Machel Montano performs 'One More Time' and Bob Marley's 'Waiting In Vain' @ BBC's Maida Vale studios for Trevor Nelson's Live Lounge. We have known, since Machel was a child, that he was destined for wonderful things in the music business.
For this video, he shows his versatility by singing the classic Bob Marley song 'Waiting in Vain'. The piano man is wicked on this track and (just for the record) that is Kernal Roberts (son of the late Lord Kitchener)on the trap set carrying the rhythm.
Here is your opportunity to sit back and enjoy one of Trinidad and Tobago's 'sweeter than sugarcane" voices - Russel Leonce. We present his latest offering of a JJ film production of the song "Unchanging". The message is clear and the singing and presentation is as impressive as "Troubles won't last".
Not all local artistes put out work that can compare with that of the North American music videos - this one does! The blog "Santiwah" is pleased to bring you a son of the soil - the impressive Russel Leonce! The name of the song is worth repeating once again - "Unchanging".
I have to say this here and now, "Wonderful and a simply amazing song. The music that accompanys the song is so relaxing, so soothing that it just blends in with the vocals.... I am amazed with Russel Leonce's talent.... "Troubles won't last" and now "Unchanging". Simply put - Superb!
OK, so did you enjoy the new video? I am sure you did and just to keep the music of Russel in the air here again are the two songs that were mentioned/featured in this post:
Composer, arranger and steel drum performer from Trinidad, Ray Holman is perhaps the most talented proponent of his art form internationally.
Read the rest of Mr. Ray Holman's biography at this link: Biography
Ray Holman's DISCOGRAPHY
The six-track double CD includes an enhanced data disc featuring the music scores, composer profiles, as well as scorer and editor notes. The project was conceptualised by Mark Loquan, composed and scored by Ray Holman and Dr Jeannine Remy and executed by the UWI ensemble.
In Touch, Ray Holman tells us, reflects his "new-found freedom to explore genres other than steelband panorama music. He conceived the compositions as a combination of pan and tenor sax doubling the melody to create a texture of reed and steel.
Tribute to Ray Holman: Steelbands of Trinidad and Tobago
This compilation of perhaps Holman’s best compositions for the steel band is a must in any collection. From the memorable Pan Woman to the insistent My Band, the CD is almost a biography of Holman’s elegant and lyrical arrangements.
Pan On The Move
The Humboldt Calypso Band
In addition to several of his Panorama tunes, the Humboldt Calypso Band, founded in 1986, performs two original selections composed by Ray Holman during his residency in the band’s home town of Arcata, California. [more]
Reid, Wright & be Happy
Ron Reid, Orville Wright & David "Happy" Williams
This gem of an album features a mellow jazz version of Holman’sPan on the Move. Expertly interpreted, with Ron Reid on pans, Orville Wright on piano and David “Happy” Williams on bass, the tune's lyrical styles shows Holman at his best.
Burnin' Miami University Steel Band
Once again Ray Holman’s music is included on a new release from Ramajay Records featuring the Miami University Steel Band. This latest release contains fresh originals from Holman, Tom Miller and the groups director, Chris Tanner.
Ray Holman joins the Pan Ramajay band both as a performer and composer on its second release. The composition was written specifically for Pan Ramajay, with its special brand of music that the LA Weekly calls "Steel drume excitement."
Pan On The Move
The Chabot Panhandlers
This debut CD of the Chabot Panhandlers features two Ray Holman compositions, Mariella’s Dance and Since You’ve Gone. It also includes a variety of musical styles. The title track is, a Super Blue compositon arranged by Len “Boogsie” Sharpe.
The Chabot Panhandlers
Skillfully performances of six Ray Holman compositions, Steel Band Bacchanal, Sad Song for a Pan Man, Woodbrook Jam, and a medley of three (Sockin’ It With Steel, Pan On The Move, Panyard Vibrations). Jim Munzenrider directs the band and Tom Miller is the producer.
A Special Brew
Steelbands of T&T
This CD is a compilation that features one of Holman’s sweetest panorama compositions, Special Brew, with its slow build of momentum and orchestration. Carib Tokyo gives the composition the dramatic effect it deserves.
