Guitarist Chris Meredith is dead
Christopher Meredith (Photo: United Reggae)

Christopher Meredith, the prolific bass guitarist who played on multiple Grammy-winning albums and numerous hit songs, died in South Florida on July 27. He was in his mid-50s.

No cause of death has been given, but the veteran musician recently underwent heart surgery.

Meredith was a member of the Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers and Stephen Marley bands for many years. He played on the former's Conscious Party and One Bright Day albums, which won Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album in 1989 and 1990, respectively.

He also played on Burning Spear's Calling Rastafari which won the Best Reggae Album Grammy in 2000 and Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill which won five Grammys in 1999.

Meredith's lines can be heard on Mutabaruka's album Check It! and Fade to Black by Amy Winehouse. Barrington Levy's Under mi Sensi, One Blood by Junior Reid, Just One of Those Days by Sizzla and the remix of Turn Your Lights Down Low by Hill and Stephen Marley are among the many hits he played.

The self-taught Meredith was born in the United Kingdom. He came to Jamaica with his parents as a child and attended Calabar High School where he first showed an interest in music.

In a 2017 interview with the Jamaica Observer, Meredith spoke about his career.

"I have been playing almost 40 years. It started when I was a kid, six or seven. I had a toy guitar and started banging it. Then I met [bass player] Junior Moody who showed me the basics. I also met [drummer] Squiddly (Cole) an' we used to practice together. I use to practise at my school/church [St Peter Claver Primary], then I met [guitarist Earl Smith] Chinna who improved my skill/knowledge of music and we made a band called High Times Players and started recording and doing shows," he said.

Meredith named Aston "Familyman" Barrett, Robbie Shakespeare, Errol "Flabba Holt" Carter (of the Roots Radics) and jazz musicians Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke as his favourite bass players.

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