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Remembering Montego Joe
Photo: Dr. Kay Turner
We at the Brooklyn Arts Council are very sorry to hear of the passing of Roger ?Montego Joe? Sanders. We had only recently come to know him through the Black Brooklyn Renaissance Project, but the lessons he taught and the knowledge he possessed are invaluable to our mission of celebrating black culture in Brooklyn. Montego Joe was one of the greatest African percussionists to come out of Brooklyn. His contributions to the African diaspora will live on through the many percussionists that follow in the path he paved in over fifty years of artistic practice. In his long career, Montego Joe recorded many tracks, including:
Arriba con Montego Joe
Spanish Harlem (with Aretha Franklin)
Straight Ahead (with Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach)
Drums of Passion (with Baba Olatunji)
Live at Carnegie Hall (with Nina Simone)
Montego Joe trained under drum masters Chick Morrison, Daniel Botajanos, and worked with dancer Pearl Primus. He extended his extensive knowledge of African drumming to students at Adelphi University, SUNY College at Old Westbury, and Teaneck High School in New Jersey. He toured with The Fifth Dimension, performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, as well as through Europe.
We at BAC extend our condolences to the family of Montego Joe, and we are grateful for the brief time we had with him.