Bobby El­lis gets brass band send-off

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Kim­ber­ley Small Gleaner Writer

THE OR­GAN, a fix­ture of the Catholic Church, stood silent and unat­tended as the band­stand at St Richard’s Catholic Church was fash­ioned to ac­com­mo­date a col­lec­tion of Ja­maica’s in­stru­men­tal­ist ‘el­ders’, who gath­ered in melody and har­mony to pay their re­spects to their brother in brass, Robert ‘Bobby’ El­lis, OD.

El­lis was laid to rest over the week­end un­der the gen­eral guide of Catholic tra­di­tion, but with the sounds of ska and rock­steady.

“A mu­si­cian of great renown, El­lis be­longed to that fine group whose ex­ploits on the band­stand were a source of great de­light,” read a trib­ute from the of­fice of P.J. Pat­ter­son that was printed on the first page of the cer­e­mony’s pro­gramme.


“The pass­ing of Robert ‘Bobby’ El­lis marks a loss that will be felt by his fam­ily and the wider com­mu­nity for which he brought so much joy and up­lift­ment dur­ing his earthly so­journ. His mas­tery of the trumpet re­sulted in his fre­quent en­gage­ment when any stu­dio band of class was as­sem­bled,” the trib­ute con­tin­ued.

The late trum­peter was re­garded with much re­spect and this was re­flected in the fan­fare in­side the church.

A com­ple­ment of almost 20 sea­soned and vet­eran in­stru­men­tal­ists An­gela McKen­zie, daugh­ter. Son-in-law Arthur McKen­zie and An­gela McKen­zie, daugh­ter. Na­dine El­lis-Hall, daugh­ter. A com­ple­ment of sea­soned and vet­eran in­stru­men­tal­ists that formed a sec­tion of the brass band. opened the pro­ceed­ings with the blasts and blares of a full horn sec­tion, mul­ti­ple drum­mers, key­boardists and more. It was a gath­er­ing of those who were cut from the same cloth; the Ja­maica Mu­sic Fra­ter­nity and the Ja­maica As­so­ci­a­tion of Vin­tage Artistes and Af­fil­i­ates.

In her trib­ute, El­lis’ daugh­ter, An­gela McKen­zie, ex­pressed that one of the more mem­o­rable mo­ments she was able to share with her fa­ther was in Oc­to­ber

From left: Aryana Lee (grand­daugh­ter), An­gela McKen­zie (daugh­ter), Ch­eryl El­lis (daugh­ter), Na­dine El­lis-Hall (daugh­ter). of 2014. It was then that Bobby was awarded the Or­der of Dis­tinc­tion for his ex­ten­sive con­tri­bu­tion to Ja­maica’s mu­sic record­ing and per­for­mance his­tory. McKen­zie re­garded that mo­ment as one of their hap­pi­est and proud­est.

In keeping with his high ac­claim, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Min­istry of Cul­ture, Gen­der, En­ter­tain­ment and Sport de­liv­ered a eu­lo­gis­ing trib­ute on be­half of Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange.

El­lis, like a num­ber of other Al­pha old boys, built his liveli­hood on the lessons learned from the mu­sic cur­ricu­lum of the in­sti­tu­tion, and his has since served as a pil­lar of re­spect within the mu­si­cal fra­ter­nity. El­lis’ ca­reer took him as far as be­com­ing a horn ar­ranger for Stu­dio One, a record la­bel that was once con­sid­ered to be the Mo­town of Ja­maica.


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