Ca­lypso and Ex­tempo at Tapas on the Bay

The Star (St. Lucia) - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Doretta Fran­cois

Tapas on the Bay de­serves top marks for be­ing in­no­va­tive and serv­ing din­ers with a mu­si­cal repast of Ca­lypso and Ex­tempo.

On Fri­day 8th July the restau­rant, al­ready renowned for its su­pe­rior food and ser­vice, was the host venue for an evening of live mu­sic in trib­ute to Lu­cian Car­ni­val. The artistes, se­lected for their skill in their par­tic­u­lar gen­res, made the oc­ca­sion a night to re­mem­ber as they re­galed the au­di­ence with songs, some im­promptu lyrics, wit and laugh­ter.

Gene Lawrence is a mae­stro of story telling, string in­stru­ments and Ca­lypso. In his trade­mark white out­fit with hat, he perched on his stool and ex­plained the ori­gins of this song style, men­tion­ing ev­i­dence of the link be­tween slav­ery and Ca­lypso, the in­flu­ence that African cul­ture has had on the New World, and the de­vel­op­ment of Ca­lypso and Pan over the decades and across the is­lands.

Gene's mel­liflu­ous voice is a joy to hear even when he is just talk­ing but add a gui­tar and a tune and he is one of the best en­ter­tain­ers in the Caribbean, a fact not lost on the ap­pre­cia­tive crowd.

The mood of the night then switched to Ex­tempo, which, for those un­fa­mil­iar with this style, was de­scribed as 'The Art of Com­pos­ing'. First up was vet­eran Ca­lypso and Soca Monarch "Papa Vada" who em­pha­sised: "It's all about be­ing spon­ta­neous." To prove his point he in­vited a group of all-fe­male din­ers to sug­gest a topic on which he should si­mul­ta­ne­ously com­pose lyrics and sing. Their choice: Too many women!

Joined on stage by "The Mighty Prince" and "Ezi" Hall, the fun con­tin­ued as the trio clev­erly im­pro­vised on the topic of Car­ni­val ver­sus Jazz and on the phe­nom­ena of Don­ald Trump. The au­di­ence was in stitches!

In a post-per­for­mance de­brief­ing with The Star, the artistes agreed that the venue was novel yet a suc­cess. The Ex­tempo afi­ciona­dos com­mented that the un­con­ven­tional au­di­ence of din­ers was less rowdy than some of the crowds they have en­coun­tered but nev­er­the­less the re­ac­tion from pa­trons was pos­i­tive and up­lift­ing. "Papa Vader" spoke for all when he ex­plained, "An artist feeds off the au­di­ence so the more re­spon­sive they are, the bet­ter the per­for­mance."

Con­grat­u­la­tions to the artistes on their scin­til­lat­ing acts with side-split­ting lyrics and in­nu­endo; to Rosie Joinvil­lle, co-owner of Taoas in the Bay, for host­ing this mem­o­rable event (and re­spond­ing to "Papa Vader's" lyri­cal im­plor­ing of "Is I hun­gry!"), and to Ron­ald "Boo" Hink­son for his col­lab­o­ra­tion in the project. All who ex­pe­ri­enced it hope that it will be re­peated soon.

Left to right: Gene Lawrence, "Ezi" Hall and "The Mighty Prince" 'singing for their sup­per' in the restau­rant sur­round­ings.

A ju­bi­lant Rosie Joinville (left) con­grat­u­lat­ing "Papa Vada" on hav­ing made her and the au­di­ence laugh.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.