Swingin Stars - A name all over Dominica
for many years, a name associated with just about every cultural activity
held in Dominica, a name every Dominican can be proud of. The Band is some 38-years-old and still going strong!
It was in 1959 when a few youngsters from the Virgin Lane/Turkey Lane area decided to form a dance band. As they had no equipment, they began by using two electric radios as amplifiers, an old acoustic piano as a keyboard, with a plywood box having a string attached as a base and an old sneer drum from the Music Lovers Band as a bass drum. The brass section compromised of: one clarinet, one alto sax and one trumpet.
At an average age of fifteen, the Swingin Teens (as the band was then called) first major engagement was at Jaycees dinner and dance held at Rockaway.
From then, as the musicians grew in size and age the band consolidated itself and with the help of Mr. Cecil Bellot, (decease) a new double base and drum set were purchased, the clarinet was replaced with a tenor sax and a small guitar amplifier was obtained from a retired guitarist from one of the more senior bands in Dominica.
At that time also, borrowing was the order of the day, and the Swinging Teens had to borrow equipment for every engagement to complete amplification of the electrical equipment.
Having two efficient guitarists, the band quickly got the job to accompany the calypsonians at the 1960 Carnival Calypso Competition. [Today, Swingin Stars, is still the number one back-up band for calypsonians in Dominica!]
Having made an excellent effort, the group was praised by everybody who attended the show.
By Easter of 1960, the band invested in a proper guitar amplifier and immediately earned the respect of everyone who heard the group.
The quality of Swingin Teens music improved at a tremendous pace and by the middle of 1960, the band made one more purchase, this time, a bass amplifier. It was very clear then that this musical group would be shortly a force to reckon with in the Caribbean.
After Carnival of 1961, the Swingin Teens went into recess as many of the members had to sit Senior Cambridge Exams. In November of that same year the Band was reorganised and many changes were affected:
The name was changed to Swingin Stars - One professional musician was hired to boost the brass section - The piano was dropped and a guitar was made to strum on the off-beat - A fairly large percussion sector comprising Conga, drum, bongo drum and guiro was set up - the guitar was made to play leading role in the band.
the band took engagements for Christmas 1961 and by New Years 1961/62 Swinging Stars was surely heading for the number one place in Dominica.
By 1964 Swingin Stars was a household word and in the summer of that year the band got it’s first job outside Dominica, to play at Michael’s Mount in Antigua during their carnival season.
The group then began to talk of recording and in May of 1967, Swingin Stars flew to Barbados where the band appeared on television and recorded two 45. records. the first to be released was Sparrow ‘Party” back up by “Tom Cat Mambo”.
To date the band has recorded eleven albums, and their first CD album will be on the market soon. [Here is a taste of Swingin Stars, 1997 cassette released for 1997 Carnival ! Its in RealAudo 29.2 Sec. 292kb! Here is another clip, this one is a little big. Its a Medley that I edited. -1.34 sec. 984kb.
The band has changed many of the younger members over the years, but the code of the Swingin Stars remain: Phillip Hosford - Vocals, Bingsworth Casimir - Trumpet, Norman Letang, Leader and Saxaphones and Marcel Cruickshank, former Drumer, now the band's Sound Engineer:
One of Dominica's musical pioneers of original Cadence Lypso the Exile One
Band, has released another new album. The album entitled
"Boomerang" which was recorded in New York and Paris contains eleven new
songs. A press release from the group states Boomerang is the eighteenth
release of the group which has revolutionised Caribbean and the developing
world's music for over two generation. The release further states that
work on the new album started in January last year when the group recorded
and filmed thirteen of their greatest hits on an album entitled Anthology.
According to the press release, in the seventies Exile One was considered
as the number one musical group all over the Caribbean and Africa as well as
within the Diaspora in Europe and North America. The new album
was released world-wide on the 6th of February.
The album entitled "Boomerang" which was recorded in New York and Paris contains eleven new songs.
A press release from the group states Boomerang is the eighteenth release of the group which has revolutionised Caribbean and the developing world's music for over two generation.
The release further states that work on the new album started in January last year when the group recorded and filmed thirteen of their greatest hits on an album entitled Anthology.
According to the press release, in the seventies Exile One was considered as the number one musical group all over the Caribbean and Africa as well as within the Diaspora in Europe and North America.
The new album was released world-wide on the 6th of February.
There are also other new CD released from local bands....RSB, WCK, Rough & Ready, Serenate and a news band on the scene, "The Efex Band. Details and a taste of their music late.....
Many thanks to "MARK OF MUSIC PUBLISHING CO. COPT HALL ROSEAU DOMINICA" for this piece on Ophelia.
The band took off well but ran into problems with one member and the schedule which was being preparing for the band.
The members worked long and hard hours and by December 1995 they were preparing for a show at the Arawak, something the guys thought was premature, but in their opinion, necessary. They approached this performance as a launching, with proceeds going to the Grotto Home.
Financial returns were not very good but the performance received rave reviews from an appreciative audience.
The band had teamed up with Leng Sorhaindo and Abigail Horsford, Artherly John, Michele Henderson and Jerry Moulon, a former member of "Roots Stem And Brenches" RSB, executed an almost perfect show. By then, the group was officially Impact! and had begun gigs at a few locations like the Anchorage and Baylime.
