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Perry Tole is a Jamaican born instrumental rock, smooth reggae guitarist, songwriter, producer, and musician. He previously recorded and played with the bands NATIVE and Surge. His first solo album "Flight of the Eagle" was released on 22 November 2010.
Perry Tole was born to a Jamaican mother and Tasmanian father. His siblings are Diana Mandella, Sydney Tole (deceased), Louis Tole and Margaret Tole. His father, Louis Gordon Tole, was a multi-talented entrepreneur and musician who built boats and was captain of a commercial fishing vessel the Sno'Boy. As an infant, Perry lived with his family on a house boat near Montego Bay. Around age 7, his father was lost at sea on a fishing expedition. Perry later moved with his mother to Kingston, Jamaica where he lived until moving to the US in 1989.
Perry was drawn to music at an early age and enjoyed listening to a variety of musical genres on the jukebox in his mother’s restaurant, at home and wherever he could hear music. He was especially influenced by R&B artists like The Spinners, Chi-Lites, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Ohio Players, Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Barry White, The O’Jays and others. He also enjoyed music from pop groups like The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Bread, and Michael Jackson. But Perry’s musical taste is firmly rooted in the rock music of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Santana, The Who, Peter Frampton, Mandrill, Moody Blues, Yes, Steppenwolf, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Cream, and Traffic to name a few.
He started playing guitar at age 16 and picked up the bass, flute and harmonica, but the guitar was his forte. At that time, being left handed, Perry could never find instruction books for lefties so he drew up his own fretboard charts for each scale and began to teach himself how everything fit together on the guitar fretboard.
Perry attended high school at Jamaica College, Kingston and later attended the Jamaica School of Music. It was there that Perry was recruited into a band "Basic Race" that later joined forces with the Jobson brothers to become NATIVE.
While at the Jamaica School of Music, Kingston, Perry met Ray Levy (deceased) who asked him to join him and his cousin Peter Couch who were putting a band together. They played a few gigs as Basic Race before joining forces with Brian and Wayne Jobson. The Jobson brothers had recorded a demo with the help of Peter Couch and Ray Levy and landed a deal with Arista Records (England).
Brian Jobson, Wayne Jobson, Peter Couch, Ray Levy, and Perry Tole became the original lineup of NATIVE, along with Warren Mendez (vocals/ saxophone/ guitar), Chris Lopez (vocals/ guitar), and Richie Sinclair (drums). Perry recorded three albums with NATIVE before leaving the band in 1984 to return to Jamaica and start a jingle production company. In 1986, Perry went on a tour of the Nantucket, New York area as lead guitarist for reggae singer/songwriter Ras Karbi. It was while on the road there that he was inspired to write the song "Kingston Streets" about musicians longing to be back home.
Shortly after the tour, Perry joined a band of young musicians which included Andru Donalds on vocals, Mikey Bassie on the bass guitar, and Dwayne "Piano" Smith on the drums. They performed under the band name Surge and played a few gigs until the untimely death of their drummer who was killed in a car accident. Both Andru Donalds and Mikey Bassie have moved on to achieve phenomenal successes in their own right as solo artists.
Perry Tole moved to the United States in 1989, eventually settling in Indianapolis, IN. Perry is married and has a son.
For most of the 1990s and early 2000s Perry was not very active in the music business, but never stopped creating and performing music. As a solo instrumentalist, Perry Tole plays keyboards, bass and acoustic guitar but his instrument of choice is the electric guitar. He began to write, record, and perform contemporary Christian music and played with church bands. Perry wrote several gospel songs featuring his wife Leanna on vocals. Some of these songs became the basis for instrumentals on his debut solo album "Flight of The Eagle."
|Native||Native in a Strange Land||RCA||1992|
|Native||New World||Jamaica Records||1983|
|Perry Tole||Flight of the Eagle||Simple Life Soul||2010|
|Flight of the Eagle (single)||Flight of the Eagle||2010|
|Don't Walk Away||Flight of the Eagle||2010|
Sly and Robbie with artist Daima - 1984
AJ Brown - 1986
Mykal Rose (Black Uhuru) - 1985
Writer/ Producer/ guitar - "Pretty Girl" (Zylan, 1988)
Producer/guitar - "Silent Majority" (Zylan,1988)