Don Drummond: The Genius and Tragedy of the World’s Greatest Trombonist

Don Drummond

This is a comprehensive biography of a brilliant musician who forever shaped the course of ska, reggae, and popular music worldwide, only to take the life of his lover and in so doing, destroy his career at the age of 30. In his short life Don Drummond created an enduring legacy despite poverty, class separation, mental illness, racial politics, and the exploitation of his work. The words of Drummond’s childhood friends, classmates, musicians, medical staff, legal counsel, and teachers enliven this story of his “unusual mind.”
They recall the early days in the recording studio, playing the instrumental backup for Bob Marley and others, and the nights in the Rasta camps where musicians burned the midnight oil and more. They remember the gyrations of his lover, Margarita, the Rumba Queen, as she tantalized audiences at Club Havana; tell what happened that tragic night when Drummond stabbed Margarita four times; reveal details of the trial (delayed more than a year as Drummond was ruled mentally unfit) and offer insights into Drummond’s death in a mental asylum at age 35.