REVIEW + OVERVIEW

Nailah Blackman – a profileª July 9, 2017 - Nailah Blackman: Calypsonian and soca artist • Trinidad and Tobago • Born 1997 Living in the shadow of a music icon parent has its dividends — or not, if one is to gauge the relative minor successes of Jakob Dylan, James McCartney, and Julian Lennon — if the DNA for talent and the potential for … Continue reading Nailah Blackman – a profileª
A Prologue to an Island Opus – Carnival: The Sound of a People at Queen’s Hall¹ January 22, 2017 - In the heat and heart of the Carnival fête season when “we doh business”, Etienne Charles will allow us to imagine what creole intelligence sounds and looks like. On Sunday January 29, he will debut and preview at the Queen’s Hall selections of his newest extended piece—a planned 3-CD length oratorio—called Carnival: The Sound of … Continue reading A Prologue to an Island Opus – Carnival: The Sound of a People at Queen’s Hall¹
Destra launches her concert, QUEEN, to media¹ January 18, 2016 - Destra Garcia launched the second edition of her concert QOB Wednesday, this year entitled Queen, at a news conference at the Digicel box at the Queen’s Park Oval. The event will take place on the Wednesday before Carnival, February, 3 at O2 Park in Chaguaramas, and include a number of female “Queens” as special guests … Continue reading Destra launches her concert, QUEEN, to media¹
A riff on Raf! (Expanded) December 5, 2015 - It all started with the theme song for a radio programme on 610 AM Radio in the late 1990s. A mid-day current affairs talk show with a female hostess and call-in section. I can’t remember the name, but it always piqued my interest, not solely because of the topics, but because of that damn theme … Continue reading A riff on Raf! (Expanded)
Ah Comin’ Home! December 2, 2015 - Etienne Charles’ Creole Christmas returns the native gaze to local audiences. Derek Walcott in his Nobel lecture back in 1992 posited a view of how tourists see the Caribbean: “Winter adds depth and darkness to life and literature and in the unending summer of the tropics not even poverty or poetry…seems capable of being profound … Continue reading Ah Comin’ Home!
Juliet Robin: a profile¹ July 17, 2015 - My editor at the T&T Guardian newspaper has recently pushed me towards profiling unheralded musicians in this country deserving of wider accolade, and that investigative direction has shone a light on not only the varied and vast talent pool on the islands, but the range of milieus within which our artists perform and eke out … Continue reading Juliet Robin: a profile¹
Providence Browne: Adventures in Fluteboxing and other Asian travel delights¹ June 26, 2015 - What do you get when a skilled flautist decides he wants to enhance a performance with simultaneous vocal percussion? Flutebox, a portmanteau word blending the elements of flute and beatbox, and, though not unique or original to musician Providence Brown, a skill that made him a sought after performer in South East Asia where this … Continue reading Providence Browne: Adventures in Fluteboxing and other Asian travel delights¹
The beatification of Monk Monté, or how Machel Montano, the brand, is omnipotent in Trinidad¹ March 3, 2015 - Trinidad Carnival 2015, from a music standpoint, was dominated by one name: Machel Montano. Trinidadians opted for one or more of his dozen new songs as anthems for fervent frolic. They were also inundated with the news of a re-invention of the Machel Montano brand into Monk Monté, the vessel for the “Movement Of New … Continue reading The beatification of Monk Monté, or how Machel Montano, the brand, is omnipotent in Trinidad¹
Contemplating genius one panyard at a time February 25, 2015 - How can one contemplate genius? How does one recognise that savant quality in gifted musicians? Here in the “Third World” of foreigners’ fantasies, the reputations of communities have been placed on the shoulders of political giants, on the shoulders of criminals, on the shoulders of cricket captains and steelpan arrangers. For this Carnival 2015, I … Continue reading Contemplating genius one panyard at a time
I Am Élan Parlē: A declaration of Independence November 26, 2013 - Liner notes for élan parlē’s 2013 CD, I Am Élan Parlē In 2000, I was living in the US capital, Washington DC, some five hours driving south on the I-95 from the mecca of Caribbean–American cultural existence, New York, and five hours flying north from Trinidad; remote, yet within reach. Howard University, Georgia Avenue, the … Continue reading I Am Élan Parlē: A declaration of Independence
An American in Paradise: The sense of Belonging of Andy Narell April 24, 2013 - American pannist and composer Andy Narell is an iconoclast who fearlessly challenges the narrow definitions of acceptable pan music. He is global, and his usefulness as an ambassador for our national instrument is tainted by suspicion long held by panmen and the pan fraternity in general here. It may be an attitude of his own making. … Continue reading An American in Paradise: The sense of Belonging of Andy Narell
Never Look Back: Brownman Ali and jazz life in Toronto April 13, 2013 - A couple months ago, I reached out to Brownman Ali, Trinidad-born trumpeter working out of Toronto, and here for a couple dates with Sean Thomas and BJ Saunders, to discuss Toronto and its jazz scene. I got no response until just yesterday evening, Friday 12 April. Coincidentally, my column on the subject came out in … Continue reading Never Look Back: Brownman Ali and jazz life in Toronto
David Richards: A Musical Director with a difference propels Gerelle Forbes to new heights December 9, 2011 - I had the pleasure on the evening of Saturday, December 3 to hear a performance by singer Gerelle Forbes in a Christmas concert at Fiesta Plaza, Movie Towne. What popped out to me as a producer of the series SONGBIRDS…live™, was the overall linked theme of the production that lent an air of professionalism and … Continue reading David Richards: A Musical Director with a difference propels Gerelle Forbes to new heights
Jesse Ryan: A New Jazz “Superstar” December 9, 2011 - Jesse Ryan is humble to a fault, but his talent, even at his young age and admittedly juvenile academic level is profound, enticing the ears of those who listen with the phrasing and improvisatory ideas of an old soul. I had the pleasure of hearing this student of jazz—a Berklee undergraduate intermittently returning to the … Continue reading Jesse Ryan: A New Jazz “Superstar”
ON BEING FIRST: “BOOGSIE” AND THE EVOLUTION OF PAN November 29, 2011 - Liner notes for Boogsie’s new CD, A Tribute To the Mighty Sparrow: Len ”Boogsie” Sharpe on the PHI Len “Boogsie” Sharpe has reached a point in his career where accolades are superficial. He is that temperamental genius who can compose in his head without the enhanced skill of an academy-trained musician, the scores for up … Continue reading ON BEING FIRST: “BOOGSIE” AND THE EVOLUTION OF PAN
Play One for Dave Marcellin: An Obituary April 29, 2011 - Today, Friday 29 April after the joy of the “Trey Songz experience”, an artist I was admittedly initially unaccustomed with, but whose performance and stagecraft I was greatly impressed with, came the news via a SONGBIRD that word was spreading of the passing of Dave Marcellin. At 2:00 a.m. in the morning, Facebook pages were … Continue reading Play One for Dave Marcellin: An Obituary
Etienne Charles & Folklore: Jazz…with a West Indian Accent January 12, 2011 - “…Etienne Charles exhibits both an authentic preservation of the music of his native culture of Trinidad as a composer and bandleader, while broadening our scope of understanding through the collaborative sound of American jazz as it meets new colors, new textures, and new motifs across the world. It will certainly bring more of our public … Continue reading Etienne Charles & Folklore: Jazz…with a West Indian Accent
Karl Doyle: The Brand New Heavy April 10, 2010 - Tuesday, April, 6, was the date of a fascinating event in the calendar of jazz performances here in Port of Spain. Karl Doyle, along with his business partner Jean-Marc Aimey hosted the second jam session of their weekly Jazz & Fusion Tuesdays @ La Casa de Ibiza that featured young lion musicians, saxman and flautist … Continue reading Karl Doyle: The Brand New Heavy


