…creating inaugural calypso tent
As Guyanese gear up for the Mashramani celebrations in commemoration of the nation’s 40th anniversary, a group of calypsonians has joined forces and has established a Calypso Tent with an aim of nurturing their talent while retaining some amount of control over their product.
The tent, financed by Chief Executive Officer of the FCE Systems, Leslie Forrester, was officially launched last Friday and the calypsonians have commenced the arduous process of rehearsals.
Operating from their base in 10-10 Hadfield Street, Georgetown, the calypsonians are currently involved in rehearsals and are now fine tuning their respective renditions in preparation of the impending calypso competition.
Aaron Blackman is the Director of Administrative Services and he disclosed that the venture was initiated with a bifurcated agenda. He explained that he had traveled to Barbados in 2007 to participate in a calypso tent in that country.
He said that the success of that venture has inspired him to formulate a similar entity here in Guyana. Mr. Blackman feels that a local calypso tent would serve as a booster to the promotion of the art forms while lifting the flagging fraternity from its current dismal state.
He said that he was concerned that local musicians were operating with substandard equipment and were not afforded enough opportunities to promote their talent. He said that he discussed the situation with Mr. Forrester and from those discussions the tent was conceptualised.
The calypsonians are singing to the accompaniment of the Dynamo Band, operated by the best local talent available. Mr. Blackman explained that he spoke with Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Frank Anthony, who felt enthused by the idea of the tent.
He said that the Minister opined that the venture could provide more independence for the calypsonians. Blackman said that the Minister also promised the support of his government but hinted that such support would only be forthcoming upon request.
Meanwhile, amidst the enthusiasm displayed by the calypsonians, Blackman bemoaned the absence of copyright laws to protect the work of the group. He is adamant that unless such laws are enacted, the efforts of the calypsonians would dwindle to naught.
He is eagerly anticipating the day when local calypsonians would be able to produce songs that they would be able to market locally and internationally.
Some of the artistes currently involved in the calypso tent are Ras Marcus, The Mighty Duke, Calypso Stella, Blue Flame and Young Bill Rogers.
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