Tag Archives: Calypso

Puttin’ Yo Self in People Mouth

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 18, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeJudith Reyes is my neighbor. Our parents lived in the same spot for over eighty years. Neighbors thought our mothers were sisters. Judith’s brother Giles and I live like brothers. We have never quarreled with each other.

Every morning when I am in Trinidad Judith sends me a cup of porridge with prunes in it. She makes it clear that she is not doing that for me. Rather, she is doing this for my mother who she reminds me was my protector. She says: “Yo’ know how much candles yo’ mother light for you at Mt. St. Benedict?”
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Makeda Darius crowned NWAC National Calypso Queen

Makeda Darius’ response, in song, to Prof Selwyn Cudjoe’s claim that the late Sat Maharaj reminded him of US civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr, earned her the National Women Action Committee’s (NWAC) National Calypso Queen crown. Her piece was entitled, No Martin.
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Salute the London clan

By Raffique Shah
March 09, 2019

Raffique ShahHaving written last week that I did not see the successors to Sparrow and other icons in the pantheon of great calypsonians of Trinidad and Tobago, hence of the world, I think I must be man enough to apologise to the London family, three of whom won the four most prestigious calypso titles at stake this year.

Uncle Brian, who composed the winning songs for nephews Ronaldo and Rivaldo, beat a formidable field (Gypsy, Myron B, Black Sage) to take the ex-tempo crown convincingly, having failed on several previous occasions. Ever since his entry into the calypso arena sometime during the first decade of the Millennium, Brian has consistently maintained high standards as a composer and singer. He was selected for the monarch finals on five occasions (1st runner-up in 2010), and the ex-tempo finals more than that.
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Thanks for the lyrics and music, Sparrow

By Raffique Shah
February 28, 2019

Raffique ShahIt was a moment of sheer serendipity last Friday night. My wife Rosina and I had just watched the television news, and, scanning the local stations for some Carnival-related activity but finding nothing of interest, I resorted to YouTube for some good music that would take us to bedtime, around ten o’clock.
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Chalkdust, calypso must change or die

By Raffique Shah
February 16, 2018

Raffique ShahDear Chalkie,

I rarely respond to critics of views I express in my column, unless, like you, I hold them in high regard. Just as I enjoy the freedom to criticise public figures within the bounds of decency, I respect others’ right to respond to my opinions when we disagree, or even when they distort facts and resort to abuse.
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Death of calypso tents

By Raffique Shah
January 30, 2018

Raffique ShahThey looked pathetic, three of the leading calypsonians in the country—Chalkdust, Sugar Aloes and Pink Panther—as they begged the Government for a “mere half-a-million-dollars” to operate the Calypso Revue tent over the three-week Carnival season. Admitting that they had already received $100,000 funding that was woefully inadequate, the top bards invoked the name, memory and legacy of the great Lord Kitchener, who founded the Revue 55 years ago. For Kitchener’s sake, they pleaded, grant us the half-a-mil.
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Funding culture vultures

By Raffique Shah
January 11, 2018

Raffique ShahThe Government missed a good opportunity to impress upon the population the gravity of the country’s economic circumstances, and consequently the dire need for all segments of society to make sacrifices on the expenditure side of the equation, when it capitulated by doling out millions of taxpayers’ dollars to fund private promoters whose sole interest in Carnival is to profit off it.
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Interlude with Rudder and Tanker

By Raffique Shah
January 02, 2018

Raffique ShahSerendipity often steals upon you in strange ways. I was about to shut down my computer last Wednesday night when, in my e-mail inbox, I saw a post by Lasana Liburd alerting me to a video interview he had conducted with David Rudder. I respect Liburd for maintaining high standards on his Wired868 blog, and for me, Rudder is a peerless trailblazer who attempted to usher in a new era in calypso music in 1986.
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Taking calypso to the next level

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
October 26, 2015

Dr. Kwame NantambuAs the Trinidad/Tobago United Calypsonians Association (TUCO) is currently celebrating “Calypso History Month”, it became supremely imperative for this writer, albeit lover of the calypso art form, to pen a few thoughts about the need to take the art form of calypso to the next ultimate international level.

Now, for the past umpteen decades and counting, the calypso genre has been posited within the local myopic confines of the Ministry of Arts and Culture.
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