Ibo Cooper a ‘venerable stalwart’ in music says PJ Patterson
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Former Prime Minister PJ Patterson on Sunday expressed condolences to the family and friends of Michael ’Ibo’ Cooper who died on Thursday at the age of 71 following a battle with cancer.
READ: Ibo Cooper dead at 71
Patterson described Ibo as a “venerable stalwart” in the music industry for his contributions to the art as the co-founder of the band Third World and in educating other musicians in his role as the head of the Caribbean, Latin America, and Jazz Department, now known as Popular Music Studies, at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
“He was not just a musician, but an envoy of Jamaican reggae to the world. His music was an elegant tapestry of Jamaica’s cultural narrative that reached hearts globally, aiding in carving a distinguished place for reggae on the world stage,” Patterson said.
“Over the years, during my Prime Ministerial tenure and retirement, we indulged frequently in conversations aimed to realise his dream: the building of an arts and entertainment complex on lands adjacent to the stadium that would include a space for concerts. He had an outline design ready to proceed,” the former Prime Minister added.
Patterson went on to state that he hopes that this concert space will eventually be constructed and that Ibo’s efforts will not be forgotten.
The iconic musician reportedly fell ill only two weeks after the sudden death of his wife, Joy. Cooper’s son, disc jockey Arif Cooper died of a suspected heart attack in March of this year.
Despite his immense loss, Patterson praised Ibo for his strength and his undeterred commitment to music and teaching.
“As we bid adieu to Ibo Cooper, a solemn yet proud note of gratitude resonates across the Jamaican musical community and beyond. His passing is a somber pause in our collective melody, yet his legacy is a dignified continuum that will inspire generations,” Patterson said.
“Our heartfelt condolences extend to his family. May the melancholy of this loss gradually transcend into a harmonious remembrance of a life well-lived, of a musician extraordinary, of a true son of Jamaican soil. The soothing cadence of Ibo’s life and music will forever echo through the hills and hearts of Jamaica, an enduring tribute to a remarkable soul in our musical anthology,” Patterson concluded.