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Champion in the spotlight
Thousands of pan lovers converged on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, last Sunday for the premiere of the Live Music District, produced by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Music TT, in conjunction with the Port-of-Spain City Corporation.
Also in attendance were Trade and Industry Minister Senator Paula Gopee-Scoon; Port-of-Spain Mayor Alderman Joel Martinez and his wife, Marcelle; San Fernando Mayor Alderman Junia Regrello and his wife, Kamla; Senate VP Senator Nigel DeFreitas; manager, Government and Stakeholder Relations, bpTT Gerard Jackson; and, Port-of-Spain City Corporation Councillor Stephen Harper.
The evening’s programme hosted Gerelle Forbes, headline act was 2018 National Panorama (Large) champion bpTT Renegades and the 70-year-old Charlotte Street steel orchestra showed why it is one of the best steelbands on the planet by offering a repertoire of varied music selections.
As part of the MusicTT vision to empower musicians and artistes nationwide, the audience was also treated to performances by a number of young artistes, including Chenko, Xone, Neal & Joel and Sherisse Collymore, plus former Byron Lee & The Dragonaires vocalist Oscar B.
Oscar B, accompanied by Renegades, helped spice up proceedings with his performance of Lord Nelson’s One Family. He even got Minister Gopee-Scoon and other dignitaries to join him centre stage.
Special mention was made of pan pioneer Anthony Williams who at one time during Renegades’ performance, stood from his wheelchair to dance to the infectious music of the steelband.
Woodbrook, a community that is legendary for producing excellent sports personalities, must have felt like a return to home base on Sunday to former football stars as several of the past greats were seen, like New York-domiciled Hugh Mulzac, Baby Headley, Gerry Brown, Rolph Clarke, Brian Rigsby and Ulric Boxhill.
Renegades, under the direction of arranger Duvonne Stewart and led by Candice Andrews-Brumant, really brought its A-game to the event as its repertoire included timeless classics of various genres as well as new hits from the just-passed Carnival including Blaxx’s Hulk, Kees’ Hello and its winning Panorama selection Voice’s Year for Love. Other well loved selections in the band’s two sets Let it be, Besame Mucho, Maria Maria, Be Strong, Kingston Town, Now that we’ve found love and a Black Stalin medley.
Organisers are well advised to establish this type of family, outdoor activity as a regular event. Also, to further empower residents of the communities in which the Live Music District is staged, they ought to be encouraged to sell home-made snack and delicacies, perhaps even partnered with a mini Namdevco green market at which fresh produce can be on sale.
The potential of this initiative is immense and augurs for even stronger ties between community, central and local government and community poliicing.
On Sunday, April 15, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and music therapist Martina Chow launched her debut EP album, Inspire, at Kaiso Blues Café, Newtown. The venue was filled to capacity as Chow shared her hope and positive message for our society and its people through her music.
With an angelic voice and emotion-filled performance she captivated all in attendance. Chow had her audience singing along to her pop songs Fly and Resilient, with their motivational words and easy melodies.
She also showcased her expert skill on the flute, at the beginning of another single titled Keep on Keeping on.
Chow’s well-rehearsed band included Mark Brewster, Michael Chang Wai, Tamo Harewood, Shaquille Noel, Stephen John and Gerelle Forbes.
A very touching video produced and directed by Richard ‘Charsu’ Ahong, the single Fly was premiered at the end of the event.
The multi-talented Chow is certainly shining a light in these dark times with her inspiring music.
T&T’s Strings to headline 2018 Dominica Jazz
Trinidadian string sensation Xavier Strings and Dominica’s Princess of song Michele Henderson will headline what is being billed by organisers as one of the best ever Dominica Jazz ‘n Creole, the 2018 edition, in May, at the historic Cabrits National Park in Portsmouth on Dominica’s north-west coast.
Patrons can expect a real treat at this year’s main stage event in the Jazz ‘n Creole programme which also features several fringe events at venues across the island and in particular, the north.
Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole has become a staple on the entertainment calendar held on Pentecost Sunday (May 20)and features a family event, providing relaxing jazz music and activities for children. Patrons can therefore anticipate stirring Caribbean rhythms on violins played by the Xavier sisters ( Janine and Janelle) as well as the melodious harmony of Henderson’s voice.
Attendees are encouraged to display their patriotism by incorporating some aspect of Creole in their outfits for Jazz ‘n Creole 2018. In doing so, a lucky individual will have the opportunity to a win a ticket for this year’s World Creole Music Festival carded for October 26 – 28.
The ninth edition of Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole is presented by the government of Dominica through its Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Discover Dominica Authority alongside headline sponsor Range Developments. Range Developments are developers of the Cabrits Resort Kempinski which will be opened in 2019.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The printer’s devil was at work last Friday. Guy Beckles was reported being killed during the Black Power era, instead of Guy HAREWOOD.
Apologies to Guy Beckles and family. He is alive and well in the US.
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