Garfield Blackman, 6 Oct. '41, Trinidad; previously known as Lord Shorty) Soca artist, composer; widely credited as principal architect of soca, defining it as: 'not a combination of soul and calypso, but a combination of East Indian and African rhythms' to create a 'totally Trinidadian sound ... a dougla rhythm', 'the soul of Trinidad, not soul as in American soul, but the soul of calypso' (quotes from '95 interview with Harold Pysadee in cable TV show Culture Share; dougla means of East Indian and African parentage). Raised in Lengua village in South Trinidad, a community largely of East Indian descent. He arranged for steel bands late '50s, began singing calypso '62 with East Indian infl.: songs 'Long Mango' (greeted with derision), 'Sixteen Commandments' '63 (more successful), 'Indian Singers' '66 (better still). Turned to calypso full time '67 (fired from job as a joiner); reached National Calypso Monarch final '68; crowned San Fernando's King of the Calypso World '70. 'Indrani' was a hit '72.
He developed a sexual image as 'Shorty -- The Love Man', was charged with indecency for presentation of 'The Art Of Making Love' in Calypso Monarch final '73 (charge was dropped). Early LPs incl. Gone, Gone, Gone, Love Man, Love In The Caribbean. Concerned that reggae would eclipse calypso in popularity, he turned to soca to revitalize it, recorded his first soca song 'Soul Calypso Music' '73 (in Toronto, Canada), incl. in Endless Vibrations '74 on his own Shorty label, co-arranged by Ed Watson, followed by Sweet Music '76, adding Earl Rodney to arrangers. Then he went bankrupt, but came back with Sokah, Soul Of Calypso '77 on Semp, arr. by Shorty and Frankie Callender (spelling 'sokah' reflected East Indian influence). Shocked by Maestro's death, he rejected a self-confessed five- year orgy of the flesh '78, reinterpreted 'love man' to more universal image.
Soca Explosion '79 on Charlie's incl. 'Soca Fever', 'Shanti Om' (a Hindu prayer in soca), political commentary 'Money Eh No Problem'. Hits '79 incl. 'Young And Moving On', sung by 14-year-old daughter Abbi Blackman, 'Don't Stop Dancing', by eleven-year-old O. C. Blackman; We Have Love '79 on Soca Productions was family album by Shorty and his Home Circle. 'Plant De Land' and 'Soca Man Scrunt' were 12]im[ single '80; he became a Rastafarian, changed his name, took his children out of school, went bankrupt '81: Ras Shorty I and his Home Circle appeared at Kingdom of the Wizards calypso tent '81, moved to Piparo in a remote part of Trinidad, developed slow soca/reggae/gospel fusion called jamoo (Jehovah's music); returned to public performing '84 with his Love Circle, LP Jamoo -- The Gospel Of Soca on Straker's. Declared in press early in '89 Carnival season that he was praying for O. C. Blackman to return to his spiritual fold in Piparo after O. C. had become a heart-throb by performing the popular Carib beer jingle 'Move On' on TV and radio; during that season Shorty I performed new songs incl. 'Watch Out My Children' (hailed as one of his best) in Calypso Expo tent.
Emerged from his Piparo sanctuary '92 to chastise calypsonians in 'Dat Eh Good Enough' for debasing soca by singing only 'jam and wine' (inane party lyrics); the following season Mighty Sparrow responded in picong (trad. art of heckling, teasing, cleverly make fun of) in 'The More The Merrier'. Re-entered Calypso Monarch contest '93, presenting 'Change Yuh Attitude' and 'Kongo Tay' to judges; but was surprised not to make semi-finals: said he was hurt, but accepted it as God's will; failed to make semi-finals again '94. Prod. and arr. album Respect Woman '96 on JMC with the Love Circle incl. song 'Latrine Sisters', an attack on contemporary soca artists and their lyrical content (band Rukshun replied '97 with their 'Ta Ta'); wrote hits 'Sokah Chutney Parang' '96 and 'Spicy And Peppery' '97 for Leon Coldero. Lord Shorty -- The Collection -- Who God Bless '87 on Carotte compiled key tracks.
