Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Courtney Robb Sr not giving up on music

Published:Sunday | September 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Courtney Robb, bass player with Byron Lee and The Dragonaires.

Former bass player of Byron Lee and the Dragonaires Courtney Robb Sr says that although he isn't in the best of health, he refuses to give up on music.

When the Sunday Gleaner last spoke to Robb Sr back in 2015, he was distressed about rumours of his death. He had done a Kidney transplant in 2010. He lamented then that despite his numerous health issues, he was still full of life and had a lot to offer to the music industry. He had plans of sharing his vast musical knowledge with the younger generation and vowed to spend the rest of his life fulfilling that purpose.

Fast-forward three years later, and the former soca band member is making good on his promises as he is currently teaching youth in Florida how to play the keyboard and bass guitar.

"I go to church, and I am in the church band, where I still play bass. I also teach young people how to play the keys and bass guitar. I have classes every Wednesday at my home in Palm Bay, Florida," he said, pointing out that at his age, passing on his skills gives him purpose. "I am on disabilities, really, and what I really do now is just go to church and play music. When I am teaching these children how to play an instrument, it makes me happy. These young people seem to want to learn, and so they grasp everything very quickly, and that makes it more fun. They seem to enjoy it, and I enjoy teaching them, but most importantly, the lessons gets them off the streets and keeps them occupied."

Robb Sr, who now has to rely on an oxygen tank to assist with his breathing, says when it comes to teaching, he has no plans of slowing down. In fact, the veteran musician says that he also wants to also share his musical knowledge with children in Jamaica and hopes he gets the opportunity to teach a class here in the near future. "Jamaica is my home, and what I'm doing for children here, I hope to do for children in Jamaica. I'm sure there are a lot of young people who would appreciate the lessons just as much," he said. He continued, "My goal is to set up a school in Jamaica where children with an interest in music can come and learn to play an instrument. I remember how life-changing learning to play an instrument was for me as a child, and I want to impact someone else's life in the same way."

The former Dragonaire, who turned 69 on the 24th of July, is currently being cared for by his wife and daughter. He is keen on leaving a legacy in the music industry and hopes that every entertainer has that goal in mind. He explained that as creative beings, it is very important that musicians leave a strong legacy as they will be remembered for generations to come by the work they put in while they are alive.