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Martin “Dougie” Douglas Remembered by Garvin Blake

Martin “Dougie” Douglas Remembered

by Garvin Blake

Martin Douglas & Ellie Mannette
Martin "Dougie" Douglas with his godfather, Dr. Ellie Mannette
 
Martin Douglas as ‘Ironman’ with CrossFire Steel Orchestra on stage for New York Panorama
Martin Douglas as ‘Ironman’ with CrossFire Steel Orchestra on stage for New York Panorama

New York, USA - The steelband community was dealt two vicious blows in a week. First the passing of Hansel “Hanny” Leon, nowMartin “Dougie” Douglas. Dougie “lived” Pan. And he had an ear for talent, especially upcoming talent. Dougie was a bridge between the old and new generation in New York.  He gave a lot of young musicians an opportunity to grow and shine.

In December, I attended a Christmas concert at St. Paul’s Church in Brooklyn that Dougie produced, featuring mostly teens and young adults. All the bands played well, but Dougie’s group, CrossFire, stood out.  After the show, Dougie was more jolly than Santa. He bounced down the aisle and asked, “Yuh hear mih children?”  I responded, “Nah, dem kids too good to be yuh children.”  He laughed and declared, "Next year will be bigger and better!"  Life, unfortunately, can interrupt the best laid plans.

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