Nadine Sutherland To Speak On 'Playful, Polite' Peter Tosh At UWI Annual Symposium

Reggae/Dancehall songstress Nadine Sutherland will be among several presenters who will speak at the 2023 staging of the Annual Peter Tosh Symposium at the University of the West Indies (UWI) on his birthday this Thursday, October 19.

According to a notification from the UWI, the symposium, which will be held at the Multi-Functional Lecture Room on the Mona campus from 5:00pm to 8:pm, will see Sutherland “reminiscing on personal experiences with Peter”, alongside Grammy-nominated producer and musicologist Dr. Dennis Howard, who will speak on “Peter, an ardent advocate for equal rights and justice.”

Wayne Jobson, the director of the Peter Tosh documentary titled Stepping Razor –X, will present on the day Tosh was murdered (September 11, 1987), and will share his perspective on the assailant Leppo’s main motives for killing the Reggae superstar.

The event, which is being held in celebration of Peter’s 79th birthday, is being held under the auspices of the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work, will be chaired by organiser Dr. Michael Barnett, and will also feature a musical performance by History Man.

Sutherland will be making her presentation on her personal association with Tosh in the 1980s when he recruited her as one of three background vocalists for his 1987 Grammy-winning album, No Nuclear War.

As she did in a February 2021 interview with The Entertainment Report Podcast, the Action singer will highlight Peter’s gentle side, his playfulness and good-humored nature. Sutherland had spoken glowingly of Peter Tosh, noting that she had met him “after Bob (Marley) transitioned and he asked me to come and sing on Nuclear War album”.

“In my head, Peter Tosh is one of the most beautiful human beings.  I remember being so nervous at that session my legs were shaking.  I was nervous…  I was extremely intimidated and Peter Tosh was so gentle with me, and it’s something that I will never forget.  I know dem se Peter a di original rude bwoy enuh, and I don’t think he was a rude bwoy.  He was a rebel, because there’s a distinction.   I don’t think he harmed anyone, but I think that when it came on to his rights, you know, he will fight for his rights…,” she had explained.

“He got beaten up many times by the police, thrown in jail and all of that but anybody who know Peter Tosh will tell you one thing what a beautiful human being he was.  Anybody who really knows him and knew him, and worked with Peter will tell you he was kind he was good.   He paid.  He was a good person,” she added.

Nadine Sutherland

The Baby Face singer had also recalled that Peter Tosh had wanted herself, Pam Hall and JC Lodge to tour with him to promote his No Nuclear War album, but that at the time, the project was not released because “there was some friction that happened with him and his record company.”

“So by the time we recorded it was not released when it was scheduled to release… I think it was in three years after it was released.

“We were supposed to be called The Archangels,” she said.

Sutherland had also recounted the day she learned of Peter’s death. 

“I was in New York, I remember distinctly.  I think I was 20 and in New York waiting on the call to come and rehearse.  I was leaving New York to come to rehearsal.  It was September… and all I could hear was that Peter Tosh got killed.  Peter Tosh died.  I couldn’t leave my bed for one day…,” she had said.

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