Updates

JUNE 11, 2001

2nd ANNUAL JOE HIGGS MEMORIAL REGGAE MUSIC FESTIVAL

   On September 2nd, 2001, the 2nd Annual Joe Higgs Memorial Reggae Music Festival will be held at The West End in Santa Monica, California from 8pm until 2am. Among the featured artists include Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus, Boom Shaka, Marcia Higgs, Bamiki Bandula, Redemption Seven Fold, Shaka Man, and more. The MC for the show will be Roger Steffens.

The West End is located at 1301 5th Street in Santa Monica, and you can call (213) 205-6540 or (310) 394-4647 for more informaion. You can also visit The West End's website at: www.westend.la.


AUGUST 1, 2000

UPCOMING JOE HIGGS TRIBUTE CONCERT

   On August 24th, there will be a special Joe Higgs tribute concert, entitled the "Joe Higgs Memorial Reggae Music Festival," held at The West End in Santa Monica, California. The event will include performances by Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus, Mongoose, Redemption Seven Fold, the Detour Posse, and Joe's daughter Marcia Higgs.

The show will also feature Roger Steffens as the show's MC and DJ Ron Miller. The show is scheduled to last from 8 pm until 2 am and The West End is located at 1301 5th Street in Santa Monica. For more information, you can call (213) 205-6540. If you can attend, enjoy!!


MAY 11, 2000

SOUL TRAIN TRIBUTE

  On the 14th Annual Soul Train Awards, which was recorded on March 4th, 2000 at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium, they paid tribute to the many influential artists who passed away over the last year. In the photo montage for the tribute, Joe Higgs was one of the two reggae musicians recognized, the other being Dennis Brown. For Soul Train to acknowledge reggae is quite an achievement and to actually pay homage to the father of reggae is even more monumental. The recognition continues . . .

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CLASSIC JOE HIGGS REVISITED

  We recently received two newspaper clippings from Wailers fan Matthew Smith, regarding Joe Higgs from the 1970s. Both clippings originate from Jamaica and reveal that Joe Higgs' genius had been appreciated way back then. Enjoy!

Joe Higgs is a Genius

Joe Higgs Concert


MARCH 8, 2000

THANKSGIVING FOR JOE HIGGS

Here is a review, courtesy of Anna Fisher, regarding the February 20th, 2000 Joe Higgs Memorial service which took place in Kingston, Jamaica. The respect from others towards Joe continues to grow! Here is what Anna had to say about the show, followed by the article that appeared in the Jamaica Gleaner on February 22, 2000 (on page B6). "Greetings! Just returned from Kingston after playing for Joe's Memorial Service of Thanksgiving. We had such an excellent visit and will definitely return soon!"

"Joe Higgs Remembered"

  "There were moments of high drama, and memorable musical tributes delivered at a service of Thanksgiving for the life of singer/songwriter, Joe Higgs, referred to as the "Choirmaster".

  The service was held at All Saints Anglican Church, West Street, Kingston last Sunday.

  In attendance were Mister of Education and Culture Burchell Whiteman; Edward Seaga, Leader of the Opposition and Member of Parliament for West Kingston, Senator Babsy Grange, Opposition's spokesperson on culture, Dr. Carolyn Cooper; head of the Reggae Studies Unit, UWI, as well as a number of artistes whose lives were touched by the late artiste.

  "My father was an unselfish, impartial musical phenomenon, but Joe has yet to receive his well deserved credits, honours and distinctions. He has passed on, but before he left, he worked tirelessly all over the world to maintain the high standards of the music he represented, reggae."

  Marcia Higgs told the gathering just before she sang her father's song, "Invitation to Jamaica", the song won a tourist board award in the 70's, with musical accompaniment by her brother Paul. Anna Fisher from the state of California, played a beautiful oboe solo, supported by keyboardist Jawge Hughes. Spontaneous applause broke out even before she had finished. Other performances were given by Jimmy Tucker, who sang Psalm 84.

  Neville Dallen delivered an interesting remembrance, in which he reminisced on Higgs days at 19 Third Street, Trench Town. He also spoke about his performances at the Colony and the Glass Bucket Clubs. Dallen spoke about Higgs' achievements and contributions to songs such as Peter Tosh's "Stepping Razor" and his influences on Bob Marley came in for mention.

TEACHER OF ALL

  "When a student excels, all the praise goes to the student, but what about the teacher? Joe was the teacher of all, and not just for reggae. Higgs was before reggae, and he will be remembered for all time by the persons whose lives he touched," Dallen said.

There were also performances by Lascelles Perkins, and another Higgs' student, Judy Mowatt who did "I Give You Jesus."

