NEW YORK, May 7 (UPI) -- Jamaican saxophonist Cedric Brooks, who had been seriously ill for three years, has died of cardiac arrest in a New York hospital, his sister said. He was 70.
The influential Reggae musician, known for combining music with spirituality, passed away Friday, Paulette Keise told the Jamaica Observer.
Keise said her brother Brooks had been unable to speak for the last three years, with his communication restricted to nodding his head and eye movement, the newspaper said.
Brooks, who learned to play the saxophone at the Alpha Boys' School in Kingston, collaborated with many other artists, such as Count Ossie in the 1970s, and led his own band, Light of Saba. He was touring with the ska band The Skatalites when he fell ill.
"Cedric came up during the dying days of the horn-driven band, so he had to find a new expression. The result was, he came
up with a sound that was singular," said Herbie Miller, curator of the Jamaica Music Museum.
Cedric Brooks is survived by seven children and four sisters.