Keeping the law in music

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

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WHILE a student at Kingston College in the early 1970s, Lloyd Stanbury recalls watching Augustus Pablo, Harold Butler, and Tyrone Downie jamming on the organ in the school's chapel. They went on to successful careers as musicians, he became an entertainment industry lawyer.

Stanbury was the go-to lawyer for many dancehall/reggae figures in the 1990s, most notably producers Steely and Clevie. Two weeks ago, the government announced that he will receive the Order of Distinction (Officer rank) for his service to the music industry.

“A National Award from the Government of Jamaica signifies recognition of one's contribution as a citizen, and that therefore means something to each recipient. The work I have done was not done with the objective of receiving accolades, but I do give thanks and am appreciative of the gesture,” Stanbury told the Jamaica Observer.

The dreadlocked Stanbury lives in South Florida, and recently represented acts like Chronixx and Protoje. He believes Jamaican artistes are more educated about the music industry, but notes that “we still have a very long way to go in order to be more competitive globally.”

His 2015 book, REGGAE ROADBLOCKS, A Music Business Development Perspective, is an educational guide of the industry's ins and outs. With the spotty history regarding copyright and publishing in Jamaica, Stanbury is glad to see the establishment of appropriate agencies.

“Locally, we have seen the emergence of national music rights societies such as the Jamaica Association of Composers Authors and Publishers (JACAP), and the Jamaica Music Society (JAMMS), and both have been doing good work. The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) should also be commended for its efforts in sustaining Reggae Month despite its membership and funding support challenges,” he stated. “At the international level, Jamaicans have fallen further behind their non-Jamaican reggae business practitioners. I think that currently Jamaican reggae artistes do not hold the same level of prestige and admiration in the international community as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Third World, Black Uhuru and Burning Spear.”

Raised in the Waltham Gardens community of Kingston, Stanbury graduated from Norman Manley Law School in 1979. He started as a civil and corporate lawyer, then got involved in music four years later by helping Sly and Robbie stage their 10th anniversary show.

Stanbury has lived in South Florida for almost 20 years, participating in numerous workshops and seminars on how to improve the reggae brand.

“I am more focused now on education and training in the business aspects of the music industry. In this regard I am trying to promote my book REGGAE ROADBLOCKS, A Music Business Development Perspective so that a larger group of persons can have access to the information in it,” he said.

Other arts and entertainment figures who will be recognised at the October 16 National Honours and Awards ceremony at King's House are: Bunny Wailer (Order of Merit); Robert Russell (Order of Distinction — Commander Class); Professor Keith Morrison (Order of Distinction — Commander Class); Copeland Forbes (Order of Distinction — Officer rank); Rosina Moder (Order of Distinction — Officer rank); Carlos Malcolm (Order of Distinction — Officer rank); Ferdinand “Bobby Little Bra” Gaynair (Order of Distinction — Officer rank); and Carl Bradshaw (Order of Distinction — Officer rank).

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