Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 24th 2014 Contents A11
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Chutney icon Sundar Popo not only
took local music into another dimen-
sion but opened doorways for many
local artistes to develop their own
So said musicologist and sitar maestro
Mungal Patasar on Easter Monday, dur-
ing an interview with the T&T Guardian
at the Heritage Sammelan, Debe Junc-
tion, Debe, which was held in honor of
The event, which took the form of a
concert to honour Sundar Popo, whose
death anniversary will be marked on
May 2, was held next to his statue at
It featured performances from broth-
ers Narendra and Shivanand Maharaj,
Lily John, Anthony Batson, Pundit
Krishendath Ramdhanie Sharma and
Sundar Popo, born Sunilal Popo Baho-
ra, of Barrackpore, died in 2000 at the
age of 57. He suffered from kidney fail-
Patasar said Sundar Popo was still
regarded as a pioneer of local music and
his contribution to its development could
not be forgotten as he laid the foundation
for chutney music.
"He came at a juncture where he cre-
ated a form to be followed by other
younger people and that is how impor-
tant he was," he said.
Patasar said even though Sundar Popo
became popular he still maintained his
humility and that was one of the per-
sonality traits he remembered about
He said, in reviewing Sundar Popo s
contribution to local music, the chutney
icon created a shift in the musical style
Patasar admitted he was not expecting
Barbadian saxophonist and jazz musician
Arturo Tappin will be the featured artiste in a
charity concert at the Pavilion Restaurant, The
Villas, Stonehaven, Tobago, tonight.
The concert, which begins at 8.30 pm, is a fringe
event of the 2014 Tobago Jazz Experience. Proceeds
will go to the Yahweh Foundation, an NGO based
in the iconic Tobago village of Buccoo. Launched
in 2012, it provides an enriching service to young
people and seniors in the community.
For those youngsters at risk and without enough
of a structured life, Yahweh encourages them to
reap the benefits of staying in school, while using
the seniors as the link to the community s heritage.
Tappin, known as "the smoothest, saxiest horn
man", will showcase from mainstream jazz to
smooth jazz to fusion and reggae. His live per-
formances have lit up stages at the Edinburgh Fes-
tival, Soho Jazz Festival, Miami AT&T Caribbean
Jazz Festival, St Lucia, Antigua, Curaçao, St Kitts,
St Vincent, Grenada and Barbados jazz festivals.
younger local artistes to follow Sundar Popo s music
but to improve upon what he created.
"However," he said, "that is where the problem lies.
I am not seeing improvement in what he has done.
What I am seeing in the music is that it is getting
more and more electronic which does not require any
Ramgoonai, told the T&T Guardian that Sundar
Popo should be given more prominence for his con-
tribution and she was pleased that such an event was
held to honour "a great artiste."
She added: "He is an icon and will remain one.
Even though he is gone his songs will never die. A
Mother s Love is song every one does. Every Mother s
Day you hear that song. His music keeps him alive,"
John remembered performing with Sundar Popo at
many concerts locally and abroad.
Batson had the audience enthraled with his per-
formance of Sundar Popo s hit, Nani and Nana, as it
sounded almost like Sundar Popo in the original song.
The sammelan was hosted by Heritage Commu-
nications (Heritage Radio 101.7FM).
Call to honour Sundar
Popo by improving music
Musician Mungal Patasar places a garland on the statue of chutney icon Sundar Popo on
Monday evening at Debe Junction during Heritage Sammelan honouring the musician's
contribution to East Indian culture. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
Arturo Tappin blows
in Tobago tonight
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