Augustus Pablo tribute

Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 13:16:16 -0500
From: Crucial Lloyd <>

June 21, 1954 - May 18, 1999

"Dub is a very popular and influential part of reggae, Jamaica's popular music. Dub developed during the 60's, when disc jockeys spun records at Jamaican dances began fiddling with the treble, bass and tone knobs on their amplifiers, producing crude special effects. A singer intones an opening phrase, keyboards and guitars begin click-clacking against each other on percussive counterpoint, bass and drums lock into step, a horn section contributes an anticipatory fanfare. Sometimes the instruments fall in together.....and the music's texture thickens. Sometimes almost everything disappears and one hears a single drum beat, a bass note, then nothing, nothing at all. Augustus Pablo's 'King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown' is the first classic of modern dub, an endlessly fascinating collection of shimmering, mirage-like instrumentals."
"The name hasn't gained the international recognition of Bob Marley, but Augustus Pablo is one of reggae's legitimate legends, a pioneer who flipped the genre completely upside down. Along with producer King Tubby, Pablo almost single-handedly invented dub, wherein reggae's fat bass and popping drums are twisted and contorted until they crack like bullwhips and rumble like syncopated earthquakes."

"After the tragic passings of Prince Lincoln and Roland Alphonso, the reggae world has lost another great artist, Augustus Pablo (a.k.a. Horace Swaby). Not only was Augustus Pablo responsible for putting the melodica on the musical map, but he also played a key role in the musical history of Jamaica. In his role as musician and producer, he helped to shape reggae so much, that his music can easily be described as 'the sound of the Seventies.'"

"The current King of Dub is Augustus Pablo. He has introduced reggae to a discredited instrument: the melodica, that plastic child's toy that looks and sounds like a mini-harmonica. In Pablo's hands, however, the melodica becomes an instrument capable of conveying a beautiful, complex melancholy.
A lot of reggae music consists of praise to Rastafarianism and does so in what can all too often be tedious, dolorous lyrics. As a dub instrumentalist, though, Pablo makes music that conveys more about the nature of the religious impulse than reams of reggae lyrics."

"I have to give thanks and praises to the Father for my music. When people say, 'Boy, Pablo, your music is this and your music is that.,' I know that if it wasn't for the Creator, I wouldn't be able to play the things that I play today. The only way we musicians from Jamaica want to influence people is by pluckin' 'pon dem heartstring, y'know. Let them go with that - what it bring may burn them like Dettol! His Majesty's power them come to feel."

Augustus Pablo will be remembered as the Rastaman who made an amazing contribution to roots reggae as a melodica/keyboards player and as a producer with an immediately recognizable style. In the hearts of his many worldwide fans, he will definitely live on as Augustus Pablo - 'The Original Dub Master'."


On May 18, 1999, one of reggae music's greatest stalwarts, Augustus Pablo (a.k.a. Horace Swaby), passed away at the age of 45. A prolific musician, composer, songwriter and producer, Pablo has left an indelible mark on reggae music. On Saturday, June 17, 2000 there will be a Tribute to Augustus Pablo. The first in a series of annual events, the Tribute will be in aid of the "Augustus Pablo Foundation, an organization dedicated to the uplifting of the Jamaican culture through music, a vision that Augustus Pablo always kept close to his heart and mind. One of the first projects will be to realize funding for a scholarship-oriented music education programme for the primary and secondary levels. Pablo believed that youths should have an opportunity to express themselves, musically, at an early age and during his lifetime, he wanted to help the many musically talented youths in Jamaica who are less fortunate in educating themselves.

Other objectives of the Foundation include:

* the development and promotion of emerging artists; * the promotion and marketing of Augustus Pablo's music worldwide; and * the continued effort to assist the homeless and abandoned youths in Jamaica.


The Countryside Club, Kingston, will be the setting for the First Annual Tribute to Augustus Pablo (June 21, 1954 - May 18, 1999). Some of Jamaica's finest artistes and musicians are set to take part in this inaugural event. The artistes currently confirmed are:

* Dean Frazer
* Derrick Harriott
* Jah Bull
* Junior Reid
* Leroy Sibbles
* Lloyd Hemmings
* Monty Alexander (TBC)
* Richie Mack
* Spliffy Dan
* Sugar Minott (TBC)
* Tahir Mundell (Son of Hugh Mundell)
* White Mice
* Willie Williams
* Yami Bolo
(TBC) To Be Confirmed

There will also be musical renditions of Pablo's compositions utilising the Melodica, which was instrumental in the creation of Pablo's unique artistry. A presentation will be made by Mr. Desmond Young, President, Jamaica Federation of Musician, on behalf of the Federation, to Rockers International for Augustus Pablo's contribution to reggae music worldwide.
The hosts for the evening will be Mr. Dermott Hussey, renowned musicologist and host of Global Beat on RJR and Ms. Elise Kelly of IRIE FM.


Augustus Pablo was loved all over - Africa, Japan, Europe, North America and some of the remotest parts of the world. We plan to market this event by way of advertising and promotion through the Jamaican media, North American, Europe and Asian music markets and the Internet via our sponsors.
Tickets to the event will cost approximately J$500.00. Proceeds from the event will cover administrative costs and part proceeds will be in aid of the Augustus Pablo Foundation Building Fund.

We are estimating an audience of approximately 3,000, including patrons from overseas. We are also expecting a large contingent from the music fraternity, who we have asked to make donations/contributions to the Building Fund.


We are extremely proud to say that the Jamaica Federation of Musicians has fully endorsed this project and programme of events. We are also very proud to welcome as sponsors Greensleeves Records (England), VP Records (New York), RAS Records (Washington D.C.), Jet Star Phonographics (England); Internet Website,, (North America) Ms. Irie/Crucial Lloyd, WHPK (Chicago), Shanachie Records (NY/NJ) and a host of radio disc jockeys across the world who have pledged their participation via their radio/television programmes.

Our production budget for this project currently stands at J$________. We are seeking sponsors who can assist us in reaching this goal. The sponsorship package provides the following:

* Sponsors' name/logo will appear on all advertisements and promotional materials (billboards, posters, flyers and handbills) before and during the event;

* Prior to the event, press releases will be distributed to media outlets, internationally and locally, announcing the event and sponsors' involvement. Promotional events will also be inclined to attract tourists to the Island;

* Through maximum utilization of "free" media spots, artists will be available for interviews on talk shows, etc., to promote sponsors and the event.

If you would like to be a sponsor of this event, or for further information please contact:

Ms. Karen Scott, Administrator
Ph.: (876) 942-6398 / Fax: (876) 926-2805 E-mail:

We wholeheartedly welcome you to be a part of this memorable event, honouring a man that has made a significant contribution to the world of music.

i Written by Robert Palmer [The New York Times] ii Written by John Floyd & Roger Steffens [AMG (All Music Guide] iii Written by Teacher & Mr. T [Source: C. Lane's Liner Notes - "Original Rockers"]
iv Written by Ken Tucker [Philadelphia Inquirer, January 7, 1983] v Words of Augustus Pablo [The Village Voice, Dec. 1987] [Echoes Magazine, June 1996]
vi Written by Teacher & Mr. T [Source: Dub Vendor Newsletter, August '98]

Chicago Massive, tune in to Cool Runnings on WHPK 88.5FM every Tuesday 5:00-6:30pm with Ms Irie and Crucial Lloyd, or visit us on the web at Other sites of interest , and

Posted: Fri - December 12, 2003 at 01:24 PM