Dean Fraser

Renowned Jamaican saxophonist Dean Fraser has a ritual. Following a long day in the studio, he usually winds down with his artistes and fellow musicians.

This generally takes the form of a game or six of dominoes, drinks (he takes water) and light conversation.

On Tuesday, the after-studio session ritual was no different.

However, while there, he realised that his cellphone was 'blowing up'.

“There was just a lot of messages from strange numbers, and even people whose numbers I knew were messaging and calling. I was like what is this now. Mi jus' bury Robbie [Shakespeare] yesterday so wah dis now?” he said.

The calls and messages were all to congratulate him on becoming a question on the long-running, American television game show Jeopardy.

“To tell you the truth, I didn't know how to feel. It was a pleasant surprise and it felt good for something positive to come out of nowhere,” Fraser told the Jamaica Observer.

The question “Reggae saxophonist Dean Fraser is a celebrated artist of this Caribbean country?” was correctly answered by contestant Gus Guszkowski, who was competing in the Jeopardy National College Championship.

“I just have to give thanks for the love shown to me by music lovers all over the world. I have to make special mention of my fellow Jamaicans who always show me love. This love is what keeps me going and makes me want to do more of what I'm doing,” said Fraser.

Speaking of the love shown to him by Jamaicans, Fraser pointed to his most recent release, the album Flat Bridge, noting that the response from Jamaicans has been overwhelming.

“I am a man who go to the market and in the streets and I am used to hearing people hail me 'Yes, Mr Fraser!'. Now I am having people call out to me, 'Flat Bridge', so I know the music is making a connection. This is great because I have a lot of young musicians around me and it is great to show them that with hard work they can go out there, hold their own and make a name for themselves,” he noted.

Fraser was a key person in curating the musical tributes for Monday's thanksgiving service for legendary bassist Robbie Shakeapeare, who died on December 8, 2021.

He shared his reflections on the man and his music.

“Robbie took playing of the music to the highest level. There was a seriousness to his art that was on the next level. For all the years that I worked with Robbie, he never just came into studio, record his bass track and leave. He would give you a bassline and then sit and listen to the recording and before him leave is three or four more basslines you get, leaving you in limbo as to which one to pick. He was a real rockstar whose talent just grew from strength to strength. There will never be another Robbie Shakespeare, so all we can do is miss him,” Fraser added.

Renowned Jamaican saxophonist Dean Fraser has a ritual. Following a long day in the studio, he usually winds down with his artistes and fellow musicians.

This generally takes the form of a game or six of dominoes, drinks (he takes water) and light conversation.

On Tuesday, the after-studio session ritual was no different.

However, while there, he realised that his cellphone was 'blowing up'.

“There was just a lot of messages from strange numbers, and even people whose numbers I knew were messaging and calling. I was like what is this now. Mi jus' bury Robbie [Shakespeare] yesterday so wah dis now?” he said.

The calls and messages were all to congratulate him on becoming a question on the long-running, American television game show Jeopardy.

“To tell you the truth, I didn't know how to feel. It was a pleasant surprise and it felt good for something positive to come out of nowhere,” Fraser told the Jamaica Observer.

The question “Reggae saxophonist Dean Fraser is a celebrated artist of this Caribbean country?” was correctly answered by contestant Gus Guszkowski, who was competing in the Jeopardy National College Championship.

“I just have to give thanks for the love shown to me by music lovers all over the world. I have to make special mention of my fellow Jamaicans who always show me love. This love is what keeps me going and makes me want to do more of what I'm doing,” said Fraser.

Speaking of the love shown to him by Jamaicans, Fraser pointed to his most recent release, the album Flat Bridge, noting that the response from Jamaicans has been overwhelming.

“I am a man who go to the market and in the streets and I am used to hearing people hail me 'Yes, Mr Fraser!'. Now I am having people call out to me, 'Flat Bridge', so I know the music is making a connection. This is great because I have a lot of young musicians around me and it is great to show them that with hard work they can go out there, hold their own and make a name for themselves,” he noted.

Fraser was a key person in curating the musical tributes for Monday's thanksgiving service for legendary bassist Robbie Shakeapeare, who died on December 8, 2021.

He shared his reflections on the man and his music.

“Robbie took playing of the music to the highest level. There was a seriousness to his art that was on the next level. For all the years that I worked with Robbie, he never just came into studio, record his bass track and leave. He would give you a bassline and then sit and listen to the recording and before him leave is three or four more basslines you get, leaving you in limbo as to which one to pick. He was a real rockstar whose talent just grew from strength to strength. There will never be another Robbie Shakespeare, so all we can do is miss him,” Fraser added.

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login

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