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Jamaica Music Museum Explores Don Drummond Through Poetry, Music and Musings

Jamaica Music Music explores Don Drummond for Reggae Month 2016

The Jamaican Music Museum’s Reggae Month Groundation series breaks new ground in 2016, by focusing on a single musician. The 2016 series will pay keen attention to the legendary, enigmatic trombonist Don Drummond. Dubbed Ungle Malungu Man: Musings on Don Drummond, the series will combine musings on Drummond through music, poetry and academic explorations. 

The Jamaican Music Museum has gathered an impressive cadre of presenters for the Reggae Month long event, including several of Jamaica’s leading poets whose pens have been fascinated by Drummond’s genius and tragic demise. These include Prof. Lorna Goodison, Dr. Kwame Dawes, and Poet Laureate Professor Mervyn Morris.

Musical interpretations of Drummond’s work will come via trombonists Steve Turre and Delfeayo Marsalis as well as The Wareika Trombone Quartet (featuring Nambo Robinson, Romeo Gray, Barry Bailey and Kemar Miller). The legendary Big Youth is also slated for the series.

The series will also include sociological, philosophical and psychological explorations of Drummond through presentations from philosopher, Dr. Earl McKenzie; psychiatrist, Professor Freddy Hickling, and cultural historian/political scientist, Dr. Clinton Hutton.

“In spite of being found guilty of murder and incarcerated as a criminal lunatic, in his best mental state, much of Don Drummond’s music and character exuded a liberating ethic,” explained Herbie Miller, curator of the Jamaica Music Museum. “His personality and his music is a manifestation of his Afro-Jamaican experience and his music functions first and foremost as a conduit for aesthetic, spiritual and social liberation within that context.” 

The Reggae Month series opens on February 7, 2016, with the launch of Heather Augustyn’s biography Don Drummond - The Genius and Tragedy of the World’s Greatest Trombonist at 1:00 p.m.  The launch will be followed by 'Margarita and Mulungu: The Victory and Tragedy of an Art Couple'. Hosted by Elaine Wint, the session will feature reasoning by Herbie Miller and musical performances by Big Youth and Sarina Constantine.

On Valentine’s Day, the poets will speak about the ways in which they were inspired to write about Don Drummond as well as deliver the verses on Drummond. Dubbed ‘Celebration and Solitude: Don D as Songster and Poetic Muse’ the event will be hosted by Kwame Dawes and will feature Goodison and Morris along with Jerry Small, and Raymond Mair. 

Drummond will receive the full musical treatment on February 21, 2016, as Andre Murchinson, Delaeyo Marsalis, and Steve Turre reflect on and interpret Don Drummond’s music. The series closes on February 28, 2016, with ‘Don Cosmic: Mad With the Madness of a Great Maestro’. During this session, Dr. Clinton Hutton will host a conversation between Prof. Frederick Hickling and Dr. Earl McKenzie. There will also be a performance of the Wareika Trombone Quartet.

The 2016 edition of the Reggae Month event will be JaMM’s 5th staging of the Groundation Series which is this year sponsored by CPTC, Linstead Market Jamaica, JMMB, Irie FM and the CHASE Fund. With the exception of the launch, all events will begin at 2:00 p.m.