Jamaica Loses a Great Folk Icon


Jamaica is now without another folk icon. Renowned Jamaican musicologist and folklorist Dr. Olive Lewin who had been ailing for a while, died on Wednesday evening at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

Over a storied career, Lewin was involved in researching, arranging and directing Jamaican traditional music for schools, church and theatre performances by the Jamaican Folk Singers and other groups.

Dr. Lewin’s research is captured in her several books, among them Rock it Come Over – The Folk Music of Jamaica and Some Jamaican Folk Songs.

Dr. Olive Lewin (OD) was a Jamaican, social anthropologist, musicologist and teacher. She was 85.


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Ann P Turner
6 years ago

Olive Lewin was a great friend of my father Ken Maxwell, who died in 1982. For those of you that don’t know – my dad was one of the founders of the first Radio Station in Jamaica, in 1958, called XQI, it then became RJR. He was a national treasure, with his program on radio Dis n Dat, and his talk show “IN the Public Eye”. He was also good friends with Rannie Williams and Loiuse Bennett, Leoni Forbes, Roy Lawrence and John Maxwell. May they all rest in peace! you are not forgotten