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Sly Dunbar

Biography

The foundations of Jamaica’s drumming style were set with the innovative playing of Sly Dunbar (born: Lowell Fillmore Dunbar). As one-half from the Riddim Twins, Dunbar became a member of with bassist Robbie Shakespeare to supply the tempo section and/or creation for recordings by reggae performers including Peter Tosh, Dark Uhuru, the Mighty Diamond jewelry, and U-Roy and non-Jamaican performers including Bob Dylan, Sophistication Jones, the Rolling Rocks, Joe Cocker, Ian Dury, Herbie Hancock, Maxi Priest, Cindy Lauper, Carly Simon, KRS-One, and Queen Latifah. Sly & Robbie’s very own albums include Close friends, which received a Grammy prize as “Greatest Reggae Record” in 1999. By himself, Dunbar has documented four single albums — Merely Sly Guy in 1976, Sly, Wicked and Slick in 1977, Sly Move Ville in 1982, and Reggae Drumsplash, an encyclopedic exploration of Jamaican rhythms which includes 843 sampled loops, in 1997. Based on Keyboard Newspaper, “(Dunbar’s) electro/acoustic shuffles and stomps are second to non-e”. Dunbar’s first motivation for playing the drums was sparked while you’re watching Lloyd Knibbs as well as the Skatalites on tv. Throughout a 1997 interview, he recalled, “I noticed (Knibbs) playing and I believed, ‘I desire to be a drummer’ because he’s the hardest employee within the music group. He’s my idol! In a few methods, I’m self-taught but I acquired a whole lot of help from various other drummers by viewing them play.” Dunbar, whose nickname was apparently directed at him for his interest for Sly & the Family members Stone, released his musical profession while still in his teenagers, playing with an area group, the Yardbrooms at age 15. His documenting debut emerged, in 1969, when he made an appearance on an record, Increase Barrel, by Dave and Ansell Collins. He eventually continued to try out with Ansell Collins within a music group, Epidermis, Flesh and Bone fragments. Get together Robbie Shakespeare, after that playing bass for the Hippy Children, in 1972, Dunbar started a life-long camaraderie.When Shakespeare was asked to recommend a drummer for the recording program for manufacturer Bunny Lee’s Aggrevators, he remembered Dunbar. Following program, Dunbar and Shakespeare decided to maintain working jointly.Their initial break came if they accompanied Peter Tosh on his album, Legalize It!, in 1976. The duo continuing to try out with Tosh’s music group until 1979, documenting four extra albums — Identical Privileges, Bush Doctor, Mystic Man, and Wished: Dread And Alive, and making Tosh’s strike duet with Mick Jagger, “(CONTINUE Strolling) Don’t Appear Back again),” in 1978. Based on tale, the duo resided on breads and drinking water while touring with Tosh, to save lots of enough money to start out their own creation business. Their persis tance paid. Shortly after departing Tosh’s group, Dunbar and Shakespeare released Taxi cab Productions and shaped a studio music group, The Taxi cab All-Stars.Their first session yielded lots one Jamaican hit, “Soon Forward,” for Gregory Isaacs. Dunbar and Shakespeare’s most enduringcollaborationn continues to be with Dark Uhuru, with whom they’ve toured and created six albums — Display, Red, Sinsemilla, RELAX, Anthem, and Dub Element. Among their first use non-Jamaican artists had been three albums — Warm Leatherette, released in 1980, Nightclubbing, released in 1981, and Living MY ENTIRE LIFE, released in 1982 — by Elegance Jones. In 1997, Dunbar and Shakespeare created a chart-topping solitary, “Dancehall Queen,” for Beenie Guy and Chevell Franklyn.

Quick Facts


Full Name Sly Dunbar
Profession Drummer, Film Score Composer
Nationality Jamaican
Music Groups Sly and Robbie, The Revolutionaries, The Aggrovators, The Upsetters, Material
Music Songs A Who Say, Mr Bassie, Hot You're Hot, Oriental Taxi, Lollipop Riddim, Inner City Blues, Lola R. For Ever, Hot Milk
Albums Sly, Wicked and Slick, Sly-Go-Ville, Seven Souls, Super Ape, War Ina Babylon, Return of Django, Upsetters 14 Dub Blackboard Jungle, Return of the Super Ape, Hallucination Engine, The Upsetter, Kung Fu Meets the Dragon, Revolution Dub, Return of Wax, Temporary Music, Underwater Dub, Dub in Blood, Vital Dub: Well Charged, Black Ash Dub, Reggae for Her (Sly & Robbie Presents Devin Di Dakta and JL), Raiders Of The Lost Dub, Mr Perry I Presume, Burning Dub, Many Moods of the Upsetters, Clocktower Records Presents Clocktower Dub, Ape-Ology
Nominations Latin Grammy Award for Best Urban Song
Movies Third World Cop, Sly and Robbie: Superthruster, Sly and Robbie: Drum & Bass Strip to the Bone


