Rest in Power Tyrone Downie - Keyboardist for Bob Marley & The Wailers
11/07/2022 by Reggaeville
REST IN POWER Tyrone Downie aka Organ D (May 20, 1956 - November 5, 2022)
In the early hours of Sunday (November 6th) it was Tyrone Downie II who was the first to publish a post about the death of his father. Shortly thereafter, the official Wailers account also informed about the death of keyboardist, pianist and producer Tyrone Downie. Downie was best known for his involvement as a member of Bob Marley and The Wailers.
THE WAILERS: "It is with great sadness and a heavy heart from the news that The Wailers’ own keyboard player, brother and friend Tyrone Downie passed away today. Tyrone joined The Wailers just before the age of 20, making his recording début with the band on Rastaman Vibration. When you hear the keys on Three Little Birds (and many others hits), you should always think of Tyrone. The Wailers and friends would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to Tyrone’s family. Rest in Power Tyrone."
Since yesterday, social media has been full of countless tributes from family, colleagues, fans and the reggae fraternity. Below we have compiled a few voices and included some footage from the Reggaeville archive, including an unpublished photo of Tyrone Downie with Alpha Blondy in the studio 2007.
ALPHA BLONDY: "A truly gifted reggae Legend, another one of the Wailers fly away home to Zion….Brother Tyrone I will always cherish the treasure of working together…
15 years ago, we were recording "Jah Victory" Album at the Studio Marcadet in Paris till very late in the night!!!
I hold in high estimation those unforgettable moments of musical communion, the unique warm atmosphere floating in the studio like a natural mystic blowing… adding your music genious in every songs, in every mixture of notes with your gold fingers… It will always be this eternal link between you and I….
Thank you for the slice of the musical journey we spent together….
Thank you for sharing with us your tremendous talent and inspiration!!
Thank you for your divine tribute to Reggae Music!!!
You will always have a place in our hearts, from Bob Marley to many more artists like me, your musical contribution will live on for ever and ever in this musical arena.
Rest in Peace Brother, May God rewards you for all the good vibes you shared with us during this journey,
My condoleances to all members of your family.
Now you are on board of Zion Train heading straight to Paradise….
ASTON BARRETT JR: "My Two favorite Keyboard players back together in the heavens with Uncle Bob Marley, Uncle Carlton and Uncle Secco. Have a great reunion. It’s very hard to process this… Uncle Tyrone never gave up on me and always encouraged me as a true uncle would do….I miss you sooooo much uncle… Tyrone Downie ORIGINAL Wailer."
ALBOROSIE: "TYRONE DOWNIE My dear friend real rock star, my musical inspiration sometime a father figure… words can’t describe how I feel.. REST IN ZION uncle. IRON LIKE A LION IN ZION for the I-TERNITY. BOB he’s waiting there for you."
DENNIS ALCAPONE: "R I P Tyrone Downie. Gone but Will Never Be Forgotten. Tyrone was Bob Marley Keyboard Player. I Remember back in the days Tyrone used to Come to Dynamic Studio in His School Uniform wanting to get involved with the Music. One Day Bunny Lee said to Him Youth I see you want to get in the Music and took Him inside the Studio where I was voicing Ripe Cherry and said to Him Youth Play Something around my vocal and He Did a Great Job. That was His first Recording and the Rest is History. Rest in Peace Tyrone Travel Good My Little Brother."
GROUNDATION: "The passing of the great and talented keyboardist Tyrone Downie has come as a shock to all of us here in the reggae community. In so many ways he has been an inspiration and leader to all of us. His musical career began very early, like fellow keyboardist Jackie Mittoo, Tyrone’s gifts lead him to the forefront of Jamaican music as a teenager. His work on the seminal recordings of The Abyssinians, Israel Vibration, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Burning Spear, Pablo Moses, and Judy Mowatt will live on forever in our hearts. His studio mastery will continue to inspire generations to come. Mr. Downie thank you for all you gave us…we will cherish your gifts always. JAH LIVE!"
