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Veteran bassman dies aged 78

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Quinton “Tiny” Burgess (Photograph supplied)
Quinton “Tiny” Burgess, right, with fellow musicians Jade Minors, Dennis Fox and Dexter Dillas (Photograph supplied)
Quinton “Tiny” Burgess (Photograph supplied)

A jazz veteran and accomplished bass guitarist from the heyday of the Bermudian entertainment scene has died.

Quinton “Tiny” Burgess, a nephew of jazz trumpeter Vernon “Ghandi” Burgess, was 78.

Although best-known for playing bass guitar, Mr Burgess started out on guitar and switched to the saxophone before he took up his instrument of choice.

Dale Butler, a former Progressive Labour Party minister and music historian, said Mr Burgess was “an outstanding bass player who deserved numerous accolades but remained very humble, concentrating on his bass and love of music”.

Mr Butler added: “He performed all over Bermuda in numerous bands and in a number of my plays.

“Highly sought-after by local and international promoters, he had the kind of discipline and knowledge that made him an automatic pick.”

The Bermuda Entertainment Union said it was “very saddened” by the death of a “giant of a man in the entertainment Industry”.

A spokesman said Mr Burgess “was considered by his peers in Bermuda to be one of greatest bassists on the island”.

He added: “He was a true gentleman and a powerhouse musician.

We extend our deepest condolences to his entire family, the musicians he played with, the community he loved and lived in and our BEU family.

This gentle giant will be truly missed- a tremendous life well lived. Gone, but he will never be forgotten.“

Mr Burgess started to perform in the 1960s and 1970s in an era when hotels competed with clubs and other venues to showcase the island’s entertainment.

He was part of the house band at the Holiday Inn in St. George's, and performed on the hotel circuit with musicians that included band leader Dennis Fox.

Mr Fox said: “We played in numerous bands, trios and quartets at the Southampton Princess Hotel, Hamilton Princess and many others.

“In 2013 we were part of the Giant Steps Band travelling to Cuba to represent Bermuda in the Havana International Jazz Festival.

“The band consisted of myself, Tiny, Ronnie Lopes, Max Maybury, Graham Maule and Eugene Joell.”

Mr Burgess joined the Joe Wylie Trio, with Mr Wylie on keyboards and Earl Leader on drums and vocals in 1989.

He also taught at Eddie Ming’s Rhythm Lab in St George’s.

Quinton Robert “Tiny” Burgess, a musician, was born on December 17, 1942. He died in March 2021. Mr Burgess was 78.

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Published March 13, 2021 at 8:33 am (Updated March 13, 2021 at 8:50 am)

Veteran bassman dies aged 78

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