Jason Griffith: Voyage of the Sailor Mas

Mr. Griffith and his many awards
Mr. Griffith and his many awards

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When I won that National award Reporters
April 15, 2005

Somewhere around 1995, about eight of the Section Leaders left the band and they decided to bring out their own band and there were people who were saying, "oh gosh, yuh know they leave". I was so happy with those people for ten to twelve years. When I had three years, I had my own band. So if a young person feels that he has his ideas and want to do something, how can you get vex with him? In all of Carnival, in everything that we have here, steelband, everything, we have offshoots. You take Invaders; Invaders must have had about three pan-men, All Stars the same thing. So you can't be all wrapped up in yourself, I don't believe in that. Look at you all doing this interview here with me and you hear me talking about the people who played with me. You think I could have done that without them? I could not have won an award without them. When I won that award, (National award), I did an article thanking all of them and called their names, because without them, it would not have been possible.

We have two bands that are from our band; they call themselves 'The Boss', and another band from Mount Hope. They got that name through me because the father and son came here one night. I knew the father well, this is Larry Carrington, and his son was Keith. When they came here, they were working outside, and they asked about the section. I said, sure man. Now, don't forget they were out of Belmont. You see, the only way you could know what somebody could do is to see for yourself, otherwise how could you know. So you get your pictures and let them choose a picture to work with.

We do the sketches before and they choose the pictures. The pictures were really big. After carnival for about two or three years, we have a function and some of the prizes that we won, we gave them to the section leaders and the people who contributed to the band. That was my way of saying thanks and keeping the members.

No matter what they are doing, they can't do without me and I feel happy about that. The schools, any band, I don't care where you come from. When I was a younger person, I helped all these people from on the hill and all over, now at this age I wouldn't help? I can't go to my grave with all that, man. Ah don't think I will be able to rest.

The thing is how I came into this mas. Nobody taught me this craft. It is the same thing with the trade that I do. I am a barber by profession, but my mother sent me out there to learn 'turning and fitting'. I went out to work when I was fourteen years old. However I could not stay in those jobs. I had an English boss down here who fired me because he found out I was also doing the barbering. In those days a haircut was thirty-six cents and forty-eight cents; thirty-six cents for boys and forty-eight cents for men. I don't know, but it seems I am allergic to clothes, so when I saw the way things were going with the other jobs, I turned to my barbering.


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