Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 11th 2014 Contents A16
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, February 11, 2014
World-renowned South African trumpeter Hugh
Masekela has said the pan is one of T&T s greatest
gifts and called on the nation to cherish it.
Speaking with the T&T Guardian in Siparia, last
Thursday, at the Petrotrin Siparia Deltones panyard,
Masekela said he was absolutely captivated by the
pan and more so by the age of the young players.
The legendary musician is also a flugelhornist,
cornettist, composer, singer, and Grammy-award
winner. For the past year he has been collaborating
This collaboration, which had its genesis at the
2003 San Fernando Jazz Festival, has resulted in an
11-track instrumental CD of calypsoes, which have
been re-engineered for a more modern acoustic
It has integrated the harmony and rhythm of the
pan and some Cuban percussion with Masekela jazz
magic, featuring vocals by calypsonian Lady Adana.
Last year Masekela spent a month with the band
rehearsing and studying the music prepared by the
band s musical director, Carlton "Zanda" Alexan-
The CD, From Siparia to Soweto, will be launched
next month, to coincide with the Mandela Day cel-
ebrations proposed by Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar to honour the late South African free-
dom fighter. Persad-Bissessar is also the MP for
Siparia, where Deltones is based.
Masekela will rehearse with the band in preparation
for the launch. Last Thursday, Masekela, accompanied
by the South African High Commissioner Maureen
Isabella Modiselle, visited Deltones panyard for the
launch of the band s 2014 Panorama offering.
Deltones, captained by Akinola Sennon, has chosen
to play Clive "Zanda" Alexander s arrangement of
calypsonian Mr Famous s Play More Local, in the
small band conventional category. Sennon said owing
to some challenges the band faced in the past year,
they have repositioned themselves from the large to
small band category. Residents of Siparia turned out
in their numbers to hear the band, but more so to
Masekela said he was blown away by what he saw
"I am totally mesmerised by what you Trinis take
for granted. Few countries do what is happening
here," he said in reference to the youthful players in
Deltones as well as guest performers, Forest Reserve
Anglican Steel Orchestra.
"The Anglican school, coming out of Fyzabad,
will represent this country at a primary-school pan
competition to be held in South Africa in August,
later this year. When they are so young, to be involved
in music, it is one of the greatest things a nation
can have. It is a wonderful gift to the nation and
a spectacular thing to see.
"What I have seen completely amazes me. I was
blown away by the musicianship and discipline and
high calibre of music," Masekela told the Guardian.
While the school band played for the audience,
which included Petrotrin president Khalid Hassanali
and representatives of the Ministry of Arts and Mul-
ticulturalism, Masekela got up from his seat among
the invited guests to go stageside, where the players
were in their element, belting out the rhythm.
Hassanali, in some brief remarks, expressed his
pleasure in being able to support Siparia, one of
Petrotrin s "fenceline communities," and Deltones,
one of 20 bands which receive full or partial assistance
from the company.
Pledging Petrotrin s continued support for the
fenceline communities, Hassanali was moved to
comment on "an unfortunate incident which has
affected another sector of our community." This
was a reference to La Brea which was severely affected
by a number of oil spills flowing from Petrotrin s
Symphony with Masekela
installation last December.
He pleaded for the communities to band together
to help the company---which has been fined $20
million for environmental breaches---to recover from
that incident, "so we can continue to grow and
develop so we can continue to be supporters of cul-
ture, like with this Siparia Deltones band."
Hassanali said the presence of Masekela and the
collaboration with Deltones would continue to con-
tribute to the upliftment of the culture of T&T.
From Siparia to Soweto
from the Forest
night in Siparia.
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