Heather Headley: a star with her feet on the ground | Caribbean Beat

Originally written for and published in Caribbean Beat magazine in 2012. The full interview transcript is published here, and at Discover Trinidad & Tobago. In 2000, news spread about a Trinidad-born actress making waves on Broadway. Her command of her emotions made you sure that her onstage tears must come from some fresh real-world trauma. The truth was very …

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Heather Headley: One of Trinidad’s Brightest Stars

This interview was done for and published in full on Discover Trinidad & Tobago, and formed the basis of another article in Caribbean Beat magazine. It took a while, but I finally caught up with Heather Headley for a proper interview in late January 2012, just a few weeks before Whitney Houston’s passing. We talked about her memories of …

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Shontelle Layne: focus pon me | Caribbean Beat

Originally written for and published in Caribbean Beat magazine in 2008 Focus pon me: that’s the title of one of the tracks Shontelle Layne wrote for her debut album. But really, it’s all about the music. It’s been a busy few years for Shontelle Layne. In between working towards a degree in entertainment law at the University …

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Exodus in action at Panorama. Courtesy the TDC, via discovertnt.com

The Making of a Steel Pan | Discover Trinidad & Tobago

Originally written for and published in the 2008 edition of Discover Trinidad & Tobago travel guide The steel pan (it’s really a bit of a faux pas to call it a steel drum!) is one of Trinidad’s proudest exports. It distinguishes itself by being the only acoustic, non-electric instrument invented in the 20th century, and one incubated right …

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Ella Andall’s Earth Music | Caribbean Beat

Originally written for and published in Caribbean Beat magazine in 2007 It’s Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day in Trinidad, but instead of taking a day off, Ella Andall is doing what she always does—singing. It’s a 90-minute drive from her home in Arima to the southern town of Rio Claro, where Andall is slated to sing. She’s …

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Songs of freedom | Caribbean Beat

Originally written for and published in Caribbean Beat magazine in 2007 This September, Geraldine Connor’s epic musical Carnival Messiah will be presented in a rather unusual setting. The mammoth production will be staged under a 1,000-seat big top on the lawn of the sprawling Harewood House, home of the Queen’s cousin the Earl of Harewood, and an estate …

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Jazzing up Jamaica | Caribbean Beat

Originally written for and published in Caribbean Beat magazine in 2007 June is jazz month in Jamaica, with the 17th Ocho Rios Jazz Festival continuing this year as the main attraction, running June 9-17. Founded back in 1991 by Sonny Bradshaw, the festival started as an experimental one-day event they called the Ocho Rios “Mini” Jazz …

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Bird of Night (2006) takes flight | Caribbean Review of Books

Originally written for and published in the Caribbean Review of Books (CRB), November 2006.  There is a sketch next to Trinidadian Dominique Le Gendre’s Bird of Night programme note which captures graphically her own complex identity: individual, peer, family, national, collective, Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe, Martinique, and Trinidad. As is perhaps the case with every Caribbean artist, the …

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