Lloyd Brevett, Founding Member of the Skatalites, Dead at 80
Jamaica lost one of her favorite sons Thursday, when bassist Lloyd Brevett, a founding member of the seminal ska band the Skatalites, died in Kingston. He was 80. Watch video of the stand-up bassist playing the 2003 Glastonbury Festival below.
Brevett died after battling complications following a stroke he had in March, two weeks after after his 32-year-old son, Okine, was shot to death near the family’s Kingston home, reports Billboard.
Brevett laid the all-important rhythm in the ska band’s ’60s successes, a time when the Skatalites and other Kingston acts combined Afro-Caribbean traditions with American rhythm and blues. The Skatalites were major members of what would become the first wave of ska.
The second emerged in Britain in the ’80s, with bands like Madness and the Specials, and the third wave crested in ’90s America with No Doubt and Catch-22. The Skatalites and their first wave brethren Desmond Dekker, Toots and the Maytals, and the Wailers gave rise to reggae, rock steady, dancehall, and dub.
The ubiquitous check-pattern associated with ska in all its iterations is a symbol of racial harmony, as black and white British kids would pack London clubs to get their ‘skank’ on, ska’s signature herky-jerky dance step. And the Skatalites, still playing today with one founding member, are to a large part the genesis of this legacy.
Trojan Records, a who label that curates the wealth of Caribbean music, expressed their sadness via Twitter.
Another sad day for music following the passing of legendary bass player and Skatalites founder member, Lloyd Brevett. bit.ly/IEWW3d
— Trojan Records (@trojanrecords) May 3, 2012
Watch Lloyd Brevett and the Skatalites Perform ‘Guns of Navarone’