  The final musical tribute, delivered by a group which performed instead of Sparrow Martin, who was unavoidably absent, brought drama. During an amazing rendition of "Amazing Grace" by the saxophonist, Higgs' sister-in-law got up out of her seat screamin and openly demonstrating her grief at the passing of a loved one, which set off a chain of murmurs.

  One man rested his head on the pew directly in front of him, while a rain of tears fell silently on his bifocals.

  Born in Kingston on June 3, 1940, Joseph Benjamin Higgs' career began as a songwriter for reggae acts such as Toots and the Maytals, and Delroy Wilson. But it was his role as vocal arranger and coach, for which he will best be remembered. The most famous of his pupils was Bob Marley. Joe Higgs was also responsible for arranging music for the singing trio of Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston. Higgs' solo hits included "Oh Manny Oh," which sold over 50,000 copies in 1960, and that instant classic of hope and suffering for the common man., "There's A Reward for Me."

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MAGAZINES CELEBRATE JOE HIGGS

THE BEAT FREEEYE @ http://quatec.com/reggaereview  Two recent reggae publications have each featured their own tributes to Joe Higgs. The first is The Beat magazine's latest issue with Carlos Santana on the cover. Inside is a five-page beautiful livication by Roger Steffens, featuring Joe Higgs' life in his own words, from the autobiography the two were working on up until Higgs' death. Also included are some pictures from a 1997 Joe Higgs concert. Do not miss this issue! Check your local newsstands, or you can order the issue or a subscription by emailing: GETTHEBEAT@aol.com.

  The second tribute to Joe Higgs is an amazing photo montage in the California-based "Reggae Review." FREEEYE Photography created this work of art, and you can visit it at: http://quatec.com/reggaereview/freeeye.html, and also be sure to visit the rest of the Reggae Review website. A smaller version of the montage is at the left.

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SITE UPDATES

  The Official Joe Higgs Memorial Pages has moved to a new address at: http://www.iration.com/joehiggs. Please update all bookmarks/links!


FEBRUARY 8, 2000

JAMAICAN MEMORIAL FOR JOE HIGGS

Kingston, Jamaica Memorial Service for Joe Higgs:

Higgs in Zion

All Saints Anglican Church
23 West Street (NE Corner at Charles)
Kingston, Jamaica
Sunday, February 20th, 2000
Rev. Abner Powell will officiate
4:00 pm
In attendance will be former Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga, Minister of Education, Youth and Culture Burchel Whiteman, and producer/singer Clancy Eccles. James Tucker, Sparrow Martin, Anna Fisher, Jawge Hughes, Neville Dalin, Judy Mowatt and Hortense Ellis will perform. Reception to follow.

Send donations to:
All Saints Celebrate 2000 Development Fund  
23 West Street 
Kingston, JA 
 (876) 926-6556 
For information call:
Angela Higgs-Barrett @ (876) 926-3068

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COMMENTS ON FEBRUARY 3rd TRIBUTE

  From Anna Fisher comes some comments about the February 3rd Joe Higgs Tribute in Santa Monica. Some people who performed included Marcia Higgs, Anna Fisher, Elan (former lead singer of The Wailers Band), Bass Culture, and Wadada. Odell (drummer for Fully Fullwood and Eek A Mouse) and Bread of the Wailing Souls were among the other distinguished guests. The show was a "smash" and it sounded like one not to miss! Many thanks to Anna for the info!


FEBRUARY 1, 2000

A TRIBUTE TO JOE HIGGS

Reggae Fever/Top Rankin' Productions Presents:

A TRIBUTE TO JOE HIGGS

featuring Bass Culture, Marcia Higgs, Elan (formerly of the Wailers), Anna Fisher on "A Child Is Born," and many more... MC's Barbara Barabino and Dread Scott of 92.3 THE BEAT

Thursday February 3, 2000

14 BELOW
1348 14th Street
Santa Monica, CA
(310) 358-7564
Tickets available at the door
Doors open at 9pm...come early

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SITE UPDATES

  Head over to the "remembrances" section to read portions of Roger Steffens' touching eulogy to Joe Higgs, which will appear in the February 2000 issue of the Beat magazine.

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  Manwel Tabone, a reggae DJ from Malta, conducted a one hour tribute to Joe Higgs on Christmas Day in 1999. You can hear the show by clicking on the "sound clips" section and following the link. The show is in streaming mp3 format and to see what he played follow this page: http://geocities.com/manwel99/474.html.

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THOUGHTS ON THE JOE HIGGS MEMORIAL CELEBRATION

  "Saw many, many RAW members yesterday (January 8th) at the Celebration of the Life of the Legendary Joe Higgs. We laughed, we cried, we shared ... but most of all, we loved. It was a truly moving experience ... the love Joe Higgs shared was exemplified in the room as we all shared his love that touched us. As Rev. Don Peavey said, 'Joe Higgs did not die, he is alive in this very room with the love that touched you all.'

