“Derry Etkins passes in Guyana”

derry-etkins

Noted Guyanese musician Derry Etkins, who made Barbados his home for decades, passed away in his homeland today.

The local media reported he died at the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was recovering from minor surgery.

Etkins, who was said to be in his mid-60s, came to Barbados as a 19-year-old organist. In an interview with The Nation almost 30 years after he had settled here, he said musicians were treated like “second-class citizens” in Guyana and he wanted a better opportunity. He was working for GUY $130 a month at the time and he heard people were earning $400 in Barbados.

He taught at the Christ Church Foundation School, St Leonard’s Boys’ and The Alleyne School. Etkins was a member of the Telstars band which used to rehearse near the Bayland, St Michael, and played with Wendy Alleyne and the Dynamics and The Outfit.

After many years here, where he also made a name as an arranger and music commentator, Etkins, returned to Guyana.

He was a music lecturer and consultant in his home country and continued to work with the youth as he had done here.

Condolences poured in on social media on the news of his passing. (SAT)