Wilton Gaynair

Wilton "Bogey" Gaynair (born 11 January 1927 in Kingston, Jamaica – died 13 February 1995 in Cologne, Germany)[1] was a jazz musician, whose primary instrument was the tenor saxophone. He was raised at Kingston’s famous Alpha Boys School, where fellow Jamaican musical legends Joe Harriott, Harold McNair and Don Drummond were also pupils of a similar age.


He began his professional career playing in the clubs of Kingston, backing such notable visitors as George Shearing and Carmen McRae, before travelling to Europe in 1955, deciding to base himself in Germany because of the plentiful live work on offer. He recorded very seldom, only three times as a bandleader in his lifetime. Two of those recordings came during visits to England, 1959’s Blue Bogey on Tempo Records and 1960’s Africa Calling, also recorded for Tempo but unreleased until 2005 on account of that label’s demise.

Soon after recording these sessions, he returned to Germany, where he remained based for the rest of his life. He concentrated on live performance with such bands as the Kurt Edelhagen Radio Orchestra – including playing at the opening ceremony of the 1972 Munich Olympics, also taking much anonymous session work. He was a guest artist on Ali Haurand's Third Eye (LP 1977) but only recorded one more jazz album under his own name, 1982’s Alpharian.[2] Other artists he played with included Gil Evans, Freddie Hubbard, Shirley Bassey, Manhattan Transfer, Horace Parlan, Bob Brookmeyer, Mel Lewis and many others. In September 1983 he suffered a stroke during a concert, and from that time until his death in 1995 he was unable to play the saxophone.


As leader


Wilton is survived by a younger brother Bobby Gaynair, who like his brother is an Alpha Boys School alumnus and notable sax player. Bobby was involved in the early Jamaican recording industry, recording alongside Dizzy Moore and Roland Alphonso in the legendary group Clue J & His Blues Blasters. Bobby Gaynair most recently performed at Legends Of Ska concert series in Toronto during the summer of 2002.

As sideman

With Charly Antolini


  1. Wilmer, Val (2002). "Gaynair, Wilton 'Bogey'". In Barry Kernfeld. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Vol. 2 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 23. ISBN 1561592846.
  2. Jurek, Thom. "Alpharian: Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  3. "Charly Antolini – Soul Beat". Discogs. Retrieved 20 April 2016.

External links

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