When Garfield Blackman aka Lord Shorty coined the word Sokah to describe his music (a fusion of East Indian music and Calypso) do you believe that the other experimentations done by people like King Wellington (Russo Funk) were similar? Please also add in Shadow and anyone from the rest of the Caribbean region. Now if the argument is that Calypso is the common denominator in the discussion does it mean that all fusions of music with Calypso as the core are the same? I know I already asked a few questions but that is just the problem... there are so many questions being asked with few answers forthcoming. The question of what is Soca seems to be causing great dismay among people from the Caribbean region outside Trinidad and Tobago.
I believe that the problem at hand is one of labeling. I am not musically inclined to be able to analyze music and be able to say because of some form of drum instrumentation a certain music track can be considered soca. I don't even know where to begin. However, common sense dictates that since Shorty coined the word Sokah that was mistakenly reported as Soca in the press when the Ivor Ferreira examined his (Shorty's) new music then the music that Shorty created and named Sokah is indeed his 'Soca'.
Now I know folks will be against this because they will say he was not the only person who created the music and that is correct to a point. The music that is labeled Soca today is not the same music that Shorty created and that can be easily discerned when you listen to his work. However, Shorty himself changed the music so that it would not sound too Indian and in effect appease those whom were critical of the original music. He stated that he put the rhythm of the Indian beat on the drum set and at that time there was still opposition to the style of music with the percussion people wanting to do "their own thing". As I said, he did not do it by himself (no man is an island) and there are many artists throughout the Caribbean region whom are still adding to the music.
So in the end even if you don't believe that the music that is called Soca today was created by Shorty that is your opinion but remember opinions are meaningless without the facts to support them. Shorty named his music Sokah and the World followed and called it Soca. It is unfortunate that everything else is labeled Soca today... that is not Shorty's fault and it is sad that he is not around to defend his creation. Just maybe those who want to put ownership of the music elsewhere should rename the music and move on but we know that will not happen. Take note because we must remember that 'Who Jah Bless No Man Curse'. 'So Watch Out My Children' because the detractors may soon lay claim to Jamoo music or state that it existed long before Shorty named it!
The following post is a reprint from the blog Santimantay and is presented here with permission from the site owner. The post is presented on Santiwah because it appears that because of the general elections being contested presently the race card is being played once again by both politicians and members of the public. It is quite apparent that this mental slavery still has a strangle hold on the populace. If we can think as Trinidadians then India and Africa and the tribal wars that follow will be negated. The post is about music but it could very well have been about how the races interact with each other. This post was originally posted on 1/28/08.
Here is the original post:
We like to boast that Trinidad and Tobago is a cosmopolitan society where there is love and harmony. ‘We overs the race thing and all ah dat’ can be heard from most Trinidadians. We love each other so much, “look at the amount ah lil Douglas running around De Land”. If that is the case, can someone please tell me about the transformation that takes place during the call of elections when the country becomes divided between political parties and race?
My recollection tells me that the only party that was able to bridge that gap was the National Alliance for Reconstruction. In the end the same issues of race and a major Island upheaval brought on by the Jamaat al Muslimeen brought an end to the experiment.
Can someone tell me why Kaiso is the culture of Trinidad but some other types of music created by Trinidadians in Trinidad is not considered “we culture”. Ras Shorty I was the innovator and creator of the Chutney art form that is now dominated by the East Indian sector of the society yet still it is not considered the ‘culture of Trinidad’. I had a very heated discussion about this subject with a colleague in the WACK radio 90.1 FM forum and he put up an excellent case showing why he does not consider Chutney the culture of Trinidad. One of the problems he noted was that he could not consider it his culture because he could not understand Hindi/Bhojpuri; he was not biased with his contribution considering he also put Parang in the same category. As you can tell it was not about race but about his inability to understand that which was said in the songs.
