Brooklyn to host Guyanese folk festival

Stabroek News
June 22, 2003

Related Links: Articles on diaspora
Letters Menu Archival Menu

The New York-based, Guyana Cultural Association is currently promoting the third Guyana Folk Festival in Brooklyn and is also seeking local Guyanese sponsorship to raise money for a CD showcasing the country’s musical heritage.

The association has also named 37 Guyanese for the Wordsworth McAndrew Award for their contribution to the arts in Guyana and in the diaspora. One awardee will represent each year that Guyana marked its independence anniversary.

One of the organisers of the `Folk Fest,’ Ronald Lammy, in Guyana to promote the folk festival, told Stabroek News that the awards would be part of the festival from August 29 to August 31.

The CD, `Is We Ting,’ will feature 22 Guyanese recording artistes who have waived their rights to fees. The funds from sales will go to provide support to those artistes who contributed to Guyana’s musical heritage and for other efforts to promote and celebrate Guyanese music.

Among those to be featured on the CD are King Fighter, Harry Whittaker, Dave Martins and the Trade Winds, Ivor Lynch, Terry Gajraj, Al Seales, Yoruba Singers, Lady Guymine, Dennis De Souza, The Ramblers, Tony Mangra and the Chronicle Atlantic Symphony Steel Orchestra.

Asked why the association was trying to raise the funds in Guyana for the CD, Lammy said that this was being done in a bid to involve the local corporate sector even though the sum could easily be raised by the diaspora. Sponsors would be able to showcase or advertise their product overseas through their sponsorship as well as make a tangible contribution to the arts. Their sponsorship would also be identified with the folk festival. He said so far the response from the local business community had been disappointing. It is hoped that the CD will be launched on August 16 and could be bought online at or at the Folk Festival.

The Folk Festival will be held over the Labour Day weekend and will include an awards dinner dance at the Crystal Manor, on Flatbush Avenue, a symposium and the Folk Festival 2003 Family Fun Day.

The awardees were chosen from 500 names submitted by Guyanese at home and abroad.

The thirty-seven named are Rudy Bishop, Art Broomes, David Campbell, Tom Charles and the Syncopates, Ivan Critchlow, Mahadai Das, Dennis De Souza, Des Glasford and Combo Seven, Guyana Music Teachers Association, Guyana Police Force Male Voice Choir, Ayube Hamid, Annie Haynes, Hilton Hemerding, Ramjohn Holder, Loris Holland, Rafiq Khan, Lady Guymine, Lord Canary, Vesta Lowe, Ian McDonald, Billy Moore, Ivan Nichols, Philip Nichols, Tony Phillips, Roland Phillips, Edith Pieters, Billy Pilgrim, Masse Lal Pollard, Basil Rodrigues, Hugh Sam, Al Seales, Bing Serrao and the Ramblers, George Simmons and the Rhythmaires, Trevor Sue-Quan, Tassa Explosion, Nadira and Indranie Shah and Keith Waithe.

The symposium will be held at the Medgar Evers College and is being co-sponsored by the Caribbean Research Center of the college. It is themed `Celebrating our Musical Heritage’ and hopes to identify, discuss and demonstrate the various genres of music in Guyana during the 20th century. It will also explore the role of radio in diffusing music and promoting Guyanese talent as well as discussing the stylistic and other musical contributions of Guyanese popular music icons.

Notable Guyanese performers who have indicated their participation in the seminar include Terry Gajraj, Keith Waithe and Reggie Paul.

The Folk Festival is to be held at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum at Brooklyn and St Marks Avenue. There will local cuisine and Guyanese folk games such as one-tip-two tip cricket, double dutch skipping, Hot bread and Butter and Jumbie lef’ e pipe hey.

The contact persons in New York are: Claire Goring, Malcolm Hall, Claire Patterson, Tangerine Clarke, Maurice Blenman, Hazel Shury, Wrickford Dalgety, Verna Walcott, Hilton Hemerding, Ken Corsbie, Ashton Franklin, Bobby Vieira, Carol Bagot, Patricia Trim, Karna Singh.

In Ohio it is Dr Vibert Cambridge; in Florida, Godfrey Chin; in

Toronto, Bernard Heydorn; in Boston, Ronald H. Lammy. The contacts in Guyana include Francis Farrier, Negla Brandis, Margaret Lawrence, Desiree Edgehill and Phyllis Jackson.

Site Meter