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Theron Shaw in concert: Emancipate

Thursday, July 28, 2016
Guitarist Theron Shaw will play with his group The Theron Shaw Project in a concert called Emancipate at Kaiso Blues Cafe on Sunday evening. PHOTO: ROGER LEWIS/LOOK INTO MY EYES

If you enjoy live music with a mix of eclectic influences, including jazz, East Indian, rock and Caribbean, you can look forward to a great time at Kaiso Blues Cafe this Sunday when guitarist Theron Shaw plays with his group The Theron Shaw Project in a concert called Emancipate.

“I will be performing a selection of songs from my three records— The Sojourn (2003), Right Here, Right Now (2009) and Gumbo Caribe (2014),” said Shaw in a telephone interview with the Guardian on Tuesday (July 26), adding that he’ll also play pieces from other musical inspirations.

Singer Ruth Osmond will perform, as will one of Shaw’s own guitar students, James Joseph from Haiti, who will perform a guitar duet with Shaw.

“My music is an evolution of experiences,” shared Shaw, as he reflected that over the years since graduating in Music Therapy at Howard University in 1995, he’s immersed himself in sounds, music and influences from many people and groups.

Writer Vaneisa Baksh has described Shaw’s music this way: “...this music has an overriding warmth, but a cool, refreshing feeling that mellows the spirit and invokes introspection… and sometimes, lost memories. Shaw’s music is decidedly Caribbean in the way it is completely at home while blending with ancestral cultures. He infuses familiar rhythms with unexpected beats and melodies that tell the story of a musician who has walked through the grand bazaar of world music, absorbing flavours to bring them home to add to a bubbling pot.” 

The Theron Shaw Project consists of five musicians: Michael Low Chew Tung on keyboards; Rodney Alexander on bass guitar; Khalen Alexander on drums; Sheena Richardson on percussion; and of course Theron Shaw himself on guitar. It is a working relationship of musicians who play together for different gigs, and who also have their own musical interests and projects, said Shaw. 

Shaw’s music is produced and managed by the company ForedayMornin’ Entertainment, which showcases both new and established musical and artistic talent that is indigenous to T&T.

For those who don’t know him, Shaw is a guitarist, arranger and composer who comes originally from Belmont and who is now based in Petit Valley. With an introspective nature, he loved art when he was younger and accidentally discovered a passion for music as a boy when his mother bought him a four-stringed plastic guitar. He largely taught himself and would play with fellow classmates at St James Secondary in impromptu sessions that would entertain the students. 

Later, he would go on to pursue jazz studies at Howard, switching his major to music therapy. On his return to Trinidad, in addition to regular music teaching jobs, he became a well-known musician on the local jazz circuit—he was a member of the Kaiso Jazz Workshop, with Michael Tobas, a group which played all over the Caribbean, and has performed at jazz events including Pan Ramajay, Caribbean Jazz Waves, We Beat Festival and Jazz on the Greens. 

Shaw has performed with a great many singers and performing acts over the years, including Lord Pretender, Cuban pianist Ernán López-Nussa, Arturo Tappin, David Rudder, Andy Narell, Ella Andall, Andre Tanker, Len Boogsie Sharpe, Mavis John and the Trinidad Theatre Workshop.

“Cross cultural influences are what make music more interesting,” said Shaw on Tuesday to the Guardian, as he spoke of the creative cross-fertilisation that happens when you go beyond your own country’s music and explore other areas and cultures. 

Even right here within the Caribbean, he noted that many of us in the English-speaking islands aren’t aware of, or exposed to, the rich variety of creative music in the French Caribbean islands, who are our neighbours. Shaw commented that he is always interested in seeing how musics influence each other; how, for instance, US music influences us, and how Caribbean music in turn influences US sounds.

The live music concert Emancipate, featuring the Theron Shaw Project, takes place at Kaiso Blues Cafe in Port-of-Spain this Sunday evening from 7 pm. 

More Info

WHAT: Live music concert—Emancipate— the Theron Shaw Project 

WHERE: Kaiso Blues Cafe, 85 Woodford Street—477-2262

WHEN: Sunday, July 31, 7 pm


FACEBOOK: The Theron Shaw Project


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