Jamaican’s of all walks of life continue to mourn following the death of Ibo Cooper, founding member of the iconic Third World Band. He was a great keyboard player, song writer and vocalist.
His death follows that of his wife, Joy who died just three weeks ago and that of his son Arif who passed away in March of this year.
Minister of Culture, Olivia Babsy Grange, hailed Cooper’s impact on the music industry saying, generations of musicians have been shaped by him.
“He gave me tremendous service to the Ministry in an advisory capacity in the area of music,” the Minister added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, described Cooper as, a prolific musician with a prowess on the keyboard. His energetic performance made him a true cultural ambassador who took reggae music and brand Jamaica to the farthest corners of the world. He has left a legacy of excellence buttressed by his talent and endearing personality, PM Holness added.
Opposition leader, Mark Golding, was equally glowing in his tribute to Cooper whom he described as, a prodigious musical talent, who was a maestro on the keyboards.
“He helped to take Jamaican music to higher levels of sophisticated instrumentation”, Golding says.
The band quickly made its mark on the reggae landscape producing authentic reggae staples including. “Now that We Found Love” a hit song from the 1978 album, “Journey to Addis.,”
Cooper left the band that same year to be a part-time teacher at the Edna Manley College for Visual and Performing Arts. He quickly moved up the ranks becoming the head of the Caribbean Latin, American and Jazz Department, now Popular Music Studies.