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Artistes pay musical tribute to Rolph Warner
It was not a seance, but the spirit of the late Rolph Warner was in the house at De Nu Pub, Woodbrook, on Wednesday. Prazim Productions, in collaboration with Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (Tuco), celebrated the second anniversary of the passing of former T&T Guardian journalist Rolph Warner on Wednesday night, with a musical tribute at the popular Woodbrook showplace. In the audience were Warner’s sister Loama; Warner’s companion Marilyn King; iconic calypsonians Black Stalin, All Rounder and Explainer; former government minister Arnold Piggot; Notting Hill Carnival mas man Dexter Kanhai; calypso tent owner Rudy Ottley; Diane Dupres; TUCO president Lutalo “Bro Resistance” Masimba; new TUCO executive committee members Devon Seale, KP and Bro Lasana; Pelham and Glenda Goddard; Ray Brathwaite; and, Stagieann Henry-Mason, daughter of calypsonian Explainer.
Popular former police officer Julian Elder commenced the show promptly on the stroke of 8.30 pm, its first act being guitarist/vocalist Arthur Marcial, accompanied by his brother Rolf, both formerly of defunct Kalyan. Opening with Trinbagonian in New York, the brothers Marcial performed Can You Love Me, popularised in the 70s by Junior Byron, For the Love of Me, The World’s Greatest, with Arthur soloing on harmonica, SuperBlue’s Ethel and Friends for Life. Emcee chores were then taken over by Dennis “Sprangalang” Hall and he introduced former soldier/calypsonian Garth St Clair. He rendered “one of Warner’s favourite songs,” the late Maestro’s Black Identity. Introducing band Vince Rivers & The Soca Unit, Sprangalang welcomed Lioness to sing No Glory. Another lady followed in the person of newly installed TUCO executive member Twiggy and she sang GB’s Calypso Rising, Man Up Under Mih and I Don’t Mind.
Intermission taken, the programme continued at 10.30 pm. Resuming the show was 1979 Road March champion Poser singing Doh look for mih, Take ah Drink and Find ah Party.
SuperBlue followed Poser on stage, singing Help, Champion Daddy, Old Time Religion, Soca Baptist, Ethel and To Love Somebody. On a well-deserved encore, SuperBlue returned to sing Rebecca and Fantastic Friday. Wednesday’s performance by the reigning joint International Power Soca Monarch and Road March champion, not done over tracks but by full orchestral accompaniment, was one of his better ones, especially in terms of clarity and diction. Notably absent at this point were advertised performers Gypsy, Rikki Jai and Singing Sandra, the latter being in Tobago. Warner’s sister offered reasons for their absence. However, Baron was present and he filled the breach, apologising to his audience for being “dressed down,” and noticeably devoid of his trademark dazzling array of jewelry. Baron sang Melosian Rhapsody and Sweet Soca Man and, thunderously encored, returned to sing Spanish Woman. A late arrival, KV Charles closed proceedings, singing Party all night Tonight and Stalin’s Black Man Feelin’ to Party. Remembered for his enthusiasm, sartorial resplendence and joie de vivre, the effervescent spirit of Warner was certainly felt on Wednesday night.
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