Listen to Voices: Byron Dowman
"Lord" Byron Dowman was born in Panama in 1931 and, although he grew up in several different sections of the city, both his parents were from Jamaica and brought their culture and musical heritage with them from the West Indies. In fact, ever since he first started to play the ukulele at a very young age, Byron's greatest passion has been making music. He has sung with the Mighty Sparrow and loves music from every genre—from church hymns to calypso to Nat King Cole. Though he considers himself of West Indian descent and sees the term "West Indian" as inoffensive, Byron does feel that part of the racial problems that arise in Panama are due to racial designations and epithets. Byron has been married but is now a widower, and he has six children.