Impact! now five in numbers, with the conclusion of Michele Henderson and Jerry Moulon, went on gigging at other locations like Good Times, Fort Young Hotel, Symzees and Wykies La Tropical. A highlight of their young career came when they opened for "Boo" Hinkson at the Kiwanis sponsored Jazz show at the Sisserou Hotel. They proceeded to accompany island great Ophelia, and Gregory Rabess for Gregory and Friends.
It most definitely had its problems of various degrees, but the maturity of Freddie Nicholas served as great balance amidst the not so old and not so young of multi-backgrounds that merge so beautifully to make up Impact.!
After the rigors of composing, arranging agreeing and disagreeing, the band began the exhausting hours at Nature Island Studios, where the guys and gal (Michi), all had lots to learn from the elders such as Ken Robinson, Freddie Nicholas, Gregory 'Gregs' Rabess and from each other.
From Freddie came the track 'Caribbean Friday', from Gregs came Gregory's Groove, from Brubeck and Iola.. Take five, from Herbie Jack that wow! guitar on the title track, islander...and last and of course not least, all of the rest from the Impact! team Roland Delsol Jr. Llloyd Emmanuel, Joseph Wayland Jr., Jerry Moulon and miss Michele Henderson.
Impact! is not, neither was it meant to be an exclusive jazz band, but rather an excellent band or group of musicians dedicated to reaching the highest attainable achievement available to them.
CADENCE-LYPSO popularly referred to as simply cadence has been defined as a synthesis of black musical patterns in general and fundamentally afro-Caribbean in particular. Many have urged on whether cadence-lypso is Dominican music or a universal art form created by the Dominican group EXILE ONE.
Others associate that musical format to the traditional, while some seem to experience the dynamics of contemporary musical evolution.
By and large, despite varying opinions, consensus prevails on numerous essential factors. EXILE ONE’s cadence-lypso greatly assisted by the support of the GRAMACKS, MIDNIGHT GROOVERS, and other Dominican groups of the early seventies succeeded in performing and distributing a music within which most of the world’s black population could identify with, as close as the sister Caribbean islands including Haiti but as far Africa, the Cape Verde islands, the Indian Ocean islands, Europe, South America and beyond.
Cadence-lypso has been the model from which ZOUK and SOCA have been inspired not only from a musical standpoint but also in the way that the music is packaged and marketed.
While cadence-lypso continues to strive world-wide with the tremendous impact of the EXILE ONE 1996/1997 world tour, it is virtually important to consider cadence-lypso not only as an art form but as a part of the very lucrative global entertainment industry which could play a decisive role in Dominica’s economy. Listen to the music! in stereo: [157kb 15.6 sec]
Dominica's young popular show band the "Ruff and Reddy has
yet another CD, "Ruff & Reddy". There
are 12 songs on the CD|
Songs on this new CD are : Carnival Carnival, Ruff & Reddy, Paka FÉ SA, Coconut, Make a Noise, Chook & Jook, Leave People Man Alone, Limé Difé, Blow Your Bottle, Ring DE Ting and Lost In Wmotion
Next for the Rough and Ready band is their preparation for a 1997 tour which will include the Caribbean, United States and Europe.
Ruff & Reddy first CD did well in the
What have LEVI "SUPER L" LOBLACK, BRUCE SKERRITT and PAULA LETANG been up to?
These three individuals have created a new band by the name of LEVITATION. Since their debut C.D. entitled NOUS KA WOULE, was released in June, 1996, LEVITATION has enticed it's listeners with top quality songs. The new music they are producing is called MAZOUK. It is a combination of Jing Ping, Belle, Quadrille, Heel & Toe Polka & Compas. LEVITATION's main objective was to take French/Creole music to it's next level. Considering the great response the group has had with this latest release it is obvious that they have accomplished this goal.
Levi "Super L" Loblack hails from the island of Dominica where he perfected his talent. He is an active musician, producer and songwriter. In 1988 he received the Best Male singer award at the Fame Awards Ceremony. He has also peformed in the Dominican production of Jesus Christ Superstar as Judas Iscariot and co-wrote and performed with the Dominican Swinging Stars. Levi is also known for his dynamic calypso performances. He has worked and performed on shows with The Mighty Arrow, Third World, Steele Pulse, Kassav, Ophelia, Tanbou Combo, Gasoline, Burning Flames, Byron Lee and The Dragoneers, and Gordon Henderson.
Bruce Skerritt hails from the island of St. Kitts.
He is a world renown jazz
keyboardist who was the first receipient of the St. Kitts Government's
for Oustanding contribution to the arts. He has been the Musical director
for the musical production Rainbow World created by Salome Bey, one of
Canada's greatest jazz vocalists. He has also performed with The Mighty
Arrow, Shadow, Chaldust, Caribbean Heat Waves and The Mighty Duke.|
Paual Letang hails from the island of Dominica
and has received the Miss Congeniailty award in the Miss Niagara Pagent. She
brings to LEVITATION her
influences of hip hop, R&B & dance hall styles. Musically she has
with many North American groups. She is a professional model and positive
LEVITATION - Mazouk Music Productions! Before you leave listen! [ to this clip ] 21.6 sec 216100bytes of realaudio in stereo: