After she won a Dancing with Caribbean Stars competition last month, it didn’t take much convincing for Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly to get up and shake a leg at the Live@Lunch Emancipation Edition Concert: Freedom Call, at the National Library arcade in Port of Spain yesterday.
It was while Mya Scott was singing Black Stalin's Black Man Feeling To Party that accompanying dancers from the Malick Folk Performers made a beeline for the minister.
Dressed in African wear in keeping with the emancipation theme of the event, Gadsby-Dolly obliged, then even tried to follow a dance routine, but dropped out when it got a tad complex.
She said with a laugh afterwards: “Oh gosh! Well, you know, since Tobago, I seem to be the dancer minister, right? So I love dance, I always enjoy dance, and so I’m only too happy to agree when they pull me on the stage to do a little something.”
About the event itself, she said enjoyed the break from the air-conditioned office to go into the nice fresh air and enjoy the talent of the country.
The Live@Lunch series aims to create a platform to promote upcoming musicians across all genres: gospel, pan, chutney, soca etc. It is a collaboration among the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Music TT and the National Library and Information System (NALIS).
From noon yesterday for an hour people gathered at the arcade and took in performances by the people’s calypsonian Brother Valentino (Emrold Phillip), Malick Folk Performers, Nzingha Job, Gillian Moor and Scott.
Job, accompanying herself on guitar, opened the concert with Kanawa (Habib Koite Mah). The QRC music teacher then sang an original piece, Moving On, before closing her set with Chant – Freedom is Power,
She was followed by Moor, who also accompanied herself on guitar and sang War on Crime and Blue Red Woman. Her delivery was at various times, haunting, soothing, powerful and passionate.
Malick Folk Performers next gave an emancipation performance that included drumming, an African dance of celebration and thanksgiving, and singing Merchant’s (Dennis Franklin Williams) Umbayao.
From his vast repertoire Valentine chose to sing One Day Soon, The Lion Wake Up and Birds That Fly High.
But it was Scott’s first song, Ganges and the Nile, that earned the biggest applause of the day. She made the David Rudder song her own, delivering it ballad-style.
Gadsby-Dolly said the Live@Lunch series will continue every day of Carifesta in the Queen’s Park Savannah from August 16-25.
She closed with a message to the nation: “Emancipation is about freedom and liberty, and though we may be free today, it is important that we use our freedom responsibly and we ensure that we translate that freedom to everyone else. So in the spirit of discipline, tolerance and production, I would urge all of us to be as tolerant as we can so that our country can continue to be the wonderful melting pot that it is.”
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