LENNIE CHEN: "I’m so devastated with the news today that the Wailers keyboard genius has passed away. RIP Tyrone Downie .. we were preparing for him to play on the new Wailers album.. this news has shocked the Wailers family .. my most sincere condolences to his family and friends"
ZIGGY MARLEY: "Tyrone Downie a friend and keyboards for Bob Marley passed away yesterday. He and I did a lot of music together after daddy passed starting in the mid eighties right out of high school I would go up to his house to jam and write songs he played live with us for a few years a creative force and a fun person to be around. condolences to his family and friends we will miss his energy. JAH"
CLINTON FEARON: "Jamaica lost another great musician. I just learnt this morning that Tyrone Downie, former member of the Wailers, is gone to rest. We met several times, I remember the first time me and Albert visited him when he was still leaving at his parents place. Rest in peace my brother, your works will always continue to inspire others."
STEEL PULSE: "I’m still reeling with disbelief upon learning of the passing of Tyrone Downie - the legendary keyboard player of Bob Marley and the Wailers.
When it came to the arrangements that Tyrone contributed to Bob’s music, it is plain to see that they remain unprecedented. In regards to his efforts, Tyrone was not the kind to brag to others of what he achieved in regards to building the Marley music catalog. But it was evident that Bob admired him tremendously, especially when you see them side by side in the many photos taken over the years.
After Bob died, Tyrone began to carve a niche for himself, which included additional keyboards for Steel Pulse in 1985 on the Earth Crisis tour, USA. He went on to do great work in France and Africa for a barrage of musicians in those territories. This included works with Alpha Blondy, Tikan Jah Fakoly and Youssou Ndour. Tyrone and his keyboards were inseparable; he was always dabbling with the latest form of technology the industry had to offer.
Although we had not met physically for quite some time, we video-called each other quite often and exchanged updates. Only a few months ago, he was over the moon to be attending the wedding of his son - Denzel - in France. He was such a proud father.
Now, here I am wishing that our performance in Paris back in May had him joining us on stage. It would have “Christened” our 30th anniversary since we recorded our very first live album at the very same venue, L’Elysee Montmarte. But it wasn’t to be. He had obligations to fulfil with another band, touring in the south of France.
Steel Pulse’s heart goes out to this man that had so much charisma. To his children, loved ones and fans. This has been a major blow to us. Reggae loses yet another stalwart contributor to this life-giving music.
IN THE PRESS
BOB MARLEY KEYBOARDIST TYRONE DOWNIE REMEMBERED BY MUSICIANS WHO KNEW HIM
"But it was his time in the Wailers that helped change the sound of modern music by adding otherworldly dimensions and texture to Bob Marley’s brilliant songs." FULL ARTICLE @ VARIETY.com
BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS PIANIST TYRONE DOWNIE IS DEAD
"Tyrone will be sadly missed, he was a great musician and very important in the music business. He was supposed to be a part of a showcase we had planned for Tuesday of this week, but we knew he was ill and had not planned for him to come, but he passed last night," Michel Jovanovic..." FULL ARTICLE @ JAMAICAOBSERVER.com
GRANGE LAUDS TYRONE DOWNIE AS SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTOR TO REGGAE MUSIC
" Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, said that with the death of Tyrone Downie, Jamaica has lost another of its great sons of music." FULL ARTICLE @ JAMAICAOBSERVER.com
TYRONE DOWNIE DIES IN JAMAICA
"Jamaican keyboardist, Tyrone Downie, best known for his involvement as a member of Bob Marley and The Wailers, passed away on Saturday night at a hospital in Jamaica." FULL ARTICLE @ JAMAICA-GLEANER.com
TRIBUTES FOR TYRONE DOWNIE AS EX-WAILERS MUSICIAN DIES IN JAMAICA
"Tribute are pouring in for veteran Jamaican keyboardist Tyrone Downie, who rose to prominence as a member of Bob Marley and The Wailers. Downie, who was reportedly ailing, passed away last Saturday at hospital in Jamaica..." FULL ARTICLE @ JAMAICA-GLEANER.com
TYRONE DOWNIE, PIANIST FOR BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS, DEAD AT 66
"He had everything to do with Bob Marley and the Wailers. I remembered when he got the call to work with Bob and he asked me if he should go and I said of course, ‘wah yu do, gwaan man!..." FULL ARTICLE @ DANCEHALLMAG.com