RIP Maas Rico

Rico Rodriguez- Photo ©Janine Irons

Rico Rodriguez (from a framed photo by Janine Irons)

Very sad about the passing of fellow musician and mentor, the great Jamaican trombonist, Rico Rodriguez. An alumnus of the famed Alpha School for Boys in Kingston, JA, Rico was one of the original members of my band, Jazz Jamaica back in the ’90s, his distinctive sound enhancing the authenticity of the music and helping me launch Jazz Jamaica on the international stage. The image above is a photo of the framed photo that graces our office wall, taken by my partner, Janine back in 1994.

I’m thankful – as are all Jazz Jamaica fans – for Rico’s musical contributions on three Jazz Jamaica albums that document the band’s early years – Skaravan (1993, 1996), and The Jamaican Beat: Blue Note Blue Beat Vols 1 and 2 (1994 and 1995 respectively). Some great tunes, and what an experience! Here’s one of my favourites of Rico with Jazz Jamaica – Ramblin’, penned by the great man himself:

Rico, the Man From Wareika was a guiding star who I learned from, traveled and reasoned with, and joined in cultural activities. I was so glad to be able to pay him a visit in hospital a couple of days before he passed. Sitting at his bedside, holding his hand, I had the opportunity to thank him for his musical gifts and the myriad memories – ah, so many memories! – and for his legacy, which is truly great. 

The respect and love the whole music world and beyond have shown says it all. We will miss him, and we’ll never see the like of him again.

Peace and Love Breddah Rico. RIP.

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