Joe Higgs

Joe Higgs was born in Jamaica in 1940. He was influential in the birth of ska, rock steady and reggae music. He was an arranger, composer, performer and teacher. Some of his pupils were Bob Marley, Derrick Harriott, Peter Tosh, Bob Andy, the Wailing Souls and Bunny Wailer. In 1960 he released one of the first local Jamaican recordings Oh Manny Oh and it sold over 50,000 copies.It was in Higgs’ Trench Town yard that the young Bob Marley received years of private tutoring in vocal technique and stage craft from Higgs, years before he began recording with his group, the Wailers. Marley later admitted that Joe Higgs was a genius, crediting him for his international musical success. For 15 years, he toured the world as tutor and mentor to a new generation of American-based reggae musicians, and continued headlining festivals throughout North America and Europe. His album Blackman Know Thyself featured his most famous composition Stepping Razor which became a signature song for Peter Tosh but was actually written by Joe Higgs. He made the 1977 reggae documentary film Roots Rock Reggae and worked with Jimmy Cliff on Sounds of the City and Sons of Garvey.He passed away in 1999.