Monday, May 28, 2012

Impressions of Marley Jr Concert

Concert started at roughly 9.30pm with some warm-up Guyanese reggae singers, including Mystic who has so perfected the Jamaican accent and dialogue I didn't understand a word he said but the crowd rocked/reggaed away happily.
I looked into the VIP section- charge U$100 and saw mainly under 25yrs - the cool crowd and I wondered how many of them actually earned their ticket/pass?
The stage was International-worthy:

The concert seemed heavily subsidised ( U$15 for the general entry) but the turn-out was relatively poor - rather like the Feminition thing it  had a limited number of booths/stalls. Maybe the organisers had an inkling of this and organised the Stage outside the National Stadium- not expecting the thousands! For my part I was a bit surprised to stand for 4 hours, but if you think about it-- I did pay U$15!
Not unexpectedly the smell of marijuana saturated the air and people were openly smoking joints.  I was a bit sadden to see a 14/15yr old and his friend being led into the middle of the crowd by a decidedly dodgy-looking man and while the friend took an occasion puff from a spliff the boy reminded me of the youngsters at my last job in England where the idea was to get as high as possible as quickly as possible-- alcohol being the drug of choice. He and his dodgy mentor had large joints and were mutually lighting each other's and inhaling strongly- later the man concentrated on keeping the boy's joint lit. The boy began to look unsteady on his feet and a stumbled a bit - how the definition of 'having fun' has changed!  The young Police Officers on duty being used as tickets-collectors and to prevent people from breaching the VIP section.  Really a metaphor for the rich walling themselves off from the riff-raff?  Parents do you really know what your child is up to? I wonder in the current atmosphere of 'it's cool to do it', if they realise how many lost years will accrue? My druggie cousin finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel 'losing it' and stabbing someone for a relatively trivial matter - seems to me- rashness and lack of judgement is a side-effect.  Mr Marley at the beginning joked about weed and recommended it for those people feeling the stresses of Modern Life.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why it's exhausting to live in Guyana....3 - GPL

So brought to the edge of anxiety and depression as having work done in the house yesterday afternoon and got home to find a Power Cut. Was told that the area had a 'blackout' so didn't think anything of it until it got dark at 6pm and noticed that the Street Lights came on! A quick check with the neighbours revealed that they had 'lights'!! Rang GPL - Guyana's only electricity provider and got a fault-reporting number. After ringing my Girl Friday, it transpired that this month's bill went up 2.5 times the usual charge so we paid a higher amount but not the full amount and she was to query it. She remembers the line was too long and then the bill got filed away by mistake ten days ago.
Apparently GPL snucked in and cut off the electricity from the pole outside while I was at work without the courtesy of a notice or anything. Now, bear in mind, we pay regularly AND we paid more than the usual charges-- surely their accounts department should have some sort of system to see who the regular customers are? This is particularly annoying as the back of the office was rented while the meter was still in the Landlord's name-- again GPL have an ancient system that in order to change the meter- the new person has to apply so the option would be for the existing person to write and cut off the meter or wait until the new person applies-- this tenant had no intention of paying and left on the Air Conditioner--now if everything ran as per the domestic Customer- then GPL ought to have cut it off the following month- but instead the thing ran for 5 months non-stop when we virtually had to fight them to come and cut it off! Where is the uniformity then and why penalise your regular domestic customers? They can blatantly disregard the customer because they are the only company providing electricity.  The system sucks but the small man has no choice.

POSTSCRIPT: over 48hrs later got back electricity, here's what I learnt-
 AMANA makes superb refrigerators - only the milk in the refrigerator section spoilt- that I have discovered so far.
6 days after the Due Date your name is automatically sent to the Disconnection section if you have not paid in FULL.
you need to register a query no matter how long the line is as that apparently is the only way you can stop your name from going on the disconnection list!
the emergency crew does not apparently get the List from the disconnection section-- the departments are separate and don't communicate - and they do not do re-connections.
GPL don't care if you have to work and are not at home when the Meter Reader comes and the nice man who used to come on Sundays don't work anymore.
You can read your own meter and telephone in the results to them before the 14th of every month-- donkeys - that's why we get the Bills in the first week-- if that-- depending on the Guyana Post Office!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The City of No Limits - Spanish Film

