Kingston 17 June 2019 – The Minister of the Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has expressed sadness at the passing of Conroy Cooper, the founder of Fab 5 band.
Minister Grange said:
“I was sad to hear of the passing of Conroy Cooper, an exceptionally talented musician, producer, composer and arranger, whose contribution to the development of Jamaican music has been immense.
Cooper was instrumental in introducing our music to new audiences abroad when he led the first tour of Germany by a Jamaican band, the Reggaes (which later became Fab 5).
His work in advertising, creating memorable radio jingles; his work in the theatre composing and arranging music for several productions, including national pantomimes; his work in the studio as a performer and with several artistes including Ernie Smith, Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari attest to his vision, his creativity and the range of his contribution to Jamaica’s music.
I offer sincerest condolences to his family, especially to his children and his brother Grub, the current leader of Fab 5.”
Conroy Cooper was 74.
MESSAGE BY THE HONOURABLE OLIVIA GRANGE, CD, MP
MINISTER OF CULTURE, GENDER, ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORT
FOR INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY
30 April 2019
Today, we celebrate International Jazz Day and the power of the music to bring people together in love, peace and unity.
We also celebrate the influence of Jazz on Jamaican music and the contribution of Jamaican musicians to Jazz internationally.
Our musicians such as Bertie King, Dizzy Reece, Monty Alexander and Ernie Ranglin established themselves internationally — long before ska, rock steady and Reggae captivated the world.
Those early Jazz musicians set the foundation for Bob Marley and others to place Jamaica at the top of the international music scene.
Today the Reggae music of Jamaica is at the centre of brand Jamaica.
In celebration of International Jazz Day, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport joins the Edna Manley School of Visual and Performing Arts in staging a Concert at Devon House this evening.
We’re happy to have the acclaimed Trombonist Steve Turre join with our local Jazz musicians for what promises to be a great evening of music.
I hope you’ll join us.
Olivia Grange, CD, MP
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport
Kingston, September 25 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has extended condolences to the family and close friends of iconic record producer of Channel One fame – Joseph “Joe Joe” Hoo Kim.
“He was one of a kind,” said Grange.
Hoo Kim died peacefully in the arms of his wife Joyce at his Long Island New York home last week Thursday, September 20, 2018, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Grange said the loss of Hoo Kim signals the departure of another of our pioneers in the creation of this great art form we gave to the world called Reggae Music.
Born on Maxfield Avenue to parents of Chinese and Chinese-Jewish descent, Joe Joe went into the music business in the early 70s. He founded the Channel One Sound System before building a studio with the same name in 1972, along with younger brothers Paul, Kenneth and Ernest.
The studio worked closely with the legendary Sly Dunbar, a collaboration which was responsible for the creation of the rhythm for the Mighty Diamonds mega hit “when the right time come”. It was unique in many ways, including the introduction of a new drumming style with emphasis on the rim shots. Robbie Shakespeare later teamed up with Sly, to signal the start of perhaps Reggae’s best known and celebrated rhythm duo.
The studio band at Channel One in the 1970s was The Revolutionaries, one of the most sought-after backing bands of the time.
The label was to achieve more success with many other well-known artistes including Leroy Smart, Freddy McKay, Wailing Souls, Black Uhuru, Horace Andy, and Delroy Wilson.
Joe Joe produced the first Jamaican 12-inch single which was a mix that combined versions of “Truly” by The Jays and Ranking Trevor, sung or deejayed by a slew of recording artistes. This is a clear prototype for the modern dancehall song as it evolved over time.
Joe Joe's footprints extended to New York where he, along with wife Joyce, operated HIT BOUND, a pressing plant for vinyl records and later CDs.
Minister Grange said, “Joe Joe Hoo Kim was without question one of Jamaica’s greats of the music business. He has left behind a lasting legacy, particularly the rich Channel One catalogue, for which generations of musicians will be eternally grateful. Walk good my friend”.