Legendary Bermuda Musicians

This is a recollection and tribute to the legendary musicians of Bermuda who made invaluable contribution towards enriching the musical culture of the island. Due to its proximity to the Caribbean Islands, Bermuda had been heavily influenced by Caribbean music. But there have been several local musicians who elevated the island's musical richness to far higher levels. They made legendary contributions in the areas of gospel singing, gombeys, drums, guitars, Jazz and other bands like modern reggae. 
Here are some of the great musicians of Bermuda. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Visit the links for their detailed profiles. If you like to add more, please use the link at the bottom. 
Hubert Smith was a musician, bandleader and a songwriter, and most importantly one of the top musical entertainers during the golden era of tourism in Bermuda. He entertained thousands of tourists, Royal members and presidents, and have remained as a legendary musician of Bermuda. Hubert Smith composed the classic Bermuda is Another World. He died in December 2001. Check out the link for his life story and achievements. 
Sydney Bean was known as Bermuda's Daddy of Calypso Music. He was a prolific songwriter and one of the most popular musical entertainers in the island. He passed away in 2000 March at the age of 92. He was always seen on his signature colorful dresses and holding a musical instrument every time he appeared for a photo session or a live performance.  
Sydney Bean learned his music in a church, was a guitar specialist and sang with Mark Williams band. While he performed regularly abroad, he also performed all across Bermuda including in hotels and cruises. He composed many songs including the legendary Bermuda's Still Paradise and Where Did You Stay Last Night Caroline? 
Talbot Brothers created a storm in Bermuda as they formed the group in 1940s and improvised the Calypso music that drifted in from the Caribbean. Their easy flowing music and popularity in terms of spontaneity and on-stage humor, brought them huge acclaim in the island and in many other countries including US and UK.  
They were not only one of the top attractions in nightclubs and hotels in Bermuda, such were their reputation that many tourists who visited the island those days wanted to experience their performance as well. 
Milton Robinson has been the Jazz star in Bermuda and was acclaimed as the father of all musicians in the island. He passed away in May 2010. Check out the link for a synopsis of his life and work, and a tribute to the Bermuda's greatest Jazz Musician. 
Graham Bean: A prolific songwriter and guitarist worked in the Coral Islander and the Jack Hammer bands before creating his own. In 1960s his band The Four Bees dominated the local entertainment circuit. The four bees in his group were he himself, his wife Moira Bean, his brother Kenneth and Kenneth's wife Kathy. Graham's wife Moira Bean used to sing on the Bermuda radio every Sunday morning and later started to work with Graham. Graham passed away at the age of 81. 
Lance Hayward: Born in 1916 with blindness and with an additional handicap of being a black, this man went on to become a star as a Jazz Pianist, Composer, Arranger and a Choral Director in Bermuda and USA. Visit the link for his life story. 
Vernon 'Ghandi' Pendlebury Burgess was one of the greatest trumpet players that Bermuda had ever produced. He was also the former director of Bermuda Federation of Musicians and Variety Artists. 
George Smith: Son of Bermuda's top musical entertainer Hubert Smith, George was also a well known singer in the Island and performed in his father's band the Coral Islanders. He later formed his own band as well called the Xanadu. Other than being an established singer, he was also an expert in playing maracas, congo drums and guitar. While he was a regular performer in hotels, he had also performed for Princess Margaret and Prince Charles when they visited Bermuda. George Smith was also recognized by the Bermuda Government as one of its great tourism ambassadors. He died on October 17, 2008 at the age of 67. 
Stan Seymour has been a Calypso song writer, composer and a singer. He became a household name during the 1960s and 1970s. Stan won the King of Calypso competition three times and was named the Lord Necktie

Related Articles

1) Check out Bermuda Music and Dance to know about music and dances that are now part of the island's cultural tradition. 

Your Contributions and Comments