A slow thought-provoking film about family secrets.
Victor, the youngest son  returns from Argentine to see his dying father at a hospital in Paris - the patriarch of a Pharmaceutical Company in Spain. The two older brothers and mother are deciding what to do with the company while Victor wants nothing to do with the business and so can be independent and indulge the old man with his dying wishes. He takes the time to notice that the old man is not taking his medication and seems obsessed with someone from the past. Victor begins to see the cold and nastier side of his mother and towards the end of the film snaps at her to leave the old man to die in peace.
A lot of family secrets are raked up while Victor humours his father and stumbles onto the main secret haunting his father. Rather interesting in light of the recent revelation (to the Christian Far Right) that the experiment to 'cure' homosexuals of their sexual orientation failed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Jasmine for a Gardener / Three Cards – Guyanese Pictures

Strange karmic events that would have these two films side-by-side – both of which were made last year.
The first - pure fantasy depending on the humour of the comic pair to infuse some reality, though of course trying to base on current affairs; and the second a more down to earth albeit exaggerated view of poverty forcing a desperate man to take a chance on gambling. Both I though reflected views of life in Guyana.
The first – Jasmine for a Gardener – was based on a 70’s style Bollywood-type film where the protagonists live an escapist affluent lifestyle, the comic Working-class pair, the ‘helpess’ heroine, the idealist hero, the gangster’s moll with a soft heart, the villain without redemption, and complete with ‘borrowed’ Playback songs from yesteryear in presumably Hindi.  So much for originality- but liked that they kept the moral of the Bad Guys get their Come-Upperance in the end!  However using it as a template I guess as a first effort it is useful to have something to follow. I totally liked the Guyanese twists  - the women in the film looked like Guyanese women apart from the horrible coloured contact lenses making them resemble Martians and over-exaggerated eye-shadow on 'big' occasions making they look like hookers- I totally liked the lead actress who represented a 'thick' Guyanese woman- complete with bust and belly- I give the director/producer/lead actor/location finder/music-picker and other roles too numerous to mention full marks for casting her although she was a bit 'wooden' in parts. Also well-cast was the actress who played 'Annie' the maid-- in my opinion, apart from a tendency to over-act-- and which one of us are not guilty of THAT in front of a camera?- she was the best actor/actress/actor-person in the film. She totally had me and the audience in the Jumbie scene-- I have tried since childhood to get the cross-eyed look and that girl kept it up for at least five minutes while saying lines-- I was impressed! Dimple was also credible/believable as the wronged woman getting stronger to inflict revenge-- it was a nice twist- though the part about 'music healing' belongs to the a couple of decades ago and reflected the archaic 'main man's view of the world'.
It was good to watch the film with a Guyanese audience as we enjoyed picking out the locations- Vreed-en-Hoop's Stelling, the Promenade Gardens (most of the filming), Splashmins... also enjoyable were the comments- like when she gets attacked in the Park and meets the hero for the first time-- they both walk away and forget about the bag--- most of the audience noticed and commented.
They say men have bigger egos - maybe it's a heredity thing to propel the world forward - I noticed most of the local men who acted attended the screening. They must have been gratified as the Theatre Guild was the fullest since the Film Festival started-- shame the EU people were farting around after it ended without announcing that Three Cards was going to start-- there was a 10/15 minute interval-- tedious on those of us who came straight from work by which time most people left.
In stark contrast-- the setting of the second film was a unpainted shack-- probably more familiar than the flashier settings of the first film-- I couldn't figure out if the child was suffering from Epilepsy-- she had fits but then later spat up blood- TB-- neither of which a 'pill' would stop/cure that the frantic father dropped down the sink which surprisingly had clear, running water which they drank directly from the tap -- I found that a bit unbelievable myself-- but I allowed for it being movie-world. Also stretching the imagination a bit was that the father had to raid the child's savings for the last three hundred dollars to buy another set of Pills which had just gone up in price-- he then decides to gamble on the famed three-card trick -- grabbing the money in desperation when he loses, getting chased, caught and beaten. I thought it a nice humourous touch that the beggarman gives him back his coins and a tip on how to win-- and wondered how come the beggarman didn't play and win heself?! Should really switch off my brain and suspend judgement when I watch these things. The acting was less wooden than the first.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Musings on Coloured People in Literature

