Canadian Musician - March/April 2023 - Page 15

Tom Stephen , Drummer of The Jeff Healey Band , Has Died
Tom Stephen , drummer in The Jeff Healey Band and manager of Jeff Healey , passed away on Feb . 20 , 2023 , of cardiac arrest . He was 68 .
“ It is with great sorrow that we announce the death of Tom Stephen this past Monday . His passing at age 68 of cardiac arrest was sudden and unexpected and his family is grieving mightily . There will be announcements in the coming days regarding a celebration of a life very well lived ,” reads a statement from Stephen ’ s family . “ Meanwhile , his family would like to take the next few days to mourn in private and ask that you respect their wishes .”
Stephen was born and raised in New Brunswick and began making a name for himself in the Toronto music scene in the early ‘ 80s . Stephen ’ s bandmate Joe Rockman , bassist of The
TOM STEPHEN Jeff Healey Band , posted a message on Facebook saying “ My personal relationship with Tom began in 1984 , jamming and hanging out in local Toronto clubs one year prior to the formation of the Jeff Healey Band . So , in a way , the Healey Band started even before Jeff . Tom was a pivotal figure and co-founder in the Jeff Healey Band Partnership , along with Jeff and me . That partnership launched the Band , but also launched many other artists ’ careers , and helped launch the careers of many people associated with us .”
Def Jam appoints Kardinal Offishall as Global A & R
Award-winning artist and producer Jason Harrow , better known as Kardinal Offishall , has been appointed as Global A & R for record label Def Jam and will be working directly with CEO Tuni Balogun and EVP LaTrice Burnette . In his new role , he will sign and help elevate talent from around the world .
Kardinal Offishall became a staple in the international music scene in the late 2000s with features on hit records such as Akon ’ s “ Beautiful ”, Lady Gaga ’ s “ Just Dance ,” and his own single “ Dangerous ” which scorched the Billboard Hot 100 charts and peaked in the Top 5 , making him the first rapper from Canada to do so . He participated early in the careers of Rihanna , Alex Da Kid , T-Pain , Vybz Kartel , Estelle , and Sean Paul , to name a few . He is also a cultural and musical ambassador for a new wave of Canadian superstars , working with Drake , K ’ naan , Daniel Caesar , Boi-1da , and Glenn Lewis . Harrow is also a judge on Canada ’ s Got Talent .
Working for Def Jam Recordings label allows Kardinal Offishall to help grow and compliment the cutting-edge label that launched stars like LL Cool J , Slick Rick , The Beastie Boys , and Public Enemy , and established its dominance with a range of superstar acts like Jay-Z , DMX , Rihanna , Pusha T , Big Sean , and Jeremih , among many others .