St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN);The local music fraternity is mourning the loss of Oswald “Ham” Caines who died in a car crash in Tampa Bay early Saturday morning.
Caines, 61, from Dieppe Bay, St. Kitts, had been living in Tampa, Florida for many years. He was well known as one of the original members of the Olabayo Band and then a lead vocalist and bass player for the GI’s Brass band.
According to Florida Highway Patrol, Caines was involved a four-car crash on the Howard Frankland Bridge at around 4:40am, and was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
WINN FM spoke with his former bandmate from the GI’s Brass, local musician Mick Stokes Heyliger about the loss of his long time friend.
“Ham was my twin singer in the GI’s Brass. We got together after we broke away from Ellie Matt. We went with Samba and Ham and he went with Danny and the drummer.
“I was really sorry to hear; it brought tears to my eyes. Ham was an awesome, awesome singer and musician. We did a song together called Island in the Stream; if I hear that song now I’ll cry. That’s the second guy we’ve lost, first Tamboura [Kitwana] and now Ham.
“I’m going to really, really miss Ham. To his whole family I extend my condolences to them and all the love from me and the band. I hope they are okay.”
Another band mate of Ham Caines, leader of the Grandmasters Band Wingrove Hicks, also expressed sadness over the sudden death of his friend.
“I was deeply saddened by the news I received in the wee hours of the morning about the unfortunate passing of Oswald “Ham” Caines. Ham was an original member of the GIs Brass International, affectionately known to many fans as De Brass. Oswald was the base player and vocalist; one of the exceptional singers of the late 70’s and 80s. He had an extraordinary voice and extraordinary impersonating skills. Ham was also a good composer.
“On behalf of myself as well as the former band members of the GI’s Brass International and the entire music fraternity I convey my deepest condolences to his family.”