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Don Drummond

Jamaican Ska trombonist and composer and original member of The Skatalites. He learnt his craft, like many of his contemporaries at Alpha Boys School in Kingston. In the early 50s he began playing with the Eric Deans All-Stars (Eric Dean was a music teacher at the school and the leader of the island?s premier jazz band) In the early 60s Don was a major force in the development of Ska as a member of The Skatalites after being spotted playing at the Majestic Theatre by Coxsone Dodd. The Skatalites soon became Jamaica?s most popular group and in the space of two short years the band had a flurry of hits with the Studio One, Treasure Isle and Top Deck labels

However, he had long been plagued by mental health problems and these came to a head in 1965 when he murdered his girlfriend, the well known singer / dancer Margarita Mahfood. After giving himself up to the police he was interned at Bellevue Asylum where he remained until his death in 1969. The official cause of death was suicide although some have claimed that he was murdered. It was a sad end for this extraordinary talent but his contribution to the development of Jamaican music ensures he will never be forgotten.

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