OBITUARY: Raf Robertson – Our Caribbean Jazz Pioneer

We have lost a giant who stood tall, and who did much to encourage young artists across the Caribbean.
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Many years ago, when I was a young woman, and less than a year after I started this publication, Raf came to visit with my family one night. He and my mother and brother had been out liming somewhere, and ended up in my living room.

We all spent two or three hours talking on almost every conceivable thing. I talked a lot about Sunhead, and my plans for it, and Raf gave me some very sage advice I am still following to this day.

That night we all talked until almost 2am in the morning.

It remains to date, one of the best, most inspiring and funny conversations I’ve ever had with a man, and it stands out boldly in my memory.

We at The Sunhead Project, wish to add our collective voices to those mourning the loss of this pioneer of Caribbean Jazz, who died suddenly last week.

We have lost a giant who stood tall, and who did much to encourage young artists across the Caribbean.

Shereen Ali of the Trinidad Guardian, interviewed Raf earlier this year, and this stands out as words very indicative of the man I knew:


“If life is a journey, then part of success is knowing when to stay in your lane,” says jazz pianist Rafael “Raf” Robertson.

His parting advice to young, talented musicians was simple: “No matter what happens, you have to stay positive, and keep doing what you do. People who persevere, end up succeeding.”

Read Shereen’s whole article here.

Arts & Culture

N'delamiko Bey (formerly Lord), is a writer, journalist and former Associate Editor for The Trinidad Guardian and a twenty year web development veteran. Her writing has been published in newspapers and magazines across the region, as well as in CAPE textbooks. She is The Sunhead Project's founder and Publishing Editor.
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