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JARIA Honors Turn To Tragedy as Son of Skatalites’ Lloyd Brevett Murdered

Okeene Brevett

Photo: Observer

On Saturday the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) honored a number of foundation artists and institutions including The Skatalites, Thomas Wong of Tom The Great Sebastian Sound System and Jack Ruby and the Jack Ruby Hi Fi, and the top two producers Clement ‘Sir Coxson’ Dodd and Duke Reid plus engineer Errol Thompson, artists Peter Tosh and Gregory Isaacs, organist/pianist extraordinaire Jackie Mittoo, the group Culture and Neville Willoughby

Alpha Boys School also received recognition for its long history of helping a long list of amazing Jamaican musicians. It was a day of great celebration for the homegrown music industry mixed with a little mourning in celebrating the life of one the first stars of Jamaican music – honoring the passing of original foundation DJ King Stitt – as Jamaica rolls forward with celebrating 50 years of independence.

Accepting the award for the Skatalites was the son of bass player Lloyd Brevett, Okeene Brevett , who just hours after doing so was gun downed in tragedy in his home community of Seaview Gardens. He was accepting the award from former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson on behalf of the Skatalites as Lloyd was too frail to attend. After the ceremony he went home to show his father the award then left to celebrate with friends. Soon after he was approached by armed gunman who shot him.

His brother Joshua was on the scene but Okeene died before help could arrive. He expressed anger at the apathy and attitude from the authorities:

“When my brother was shot and lying on the ground he was still alive, and despite pleas for assistance, the police who were on the scene kept ignoring my calls for help,” said Joshua.

Lloyd Brevett

According to the Observer, due to the tragedy, Lloyd and his wife say they have given up on Jamaica and will live out their lives in another country.

“I have made the decision not to stay in Jamaica,” the distraught Lloyd Brevett told the Observer at his home yesterday.

His wife, who cried during the Observer’s visit, echoed her husband’s sentiments.

“We have given up on this community; we have given up on this place we call home. We have decided that we will not be staying here,” she said.

Mr Brevett said that he actually lives overseas, but had planned to live out the rest of his days in Jamaica where he and eight other talented musicians gained fame after forming the Skatalites in 1964.

Listen to Ruth Brevett talking about the tragedy and their decision to leave Jamaica.

Our deepest sympathies go out to Lloyd and his family in this horrible time. Such a senseless murder on a night that should have only been celebratory.

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.