Famed Jamaican saxophonist and founding member of the legendary band, The Skatalites, LESTER STERLING died on Tuesday 16th May. He was 87 and no more details are forthcoming save that he was 87 and died in the USA.
Sterling was one of the original members of the legendary ska band, the Skatalites whose Facebook page today posted: “It’s a sad day for all of us with the passing of our legendary founder and original saxophonist Lester ‘Ska’ Sterling. Our heart goes out to the family, the fans and to all who were very close to him. We celebrate his greatness and his contribution of being one of the pioneers of Ska and reggae music. He has left a legacy for now and future generations to follow and we will continue to preserve it stage by stage.”
Sterling was actually the last surviving member of the original band’s horn players. The Skatalites were initially active between 1963 and 1965, and recorded many of their best known songs in the period, including mod favourite ‘Guns of Navarone’ . They also played on records by Prince Buster and backed many other Jamaican artists who recorded during that period, including Bob Marley & The Wailers on their early recordings. A new line up the band, which included Sterling reformed in in 1983 and have played regularly since then.