At a recent lecture  Mr Tumbridge pointed out that the presence of coloured people in older published Literature who are not given a voice was significant - I didn't catch what about but for myself glad even of the mention. Sort of reminds me of  not seeing any Guyanese of Indian origin in the Newspapers when growing up so when there was one - usually some Brown-noser - it inevitably got my attention.
I was amused at Thackeray's unashamed mention of Sambo - the black servant caricatured in the beginning of Vanity Fair. A few Chapters later, the stockbroker father chides his wife, when she objects to the possibility of the scheming, lower-life Becky Sharp becoming her future daughter-in-law: " better she, my dear, than a black Mrs Sedly, and a dozen of mahogany children." (Son stationed in India)  Having grown up in Guyana where a distinction was made between the two major races, I smiled as I recalled my surprise at how we and everyone non-white were lumped together as 'black' in the eyes of the English in 1975 but later in 1983 there started to be a distinction of 'Asian'.
So I started 'One Thousand and One Nights' - thanks Project Gutenberg - and a few stories in-- apparently the  worse thing was - finding your chief wife and/or members of your Harem being serviced by the Black Slaves!!  Wow, middle-Eastern men as well as Occidental men feel threatened by Black Men? And is it that they are projecting their sexual insecurities and assuming Black men are better in bed - maybe the poor Black Men after being on the bottom Rung of the ladder of Success developed a more emphatic sympathy with the women and made better Lovers? I remember being furious reading about an inhibited man in Andrea Levy's 'Small Island' going off to India and feeling the freedom to explore his sexual desires with the native women- where presumably they didn't count but it didn't change his narrow-mindedness when he returned to London and I was glad the writer had him cuckolded with a Black Man.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Refurbished Celine's

Celine's - a nice beachfront bar, illegally built in the middle of the Sea Defences while the Government stood by shaking their hands and mumbling in a corner, decided to upgrade their premises sometime last year.
As with the rest of the Noveau Riche - aesthetics is not a consideration. A pleasant open area has now been replaced by a concrete monstrosity and patrons are required to walk down and around a couple of hexagonal concrete structures.  The visitors I took asked me what they were for and I couldn't figure it out myself.  The concrete monstrosity is apparently a night-club-- the mostly-unemployed youth must be grateful for all the Night-spots popping up all over the place-- none like the Trinidadian ones who tend to utilize the outdoors. I suppose this one must be the nearest one in that the revellers can presumably look at the Ocean?
Prices were a bit ridiculous -- a plate of Wantons costing as much as a plate of ChowMein AND a plate of Fish and Chips-- no menu with prices given for snacks.  Soft drinks were quite inflated but I guess they have to pay their staff somehow.  Good to know that Guyana is providing employment for the Chinese as I noticed Chinese cooks on my way to the seating area- however they were unable to provide Spring Rolls - a couple of the Waitresses discussing among themselves what that was.
I think I prefer the old set-up.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Christmas Story - Finnish Movie

Weird north-of-the-Planet humour wherein this was slated as a Children's Movie - I cried practically throughout the whole film- personally I would have rated it an R or X - for the emotional distress and only for mature audiences!  Mind you it seemed I was the only one in the sparsely-attended session to feel this way.  They seemed to have bussed in 10 Muslim girls - meant to ask if they were from an orphanage but was too embarrassed to be seen as so emotional so stalked out hurriedly at the end of the movie!  It started 15 minutes late, and it seemed another set of orphans were bussed in just after the lights were turned off and they had to stumble through in the dark.  Maybe Guyanese parents were savvy enough to protect their children but I don't think so-- after complaining there's no-where to take children inevitably whenever there is - there is little interest.
Anyway, the opening scene is little (5-6yr old) Nickolas's younger/baby sister is running a fever in the middle of Christmas Eve night and his parents wake him to say they are taking her to the doctor but would be back before the morning and will take a short-cut over the Ice and the last words of his mother was to finish the carving for his Baby sister (Nice choice for mother's Day EU!).  Next scene - a villager is at the house telling Nicholas on Christmas Day that his parents fell through the Ice and died with his sister; later on at the village council with him present, it is decided that as everyone is so poor themselves different families would look after him for a year - the day he changes residences being Christmas Day. Isaac, the presumably Jewish, travelling salesman suggests throwing him in the Lake after his parents. So he gets to become acquainted with all the children in the village and carves them a wooden toy and leaves it on the doorstep every Christmas. After the sixth year, tragedy hits the Village - the crops fail and there is very little fish to be found in the Lake. No family wants to take in Nicholas and he relates this to Isaac who wonders why no-one is buying anything for Christmas-- he sees Nicholas' carving and decides to take him in as an apprentice-- setting the boundaries with the re-naming of Master and Brat respectively. Nicholas proves to be a keen and adaptable lad and snucks into the Workshop at nights to continue carving toys for the children of the village using the discarded Wood. Isaac discovers his secret and grudgingly helps him- at the Lake where Nicholas drops in a gift for his dead sister - Isaac tells him that he lost his wife and his sons ran away to join the Navy-- after which Nicholas shacks up with Isaac until Isaac gets old and sends for his sons.  They come and he leaves with them-- he then leaves all his possessions, including the Workshop and his Life-savings for Nicholas who just lives for Christmas!
He is helped by his childhood's friend's daughter until he gets very old and then he disappears. Very morbid.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

