SANDRA (SANDY) MARIE BRADSHAW
SINGER, SONG WRITER, PRODUCER, MUSICIAN, TEACHER
Born to Keith (now deceased) and Pearl Bradshaw on the 24th November 1963 in Ocho Rios, St. Ann Jamaica. Some- time after the passing of her father, her mother got married to Robert Hayles, truly a love story which Sandy treasures and is grateful for the fact that she and other siblings and children from both families are privileged to share in.
Sandy’s early childhood education included Dunrobin Preparatory and Primary, Midland Preparatory School (Jamaica). She went on to receive secondary education at Glenmuir High School, May Pen Clarendon Jamaica.
Her tertiary schooling included Midland Bible Institute (theology), May Pen, Jamaica, teacher training (English Literature, History) at Church Teachers’ College, Mandeville, Jamaica. She later earned a BSc. Business Administration at the University College of Belize now the University of Belize (U.B.). She would later go on to successfully complete and receive a certificate in A Level Law course at University of the West Indies(U.W.I.) campus in Belize.
Presently, Sandy serves in the capacity of Executive Assistant in the office of the Chief Executive Officer, Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital (K.H.M.H.A.), Belize’s leading referral hospital, where she has been employed since 2010.
By virtue of her talents, gifts and varied educational background coupled with her multi-faceted persona, she has served the religious, music, educational, social, business and health sectors over the course of the approximately twenty-eight (28) years (1986-2014) that she has resided in Belize, Central America. During this period she has functioned in the capacities of Executive Director, Programme Coordinator, Training Officer, Export/Import Promotion Officer, Executive Assistant, Teacher and Music Coordinator.
Sandy credits the Good Lord firstly and fore-mostly for bestowing on her the gift of music. She in turn responded to His kindness by spending hours as a child honing her craft mostly in solitude. She jokingly says that in many instances she played to an audience of goats that would lie contentedly outside on the patio.
She readily acknowledges that her mother Pearl Bradshaw (Hayles) greatly influenced her with respect to singing, playing instruments and training musical groups. She recalls that the first instrument she received as a child was a gift in the form of a xylophone from her mother. She speaks in glowing terms of her mother who trained many students in music and also award winning church choirs.
She remembers the early influence from Reverend Brathwaite of the United Brethren Church in Jamaica, whose nimble fingers she would eagerly watch with rapt attention as they produced beautiful sound from the “old time” church organ. The first song she recalled playing on the organ prior to the commencement of the service and before the people arrived was Kum Ba Ya Ma Lord. She remembers fondly the great impact made on her then infant musical mind as she listened to the combination of Mr. Wignal and a female accompanist at Bethany Gospel Hall, Jamaica ( the former on the organ and the latter on the piano) skillfully running their fingers across the octaves of the keys, enhancing the rousing singing with melodious music. To this day Sandy is very intrigued with the combined playing of the organ and piano. She was also influenced by a female group of singers, at the New Testament Church of God, Temple Hall, and a male singing group at the Adventist Church, Golden Spring Jamaica.
She recalls with gratitude that Gordon (Dickie) Soutar introduced her to the first chords on the guitar and Godfrey Clements did the same on the piano. She would sing with a good family friend Del Palmer who would refer to her as his singing partner. She remembers the day that they were both returning from a singing engagement when she heard the announcement that Bob Marley had passed away.
Others who would play a pivotal role in arousing the musical side of Sandy would include pianist Grace Palmer of Shiloh Gospel Hall, Rosalee Adair (Assembly Hall Camp) Pastor Springs of the United Brethren Church who trained her at the tender age of about seven (7) to sing a two part song (Like a Shepherd Tender True- Jesus Leads) with another young person. She reflects fondly on her relationship with a woman she refers to as her “second mother”Esmilda Little (Aunt Milda,- now deceased)) of Black River Jamaica, who would take her “under her wings” but quickly wean her in the musical realm to train a singing group for camp and do other musical exploits. One such unique teaching method would involve Sandy sitting on the piano stool beside Aunt Milda in church in front of a packed church hall, during which time Aunt Milda would sing the hymn quietly to her between the time the song was called out and the time that Sandy would have to begin playing a song that she never heard or barely recognized. They developed a loving bond that still inspires Sandy.
