The Mighty Sparrow to Help Promote Local Culture in Trinidad and Tobago


In Trinidad and Tobago, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced that she was in discussions with the Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco) to host presentations in schools to help promote and preserve local culture. She made the announcement at a luncheon in honor of the Calypso King. The photo above (by Shirley Bahadur) shows Winston ‘Gypsy’ Peters, left, Andrew Lord Superior Marcano, and the Mighty Sparrow, right, singing during the luncheon.

The announcement came shortly after Arts Minister Lincoln Douglas announced that the Government had given a cheque for US$60,000 to assist with the musician’s medical expenses from his stay at two New York medical institutions. Sparrow is expected to return to the US shortly for physical therapy and further treatment.

[The] luncheon was quickly transformed into an intimate concert as the calypso king joined fellow calypsonian Lord Superior (Andrew Marcano) on stage to sing the popular song “Jean and Dinah.” The duo was shortly joined by Community Development Minister Winston Peters (Gypsy) who sang the song multiple times, occasionally inserting an extempore verse.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran applauded from a seat nearby. Douglas also announced that he was in talks with the icon to secure memorabilia spanning the calypsonian’s career. The moment Sparrow sat up from his chair, leaning on his cane as he walked toward Lord Superior and began singing was charged with emotion as the audience pulled out camera phones to record. “This is a thanksgiving, an opportunity to give thanks or speak positively about a blessing you have received and in return give something back. It is an opportunity to thank and give tangible appreciation to icons while they are with us,” Douglas said.

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