MENU:: CD + Concert Reviews | Artist Appreciation + Interviews

cdreview-tag

creolesoulCD REVIEW: The electric ascendence of Etienne Charles – Creole Soul¹

by Nigel A. Campbell on August 6, 2013

With his simple declaration to this writer, “sound is my art…I just try to create,” Trinidadian jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles puts into context his role of creator and producer in relation to his latest recording Creole Soul, out now on Culture Shock Music and distributed in North America by RED/Sony Music Entertainment…
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ruth-cd2CD REVIEW: The evolution of Ruth Osman – Letting Go¹

by Nigel A. Campbell on July 27, 2013

Ruth Osman launched her debut CD, “Letting Go” on the first weekend in July in a pair of spectacularly produced concerts at the Little Carib Theatre. Those concerts set a new benchmark for these kinds of events here, and one wishes that all CD launches operate at this level of professionalism where production value is honoured…
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apriljazz-thumbApril is Jazz Month in Trinidad too¹

by Nigel A. Campbell on April 10, 2013

In a month of many entertainment options labelled “jazz”, the first weekend showcased some of the best music performances heard in these parts for a while. April has been recognised as Jazz Appreciation Month in the United States via the Smithsonian along with the UNESCO sponsored International Jazz Day culminating at month’s end with global jazz events including Trinidad….
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yearend-reviewsHigh Notes and a Bright Future: 2012, a Year in TT Jazz¹

by Nigel A. Campbell on January 6, 2013

In the dwindling days of 2012 when there was a hubbub over the creative industries and the planned state enterprise model for its growth, we had the pending fall-out over the government’s counter-strategy of using its favoured soca son to drive the local music industry…
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davidrichards-thumb3 Bass’d on Drums – Love & Music: A Concert Review (May 26, 2012)

by Nigel A. Campbell on June 2, 2012

David Richards, a young Wynton Marsallis look-a-like, made a precocious start to his career as a headliner and producer in the live context. His recent production Bass’d on Drums; Love & Music showcased his arranging, composing and performing skills…
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saints-cds CD REVIEW: The Saints go marching in! The new recordings of Reginald Cyntje and Victor Provost…

by Nigel A. Campbell on April 29, 2012

Trombonist Reginald Cyntje (pronounced sin-chee) and pannist Victor Provost represent, to me, an opportunity to understand the connection between Caribbean jazz and the USVI as a locus of the New World African music…
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vaughnette-thumbShades of Vaughnette: A Concert Review (November 12, 2011)

by Nigel A. Campbell on November 15, 2011

Vaughnette Bigford, forever in my mind, a SONGBIRD, delivered a magnum opus with her sold-out production “Shades of Vaughnette: The concert experience” at the Naparima Bowl in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago that can serve as a template for singers…
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kaiso_etienneCD REVIEW: Etienne Charles say kaiso! Jazz and the West Indian Word.

