Remembering Jojo Bennet

Remembering Jojo Bennet

August 6, 2021 | G-BLOG, Local News

JoJo Bennett
Jojo Bennett at the Orbit Room, 2014
Photo credit: Pablo Herrero Garcia – Toronto Reggae

By: Julian King of canadianreggaeworld.com

 

Jojo – that’s all you need to say and the fan base knows exactly who you’re talking about. When I received the news yesterday, all I thought was “the end of an era.” He and The Sattalites are legendary. The Canadian reggae flag bearer, an ambassador, Jamaica sent a good one to these shores back in the 60s.

Joseph “JoJo” Bennett, the Canadian reggae lion, one of the most loving and influential humans to contribute to reggae music in Canada. He loved many around him, you could feel it in his look, and in his words.

He and I once went to watch a tribute show at the Danforth Music Hall back when there were still seats in the Hall.  Jo and I arrived late, as per usual, but just in time to see our bwoy Jason Wilson on stage, playing guitar in a kilt, singing some Bob Marley.

We walked right down to the front, banged our hands on the stage and wheeled up the entire band. Jason, before restarting, said, “Ladies and gentlemen, Jojo Bennett of the Sattalites” and the place erupted in a long, loud applause.  My chest still swells with pride from that shared moment with him. 

The end of an era. 

When the Bamboo closed, it felt like the Sattalites closed too. They were rockstars and that dance floor was theirs. There was a time that if you got to the Boo after 11:30pm on a Friday or Saturday when the Sattalites were playing, you’d be waiting in a line along Queen Street, looping around to the parking lot. 

I was once asked, “when are you going to give up on this reggae thing that you do?” I said “when Jojo does.”

He still hasn’t given up. He never will. He’s still trying to book his next gig.

A big part of me feels joy that we were able to share reggae music with him for that stretch of time. I am blessed that his image stands on Reggae Lane, I can still hang out with my big brother. 

The standard bearer of reggae music, my idrin,

Joseph Bennett.

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