Tribute to Master Drummer Mr. Mathew Roach

Everyone flocked to the soul band / the funk band to hear him. Born and bred Hole material; forged in the fire that was soul music / funk music / contemporary pop music / Panorama music. You name it, he could play it. And play it he did with endless energy and finesse, attracting like a magnet the Blockorama crowds and Panorama crowds.

I was there with him from the very first Float we constructed. On the many occasions we did the Skinner Park Circuit, I would temporarily stop playing my tenor and listen to the master drummer at work. His drumming spoke to the masses of humanity that normally would surround the band on the Track in Skinner Park. His ability was to follow, and many times play, the musical improvisations provided by the melody and bass lines. From the vantage point of atop the Float, I would marvel at the response of the huge crowds. Magical is the only word I can use to describe his impact in those days. I would dare say he revolutionized the art of drumming in the 70’s because all the other steelband drummers emerged from their old style and embraced his freewheeling style of drumming.

Fonclaire and the San Fernando Community will be saddened by his passing. But his unparalleled contribution to the fame and fortune of our Band, although not recorded in a documentary of his life, is well known by the baby boomer generation still alive throughout this land.

We will all miss you but the memories of your dominating presence will surely outlive the passage of time. Sleep well master drummer and play one, and then some more for the Master and Creator of Everything. Rest in peace…

“Cheers to the ones that we lost on the way.”

My condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.