July 21, 2015
Godfrey McIntosh – bringing music to the people

by Colin King

The McIntosh family is a dynasty in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) where musical achievement is concerned. From articles past you will know Syl – saxophonist extraordinaire; Ricky – virtuoso pianist/keyboardist; and others.

However, there is one family{{more}} member you might not know, unless you were in SVG prior to 1983 when he migrated to Canada. His name is Godfrey McIntosh. He plays the trumpet and is a versatile musician, who can embrace jazz, classical, pop and Caribbean with equal facility and ease.

Godfrey, who was a talented musician from the age of 11 or so, got his chops going with Astericks before migrating to Canada. He says of this experience: “As a band member, I was afforded many opportunities to tour my homeland (SVG) and other countries, thus broadening my horizons.” With Astericks, Godfrey got a first-hand musical performance experience in many states of the United States of America, and other Caribbean islands. He also did much studio work inside and outside of Astericks.

He studied ‘serious’ music first as a lad, in theory and performance and credits his mom for sending him to lessons. Like most superior musicians today, Godfrey started out with classical music, complemented by more familiar genres in St Vincent.

In Canada, Godfrey met the love of his life, married her, and branched off into non-musical endeavours to complement the income he had been making as a musician. His first leg of study was in the field of child care, but he soon switched to general arts and science. He has, like many old school musicians, noted that the ‘new music’ of the millennium is moving into an electronic and computerized direction and his next field of study will combine music and computer science, even as he is enrolled with Berklee College, prestigious school of music, online for theory of music.

Godfrey holds young people in high esteem and notes that every child that wants to be a musician “should stay in school and pursue other goals, other than music.” He advises that music is a highly competitive area and advises “make sure you have a back-up plan.”

So, just what has Godfrey been doing musically all these years? He currently has two CDs out featuring his band ‘Godfrey Mack and Solid Sound’. After his stint with Astericks, he explored what Toronto had to offer and played with various bands, getting a feel for the market. He says “most were just for entertainment purposes and some were on a competitive basis; all of which were exciting. At this point in my career, I realized that my lifetime dream was coming true and I felt as though I hit the jackpot, as bringing music to the people is something I have always welcomed and loved.”

His next step, having gained invaluable experience on the entertainment circuit in Toronto, was to form his own band – Godfrey Mack and Solid Sound.

Godfrey has spent the years playing for charity events and senior centres, as well as many lucrative gigs.

Says Godfrey “I have come to understand and realized that no matter what capacity I serve in, it is always good to give back to people.” He has done wedding receptions, an event called ‘The Taste of Lawrence’, a stint with the Filipino heritage marching band, and Canada Day and other local events which helped him to establish his name and his band. He has been heavily involved for many years also in the Canada Caribbean event known as Caribana festival.

His relatives Syl and Ricky have just newly formed a band, with which he will be playing on and off. Meanwhile two CDs he has produced are doing well and getting positive feedback from fans; his band’s debut CD and a Christmas CD.

Godfrey’s influences include Shake Keane, Miles Davis and his own family, including Gordon McIntosh.

Godfrey is a man of many facets. Husband, musician, theorist, scholar and he is looking to add poet to this list, having been working on poems inspired by Shake Keane, an idol. He seems to be well rounded and maybe we need him back here for a workshop or two with kids, who can well use the spiritual benefits decent music affords. Good luck, Godfrey, virtuoso Vincy!