Puma Jones paves the way…
Did you Know, Puma of the Legendary “Jamaican” Reggae Group: Black Uhuru is American?… How cool is that?! One Love indeed!
Her spiritual journey was so deep, yet not spoken much of… A quick sum-up of what little we know, is after finishing School, and living in New York, her path led her to the Sweet Island Jamaica for what would be the beginning of a timeless era of Music within the Rastafarian Movement ,spreading messages of Unity and One Love (All People Coming Together as One!)….
Here’s a bit of info on the Blessed, Grammy Award Winning, Puma Jones….
Sandra “Puma” Jones (October 5, 1953—January 28, 1990) was an American singer, best known for her involvement with the Grammy Award winning group, Black Uhuru.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, Jones graduated from Columbia University with a Masters Degree, before becoming a social worker in New York City. She studied dance with the Chuck Davis troupe where she took particular interest in African dance. After becoming disillusioned with city life she declared a need to “discover her roots” and headed for Jamaica – ostensibly on vacation, but intending to seek employment.
She sang with Miriam Makeba and Ras Michael, and the Sons of Negus. In 1978, through Ras Michael, she was introduced by a mutual friend to Derrick “Duckie” Simpson, who was looking to augment Black Uhuru following line up, changes that had brought Michael Rose into the band. She joined Black Uhuru for the recording sessions of the 1979 album, Showcase. She went on to sing on seven studio albums, which represents the group’s most critically acclaimed period, culminating in Anthem earning the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 1985 (the first year of the award’s existence). Yes! First Grammy for Best Reggae Album Well Deserved!
Puma Jones was committed to continuing with the band, but sometime leading up to the recording sessions of 1987’s Positive album she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
As the illness worsened she was forced to step down and the album was completed with Olafunke as an uncredited backing vocalist. Puma Jones returned to New York City for treatment, but died on January 28th 1990, age 36. She was later buried near her family home in South Carolina. –info via Wikipedia
Puma was also a Mother, and Wife, loved by so many, all over the world.
Thanks to her Timeless Contribution to Reggae, her Spirit, and message of One Love & Unity Lives on!