  I played 'A Child Is Born' for solo oboe and piano. As somber as that piece is, the star-studded audience broke out in an uproar of applause. It was then, I truly felt the love in the room. Ras Rojah (Roger Steffens) presented the eulogy outlining the joys and challenges of Joe's life. It was a beautifully spiritual occasion. So many extraordinary members of the Reggae scene in one place. During and after the service Ras Michael and crew entertained and had us all dancing and singing. Joe's grandsons rapped for us and Marcia and her sister Patricia sang duets that would make you think they'd sung together their entire lives. All the daughters came forth and paid tribute, from oldest to youngest. Most moving however was the closing of the service when Marcia, Jiji (Joe's backup singer) and her daughter Gina sang 'Unity Is Power' with Joe's recording along with Jawge (on keys) and myself on oboe.

  There was a video made, most likely available through Marcia. Check the website for contact: http://www.iration.com/joehiggs

  Was wonderful to see so many positive people...more than half the audience was a RAW member! Give thanks to our spiritual father for bringing me to this legendary man and experiencing the mastery of his works in his final year. Special thanks to DJ Sister Yasmin, the one responsible for connecting us at the first when Joe needed help to spread the word of his New Year's Eve Show last year. It is not how long we live on this Earth that matters, but what we do while we are here. Make every moment legendary... Joe helped many, many aspiring artists up. A true mentor to us all. As Roger Steffens stated in his most eloquent eulogy packed full of the joys and challenges of Joe's life, 'without Joe Higgs, there would be no Bob Marley.' I also hope the ceremony inspires a few new writers as well. It was a most beautiful day!"

  Peace, One Love and Light
   + Anna Fisher

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A MESSAGE OF APPRECIATION FROM MARCIA HIGGS

  "I would like to thank everyone who came out to celebrate the life of Joe Higgs. I want to say thanks to Ras Michael for stepping in and helping out with the arrangements of the event. The chant was hypnotizing and had everyone to their feet for 'Fly Away Home.' I highly appreciate his sincerity. 'Fly Away Home' was instigated and led by Pipe of Wailing Souls. Give thanks, Pipe!

  Thanking Anna Fisher for her beautiful oboe solo which moved everyone to tears. It was an absolutely glorious musical tribute, Anna. Thank you for providing the flowers as well. Thank you Rev. Don Peavy for officiating and being so diligent and kind. Many thanks to Jiji and daughter Gena for their angelic voices and Jawge for his continued support always, everytime! Thanks to Gloria and Tiny of Alfie's Flowers for the gorgeous tropical arrangements in red, gold and green.

  Jim Marshall, your special photo collage was priceless. Special thanks to Roger Steffens for his lengthy and extraordinary eulogy - no one could have done it better! Thanks to Attorney Irving Myer and the singers and musicians too numerous to mention.

  Loving thanks to the Nelson Brothers for their generosity and expertise in creating the Official Joe Higgs Memorial Website on the internet to better teach the people about Joe's legacy. Last but not least, I have to say a big thank you to Mr. Randall Wixen for his generous contribution and support of the Higgs Family. Thank God and my family for making it all possible."

   + Marcia Higgs 01/11/00

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JOE HIGGS CELEBRATION INFORMATION

"The Celebration of the Life of the Legendary Joe Higgs"
When:  Saturday, January 8, 2000
Time:  2pm - 7pm
Where:  McCarty Memorial Christian Church
Rev. Don E. Peavy, Sr.
4101 W. Adams Blvd. (1 Block S of the I-10)
Los Angeles, CA  90018

Contact: Marcia Higgs: (323) 291-7572 (between 9am and 6pm Pac. Time) or
toll free: (877) 406-3419
or via internet: Anna Fisher:  molinus@pacbell.net

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CONTACT INFORMATION

  You can contact the family via Marcia Higgs at the following places:

Marcia Higgs P.O. Box 75404 Los Angeles, CA 90075
  toll free: (877) 406-3419 --or-- (323) 291-7572 between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm Pacific Time and (323) 957-4663 anytime email: ahib105837@aol.com

  Joe's Sister Valerie Higgs at (718) 363-1670 in New York

  Angela Higgs-Barrett at (876) 926-3068 in Jamaica

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FAMILY STATEMENT

  Marcia Higgs, one of Joe's daughters, wanted to express to everyone that, "I want the people to know, even though we were least talked about, Joe Higgs DO have family who loved and cared for him and will miss him deeply!"

  She would also like to say to all of Joe Higgs' fans, "Thank you for your cards and letters! We have read every single one. We would appreciate if the people would make direct contact with his family regarding any questions they might have."