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Jazz aficionados in South Florida will enjoy the music of the late Jamaican tenor saxophonist, Wilton “Bogey” Gaynair, at the 14th Annual Miami Jazz Film Festival, on Saturday (October 2) at the WDNA Jazz Gallery in Miami.
The tribute to Gaynair is one of several performances on the programme for the four-day Festival, which begins Thursday (September 30) and ends on Sunday
The Tribute will begin with a visual presentation, narrated by renowned Jamaican historian and musicologist, Herbie Miller, and will be followed by a live jazz concert featuring music from Gaynair’s body of work, played by saxophonist Tony Greene and Friends, a Jamaican jazz quartet.
According to radio personality, Howard Duperly, of WDNA Radio, Coral Gables, coordinator of the Jazz Film Festival, the tribute to Gaynair takes the form of an international premiere for a worldwide showing.
The musical tour, “Tribute to Wilton Gaynair”, spearheaded by Greene, and sponsored in part by the Jamaica Tourist Board, is designed to familiarise fans around the world to one of Jamaica’s legendary musicians, according to Mr. Duperly.
Gaynair was born on January 11, 1927 in Kingston and died in Germany in February, 1995. He was raised at Alpha Boys’ Home in Kingston, along with fellow Jamaican musical legends Joe Harriott, Harold McNair and Don Drummond.
He began his professional musical career playing in the clubs of Kingston, backing international Jazz greats such as George Shearing and Carmen McRae during their visits to Jamaica.
In 1955, he moved to Europe and settled in Germany. Although he seldom did recordings, two of three sessions were captured during visits to England: “1959, Blue Bogey” and “1960, Africa Calling”.
He concentrated on live performances, playing with famous bands such as the Kurt Edelhagen Radio Orchestra, and also accompanying international artists including Shirley Bassey, Manhattan Transfer, Gil Evans and Freddie Hubbard, among others, and performed at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
Howard Duperly compares Gaynair’s work to that of other international jazz greats, John Coltrane and Miles Davis.
In September 1983, Gaynair suffered a stroke during a concert and, from that time until his death in 1995, was unable to play the saxophone, again. He is survived by a younger brother, Bobby Gaynair, who is also a saxophonist and an Alpha old boy alumnus.