Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 15th 2015 Contents Bishop.
Desperadoes won its first National Panora-
ma title in 1966 playing Griffith s arrange-
ment of Sparrow s Melda. Playing Borodin s
Polovetsian Dances, the orchestra won Pan
Is Beautiful National Steel Orchestra Music
Festival in 1986.
Rock-Ross said: "We intend to refresh
the people s minds as to who we, Witco
Desperadoes, really are and all of what we
have accomplished. Of course our history
and achievements are much more than 50
years as the band was actually formed many
years before, since World War II in the for-
"We want all the Desperadoes family to
come back home. I want to tell them they
all have a home and in our house, in which
there is love in every room, when we come
together and unite we are a force to reckon
with and nobody can defeat us."
Members of Desperadoes about to board a
Zambia Airways aircraft as they travel to
Festac in Africa.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, October 15, 2015
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PETER RAY BLOOD
As iconic steelbands Massy Trinidad All Stars
and CAL Invaders celebrate their 80th and 75th
anniversaries, respectively, in 2016 Desperadoes
will celebrate 50 years of success in steelband com-
petitions. The steel orchestra with the most national
Panorama victories in its bushel, as well as three
Steelband Music Festival championships, has
embarked on a rejuvenation programme aimed at
lifting the Laventille Hill steel orchestra to its former
glory having lost some of its spark in recent years.
Desperadoes PRO Patricia Rock-Ross said this
week: "Desperadoes recently elected a new manage-
ment committee, its membership being a mix of rel-
atively young members with a few of the elder heads.
Our new manager is Curtis Edwards who comes with
a wealth of experience in not just music, but in lead-
ership as well. A past captain of Desperadoes and of
his own band, Crescendoes, he is also a UWI grad
Rock-Ross added that the new committee is intent
on creating a bond between the players, the supporters
and the community. "Jump high, jump low, all of
Laventille and Desperadoes is one family and it is
high time that we eradicate any form of division that
may have existed in recent years. It is not nice when
we hear people, especially some of those who have
supported us through the years, saying that Deperadoes
is a has-been. Our mission is restore the pride and
dignity of this great institution and of course to win
the 2016 national Panorama title.
"One of the first things this new committee intends
doing is to pay recognition to the leaders, players and
members who started it all, like Rudolph Charles,
Eugene "Gunga Din" Mc Clean, Carl Greenidge, Den-
nis "Tash" Ash, Elias "Peugot" Phillip, Roy "Babylon"
Corrigan, Rudolph "Crabby" Edwards, Thomas
"Thunderbolt" Williams, Ursula Tudor, Anthony Mc
Quilkin, Anthony "Ben Up" Kinsale, Robert Greenidge
and Lloyd Maloney, just to name a few. Even I, after
28 years of being part of Desperadoes, am learning.
I recently learned that Franklyn Gerald was the band s
first nine bass player when that instrument was
invented by the late Rudolph Charles."
After Gerald, Desperadoes has always been served
by some outstanding nine bass musicians, like Crawl,
Gunga Din, Sensie, Bando and Jakes.
Ironically, when first formed, Desperadoes was
more famous as a "mas band" than a good steelband.
In those days, the band was led by Wilfred "Speak-
er" Harrison. All that changed with the ascendancy
of Rudolph Charles as the band s captain in 1961 and
by the mid sixties the mas-playing entity of Laventille
Hill was converted into the country s most potent
steel orchestra, producing excellent music with the
leadership of Charles, arrangements by Beverly Griffith
and skilled pantuners like Bertie Marshall and Lincoln
Rock-Ross continued: "For starters, the band will
come together to host an awards ceremony at which
these stalwarts and heroes of Laventille will be remem-
"Part of my responsibility is to facilitate the younger
members with the history of the band and its achieve-
ments. If people don t know where they have come
from up, not only will they be unable to derive pride
in that they are doing, but will not be able to go
forward with any success."
Desperadoes has had a fully equipped concert audi-
torium on the Hill which has been under utilised. "It
is now being rennovated so that we can have our
own concerts in our home, as well as make it amenable
and accessible to the community."
The musicians who have aided Desperadoes to
these achievements since 1966 have been Beverly
Griffith, Clive Bradley, Robert Greenidge and Dr Pat
.....rejuvenation on Laven-
Witco Desperadoes managing
Manager -- Curtis Edwards
Manager (Ass't) -- Darryl Rajpaul
Captain -- Kelvin "Warlord" Holder
Vice Captain -- David "Pinhead" Davis
Secretary -- Havalanna Davidson
Secretary (Ass't) -- Kimberly Peters
Treasurer -- Makeba Christopher
PRO -- Patricia Rock-Ross
Trustees -- Glenford "House" Wallace,
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