A Special Tribute to Rico Rodriguez
A special tribute to reggae trombonist Rico Rodriguez, who died in September, with guests Jerry Dammers of the Specials and saxophonist Michael 'Bammie' Rose.
In the last of the current series, Jools pays a special tribute to the great reggae trombonist Rico Rodriguez who died in September, with guests Jerry Dammers of the Specials and saxophonist Michael "Bammie" Rose.
Rodriguez was born in Havana, Cuba, and moved with his family to Jamaica at an early age. He grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, and was taught to play the trombone by his slightly older schoolmate Don Drummond at the Alpha Boys School. In the 1950s, Rodriguez became a Rastafarian and was closely associated musically to the Rasta drummer Count Ossie. In 1961 Rodriguez moved to the UK and started to play in reggae bands. In 1976 he recorded the album Man from Wareika under a contract with Island Records. In the late 1970s, with the arrival of the 2 Tone genre, he played with ska revival bands such as the Specials including their single "A Message to You, Rudy".
Rodriguez formed the group Rico and the Rudies and recorded the albums Blow Your Horn and Brixton Cat. In 1995 Island Records released the album Roots to the Bone, an updated version of Rodriguez's earlier work Man from Wareika. From 1996, among other engagements, he played with Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and also performed at various ska festivals throughout Europe with his own band. He retired from performing with Jools Holland in 2012.
He was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) at Buckingham Palace on 12 July 2007, for services to music. In October 2012 he was awarded the Silver Musgrave Medal by the Institute of Jamaica in recognition of his contribution to Jamaican music.