Born OTD in 1934, Cuban-born Jamaican ska & reggae trombonist, Emmanuel “Rico” Rodriguez. Rodriguez was born in Havana, Cuba, & at an early age moved with his family to Jamaica. He grew up there in Kingston, and was taught to play the trombone by his slightly older schoolmate Don Drummond at the Alpha Boys School. He recorded with producers such as Karl Pitterson, Prince Buster, and Lloyd Daley. He was known as one of the first ska musicians. Beginning in the 1960s, he worked with The Members, The Specials, Jools Holland, and Paul Young.

alpha

Behind Jamaica’s musical reverberation lies the unlikely story of a boarding school run by Roman Catholic nuns and a brass band that helped shape some of the world’s most beloved musical forms. Under a strict disciplinarian regime, ‘wayward ‘boys,’ many orphaned or from deeply troubled backgrounds and hailing from some of the toughest streets in the world, went on to become the backbone of Jamaican jazz, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dancehall, and dub. Alpha Boys School: Cradle Of Jamaican Music takes a look at the lives of over 40 of these influential musicians who, against a backdrop of extreme poverty, gun culture, street gangs and a political civil war, reached the standards of virtuoso players and created their own sonic revolution. Told in a narrative style with a wealth of interviews, exclusive photos and archival material this book is a long overdue look at the lives and impact of the Alpha Boys.

Available in store and online.

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