Tan Tan

Biography by

b. Edward Thornton, c.1934, Jamaica, West Indies. Tan Tan is acknowledged as one of Jamaica’s leading trumpeters, having played with a number of notable performers. From humble beginnings playing over…
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Artist Biography by

b. Edward Thornton, c.1934, Jamaica, West Indies. Tan Tan is acknowledged as one of Jamaica’s leading trumpeters, having played with a number of notable performers. From humble beginnings playing over a comb wrapped in paper, by the mid-50s Tan Tan was playing trumpet alongside Don Drummond on trombone in the Roy Coulton band, performing at the Glass Bucket and Silver Slipper clubs. The band were also the first combo to play live on Jamaican radio and were later employed to accompany jazz legends on world tours. While touring, Tan Tan decided to settle in Europe and Drummond returned to Jamaica. Tan Tan played in a number of bands in Europe before settling with Georgie Fame And The Blue Flames in 1963. The band enjoyed a string of hits featuring Tan Tan’s accomplished trumpet playing, which led to his being invited to perform on the Beatles hit ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’. Although Tan Tan remained with Georgie Fame, he was also enrolled to perform alongside Boney M. Despite Tan Tan having been involved on the Jamaican music scene from its earliest years, it was not until he performed with Aswad that he made a significant impression within the reggae community. He played in the band’s dextrous horn section, featuring Michael ‘Bammi’ Rose and Vin Gordon. Classic tunes include ‘African Children’, ‘Love Fire’ (which provided the rhythm for Dennis Brown’s ‘Promised Land’), a version of the Maytals’ ‘54-46 That’s My Number’, as well as the dancehall anthems ‘Pull Up’ and ‘Bubbling’. The horn section also provided the musical foundation for other Grove Music performers, including King Sounds and the Sons Of Jah.