In a Better World/The Revenge - Danish Film

Yesterday kicked off the European Film Festival at the aforementioned revived Theatre Guild.
Several universal themes were explored including the current one of Bullying in school - funny I never imagined that happening in 'safe' Denmark! It expanded to the question of dealing with violence in the wider world.
Elias is the much-picked-on child at school. He lives with his separated mother and younger brother. His father is a peace-loving, let's-talk-about-it Swede who works part-time in a refugee Camp in Sudan. Both parents are doctors. Anton the father notices the frequency of emergencies concerning pregnant women having their bellies slit-- and has been told that a local 'Big Man' makes bets with his crew about the sex of the child and then slits the pregnant woman's belly to check who won the bet. I wondered if it was a metaphor for when the men purposely damage women's vaginas after/during rape in Africa and cause them suffer from fistulas and continuous incontinence-- saw the program on 60 Minutes but can't find online!
Elias' saviour at school is the new boy - intelligent, brooding Christian who is street-savvy and after beating up the local bully and threatening him with a knife to the throat, says contemptuously to his father 'You have to hit them hard the first time so they leave you alone' or something to that effect. There was a nice parallel with Anton being bullied/slapped while intervening between a quarrel over a swing with Elias' younger brother and the son of a local Ignar (ignorant person) - he sucks up the insult and loss of face in front of the boys and goes for a swim in a Lake to cool off.  The boys find out where the man works and can identify his vehicle and they tell Anton who goes to tell the man - a blue-collar worker - with the boys in tow that violence is not the answer and that he is not intimidated by him and gets a few more slaps for his pains.
As Luck would have it, when Anton returns to the Camp the Big Man is brought in with an injury and he treats him to the regret of the camp occupants and the local staff.   Later when a young woman dies on the makeshift operating bed the Big Man happens to be passing and laughs mockingly and says 'Small pussy, large knife-- which leads to my deduction above - and then makes a further derisive remark that one of his men would still enjoy having sex with the dead corpse -- mmm - don't know if I believe THAT as usually Bullies become cowards in the light of Day and without their posse around;  Anton had banished all weapons and only allowed Big Man to have two bodyguards. Anton loses it at this point and shouts at the two Bodyguards to leave, then drags to Baddie to the rest of the Camp who attack him with whatever they have.
Anton gets to his Lodgings and has a poor Internet connection with his now-distressed son Elias who is unwillingly following Christian to blow up the Mechanic's vehicle with a home-made bomb made from the Gunpowder from the old rockets they found in Christian's grandfather's barn. Now in the Real World Anton would be under attack from the Baddie's gang and/or the Refugee Camp would be under attack and burning down-- but in movie-world he just gets a peaceful night's sleep!
The boys plan to blow up the vehicle at 7am on a sunday morning when most sane people would be in their beds but of course a Lady and her young daughter decide to jog past the said car. Elias runs to warn them and gets injured-- really in the real world he would be dead - but this is a nice Scandinavian film without much gore. Considering Elias' mother works at the Hospital I thought her reaction was a bit over-wrought and she cruelly tells Christian he is a psycho (he is) and that he killed Elias.
The ending was a bit too pat but tied up all the loose ends nicely.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