When I reconsider my colleague's argument and the totality of his discourse I must give him credit for his take on the subject. However, if Chutney and our Spanish version of caroling do not belong to us then who gets the credit? Chutney has Soca and Indian music as its parents. Soca is the 'soul of Calypso' and Parang, as we know it, is unique to Trinidad. So the question must be asked here, whose culture is it? Not because one sector of the society gravitates to Chutney more than the other does not mean that it should not be considered the culture of Trinidad and Tobago. It belongs to every citizen bearing that symbol of nationality. The same can be said for Parang and its seasonal stature. Northern and deep South Trinidad do not belong to people of African ancestry just as Central Trinidad does not belong to people of East Indian ancestry. We have a cosmopolitan society that has been influenced by many factors. Is the Carnival of Trinidad unique, bet yuh bottom dollar that it is, but it was the French who introduced it to the Island so does it belong to France? Hell no, I don’t think so pardna!
We can look at the Culture of Trinidad from different angles and because of our ancestry we may have a slanted view of what our culture is and is not. I grew up in Arima and, as a result, my experiences were different from someone growing up in Central Trinidad or from the deep Southern region. The Douglas constantly asks which side do they belong to, the African side and as such should gravitate to Calypso and the steel band that was invented by people of African ancestry or should they choose the Indian side and fall in love with Chutney music. I choose not to bury my head in the sand and confuse my short time on this earth. As far as I am concerned the music is unique and no one else can lay claim to it. Soca revolutionized Calypso and now the Chutney beat is in everything. Chutney was the creation of one Ras Shorty I, a person of African ancestry!
It is the music of Trinidad, if you can’t understand Hindi or Spanish no big deal, I am absolutely certain that you will shake and move to the beat. That is the real deal, that is why it is our Culture and unique to us – Trini 2D Marrow music. Don’t you ever question it because one day someone from another land will claim it as theirs – what would you do or say when that time comes? Trust me it will happen one day!
There has been so much talk about Soca music and how it will conquer the World. Yes we love Soca music but then again I am from the Caribbean and grew up listening to Calypso. The music has changed and has morphed into Soca thanks to the efforts of Garfield Blackman aka Lord Shorty and many others. However the rest of the World don't know about Soca music and if you watch this video you will understand that most Americans don't have a clue what Soca music is... As a matter of fact they have never heard of it - amazing? Well not really. I have lived in the United States for 20 years and apart from the West Indian communities the rest of the American public don't know or don't care about our music unless they are going on vacation to the islands. Enough of that but I guess by now you understand how I feel about the subject.
One of the problems, as I see it, is that we are not selling the right type of Soca music to the rest of the World. Power Soca is for the Caribbean however, for the US and rest of the World the emphasis has to be on Groovy Soca. Until we recognize this fact we will continue to "spin top in mud". Now let's take a look at the trailer for this documentary.
This groundbreaking documentary on the music of Trinidad and Tobago examines how the artists of this small twin Island nation plan to conquer the international market and promote their music to the world. Distributed by Tubemogul.
Heather Headley is a Trinidad born R&B Gospel artist who recently won her first Grammy Award for the Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album: Audience Of One - Heather Headley [EMI Gospel]. This award will be added to her Tony Award that she won in 1998 for her portrayal as the Nubian princess in Disney's Aida. Here is the link to her official website: Heather Headley Homepage
Carnival 2010 came to the shores of Trinidad and Tobago without Machel Montano gracing the stage. People were very upset that he chose not to perform at carnival this year. However, that did not mean that we were without new music from Machel. Indeed the talent of the man reigns supreme in the World of Soca music where everyone knows that Machel Montano is the Boss! Listen up as Machel talks about his decision not to perform for carnival this year and his plans for the future. The video provided here is from YouTube and was done by Trinijunglejuice.com. Enjoy!
Exclusive interview with the Taipan of Soca, Machel Montano HD, at Jazz in the Gardens 2010. South Florida. Sunday March 21st, 2010. Find out why Machel decided to skip the TnT Carnival 2010 season? What's on the horizon for Mr. HD? Who's Machel collaborating with? And much more...
First single from the forthcoming album "Planet Pit"! Pitbull and Machel Montano perform "ALRIGHT" live at the Calle Ocho 2010! The Calle Ocho is considered to be one of the largest Hispanic Festivals in the United States and takes place Southwest 8th St. between 11th and 27th Avenues in Miami to throngs of music lovers - people who like to party! This video is hot and the women featured in the clip burn up the screen - Enjoy!