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D on Drummond, the "Ace from Outer space, Don di' Lion", has been widely recognized as one of the two top trombonists in the world. This phenomenal Jamaican musician was critical to the emergence and development of popular Jamaican music, especially ska.
He was a founding member and a fundamental figure in what must have been (and still unsurpassed) the Caribbean's number one band, the Skatalites. Schooled at Alpha Boys School and the Rasta Camp of Count Ossie in the Warieka Hills area of East Kingston, this musical genius who embraced Rastafari and was profoundly influenced by the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S.A. and the National Liberation struggles in Africa, created some of the best musical arrangements in the history of popular Jamaican music.
This great musician, described by two of his close associates and friends ( I interviewed) as a "recluse", bequeathed to us a priceless legacy created in his youth. A youth in which he murdered his woman Anita Mahfood, declared mentally insane and sent to the mental asylum at Bellevue, and met a tragic end in 1969. He was 37 years old. Ordinary folks who saw Don Drummond play and heard his voice , his emotions, his loneliness, his pain, his intellect and hopes through the trombone, knew that this man was special.
Those in the know, people like Ernest Ranglin, Dermot Hussey, Robin Small, Bunny Goodison, Johnny " Dizzy" Moore, Clement "Sir Coxone" Dodd, Winston "Sparrow" Martin, Sister Ignatious among other Jamaicans and Kai Winding, Jay Jay Johnson and Bradford Marsalis from overseas , concurred. Drummond never got his due in his lifetime nor did he get it after passing. It is time he got it. Dr. Clinton Hutton, dept. of Government, UW }
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