Rico Rodriquez Memorabilia Donated to Jamaica Music Museum

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport,   Hon. Olivia Grange (2 nd right), receives the trombone played by late Jamaican ska musician Rico Rodriquez from his widow, Tracey Rodriquez. Sharing in the moment are his son Castor (left), who is holding Mr. Rodriquez’s signature hat; and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), His Excellency Seth George Ramocan. Mrs. Rodriquez handed over memorabilia of the late renowned musician for display at the Jamaica Music Museum during a ceremony at the High Commission in London on July 18.

Story Highlights

  • Memorabilia of late renowned ska musician Rico Rodriquez have been handed over to the Government for display at the Jamaica Music Museum.
  • The memorabilia include a trombone, Mr. Rodriquez’s trademark hat, original scores of some of his iconic songs, and other personal items.

Memorabilia of late renowned ska musician Rico Rodriquez have been handed over to the Government for display at the Jamaica Music Museum.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, received the items from Mr. Rodriquez’s widow, Tracey, and son Castro at a special ceremony held at the Jamaican High Commission in London on Tuesday (July 18).

The memorabilia include a trombone, Mr. Rodriquez’s trademark hat, original scores of some of his iconic songs, and other personal items.

“This afternoon it’s really for me my greatest honour and pleasure to receive these important artefacts that belonged to Rico,” the Minister said at the function hosted by High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Seth George Ramocan.

She said they will be prominently placed at the Jamaican Music Museum.

“Our celebrations for our 55th anniversary will feature an emphasis on lasting legacies. This will be very much a part of that programme,” she indicated.

Ms. Grange noted that Jamaica has provided the world with renowned music and musicians, and Rico Rodriquez played an important role in the development of the island’s music.

“Jamaica is fortunate to have produced such world-renowned musicians. We gave the world a new musical icon in Bob Marley. We gave the world a new religion in Rastafari. We gave the world the fastest man, and many fast women. We are an awesome people,” she added.

The special ceremony also included tributes to Mr. Rodriquez by former University of the West Indies (UWI) Lecturer, Cecil Gutzmore; London-based journalist and music historian, Martin “Mandingo” Williams;  University of Westminster Lecturer, Mykaell Riley; and Mr. Rodriquez’s niece, Sandra Rodriquez-Franklyn .

The Minister was accompanied by head of the Jamaica 55 Secretariat, Lenford Salmon and Senior Director for Sports Development, Florette Blackwood.

The Jamaica Music Museum showcases an array of archival material including rare musical recordings and oral histories of Jamaican music legends , musical scores, photographs, films, research files, business records, personal correspondence and musical instruments that belonged to eminent Jamaican musicians.

Rico Rodriquez, who died in 2015, was one of Jamaica’s foremost ska and reggae trombonists. He recorded with many producers, including Karl Pitterson and Prince Buster.

In October 2012, he was awarded the Silver Musgrave Medal by the Institute of Jamaica in recognition of his contribution and he was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)) in 2007.

Mr. Rodriguez was born in Havana, Cuba, and at an early age moved with his family to Jamaica.  He grew up there in Kingston, and was taught to play the trombone by schoolmate Don Drummond at the Alpha Boys’ School.

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