Kingston, 1 November 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has paid tribute to Sam Clayton — the Griot or storyteller for the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari group of drummers — who has passed away.
"Brother Sam was a personal friend; I had a close relationship with him and I will miss him. I was pleased to nominate him in 2008 for the Order of Distinction in recognition of his stellar contribution to Jamaican culture,” said Minister Grange.
Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, led by Brother Sam, did several well-received tours of Europe throughout the 1990s and helped put Wareika Hills and nearby Rockfort on the map as a musical hot spot.
Minister Grange said:
“In recent weeks I arranged for his friend Sister Barbara Makeda Blake-Hannah to visit him and see how he was doing. Though he was retired from performing and had been in failing health, he was still in good spirits.
The Jamaican music community has been enriched by the contribution of Brother Sam Clayton, and he will be remembered and respected as part of Jamaica’s music history.”
The Minister also recalled that Brother Sam participated in one of the most important acts in Rastafari history when he, along with Philmore Alvaranga and Douglas Mack, travelled on the 1961 Mission to Africa financed by the Jamaican Government to discuss the possibility of Jamaican Rastafari relocating to Ethiopia. The team had planned to stay for a few weeks, but ended up spending six months as guests of the late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie. When the Emperor made a visit to Jamaica in 1966, Brother Sam was one of 12 Rastafari to whom he presented gold medals.