Kaiso No 20 - March 8, 1999

Greetings from the Far North!  I am two weeks back from Trinidad and still trying to recover from another wonderful, exhausting trip where I tried to go non-stop but still got only a small portion of the things I wanted done.  I have plenty to talk about and plenty of folks to thank and apologies for all the things I couldn't squeeze in.  In fact, it is difficult to know where to begin as I try to draw various threads together.  Next issue I will try to list all the winning competitors if I can.  For now, it is easier to list some of the non-T&T info this time.

Dominica Calypso Monarch

The Dominican calypso crown was won this year by Brancker 'De Brakes' John with Keep The Candles Burning and Put De Brakes On Them. Second place at the Calypso Monarch Show was Derrick 'De Hunter' St Rose, who impressed with Kindler and Gentler Nation in which he called for a stop to violence and for love among all in the society, and Anything For A Dollar. I believe he was first last year.  Third place went to Andrew 'De Scrunter' Basil, whose We Ain't Voting Them Again, referred to the economic strain gripping the nation, was a big hit.  Cleve 'De Hurricane' Jean Jacques with a dramatic entry on stage on a donkey to sing Back To Our Roots was fourth.  Other competitors were Singing Sandy, Man Himself, Black Starliner, De Black Ghost, Lady Edna and Superior Castle.

Photos and info in the Dominica Chronicle, http://www.delphis.dm/thechronicle/990219.htm

Jamaica Independence Calypsos

I have been interested in independence calypsos for quite some time.  I was astounded yesterday to find out that an entire album of Independence Jump Up Calypsos issued in 1966 in Jamaica on Treasure Isle featuring Count Lasher, Lynn Taitt and Count Alert.  It is now being reissued on Jet Set 44435 and should be available shortly.


The all time winner of the St Vincent Road March, Becket, is the subject of a profile in the latest issue of the Soca News, the monthly magazine of the soca scene in England.



On March 23rd, Rounder releases another fine set of historic calypsos put together by John Cowley and Dick Spottswood and I haven't seen the last one, The Fall of Man, released in early February.

Various Artists, Roosevelt in Trinidad: Calypsos of Events, Places, and Personalities 1933-39, Rounder 1142.  Recordings of topical Trinidad calypsos became very popular during the 1930s.  A window on local circumstances, they also reflect contemporary attitudes towards international events.  Roosevelt in Trinidad contains 25 authentic calypsos digitally remastered for compact disc.

Keep those e-mail messages and news coming to the truly Frozen North.

Ray Funk

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