However, it was Stephen Cains (of Bermuda) a singer/pianist with whom she sang and played the guitar for, while he played the piano as she sang, who made a great impact on her peculiar style of playing the piano. Ultimately she admits that she is really “God-taught” as she received no formal training in music.
Sandy was tremendously influenced by the following teachers in Jamaica who helped her to explore her musical abilities:Mrs. Davis ( Dunrobin Preparatory), Mrs. Anderson (Dunrobin Preparatory), Mercedes Edwards (Midland Preparatory), Leo White and Sydney Bartley (Glenmuir High School), the latter of whom introduced her to Spanish music among other genres. The latter three teachers were instrumental in introducing her to and preparing her to perform at the Festival of Arts.
Sandy’s first experience as a producer was when she led two (2) of her siblings Theodore (Teddy) and Marcia Bradshaw in practicing and engaging in songs consisting of three (3) parts, soprano,alto, and tenor at the impressionable age of eleven (11). Both these siblings continue to give her tremendous support in her music. She went on to assisting and or playing an integral role in putting together musical programmes for Sunday’s School. A very significant partner was Earl Miller (deceased). During that period she trained a singing group that did some tours in Jamaica. Clifford and Violet Sill were particularly very instrumental in encouragement given. She always kept alive in her memory a “prophecy of sorts” by Florence Dillet, a good family friend who told her that a great future was in store for her with her musical quest.
At Glenmuir High School she was very involved in music and especially assisting with the preparation for a band which performed at the Super-Splash Concert. She would later partner with Grace Palmer in producing a musical while at Midland Bible Institute. She would continue playing and singing at concerts, funerals, weddings and other engagements until marriage (1986) and subsequently relocating to reside in Belize, Central America where “more of the same continues’.
She continued being engaged in music and cites the following major projects to date being two religious musicals namely “I Bring my Time, Talent & Thanksgiving, from me to You with Love” “From the Tree to the Throne Hallelujah” – the former organized with a close friend Linda Blades and the latter with another close friend Georgia Griffith. She would be inspired by Helen and Roy Bowen who would lend practical support to her musical endeavours which she continues to engage in.
A very significant friendship developed with the Burke/Arthurs family and particularly Joan Burke, Executive Director of Belize Family Life Association – B.F.L.A. whom she refers to as her sister and friend. Joan would request of her to do several musical engagements which would ultimately lead to a collaborative effort between Sandy Bradshaw and Friends giving birth to an annual fund raising concert for the B.F.L.A. Being keen on a thematic approach the following shows have been staged, namely “Garden of Love, Oldies & Origies” and “Musically Speaking in Your Love Language”- romantic concerts. Chris Bradshaw her brother and both Sandy’s Children lent support to the latter show. These shows feature mostly original pieces by Sandy, spanning the genres- Reggae, R&B, Jazz, Ska, Light Rock, and in languages including English, Creole, Patois, Swahili, Spanish and Garifuna.
Sandy shares a very special and unique relationship with her sister Marcia whom she refers to as ‘the wind beneath her wings’. Marcia plays a pivotal role in all her music productions and lends financial and moral support to the same.
She has also produced jingles and has recently done for a colleague of hers, the lyrics and tune for a children’s song “Always Friends” which will be utilized in a major production. She presently assists in training the Methodist Praise Singers. She always aims to perform and produce to the best of her ability and so never gives in to the notion that “she has arrived” but is consistently networking and honing her craft. Peter Bradshaw, her brother is under girding her with support in legal and matters which require expertise in the area of journalistic skills, critical to the field of music. She has also entertained at clubs, restaurants and hotels.
