As a young man growing up in Jamaica and Panama, Carlos was exposed to a diversity of Jazz and Afro-Cuban music. As a young musician he witnessed as Jamaican music producers tried to duplicate the New Orleans and Shuffle rhythms, which eventually blended with Jamaican Mento Music. Carlos’ father was also trombonist/bandleader, played a mean Dixieland trombone. He taught his son to play the trombone and gave Carlos his first lessons in harmony.
Carlos’ father was also a partner in a committee of Caribbean promoters in Panama, who sponsored concerts of celebrated Afro-American in Panama including Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson, Hazel Scott Powell. After the concerts they were entertained at the Malcolm home. Mr. Malcolm’s vast collection of eclectic music (Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Gershwin, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Count Bassie) wafted through the house every evening.
Carlos often says, “Although my parents would have liked me to become an industrial chemist, there was too much good music in the house”. Carlos holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Carlos was among a cadre of creative writers, producers and musicians employed by the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC). The quasi-government corporation was established to create programs which would showcase Jamaican talent, in preparation for the islands' Independence Celebrations. Carlos helped to create the Jamaican Hit Parade, a radio TV program, which was based on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, with a view to identify Jamaican talent in the performing arts and providing a showplace for talented artists to develop professionally. As head arranger/director in the Variety Department of the Jamaican Broadcasting Corporation, Carlos Malcolm was one of the creators of the popular Jamaican Hit Parade and the first arranger to write formal arrangements of Jamaican Ska music.
He composed arrangements for the JBC Studio Orchestra so that artists could perform live on the weekly Jamaican Hit Parade. Many of the early Ska musical arrangements for singers were “head arrangements” improvised by the accompanying musicians “at the mike”. The popular Jamaican Hit Parade program spawned and influenced the careers of many Jamaican artists such as Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley, who became international music icons. While at JBC, Carlos was commissioned by the Jamaica Little Theatre Movement to compose and arrange music for two full-length musicals, “Banana Boy” and “Jamaica Way”.
When Eon Productions of London went to Jamaica to film the first movie of its James Bond series – “Dr. No,” the producers were keen on using Jamaican talent and music to capture the ambience of the island. Carlos Malcolm was commissioned to compose, arrange and record original, tropical background music for the movie. Carlos Malcolm was also appointed Musical Director of Jamaica National Dance Theater and composed and arranged music for the debut performance of the Internationally famous dance company at the Inaugural Independence Celebrations of Jamaica. His production company, CAM Music Producers and Publishers has created commercial jingles for U.S.
companies operating in the Caribbean such as Shell Oil, Texaco, Maxwell House Coffee, Vick’s Vapor Rub and many Jamaica companies. Over many years in Jamaica and the United States Carlos has coached singers and worked as Artist and Recording manager for record companies. In 1996 Carlos was inducted into the Jamaica Jazz Festival Hall of Fame, along with legendary jazz sax-man, James Moody. In 1999, Carlos was inducted into the Artist in Residence program sponsored by the Arts Council of the State of California. He collaborated with a Child and Adolescent Coordinator for the Youth and Community Services of the San Diego Teen Recovery Center to re-direct youth by using music to teach them the elements of critical thinking to improve their life-choices.
Sponsored by the Lemon Grove Project, in San Diego, and the California Arts Council, the joint academic remedial program of Carlos Malcolm and Anthony Ackee called “Music? Yes! /The Age of Reason” was utilized by the San Diego Youth Community Services, The Balboa Academy of Arts and Sciences Community Day School, the Juvenile Court & Community Schools/ San Diego County Office of Education, the Children Youth and Family Services Network and the Palm Middle School in the city of Lemon Grove. In August 2000, the Government of Jamaica invited Carlos and his orchestra to play for the 37th Independence Celebrations of Jamaica. Carlos was presented with the Prime Minister's Award for both his excellence in music and for his contributions to the development and enhancement of Jamaican music internationally. Two years later, Carlos was again invited by the Government of Jamaica to participate as guest conductor in Jamaica’s 40th Year of Independence. Carlos' band participated in the gala production at Jamaica House. In 2001, Carlos also began to write the story of his personal experiences and musical contributions to the various Jamaican genres, of which there is very little scholastic documentation.
Carlos has dubbed the period of 1958-1965 as a period of “accelerated metamorphosis” in the history of Jamaican music. It was one in which Jamaican [folk] Mento music was “urbanized” by a fusion to the New Orleans Blues Shuffle Rhythm to produce Jamaican Ska music, the precursor of internationally accepted Reggae music. In 2003 Carlos expanded his remedial learning program and re-named it Bak2Bay6 - With a Musical Twist. He was interviewed by Florida Today Newspaper and the article was published on the Internet. The article brought inquiries from educationists in several countries, including Canada, Jamaica and Australia.
Carlos was invited to Australia in 2006 to deliver a lecture at Victoria University of Melbourne on “Bak2bay6 – With a Musical Twist” to a group of academicians from various cities. He was also invited to deliver a lecture/demonstration on the "Origins of Reggae Music". The three-hour lecture/demonstration at the Prince Albert Ballroom in Melbourne was sponsored by the Australian National Public Radio. Both events were very successful.
Both events were very successful. Carlos conducted the 27-piece Melbourne Ska Orchestra as he spoke and demonstrated how Jamaican music was “urbanized” from Mento (folk music) to Reggae music and popularized by Bob Marley. Carlos was invited back to Melbourne to demonstrate the program to the Australian Adult Literacy Symposium. ImageCarlos presently lives in Palm Bay, Florida, where he dedicates his time to creating childhood educational programs, taught through music, and playing concerts with his 10-piece band, Carlos Malcolm and his Caribbean Rhythms. Read more on Last.fm.
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