36 Chowringhee Lane - Indian Picture

The age-old problems of eroding 'values' and expectations between the 'older' generation and the brasher youth.
Loneliness and increasing isolation makes an older Anglo-Indian teacher vulnerable to exploitation of an ex-student's boyfriend who wants to use her humble apartment for lover's trysts. They are careful to have everything  back in order by the time she gets back but I wondered about them using the woman's bed for sex and how come she didn't seem to notice? Maybe it's just me squeamish about such things, especially seeing that they go through the formal marriage arrangement later in the year - I thought starting connubial relations on someone else's used bedsheets would have been a major turnoff!
There were touches of humour with the teacher's cat being thrown in the bathroom as it inhibited action in the bedroom.
The teacher is touchingly grateful for inclusion in their company and gives up her beloved gramophone after obvious hinting, as a Wedding Present. The penny drops after she never hears back from them after the Wedding and they move on with their lives but she makes excuses and invites them over for Christmas as by now most of her Social Contact is gone-- I couldn't quite believe this part as this is usually where Churches come into their own - naturally they lie and buss she off. She naively bakes them the promised Christmas Cake and arrives to see a Party in full-swing with the prized gramophone the Star. The realization hits her hard and causes an Identity Crisis - earlier in response to a friend heading for greener pastures in Canada and then writing to say it was not a Bed of Roses by any means - she thinks out loud 'Why would anyone leave the country of their birth?' and implies why should they think it would be better anywhere else with 'strangers', but now with no family and being sidelined at Work it dawns on her that she is a old irrelevant relic from the Past.  I guess it is also a commentary that brash mercenary people 'get ahead' - my uncharitable non-Indian friends would say typical of the Indian personality but in fact it is a universal problem.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Perspectives on The First Crossing by Theophilus Richmond

A lecture by a rather earnest researcher in Indo-Caribbean migration was given last night at Moray House on some aspects of 'The First crossing' - the published newly-discovered diary of the ship's surgeon  He picked a couple aspects which slipped me while I read the book back in 2008 when it was launched--- will publish my then bookclub review --
The first was highlighting the presence of a Black person on board the Hesperus ( the first ship bring the 'indentured[slavery in a new form] Indians to the West Indies). He felt it was significant as it represented the first sighting/contact between the two major races in Guyana.  Also that the coloured people mentioned are on the margins and is it significant about who is allowed to speak for whom.  The Black 'Cabin boy' is mentioned in a fleeting sentence where he is abused for using the ship's surgeon's knife to clean a teapot - this in between the said surgeon waxing lyrical about the beauty of the Sea and Sky. I was amused that no parallels/similarities were drawn between the almost exact contempt for the native Indians in their Homeland while noticing Beauty in inanimate things. In fact, Mr Tumbridge was so delicate he demurred from mentioning the N word as the audience was predominantly Afro-Guyanese - shame most of the audience seemed not to have read the book - and avoided reading the description of African women.
The second major aspect that I had missed myself when I read the book was that relation between  Indentureship and the Opium Trade. Apparently Patna in Bihar in Northern India was the hub of the Production of the Opium that the British forced on the Chinese back in the day to make them become Addicts thus creating a demand for a product the Chinese would actually WANT to buy from the British so they could pay for the silks,tea and other goods THEY wanted from China-- mmm don't you just love the history of commerce? Mr Tumbridge thought the scale was so large he speculated whether that would have represented a 'push' factor for some of the migrants.
So here's my Review of the book back in 2008 complete with ranting tangents!

I thought this a good read from several points of view.

Like Vidya, I was appalled how 'Coolie' lives meant so little compared
to -we could be pc-correct and say European- but really - White lives,
and nowhere more than when the first Cholera victim on board gets
unceremoniously dumped overboard while there is a respectful ceremony
for the English (presumabably)sailor who succumbs (Makes me think of
the reporting of the current Iraq war- we only get to hear about the
American soldiers who die not the Iraqis!). Luckily that was near the
end but I did observe how he didn't 'notice' the native people except
for them to provide amusement and make disparaging remarks about
their 'absurd ceremonies'. It was fascinating for me to see how he
could visit India and still be totally immersed in English society-
appreciating the hospitality and not even noticing/caring about the
conditions of the Local people.

I liked his wry humour and his observations of places and am glad this
diary has been discovered and published and am amused by the irony that
it is more likely to be read by the descendants of the very same people
he doesn't notice than by the English! What a difference a couple of
centuries make!!

