Canadian Reggae Trailblazer Jo Jo Bennett Dies

L'artiste de reggae canadien Joseph (Jo Jo) Bennett des Sattalites est mort  | Radio-Canada.caIt would be criminal not to mention Jo Jo Bennett in any conversation about reggae in Canada. Such was his impact on the music in that country as a musician and teacher.

Bennett died on August 3 of natural causes at North York General Hospital in Toronto. He was 81.

Reuben Kincaid, his friend of 40 years, told the Jamaica Observer that Bennett was admitted to hospital one month ago.

Born in Kingston, he attended the Alpha Boys’ School where he learned to read, write and play music. After leaving Alpha, the flugelhorn/trumpet player became a member of the Celestials band, then Byron Lee and The Dragonaires.

It was while performing with The Dragonaires at Expo 67 in Montreal, that Bennett and fellow Alpha student Felix Taylor decided to settle in Canada.

Bennett was a reggae trailblazer in his adopted country which had a small Jamaican community, centred in Toronto, during the early 1970s.

Secret of 'Big Canadian Reggae Lion' Jo Jo Bennett's Cause of Death – My  Campus GistFirst, he was a member of The Fugitives band which also included Taylor on trumpet and talented singer/guitarist Wayne McGhee. Later, Bennett formed The Sattalites, a multi-member band that recorded seven albums, performed throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.

The band also won two Juno Awards. Several of its members were tutored by Bennett at The Sattalites Music School in Toronto.

Kincaid described Bennett as, “The most musical person I knew. It could have been Clifford Brown jazz or Bob Seger rock, he loved his music.”

Jo Jo Bennett is survived by seven children, 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Source: Jo Jo Bennett dies in Canada

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