Drummer of distinction

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Print this page Email A Friend!




MOST visitors to Mortimer Planno's 'Grounations' at Fifth Street in Trench Town, during the 1960s, would have likely met Michael Henry, one of the charismatic Planno's most astute students.


Henry is known worldwide as Ras Michael, founder of the Sons of Negus, a leading exponent of Nyahbinghi drumming and music.


Last week, the Government announced that Ras Michael will be awarded the Order of Distinction, Jamaica's sixth-highest honour, for his contribution to the development of the country's music.


Interestingly, in February, 72-year-old Ras Michael bemoaned the lack of respect traditional Rastafarian sounds gets in Jamaica.


"When mi go France last year, at the Garance Festival, people come from all over fi hear the music. Some people seh, 'We come from Poland to hear you, we know your music for ages'. Yuh don't get that here," he told the Jamaica Observer then.


Ras Michael, who lives in Los Angeles, has never wavered from the principles of Rastafari he learned from Planno nor the Afro-inspired drumming first made popular by Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari -- a seminal band of drummers who made music in Rockfort during the 1950s and 1960s.


Led by Ras Michael, the Sons of Negus recorded powerful songs such as New Name and The Lion of Judah, as well as the outstanding album, Dadawah, released in 1974.


Reggae Sunsplash co-founder Ronnie Burke, musicians Harold Butler and Marjorie Whylie, and producers Winston 'Niney' Holness and Donovan Germain are among the other entertainment figures being awarded this year.


Along with Ras Michael, they will receive their insignia during the annual National Honours and Awards Ceremony at King's House in October.


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

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 Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.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
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT