Tappin, Hague on UWI's jazz farewell

By Basil Walters
Observer writer

Sunday, July 22, 2018

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BAJAN saxophonist Arturo Tappin is expected to bring the curtain down on the wTthe UWI's 70th anniversary dubbed 'Chancellor's Jazz Farewell' on Sunday, July 29 at the UWI, Mona's Oriental Gardens.

Jamaica's “first lady” Myrna Hague is also billed as a headliner.

The star-studded line-up will also feature veteran multi-instrumentalist Marjorie Whylie, noted bandleader Peter Asbourne, and the Desi Jones aggregation.

“Chancellor's Week”, July 23-29, 2018 is a celebration of the intellect and culture, including the food and music of the Caribbean people. The Chancellor's Jazz Farewell is a fitting end to a rich week of activities, and we are looking forward to the artistry of this powerful team of the region's best,” William Iton, chair, Chancellor's Week Planning Committee, told the Jamaica Observer.

No stranger to Jamaica, the Barbados-born Tappin has been tapping into the local musical culture as reflected in his 1994 debut album Strictly Roots, followed by his second set Java in 1995. In addition, Tappin has been the recipient of the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in the Arts from former Jamaican Prime Minister P J Patterson in 2005.

Tappin, a graduate of the famed Berkley College in California, has been recognised as the leading non- Jamaican Caribbean musician, producing high-quality reggae instrumentals.

He expressed tremendous appreciation for the recognition given to him by then PM Patterson and recalled some of the Jamaicans whose paths he has crossed in his musical career.

“What really humbles me and excites me at the same time is this honour that I received from the prime minister and the people of Jamaica…” Tappin told the Jamaica Observer in a 2005 interview.

The sax player, who had been coming to Jamaica since the 1980s, said when he first came to Jamaica his mission was to figure out what reggae music was all about.

“How do you build reggae, how do you put it together, what's the essence of reggae. Why is it a Jamaican playing reggae sounds completely different from the best musicians in New York or in London… the Marleys helped me quite a bit. Cedella and her mom putting me on Bob Marley's birthday bashes both in Kingston and Negril, giving me a lot of exposure,” he said at the time.

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