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Alpha March Birthday Boys

The Alpha Boys School is grateful to share the music of Tommy McCook, Feluke, Don Drummond and Stingwray during their special month.



In March we honour founders of ska and rocksteady music, a drummer turned lead vocalist and a multi-instrumentalist who recorded with Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Marcia Griffiths and more.


MARCH 3, 1927 - TOMMY MCCOOK

Tenor saxophonist Tommy McCook had a ground breaking impact on ska, rocksteady and reggae. Born in Cuba and educated at the Alpha Boys School, McCook was a jazz musicians who became one of the founding fathers of Jamaican ska and a founding member of the Skatalites - which lasted just 14 months in its original format. McCook later became band leader of the Supersonics, Duke Reid’s house band and the driving force in rocksteady music. The music Tommy McCook and the groups he played in created the foundation that continues to support the culture.


March 12, 1932 - DON drummond

Regarded as the best of his time, and one of the best of all time, trombone player Don Drummond (1932-1969) was born March 12. He learned his craft at the Alpha Boys School and, according to Sister Ignatius, may have been the best trombone player in Jamaica while a student. In the early 60s he co-founded the Skatalites with fellow Alpha boys Tommy McCook, Lester Sterling, and Johnny Dizzy Moore. Drummond was the lead composer of many of The Skatalites songs and his prodigal talent can be heard in classics such as ‘Eastern Standard Time’, ‘Occupation’, ‘Confucious’ and ‘Don De Lion’. His catalog continues to captivate music fans worldwide.




MARCH 23, - Everol 'StingWray' Wray

A multi-instrumentalist focusing on two of the most difficult instruments to learn, trumpet and trombone, Everol ‘Stingwray’ Wray has worked alongside top artists such as Dennis Brown, Marcia Griffiths, Freddie McGregor, Ziggy Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Junior Gong. He can be heard on “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and “Forgive Them Father” from  Lauryn Hill’s Grammy-winning album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”. A regular member of Lloyd Parks & We The People band, Stingray also leads the group Skalareg.


March 24, 1977- Denver 'Feluké' Smith

After leaving Alpha Boys School, Feluke (March 24, 1977-Sept 5, 2020) joined Ashe, became a professional percussionist, music director and producer. He worked with local and international reggae artists such as Etana, Luciano, Kymani Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and Gentleman. Later in his career he also established himself as a talented vocalist with songs like “Soul Alive” and “Past Tense”.


 
ABOUT the alpha school of Music

Alpha's 130-year tradition of music education has produced jazz innovators, ska pioneers and reggae icons. The Alpha School of Music now offers a one-semester and full year certificate programme to overseas music students 19-28 years old. Click here to learn more about studying music in Kingston, Jamaica!

alpha school of music


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