The Introduction was long but informative and I liked how it shows
clearly the way people were thought of as commodities and that even the
Indian Government, who ought to have been concerned for their citizens,
couldn't be bothered with  (relatively)small numbers of people. I wish every Indo-Guyanese would read this and understand that Guyana deserves their loyalty and not harken back to stupid Indian prejudices not relevalent to today - I am thinking of the last ridiculous Naya Zamana performance where all the dancers were not typical of Guyanese colouring - all being unusually fair (for Guyana)-like that was some ideal of beauty?
I always find it interesting to 'know' the story here in Guyana and
then read the newspapers to find out how much they have misreported and
misrepresentated the said story, but I was disppointed that in the
intro Mr Dabydeen, in mentioning the rise of political consciousness of
the immigrant Indians mentioned Cheddi Jagan as rising to political
power in 1992!! It was indeed the appalling conditions that made him
ditch a 'safe' career in dentistry to venture into politics in the 1940's.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Midsummer's Night Dream in Guyana

A Production of a Shakespeare's play is a welcome thing and I am glad that the Theatre Guild is being revived.
Back in my day -- it was on the High School syllabus that we do a Shakespeare Play every year until being 'streamed' in the fourth year, Midsummer's Night Dream was my first formal introduction to the Bard.
Funny how things change - Bottom stood out in my memory but Puck was definitely the star of the show - the actor Keon Haywood was well cast - in my opinion - the Fairy King and Puck were acted/portrayed the best-- with no electronic help to amplify the sound, they seemed to 'speak-up' and enunciate clearly - the rest had strange hybrid accents and although it was relevant that they address each other, in the second scene with the workmen planning their 'play' the actors tended to address the back of the stage! Even though I was sitting in the third row I had occasional difficulty hearing the dialogue at various times during the Play. It's always interesting to see different local adaptations to various Shakespeare plays - I remember being a bit surprised that Julius Caesar was set in 'The City' in a Barbican production in London - but I puzzled about the jerky, exaggerated movements of the portrayal of Titania and it spoiled one of my favourite characters in the Play.
Given the constraints of being in Guyana I thought the Stage settings and changes ok but I couldn't figure out why they let the one Backdrop used with the Workmen swing most distractingly throughout- surely it wouldn't be too hard to lower it a few inches to touch the ground and stop swinging?
The best thing was that there was almost a Full House with lots of the the Younger Generation-- most probably because they are still doing it in School?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Children's Stories in the Park

There has been a dramatic presentation of Local children stories at the National Library the past few weekends. An enthusiastic Bookclub member has been urging us to go... So finally having some 'free' time this holiday (yet again) Saturday, I was happy that the location was in the Botanical Gardens. I picked up a young visitor from the Pomeroon and turned up - only to discover due to inclement weather it had been cancelled! What you expect from Freeness? Not being a regular TV viewer apparently a notice was shown last night - in spite of a City-wide Blackout for roughly 1.5 hrs. I apparently also missed the notice on the Gate! Did the next best time and texted two other friends who were thinking of coming to save them the hassle of coming to Georgetown needlessly but unfortunately they never received them! Thank goodness have my iPad with its hundred downloaded books - so much more reliable than people!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

International Jazz Day

So thanks to UNESCO, yesterday was a new designated 'day' to honour the relatively new genre of music arising from an enslaved people. One of the moderators pointed out the almost simultaneous rise of Calypso in the Eastern Caribbean ( ), Blues also sharing a common past.
The program was dominated by the Georgetown Jazz Project who usually perform at the Sidewalk Cafe thursday evenings  and while they were all quite good in their respective instruments I was totally impressed by Michael Smith a talented percussionist who looked like a main mover behind the Guyana Police Force's Steelband.
 The Program like Jazz improvised and didn't stick to the listed items - I enjoyed the addition of the Caribbean flavour of Steelband and thought it was totally in keeping with the idea of Jazz. Circle of Love, a capella group also took the theme to heart and changed 'Summertime' to a song of resistance to the frantic shaking of hands and waving of head of Andrew Tyndall- the lead Steelpanist and arranger of the Ministry of Culture's Panists - the Parkside Steel Orchestra (who had about equal numbers of boys and girls!). The song in question was an upbeat one about how people leaving and those who share the sour must be to ones to share the sweet-- mmm fat chance in Hell -- probably the best they can do is investigate all members of NICIL and those benefiting from shady deals, seize and redistribute!
The girls I was with, thought an elderly come-backee - Desmond Atwell from England - the epitome of cool.
As mentioned before Blues has a common genesis with Jazz and about mid-program a clip with BB King was shown; one of the earlier presentations was Francis Bailey, shown in photo above, a saxophonist who looked as if he forgot the time and raced to the Umana Yana pouring with sweat - he sang one of the pieces he composed - a Bluesy number - good to know we have original talent in Guyana and thanks to UNESCO for providing an excuse to bring these folk out of the Woodwork.