Three months and three years of routine optimism for reversal of her brother’s declining condition, Paulette Kiese is grieving the passing of renowned Jamaican saxophonist Cedric Im Brooks.
Although the veteran musician had been in a medicated state since suffering a health setback, throughout the years Kiese relentlessly monitored and supervised his care at a Queens nursing home. She hoped he would recover and perhaps return to touring with The Skatalites but on May 2 he suffered cardiac arrest and transpired.
His death cast a pall on all who knew him.
During the 32nd annual International Reggae & World Music Awards in Coral Springs, Florida he was memorialized with a moment of silence.
From Jamaica, England, New York and Ethiopia his passing has been topical.
“He is gone to join the ancestors,” Desta Meghoo said from Addis Ababa. “He contributed much and can claim a place with all of our greatest ancestors.”
Brooks leader of the band he founded — Light of Saba — participated in the much-touted celebration of Bob Marley’s “Africa Unite” birthday in Ethiopia which Meghoo co-ordinated in 2005.
After returning stateside, Brooks toured with colleagues – The Skatalites – a band of musicians whose career was rooted at the Alpha Boys School.
Brooks reportedly is survived by his mother, seven children and four sisters.
He was 70 years old.