'Powda' Passes

Founding member of the Jolly Boys dies

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Print this page Email A Friend!

JOSEPH 'Powda' Bennett, a member of the resurgent Jolly Boys mento group, died Wednesday at the University of the West Indies Hospital. He was 76.

His wife, Daisy Gardener-Bennett, told Splash that he had experienced asthma-type symptoms since returning from France on August 3.

She says last week, he was admitted to the Port Antonio Hospital for four days after complaining of "shorta breath". Bennett travelled to the UHWI early this week for treatment after his condition failed to improve.

Along with rhumba player Derrick 'Johnny' Henry and lead singer Albert Minott, Powda Bennett was an original member of the Jolly Boys.

Originally from the Charles Town area of Portland, he played the parish's tourist circuit for many years. The trio came to international prominence six years ago when they began recording for the Gee Jam label in Port Antonio.

Their Great Expectations album for that company was a revelation, similar to the Buena Vista Social Club in Cuba during the 1990s. The Jolly Boys performed throughout Europe, the United States, Australia and Hong Kong, and were the subject of feature stories by the Associated Press and New York Times.

Dale Virgo, who produced Great Expectations, remembers Bennett as the comedian of the group.

"A cheeky ole guy, full of vibes. Powda always had a story," said Virgo.

The Jolly Boys and Virgo recently completed recording a new album, Day O, which is scheduled for release this year.

Joseph 'Powda' Bennett is survived by his widow, five children, grandchildren and five sisters.

— Howard Campbell




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon