CULTURAL ICONS PROJECT
The Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) in October proudly launched The Cultural Icons Project. The first honouree of this project will be Charles Cadet whose works will be celebrated in collaboration with the Saint Lucia School of Music.
The aim of The Cultural Icons Project is to pay tribute to those who have shaped our nation’s culture through either a lifetime of contributions or with a shorterterm groundbreaking impact. The CDF is concerned that too much of our island’s history and culture has been lost when persons of note have passed on without their work having been properly recorded and documented. Ms. Drenia Frederick, the Event and Production Director at CDF explained that the “Cultural Icons Project,” seeks to fill this void with high quality events and activities showcasing local entertainment of international standards.
The inaugural celebration will be The Charles Cadet Musical Genius Concert. This prolific composer has touched the hearts of young and old with his folk music. But be prepared for some spectacular and innovative arrangements by musical director Gregory Piper as some 100 performers interpret Cadet’s melodic genius at the upcoming event.
Contributors on the night will be drawn from fields as varied as jazz, gospel, contemporary and R&B and include our top talent: Minelle Delice, Shayne Ross, Boo Hinkson, T C Brown, to name just a few, while musicians from the Saint Lucia School of Music will team up with the Royal Saint Lucia Police Band to provide a near-full symphony orchestra. Truly, performances to inspire us and boost our national pride!
Originally carded for December 14, the event has been moved to a new date which the CDF will announce soon. Funds raised on the night will be used for the advancement of art and culture through community outreach programmes across the nation.
Charles Cadet is well-known for Saint Lucian folk music. He is renowned for teaming up with playwright, Roderick Walcott, on the music for the play, “Banjo Man”, as well as the musicals, “The Legend of Tom Fool”, “Chanson Marianne”, “The Guitar Man’s Song” and “The Wonderful World of Brother Rabbit”. He has also worked with poet, Mc Donald Dixon, to compose the music for “Tinday,” performed at CARIFESTA 1992. “Poinsettia Blossoms”, a Saint Lucian Christmas classic written by Cadet was popularized by singer Lenny Stone.
However Charles Cadet’s musical genius was most visible and forthright when he composed “Mass for Independence” on the occasion of Saint Lucia gaining political independence from Britain on February 22, 1979.
Charles Cadet was the first recipient of the M&C Fine Arts Lifetime Achievement Award and was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1987 and the Saint Lucia Cross (SLC) in 2005 for distinguished and outstanding service to Saint Lucia.