Legacy of Skatalites founding member lives on through scholarship
Three students at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, were granted US$1,000 each last week, to help towards school expenses, courtesy of the Jah Jerry Foundation, named after a founding member of Jamaica’s Skatalites band, Jerome ‘Jah Jerry’ Haynes.
Haynes’ son, James, is the chief executive officer of the foundation. James told The Gleaner that his family has kept ‘Jah Jerry’s’ name and legacy alive, by helping young people. ‘Jah Jerry’, who throughout his lifetime recorded thousands of songs with and without the Skatalites, died on August 13, 2007, at the age of 80.
“My father was a person who valued education,” James said in an interview.
“He set very high standards for his children in terms of education. When my father passed away in 2007, the family felt we should form a legacy that can help young people. The purpose of the foundation is to provide scholarships to students who are majoring in music.”
James also explained that to be eligible for the grants, music students must use as their primary instruments the guitar or the bass guitar. Their academic grades should also be intact and they must be involved in the life of the school community.
Separate from the grants given to the Edna Manley students, which is the foundation’s 14th scholarship awards, computer donations have also gone to numerous primary and high schools across Kingston and St Andrew.
“We are very pleased, and the whole purpose of this scholarship is to help students so that they can remain in school and give them an opportunity to realise their dreams.”
Computers were also donated to Iris Gelly Primary, Jones Town Primary, Trench Town Comprehensive, and Charlie Smith High.