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 ( http://gtobserver.blogspot.com/2011/10/calypso-dirty-jims.html ), 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.

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