by Nigel A. Campbell on October 29, 2011

In 3 days in March 2010, Etienne Charles and his group of young American musicians created a new masterpiece, a 70 minute ode to the majesty of Calypso and its music called kaiso
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marissa-thumbJAOTG 2011: WASA Grounds Transformed…and then some: A Concert Review (April 9, 2011)

by Tony Bell on April 17, 2011

Now that the music is over on the ninth edition of Production One Ltd.’s Jazz Artists on the Greens, much can be said about the performances on the stages—and there are many deserving accolades…
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jaotg11-thumbJazz Artists on the Greens 2011: Come Early, Stay Long!

by Nigel A. Campbell on December 19, 2009

This weekend’s ninth edition of Jazz Artists on the Greens at WASA Greens on April 9 looks promising on a number of fronts. One, new location. In a space more associated with “fete ’til you wet” carnivalisms, Production One Ltd., has made a concession for more space…
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germaine-thumbA Songbird takes flight: SONGBIRDS…live takes off: A Concert Review (December 2, 2009)

by Tony Bell on December 19, 2009

The female voice has taken centre stage in the series, SONGBIRDS…live™, produced by Production One Ltd., that culminated on December 02, 2009 with Germaine Wilson…
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folklore-etienneYoung lions of TT Jazz

by Nigel A. Campbell on August 12, 2009

For the first three weekdays in August, young lions in the sphere of jazz music in Trinidad preened and pointed the way for musicians of other genres and generations to duplicate. On Monday, Aug 3, Etienne Charles launched his new CD Folklore at a listening party at the jazz-themed restaurant, Satchmo’s in Woodbrook…
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interview-tag

narell-thumbAn American in Paradise: The sense of Belonging of Andy Narell

by Nigel A. Campbell on April 24, 2013

American pannist and composer Andy Narell is an iconoclast who fearlessly challenges the narrow definitions of acceptable pan music. He is global, and his usefulness as an ambassador for our national instrument is tainted by suspicion long held by panmen and the pan fraternity in general here….
top



brown-thumbNever Look Back: Brownman Ali and jazz life in Toronto

by Nigel A. Campbell on April 13, 2013

A couple months ago, I reached out to Brownman Ali, Trinidad-born trumpeter working out of Toronto, and here for a couple dates with Sean Thomas and BJ Saunders, to discuss Toronto and its jazz scene. I got no response until just yesterday evening, Friday 12 April…
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davidrichards-thumb4David Richards: A Musical Director with a difference propels Gerelle Forbes to new heights

by Nigel A. Campbell on December 9, 2011

I had the pleasure on the evening of Saturday, December 3 to hear a performance by singer Gerelle Forbes in a Christmas concert at Fiesta Plaza, Movie Towne…
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jesse-thumbJesse Ryan: A New Jazz “Superstar”

by Nigel A. Campbell on December 9, 2011

Jesse Ryan is humble to a fault, but his talent, even at his young age and admittedly juvenile academic level is profound, enticing the ears of those who listen with the phrasing and improvisatory ideas of an old soul. I had the pleasure of hearing this student of jazz…
top


boogsie-thumbON BEING FIRST: “BOOGSIE” AND THE EVOLUTION OF PAN

by Nigel A. Campbell on November 29, 2011

Len “Boogsie” Sharpe has reached a point in his career where accolades are superficial. He is that temperamental genius who can compose in his head without the enhanced skill of an academy-trained musician, the scores for up to eight mini-symphonies for large steelpan orchestras…
top


marcellin-thumbPlay One for Dave Marcellin: An Obituary

by Nigel A. Campbell on May 4, 2011

Today, Friday 29 April after the joy of the “Trey Songz experience”, an artist I was admittedly initially unaccustomed with, but whose performance and stagecraft I was greatly impressed with, came the news via a SONGBIRD that word was spreading of the passing of Dave Marcellin…
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etienne-thumbEtienne Charles & Folklore: Jazz…with a West Indian Accent

by Nigel A. Campbell on January 12, 2011

On a too small stage perched too high for comfort in the courtyard of his alma mater, Etienne Charles delivered the second part of his prodigal return to Trinidad and Tobago. Delivering his suite of music influenced and enriched by the folklore of these islands…
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karl-thumbKarl Doyle: The Brand New Heavy

by Nigel A. Campbell on April 10, 2010

Tuesday, April, 6, was the date of a fascinating event in the calendar of jazz performances here in Port of Spain. Karl Doyle, along with his business partner Jean-Marc Aimey hosted the second jam session of their weekly Jazz & Fusion Tuesdays @ La Casa de Ibiza that featured young lion musicians…
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