes two of them sent in from UK by James’ cousin Mark and one of James’ best friends in life Allan Balloqui. The last tribute was delivered by Robert Perez who spoke about both Michael and James. About Michael, Robert went on to claim that he had the total package as a musician but as a nurse he also had it all, he was that good.

When it came time to speak about James, Robert mentioned how he saw him perform at a school concert and being amazed by what he saw and in the end Robert joined what was Jeremy and James’ band Side Project and as they say, the rest is history.

It was then the time for James’ family to go up to the stage and collect the award in tribute to their son. James’ father Francis spoke in awe as to how he had this pedalboard made and that then stopped using it as it gave him an electric shock which was met with laughter from those in attendance. To sum up at the end, Francis stated that music is life and that life is music. The award was handed over by GLMS President David J Diaz and Megan Danino.

The last performance of the night came from Manatee. James was rehearsing with Manatee with the idea of eventually performing with them but unfortunately that never materialised. Manatee consisting of Stefano Blanca, Luke Bosano and Jonathan Felices performed as a duo on Wednesday and they didn’t disappoint.

The GLMS would like to thank everyone that came down including the musicians to support the event, Rock on The Rock for hosting as well as Gibraltar Crystal who assisted in the creation of the award as well as their one of their sponsors for financing the award.

Via the Gibraltar Live Music Society

All pictures are copyrighted to the GLMS