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 With Robbie Shakespeare as Sly and Robbie, he is one of the personalities mentioned in the song Genius of Love by Tom Tom Club. The others mentioned were Bob Marley, Smokey Robinson, 'Hamilton Bohannon', George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, and Kurtis Blow.
2 With Robbie Shakespeare, he is one-half of Sly and Robbie, reggae music's most prolific and long lasting production team. They are considered originators of the "Rockers" rhythm. They started working together in the mid 1970s, after having established themselves separately on the Jamaican music scene.
3 He is humorously sometimes referred to as Sly Drumbar, while 'Robert 'Robbie' Shakespeare' as Robbie Bassspeare.
4 Together with Robbie Shakespeare, he formed Taxi label in 1980. It has seen releases from many international successful artists, including Black Uhuru, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Ini Kamoze, Beenie Man and Red Dragon.
5 He has played for The Aggrovators for Bunny Lee; The Upsetters for Lee Perry, The Revolutionaries for Joseph Hoo Kim... Recorded for Barry O'Hare in the 1990s.
6 As a member of Word, Sound & Power, he backed Peter Tosh on the album Mystic Man.
7 He together with Robbie also played on Bob Dylan's albums Infidels and Empire Burlesque (using recordings from Infidels sessions).
8 Nicknamed Sly after Sly Stone, one of his favorite musicians.
9 Sly was a drummer for the Skin Flesh and Bones band before forming Sly and Robbie.
10 A drummer.
11 He is a huge fan of Motown, Philly Sound and Country & Western, in addition to Jamaican legendary labels Studio One and Treasure Isle, and Reggae production in particular.
12 He used to play in club Tit for Tat.


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Voice 2016 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Death in Paradise 2011 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Saturday Night Live TV Series producer - 1 episode, 2008 writer - 1 episode, 2008
Grand Theft Auto IV 2008 Video Game writer: "Driver A" - as S. Dunbar
The Wire 2002 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Ali G Indahouse 2002 as Dunbar, "FRESH FROM YARD", "TEASE ME"
Save the Last Dance 2001 as Sly Dunbar, "Murder She Wrote"
Whatever It Takes 2000 writer: "Pull Up to the Bumper", "Emperor" - as Sly Dunbar
The Wog Boy 2000 writer: "Pull Up To The Bumper" - as Sly Dunbar
Third World Cop 1999 writer: "Zen Concrete", "Dungle Boogie", "Papers", "Scare Dem Train", "Mambo Jambo", "Drilling for Oil", "Soft Core Surge", "We Run Tings" - as L. Dunbar
How to Be a Player 1997 writer: "East Coast to the West Coast" - as Sly Dunbar
Speed 2: Cruise Control 1997 producer: "The Tide Is High" - as Sly Dunbar
A Brother's Kiss 1997 writer: "Slow Wine" - as Sly Dunbar
The Reggae Movie 1995 Documentary writer: "Tease Me" - as S. Dunbar
Smoke 1995 producer: "Sexy dumb dumb" - as Sly Dunbar
Poetic Justice 1993 writer: "I Wanna Be Your Man" - as Sly Dunbar
Boomerang 1992 as Sly Dunbar, "Pull Up to the Bumper"
Class Act 1992 writer: "Housecall" - as Sly Dunbar
Men at Work 1990 writer: "SUPER COOL", "HERE AND BEYOND" - as Sly Dunbar
Slaves of New York 1989 producer: "Some Guys Have All the Luck"
Street Smart 1987 writer: "Peanut Butter" - as S. Dunbar
Miami Vice 1985-1986 TV Series writer - 2 episodes

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae 2009 Documentary musician - as Sly Dunbar
Third World Cop 1999 music supervisor - as Sly Dunbar

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 2004 Video Game DJ Marshall Peters (voice, uncredited)

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Third World Cop 1999 as Sly

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Ali Campbell: Great British Songs 2010 Video documentary short Himself
Rise Up 2009/I Documentary
Saturday Night Live 2008 TV Series Himself
Dub Echoes 2008 Documentary Himself
Queens of Disco 2007 TV Movie documentary Himself
Minha Intuição 2007 Video documentary Himself
Made in Jamaica 2006 Documentary Himself
Reggae: The Story of Jamaican Music 2002 TV Series documentary Himself
Lost in Music 1995 TV Series documentary Himself

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