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Carlton “Jackie” Seymore Willacey


Carlton Seymore Willacey, 94, died in Florida, USA on 02 April 2024.

In lieu of floral arrangements, the family respectfully suggests making a donation in Jackie Willacey’s name to The Alpha Institute in Kingston, Jamacia. Formerly Alpha Boys School, where Mr Willacey resided and learned music as a child and where he also taught music later in life, the Alpha Institute continues the proud traditions that Mr Willacey represented so well.


If you have questions or would like more information about making a donation please contact Joshua Chamberlain at The Alpha Institute in Jamaica by Whatsapp 876-578-1181 or at (Please note there is no "m" at the end of Mr. Chamberlain's email address.)


A young Jackie Willacey wearing his Alpha band uniform.

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The Alpha Institute in Kingston, Jamaica is operated by the Sisters of Mercy in Jamaica, a Catholic order of nuns whose core concerns include marginalized youth, access to education and employment training. 

The Sisters of Mercy introduced music training at Alpha in 1892. Since  then, Alpha graduates have contributed to the development of ska, rocksteady, reggae and dancehall.

Today, the Alpha Vocational Training Centre provides academic, social and technical training services to at risk youth, all of whom attend on scholarship. And the Alpha School of Music offers an Associate Degree in Music Performance to AVTC graduates as well as the public.

Alpha has been called a “dream factory” (NPR/USA) for “legendary musicians” (Jamaica Gleaner) who “helped release the spirit of one of the most musical islands in the world” (The Telegraph/UK).

Alpha’s place in Jamaica’s music pantheon can be heard on Alpha Boys School Radio, a 24/7 streaming station that plays music only recorded by Alpha graduates. 

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Current Alpha students.

Mr Willacey wrote the song "I Was Last" (1973) for the soul funk group Bamboos Of Jamaica.

And he joined with fellow Alpha past student Cedric 'Im' Brooks in 1978 for the horns-driven United Africa LP.

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