Saturday September 27
The Small World Music Festival presnts
CALYPSO ROSE & KOBO TOWN
Revival, 783 College St.
Doors 7:00pm / show 8:00pm
Tickets: $30 @ http://www.smallworldmusic.com
‘A living legend of calypso! This lady is 74 years old, but on stage, still moves like a young girl!’ – Festival Nuits d’Afrique, Montreal
McArtha Lewis, aka Calypso Rose, was born in the small island of Tobago in the West Indies. She started singing at the age of 15, and over 50 years later she is the reigning Queen of Calypso. In a world where men dominate, she was able to stand out through her strong personality and her stage charisma. Calypso Rose has received more honors and medals that any other living Calypsonian. In 1966, she wrote “Fire in Meh Wire”, which has become one of the international anthems of Calypso, translated into eight languages. In 1977, she was the first woman to win the crown of Calypso Monarch (originally called Calypso King re-named Calypso Monarch after her win). From there, there was no stopping this energetic and powerful woman, who has taken Calypso all over the world and has shared the stage with some of the biggest international stars, Miriam Makeba, Tito Puente, Mahalia Jackson, Michael Jackson, Roberta Flack, Bob Marley among others.
Toronto’s Kobo Town, led by singer Drew Gonsalves, has made an international impact with their modern interpretation of traditional Caribbean sounds. Some traditionalists, however, carped about the new elements Gonsalves included in his music. “I’m not sure I should call it calypso,” he says. “It is calypso inspired and derived, but it’s a conscious departure from the way it developed back home. Calypso is the folk music of urban Trinidad, but it has always drawn on outside influences, from big band and jazz in the 30s and 40s, to funk and disco in the 70s and 80s. It’s hard to pin down pure calypso. For me, the calypsonian is a singing newspaperman commenting on the events of the day, with an attitude halfway between court jester and griot.” The band’s recent CD, ‘Jumbie in the Jukebox’, which was recorded in Belize, Montreal, Toronto and Trinidad has won acclaim throughout North America and Europe.