Multi award winning Swiss jazz trombone virtuoso Samuel Blaser is the creator behind this tribute to Jamaican trombone legend Don Drummond, who during his short life brought so much to the actual playing of the trombone and to the traditional popular music of his Island. A master musician whose music and contributions have mentored innumerable musicians and brought immense pleasure to audiences throughout the world – without him ever having set foot of the island.
For those who are not familiar, Don Drummond (1932-1969) is revered as Jamaica’s foremost trombonist in his day. By age 11 he was gigging in clubs, was a student of Kingston’s famed Alpha Cottage School (1943-1950), he would occasionally perform jazz music at venues such as Bournemouth in the Eric Deans All Stars Band. In his teens he backed touring jazz greats like Sarah Vaughan and George Searing when they played in Jamaica.
In 1963, he was a founding member of the legendary Skatalites (original group 1963-1965), regarded as one of the most important bands of the ska era of Jamaican music. Backed by the band, he recorded many songs, writing or improvising on a vast amount of them. He left behind more than 100 improvised and original compositions. Among their repertoire of songs is Addis Abba, Far East, Schooling the Duke and Confucius.
During his life Don Drummond suffered from bouts of mental illness and had to be institutionalized on various occasions. In a 1965 he was charged with murdering his girlfriend and sent to prison where he died in 1969. Despite his brief life, the charismatic composer and trombonist is still regarded amongst the finest musicians Jamaica has ever produced and was critical to the emergence and development of Jamaica’s popular music.
Samuel Blaser was originally commissioned in 2019 to realize his vision for The Don Drummond Tribute for the Tampere Jazz Happening in Finland. The incredible international public acclaim that Samuel Blaser received for his creation has led to a recording project which will be released on the German label Outhere Records in the first part of 2021. The all-star, European based, lineup for the album project and touring company includes; Samuel Blaser (Trombone), Soweto Kinch (alto sax), Ray Careless (tenor sax), Alex Wilson (keyboards), Alan Weekes (guitar), Ira Coleman (bass), Kendrick Rowe (drums) and special featured guest vocalist Carroll Thompson – Jamaican/English multi award winner for her Reggae hits; Make it with you a duet with Sugar Minott, Love won’t let us wait a duet with Trevor Walters as well as many other solo chart topping hits.
The DON DRUMMOND TRIBUTE is available for bookings from March 2021 through the end of 2022. (full band is based in EU). A Great show for any festival or event!
article posted by:Juan Yriart, International Stage Productions, Inc.