Musicians Ozou’ne, Jahdore pay tribute to Fab Five’s ‘eighth member’
Thanksgiving service for Errol Bygrave held at Meadowvale SDA
It was only appropriate that the fingers of master pianist, Ozou’ne, and the pipes of saxophonist Sean ‘Jahdore’ McDonald created the music that filled the pulpit, the pews, and the aisles of the Meadowvale Seventh-day Adventist Church on Chancery Street at last Sunday’s thanksgiving service for the life of Errol Bygrave.
A valued member of the Fab Five musical aggregation, Bygrave was not a musician, but his love for music was legendary and the group’s founder and band leader, Frankie Campbell, referred to him fondly as “the eighth member of Fab 5”. In fact, such was his impact musically, that members of Fab 5 and Unique Vision bands were present at the service, and the musicians who performed were more than happy to be there “to pay tribute to one of us”.
Ozou’ne, whose love for the piano started with an intense fascination from childhood when he attended church regularly, has mastered the art of the unassuming. He has a way of causally walking towards the piano, looking as if he is simply going to dust off the keys, but by the end of his performance, the audience would not be surprised if he jumps up from the stool and starts playing the instrument with his toes. At the service on Sunday, Ozou’ne was subdued, as befitting the occasion, and delighted with his genius, even as he managed to sit at the piano and remove his bag from around his neck and shoulder, without missing a musical key. Jahdore, an Orthodox Rastafarian, was militant in his jacket which spoke to his faith, and after walking with purpose on to the pulpit, he joined his musical director, Ozou’ne, in a poignant rendition of the Dionne Warwick classic, That’s What Friends are for, a song which said it all.
In an interview with The Gleaner after the service, Ozou’ne said he was there to support Jahdore, as he usually does with live engagements.
“I know Errol Bygrave, but I didn’t know that he had died. It’s been a while since I last saw him, and I was happy to be here to pay tribute to him musically. My hope is always that someone will be inspired when they listen to my music. It is a gift from God and I always take the route of humility,” Ozou’ne said when quizzed about his unassuming quality.
Bygrave was eulogised by Frankie Campbell, who shared that he was quite the girls’ man – and hastily made the disclaimer that that was before he met his wife, Sonia – and that when the band was doing the video for Jamaican Woman, it was Bygrave, “the dresser”, accompanied by a videographer, who travelled across the island for footage. Campbell also shared an anecdote of Bygrave’s fear of lizards, and how he fled the driver’s seat of a vehicle when he thought there was one in the car.
His brother, Oswald Barrett, and sister-in-law, Ivy Jones, gave tributes, while his son, Ramon Bygrave, read the first lesson.
Pastor of Meadowvale SDA, Paul Bailey, comforted Bygrave’s widow, Sonia, as well as family and friends through the sermon, and church member, Danielle Hines, sang the meditation song, a cover of Ray Boltz’s inspirational, The Altar.
Errol Bygrave passed away on November 25, 2022. He was 70 years old.