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ADIEU BYRON LEE AND THE DRAGONAIRES

{Byron Lee, du célèbre groupe Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, a quitté le plan terrestre pour le paradis des Dragons à 73 ans, le 11 novembre 2008. C'était le monarque du Soca et de la Dancehall. Formé en 1957, son groupe avait fait le tour du monde, recrutant et formant des musiciens pour se perpétuer. La Jamaïque et la Caraïbe perdent un grand pionnier de la musique locale et de la musique tout court, et c'est avec nostalgie que les plus mûrs d'entre nous s'en souviendront. - J}.S. S.

Amandala today reports the passing of Jamaican legend, musician Byron Lee, 73, at a Jamaican hospital on Tuesday.

Concert-going Belizeans know him best as the eponymous bandleader of one of the top Caribbean soca and dancehall bands, Byron Lee and the Dragonnaires.

Lee and his band, which at various times included the likes of Oscar B, Leon Coldero and other prominent musicians, were frequent visitors to Belize, particularly during the September Celebrations. They were formed in 1957 and have toured the world numerous times, in the process nurturing future musicians.

Former promoter for Byron Lee in Belize, University of Belize’s Sylvana Woods, told Amandala this evening that Lee was “the ultimate, consummate professional,” respectful of local culture, passionate about using music as a tool to forge national identity and knowledgeable about the business side of the industry, which allowed him to derive maximum success from his live performances, which he said he treated as a “science.”

According to Woods, Lee was one of the main contributors to the development of the Caribbean sound. He took care, she said, to help pass on his craft to the next generation through the music seminars he would hold with local musicians on his visits here, as well as free concerts for children.

Lee, aka “The Dragon”, succumbed to stage 3 bladder cancer at the University Hospital of the West Indies on Tuesday. He had been first diagnosed two years ago after also contracting transitional cell cancer, for which he was being treated in Miami, Florida, U.S.A., the Jamaica Gleaner reported in today’s issue.

A recent recipient of the Order of Jamaica (and therefore rightly called the Hon. Byron Lee), the late musician is survived by his wife Sheila, 5 children and several grandchildren.

The Gleaner quotes Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding as saying that “Jamaica, and indeed the world, have (sic) lost another great music pioneer with the passing this morning of Byron Lee, one of the greatest bandleaders ever to grace the entertainment stages of the world.”

Prime Minister Golding also stated that Lee should be credited for the explosion of international popularity of Jamaican music, given that Lee preceded the likes of Bob Marley and the Wailers and today’s top reggae, dancehall and soca artists who call Jamaica home.

Julianne Lee Samuels, Lee’s daughter, told the Gleaner yesterday that her father used his half-century musical career to “unite persons of all ages, races and people from all walks of life.”

{{Aaron Humes}}

SOURCE : Amandalo online[ ICI->http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=7701]