Mento and Calypso Take Centre Stage at Lincoln Centre


A four-part concert titled, ‘Jazz at Lincoln Centre presents Lords of the West Indies’, will be held in New York on March 7 and 8 at the Lincoln Centre, with shows at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. each night.
The series is being arranged by Jamaican jazz pianist, Monty Alexander and his ‘Friends’, with the highlight being the coming together of Jamaican Mento and Trinidadian Calypso in a special celebration of Caribbean tradition and cultures.
Each concert will showcase a unique ensemble of musicians from a number of Caribbean islands to celebrate the mixture of Caribbean music with jazz.
Arranged in two stanzas, the first half of each concert programme will focus on the Calypso styling of Trinidad & Tobago, while the second will highlight Jamaican Mento, featuring original instruments such as banjo, guitar and rumba box.
Mr. Alexander told JIS News that the concert series would present a unique opportunity to experience authentic Mento with the likes of Joseph Bennett (shaker, vocals); Albert Morgan (rumba box) and Desi Jones (drums, percussion), sharing the same stage at the Lincoln Centre.
Others who will perform include Hassan Shaker (bass), Herlin Riley (drums), Carlton ‘Blackie’ James (banjo, vocals), Pluto Shervington (guitar, vocals), Dean Frazer (alto sax), David ‘Happy’ Williams (acoustic bass, vocals), Etienne Charles (trumpet), Charles Dougherty (saxophone), and Clifton Anderson (trombone).
“It’s hard for me to have a small contingent of musicians for such an outing,” said Mr. Alexander, who praised his Jamaican childhood for an early exposure to the sounds of Jamaican folk music (mento) and Trinidadian calypso, sung by the legendary Lord Kitchener.
“The Lords of the West Indies Jazz concert series pay homage to those calypso singers who have helped to shape our popular culture,” he noted.
The performances will be preceded by a Caribbean reception at 7:00 p.m. at the Atrium at the Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Centre, 60th Street & Broadway, Manhattan.
Persons who require more information on the concerts can call 212-721-6500 or visit the website at: www.jalc.org

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