Sandy is careful to give credit to many who have directly or indirectly impacted her being a stickler for discipline in her pursuit and so highlights the following names of family friends:
Keith and Pearl Bradshaw (parents), both parents instilled the spiritual values and her father a man of prayer, taught her the significance of incorporating that in her own life. She however readily admits that she still has a long way to go in that regard. Other names would include but not by any means limited to, Carmen and Ed Harris, James Ramsey, Ionie Bedward, Bev Shaw (Barcoi), Ordeen Samuda, Tony and Faye Cunningham, Leon & Veronica Brown,Mr. Ashton Edwards, Mr.Valney Little, Berley Adair, Clyde Edwards, Keith Anderson, Lloyd Burnett, Raphael Royal, Emile Turner, Charles Young, Inez Thompson and Vera Jones Dalia Smith, Ms. Roach and AbdulaiConteh. Others who would inspire and support her are Alice Brown “Ma B”, Alma Ellis “Pinkie”, Patricia Bennett, Lula Bennett, Brenda Armstrong, Mark Phillips, Gloria Edwards, Sheena Stuart -Young and Helen Stuart.
She also cited names of some who influenced her from a distance – as she termed it:
Barbara Streisand, Diana Ross, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Marcia Griffith, Ernie Smith, John Holt and Quincy Jones, Andre Crouch, Oprah Winfrey and Nelson Mandela and more recently Monty Alexander.
Sandy is the first of four siblings, Theodore (Teddy), Marcia, Paul (Chris) and Peter. Sandy was married to Delphin Garnett, (now divorced), a marriage which produced two lovely children (Sasha Garnett, -married to Stanley Dyck) and Shanya Garnett.
It is with a sense of pride and humility that Sandy says that she takes a holistic approach to life and does not compartmentalize but rather juxtaposes the Physical, Mental,Emotional, Sexual, Spiritual but is cognizant of the balance that needs to be maintained. So she readily states that she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour at the tender age prior to her teen years. She hastens to her reckoning with her mortality and weaknesses while garnering strength on a daily basis,buttressed by her reliance on God for love and forgiveness.
While she adheres to the regimen of reading, exercise, and working hard and in a smart manner, she firmly believes that hard work must be offset by relaxation and humour. She is a staunch advocate of taking time out to rest, and repose if one is to be rejuvenated in order to stimulate the creative juices to produce and be better equipped to serve God and fellow human beings. She also devotes a portion of her time to composing and reciting poetry.
When asked by Mose Hyde of Wake up Belize (W.U.B.) morning radio/television show, at Kremandala in Belize, to give the reason for her not being more visible previously in the public eye on the music scene, her ready response was that it hinges on a conscious decision taken based on maternal advise. Her mother, whom she has a great love for and deep admiration told her that the period of child- rearing would be one of tremendous sacrifice and suggested that she embrace it with all the zest, zeal and love she could muster. She attempted to follow this to the best of her ability. With that portion of her life behind her, Sandy now looks forward to arduously pursuing one of “the loves of her life” MUSIC!!!!!
For as long as her Creator lends her breath she will continue along the following trajectory:
Promoting original music that reflects her early exposure to a wide array of genres in her home country Jamaica, Belize and the world at large- global music
Sandy’s vision is that of- Global Music for the people of the Global Village- Promoting original music that reflects her early exposure to music in her home country JAMAICA during the course of her formative years. She was exposed to a wide array of genres thus stimulating a musical palate for sounds from a global perspective, spanning the gamut from Jamaica, Belize her second home to the world at large. Hence her global approach in writing, producing and performing musical works that touch the lives of participants and audiences across the various languages, cultural and ethnic backgrounds; All the time giving glory to GOD the giver of all gifts!! “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men”
In terms of her sojourn here, she wants to leave a legacy for her children, nieces, nephews, other off-spring relatives and for people in general. She is also an advocate of grooming and mentoring others, as she greatly benefitted from those who took the time to do the same for her.
Ultimately, based on her faith, she believes that whatever she does (including her involvement in music) has eternal implications for she will answer to her Creator. So her musical vision goes even beyond global boundaries.