Rico Rodriguez MBE (born Emmanuel Rodriguez; 17 October 1934[1]), also known as Reco or El Reco, is a ska and reggae trombonist. He has recorded with many producers, includingKarl PittersonPrince Buster, and Lloyd 'Matador' Daley. He is known as one of the first and most distinguished Ska artists

Career[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Rodriguez was born in Cuba and moved with his family to Jamaica at an early age.[2] He grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, and was taught to play the trombone by his slightly older schoolmateDon Drummond at the Alpha Boys School.[1] In the 1950s, he became a Rastafarian and became closely musically related to rasta drummerCount Ossie.[2] In 1961, he moved to the UK and started to play in reggae bands there.[3] In 1976, he recorded the albumMan from Wareika under contract with Island Records.[1] In the late 1970s, with the arrival of the 2 Tone genre, he played with ska revival bands such as The Specials. One of his most notable performances was on The Specials' song, "A Message to You, Rudy".[1]

[1][2]Rico Rodriguez at Guilfest 2012

Rodriguez also helmed his own outfit, Rico and the Rudies, to yield the albums Blow Your Horn and Brixton Cat.[1]

In 1995, Island Records released the album Roots to the Bone, an updated version of Rodriguez's earlier work, Man from Wareika.

Since 1996, amongst other engagements, he has played with Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and he also performs at various skafestivals throughout Europe with his own band. He performed with Holland at Jools' Annual Hootenanny, 2011.

He was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) at Buckingham Palace on 12 July 2007, for services to music.[4] In October 2012 he was awarded the Silver Musgrave Medal by the Institute of Jamaica in recognition of his contribution to Jamaican music.

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