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Raphael Thomas Hamilton (1918–2012) by Val Wilmer, 1990 © Val Wilmer


Hamilton, Raphael Thomas [Andy] (1918–2012), saxophonist, bandleader, and community leader, was born on 26 March 1918 at Port Maria, Jamaica, the only child of Michael Hamilton, a farmer and butcher, and his wife, Miller. He grew up in Port Maria on the north coast of the island, where he formed a vocal group as a child and played the traditional Jamaican instrument, the bamboo saxophone, a straight pipe with sound-holes, a flared bell, and a single reed, similar to the north African double-reed ...