Sugar Belly (William Walker) was a Jamaican mento musician in the mid 20th century. Sugar Belly's music was distinctive for his use of a homemade bamboo saxophone, as well as the bamboo fife.[1] His fine playing can be heard on many mento recordings of the 1950s and 1960s, as well as his 1970s Studio One instrumental, solo reggae album entitled Sugar Merengue. There were other bamboo sax players in Jamaica, including Wilbert Stephenson, who recorded extensively with Chin's Calypso Quartet in the 1950s.

Sugar Belly
Birth nameWilliam Walker
OriginKingston, Jamaica
GenresJamaican mentoreggae, calypso
InstrumentsBamboo sax, vocals, bamboo fife
LabelsStudio One, Port-O-Jam, Techniques, others



  • Linstead Market (Port-O-Jam)
  • Sugar Merengue (Studio One, 1974)
  • The Return Of Sugar Belly (Techniques, 1985)

On top of his mento session work for artists including Count Lasher, around twenty Sugar Belly mento and reggae singles were issued in Jamaica on the Port-O-Jam, High Note, Techniques, Studio One, Calypso Joe, and Love Bond labels.

External linksEdit

  • Sugar Belly at
  • "Sugar Belly Walker and his Bamboo Saxophone". Experimental Musical Instruments. 8 December 2009. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2010.


  1. ^ Wayne Chen.Reggae routes: the story of Jamaican music. Temple University Press, 1998. ISBN 1-56639-629-8, ISBN 978-1-56639-629-5 [1]