Jesse Mcintosh


Below is the original article from the Kalamazoo Gazette about Jesse


The life of Leroy “Jesse” McIntosh, a familiar face at some of the more popular downtown festivals and the local reggae scene, will be celebrated Sunday.

McIntosh, of Kalamazoo, died Aug. 11 of lung cancer. He was 53. McIntosh, whose friends called him “Jesse,” moved to Kalamazoo from his home in Jamaica in the early 1990s, bringing his background in cooking. He quickly became a fixture at the popular reggae nights at Club Soda, said former booking agent Paul Toth, who is now an organizer of Taste of Kalamazoo and Island Festival.

McIntosh, who owned a restaurant in Jamaica, is probably best known locally for his jerk chicken and curry goat — making one of the more popular food vendors — as Jesse’s Jamaican — at Island Festival for the last decade, Toth said. He also loved reggae music.

“He was an ever present force at darn near every show I’ve ever done,” Toth said. “He’s always been around the reggae scene. He’s a pleasant, peaceful guy who embodied the spirit of the music he loved so much.”

In that spirit, Kalamazoo reggae band Zion Lion — one of McIntosh’s favorite local bands — will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave. The concert will follow visitation at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. at Harper Funeral Home, 521 Douglas Ave.

Myra Atkinson, vocalist for Zion Lion, said McIntosh was always “smiling and easy going.” He was close friends with former Zion Lion guitarist, Nathan Ndjiharine, who drowned Aug. 9, 2008 in the Muskegon River while tubing with his family. Atkinson said McIntosh attended many of the band’s performances.

“It’s going to be a nice little gathering to sit back and remember those good times,” Atkinson said.

McIntosh was preceded in death by his parents, Ruth Barrett and Altiman McIntosh, and by his sister, June. Surviving are his wife, Melinda; daughters, Brooke, Lesa, Lola, and Maya; sons, Jesse Lee and Jay; and four grandchildren.



Please join us for a special tribute to our dear friend Jesse, featuring Zion Lion on Thursday, June 16th.