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  • Writer's pictureKaboom Editors

Iconic Jamaican Sound System Owner, James 'Jimmy Solo' Howard, Has Died

Jamaican Sound System icon James "Jimmy Solo" Howard has died at home on Thursday, December 28th, after succumbing to illness

Left to right: Jimmy Solo, Tony Myers, Big Youth, I-Kong

Jamaican Sound System icon James "Jimmy Solo" Howard died at home on Thursday, December 28th, after succumbing to illness.

Jimmy Solo was more than just a dance promoter or sound system owner; he was a Jamaican cultural architect. From spinning vinyl in the beating heart of Kingston to shaping the nation's musical landscape, Jimmy Solo's name is synonymous with innovation, vitality, and an unrelenting passion for Jamaican culture.

As a leading promoter in West Kingston, Jimmy Solo hosted all the major sounds of the past six decades, including Sir Coxsone's Downbeat, Duke Reid's Trojan, V Rocket, Tipper Tone, Lauderbelle, Stan the Soul Merchant, Metro Media, and Stone Love Movement, among many others.

Beyond the realms of dance floors, he assumed the role of the inaugural president of the Sound Systems Association in the 1970s, fostering unity and purpose within the dynamic realm of Jamaican bass. His visionary approach also reached the national stage, where he orchestrated the engagement of sound systems in independence celebrations. Actively contributing to the growth of numerous sound systems, he provided essential opportunities for them to cultivate a fan base through performances at the Jazz Hut and his various dances and gatherings.

His partnership with the Jamaica Commission for Cultural Development (JCDC) further solidified his legacy, as he actively participated in popular song festivals and competitions, serving as a respected judge for live performances.


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