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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » SYLVIA BROWNE, THE MATRIARCH OF THE BROWNE FAMILY, TO SHARE SPOTLIGHT AT “TRIBUTE TO THE GREATS!”

SYLVIA BROWNE, THE MATRIARCH OF THE BROWNE FAMILY, TO SHARE SPOTLIGHT AT “TRIBUTE TO THE GREATS!”

By Howard Campbell—-

 
 Sylvia Browne and four of her five sons. From left: Dalton, Cleveland, Glen, and Danny.—

FOR almost 45 years, Sylvia Browne has quietly followed the musical achievements of her five sons. Never one for the limelight, the 90-year-old music teacher will share the spotlight with them tomorrow when they are honored at the annual Tributes To The Greats show at Curphey Place in Kingston.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, she chuckled at the thought of accepting an award for her contribution to Jamaican music.

“I’m elated. It’s the first time I’ll be getting an award; it’s a bit exciting,” she said.

Her sons — Glen, Dalton, Noel, Cleveland, and Danny — have made their mark as musicians and producers in reggae/dancehall. Glen, a bassist, was a member of Jimmy Cliff and Ziggy Marley’s band. He now tours with Tarrus Riley.

Danny Browne

Danny Browne

Dalton, a guitarist, is a leading session player and Freddie McGregor’s musical director for many years. Cleveland, a drummer, is best known as half of production duo, Steely and Clevie. Danny, also a guitarist, is a founding member of the Bloodfire Posse and ran the successful Main Street Records during the 1990’s. Noel, a keyboardist, is based in the United Kingdom.

While she taught all of them the basics of music early, Mrs Browne refuses to take credit for their achievements. “I taught them to play the piano and organ, how to sing and harmonize. But they developed by themselves over the years,” she told Splash.

Sylvia Browne is from Ipswich in St Elizabeth. The child of devout Christians, she remembers growing up in a home “where there was always singing”.

Her father, Herbert Nembhard, was a musician. Winnifred, her mother, also came from a musical family.

MemoriesSteely:Clevie

She began taking piano lessons at age eight and the organ one year later, using the Solfa Method. Mrs Browne used this process with her sons and some of her grandchildren.

Though she worked with the post office in her native parish and Kingston for several years, music has been Sylvia Browne’s calling. Until last year, she was musical director at Pembroke Hall Methodist Church and still tutors budding talent.

“I love teaching music. It keeps me in touch with things,” she said.

Bernard Collins

Bernard Collins

Singer/songwriters Bernard Collins and Anthony ‘Sangie’ Davis; trumpeter Raymond Harper, band leader and trumpeter Oswald ‘Baba’ Brooks (posthumously); singer Desmond Young; drummer Hector ‘Bunny’ Williams of the Soul Vendors Band; and George Ximines of Black Prince sound system are also being honored.

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