I was honored to be received by the great Grub Cooper of the seminal band FAB 5 (Fabulous 5) formed in Jamaica in 1970, having released 27 albums with many number 1 hits, including I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW by Johnny Nash. Upon receiving this grant and scheduling my trip to JA I immediately contacted Rita Marley with whom I had worked with c. 2006. She had invited me to be guest speaker at the Afrika Unite celebration in Ghana, West Africa for Bob Marley's birthday celebration (a great honor.) I told her of the intent of my trip and she kindly connected me to Grub. Grub is one of those rare talents who is at once very gentle but fiercely powerful and passionate. While sitting at the drumset he basically took me through ALL of Jamaican popular music styles, first starting with American Jazz and Blues shuffles and showing how Jamaican musicians created ska out of that....then moved through Rock Steady, Reggae (and its various sub styles) and dance hall. He's a consumate musician and was able to ground it in some musical terminology, BUT, in this clip below, check out what is TRULY at the root of how nearly all Jamaican music styles were created: 'Don't think about it, just do it!" Thank you GRUB!
Don't think about it.....
....a likkle bit on Dance Hall style: Murder She Wrote
These 10 BLOG posts are from my amazing trip to
Jamaica where I was conducting research for the Newbury Comics Faculty Fellowship grant I received (from Berklee College of Music, where I am associate professor of piano and teach a class on Bob Marley) to produce a reggae education video.