10 November 2008

Thank you for the music

More sad news today. I was shocked to read of the death of legendary South African singer Miriam Makeba - also known as Mama Afrika.

You can read the story here: www.miriammakeba.co.za

This comes just days after the death of Byron Lee whose band The Dragonaires were responsible for some of the finest ska, rocksteady, calypso and reggae recordings of the 1960s.

Despite the joy the news of Barack Obama being elected the first black president of the United States has brought to the world, this is a sad time as we have lost so many inspiring musical heroes during the last few weeks, including one of my all time favourite singers - Alton Ellis.

Read more about the passing of Alton Ellis, Byron Lee and other Jamaican greats here

Other legends who have just recently passed away are Levi Stubbs (lead singer of The Four Tops), Dee Dee Warwick (soul singer and sister of Dionne Warwick) and Andrew "Mike" Terry (Funk Brother and Detroit saxophonist who played on so many of the great 60s soul tunes).

This coming weekend I am playing Right On! sets at The Vibe Bar and Ronnie Scott's and am dedicating the sessions to the memory of all these wonderful singers and musicians. I will be paying tribute by playing many of their fantastic and life-affirming recordings. Their music will live forever.

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