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Cousoumeh in Siparia ...top class jazz expected

JOAN RAMPERSAD Thursday, May 18 2017

COUSOUMEH, in layman terms, refers to the “coming together” of a number of variables in a holistic way.

For the Deltones Institute of Steel Drums and Music, host of the event, Cousoumeh represents the hard work of a number of talented, home-grown musicians who themselves have been influenced by diverse social and economic histories that come out in their music played on pan.

At the Cousoumeh Festival tonight attendees can look forward to designs by Lauren from Siparia, hand-made craft and visuals from the Siparia Art Society and produce from Wild Farm TT, in keeping with this year’s theme, “The rebirth of a village.” Showtime is 8 pm.

Project assistant Amanda Barnett said it is all about a re-branding of Siparia to accentuate the various talents and opportunities for wealth creation via the creative arts, especially music.

To that end, the night will see a top-class jazz session featuring Quinam Road, Siparia-born Akinola Sennon, now executive and musical director of Siparia Deltones.

The birth of the festival coincided with the launch of Sennon’s album Cousoumeh last year, and this year he will be playing in his own band of the same name, together with the Siparia Deltones.

International musicians Shane Dahler (drummer), Chris McCarthy (pianist and composer) and Alonzo Demetrius (trumpet player and composer) who featured on the album will also be performing with the Cousoumeh band on the night. Also, the set will feature Alicia Jaggasar and Lady Adanna.

The other star billing performance is expected to come from arranger Carlton “Zanda” Alexander and his Coal Pot Band, whose set will include the reliving of some 45 years of kaiso blues jazz, and he will have on stage with him, a hand-picked team of 12 musicians from Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, most of whom have been flying the TT flag all over the world.

The Coal Pot Band is a kaiso/ jazz fusion ensemble with horns, vocals, piano, bass guitar and pan.

The band has appeared at all the leading jazz and fusion shows throughout the nation, including Tobago Jazz Festival, San Fernando Jazz Festival, Sanch Apri Carnival, Siparia Jazz Festival, Point Jazz Festival and many more.

Barnett beamed: “It is a festival which we feel greatly embodies the spirit of Siparia by way of location, history and culture.” It was in 2013 when Deltones attracted world famous jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela, resulting in a recorded album between them entitled: From Siparia to Soweto.

Sennon was project co-ordinator and steelpan soloist on the album, but as recent as earlier this year, Sennon travelled to Netherlands to participate in the Amsterdam Conservatorium Van Summer Jazz Workshop, a first for a pan player.

Cousoumeh is part of the Siparia Festival 2017, which continues with a pan parade, Steel in Motion, on High Street, Siparia.

This event is free to the public and begins at 6 pm.

Some ten single pan bands and one conventional band will take part.

The single pan bands are Trinidad East Side, TT Fire Services, San Juan All Stars, Brimblers, Arima All Stars, Gonzales Sheikers, Unistars, Scrunters’ Pan Groove, Pan Stereonettes and La Romaine Super Vibes, while Supernovas will entertain at the end of the parade at Harry’s car park.

Spokesman for the parade, Keith Byer said the parade starts at Daisy Voisin Hub, and there will be three competitions. The first one is at the Siparia Regional Corporation where each band has to play a religious song, another at Harry’s car park, where each band must play a song by Black Stalin who will be honoured this year.

The third competition will see each band judged for best repertoire played on the streets, with a prize also for best flag waver.

Then on Sunday, the Siparia Festival closes with the Talent Quest Finals at 4 pm, followed by Big Fete Sunday at Irwin Park.

This event, that is also free to the public will feature live performances by Nishad M, Neval Chaitlal, Sally Sagram Johann Chuckaree and Papa Steve. Showtime is 7 pm.



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