Jackie Mittoo  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Jackie Mittoo (3 March 1948 – 16 December 1990) was a Jamaican- Canadian keyboardist, songwriter and musical director. He was a member of The Skatalites and musical director of the Studio One record label.


He was born Donat Roy Mittoo in Brown's Town, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica, and began learning to play the piano when he was three under the tutelage of his grandmother.

In the 1960s he was a member of The Skatalites, The Sheiks, The Soul Brothers, The Soul Vendors and Sound Dimension. Mittoo's compositions in this period included "Darker Shade of Black", "Feel Like Jumping", and "Baby Why". He played with Lloyd "Matador" Daley in 1968 and 1969.

He emigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the end of the 1960s. There he recorded three albums, Wishbone (Summus), Reggae Magic (CTL) and Let's Put It All Together (CTL). He also set up the Stine-Jac record label, as well as running a record store.

In 1970, his song "Peanie Wallie" was reworked into a song called "Duppy Conqueror" and recorded by The Wailers. Mittoo's song Wishbone was a hit in 1971. He performed in local Toronto lounges throughout the 1970s. Mittoo assisted Toronto-area reggae musicians, including Earth, Roots and Water, Esso Jaxxon (R. Zee Jackson), Carl Harvey, Lord Tanamo, Boyo Hammond, Carl Otway, The Sattalites, Jackie James and Jason Wilson. Mittoo continued to record for Jamaican producers in the 1970s, mostly Bunny Lee. He co-wrote "Armagideon Time" (later recorded by The Clash) with Willi Williams, released in 1980.

In the 1980s, he often worked with Sugar Minott. In 1985 he travelled to Ghana with British band Musical Youth, and while there recorded tracks that would later be released on the album Jackie Mittoo in Africa. In 1989, he briefly rejoined The Skatalites, but left when his health started to deteriorate. In 1989 and 1990 he recorded Wild Jockey for Lloyd Barnes' Wackies label.

Mittoo entered a hospital on 12 December 1990 and died of cancer on 16 December at the age of 42. His funeral was held at the National Arena in Kingston, Jamaica, on 2 January 1991. Hortense Ellis, Neville 'Tinga' Stewart, Desmond "Desi Roots" Young, Ruddy Thomas, Tommy Cowan, Clement "Coxsone" Dodd were among the attendees. A memorial concert was held around the same time, with performances by Vin Gordon, Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, Glen 'Bagga' Fagan, Pablo Black, Robbie Lyn, Michael "Ibo" Cooper, Ken Boothe, Delroy Wilson, Carlene Davis, Tinga Stewart and others.

In 2013, Mittoo was referenced by Superchunk in their song "Me & You & Jackie Mittoo" from their album I Hate Music.



  • Jackie Mittoo in London (Coxsone, 1967)
  • Evening Time (Coxsone, 1968) – with The Soul Vendors
  • Keep on Dancing (Coxsone, 1969)
  • Jackie Mittoo Now (Studio One, 1970) (also released on Bamboo label)
  • Macka Fat (Studio One, 1970)
  • Wishbone (Summus, 1971)
  • Reggae Magic (Studio One, 1972) (also released on Canadian Talent Library label)
  • Let's Put It All Together (United Artists #LA442-G, 1975) (also released on Birchmount label)
  • Showcase (Studio One, 1976)
  • Hot Blood (Third World, 1977)
  • Show Case Volume 3 (Abraham, 1977) (also released as The Jackie Mittoo Showcase on Sonic Sounds label)
  • In Cold Blood (Third World, 1978) (also released on Justice label)
  • The Keyboard King (Third World, 1978) (also released on Weed Beat label)
  • Anthology of Reggae Collectors Series, Vol. 4 (United Artists #LA804-H, 1978)
  • The Money Makers (A Jackie Mittoo Music Production, 1979)
  • Stepping Tiger (Rite Sound Inc., 1979)
  • Wild Jockey (Wackies, 1989) (also released as Jackie Mittoo At Wackies on Alpha Enterprise label)
  • The Original (Third World, 1978)
  • Moving Away (Live And Love, 1979) – with Jah Stitch
  • Plays Hits From Studio One And More (Rhino, 1991) – with Winston Wright
  • Love And Harmony (Rhino, 1994) – with Jah Stitch (reissue of Moving Away)
  • Tribute To Jackie Mittoo (Heartbeat, 1995)
  • Keyboard Legend (Sonic Sounds, 1995)
  • Jackie Mittoo in Africa (Quartz, 1997)
  • Showcase: Striker Lee (Culture Press, 1997)
  • The Keyboard King At Studio One (Soul Jazz Records, 2000)
  • Drum Song (Attack, 2003)
  • Last Train To Skaville (Soul Jazz Records, 2003) – with The Soul Brothers
  • Champion In The Arena 1976–1977 (Blood and Fire, 2003) (reissue of Show Case Volume 3 with bonus tracks)
  • Jackie Mittoo Featuring Winston Wright At King Tubbys (Attack, 2004) – with Winston Wright
  • Jah Rock Style (Grooving with the Keyboard King 1976–1978) (Trojan, 2005)
  • Jackie Mittoo Rides On (Jamaican Recordings, 2008)
Featured Guest Appearance
  • The Peacemaker's Chauffeur by Jason Wilson (Wheel Records, 2008)
  • Jackie is credited with playing "additional keyboards" on 3 tracks from Labour of Love by UB40 (Virgin, 1983)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jackie Mittoo" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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