The Nicholas Brancker Band aims to hold a “musical conversation” with concert-goers, as legendary steelpan maestro Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe headlines this Saturday at Crop Over’s Fusions concert.
One of the key events in a weekend of pan music on the Crop Over calendar, Fusions, sponsored by First Citizens Bank, intends to take patrons down memory lane with songs 20 years and older. Headliner Sharpe will be joined by Joaquin, Jamal Slocombe, Mikey and Edwin Yearwood.
At the show’s press launch at Balls Park, Christ Church, bandleader Nicholas Brancker told reporters the concert will be an educational opportunity for young people who are clueless about songs which have been “the fabric of Barbadian society”. He said that the musical history of Barbados needs further exploration.
“History is passed on not only in school; it is passed on in households, wherever people of different generations be. We will have a musical conversation on the stage on Saturday night at Ilaro Court,” Brancker said.
But the Grammy-nominated keyboardist, composer, arranger and producer, expressed concerns about the current state of music in Barbados. With music releases being seasonal only for the Crop Over Festival, he contends that the exportation of the musical product was dependent on the local engagement all-year-round and not only for three months.
He said: The nature of Crop Over is that it focuses musically on the music of the year, the year the music comes out. This year we are focused on the music for 2019 and because of the competitions, people are focused on promoting their new music but there is a lot of music that comes out every year that we don’t actually get to hear.
“The same way you can hear an artiste from any other genre of music do a concert and perform their music from 15, 20 years ago we need to be able to make sure that the music which we produce every year still has legacy benefits as time passes.”
Brancker suggested that the responsibility of passing on the country’s musical history lay not on the education system but on the family who is responsible for early socialization.
“Most young Jamaican children know Bob Marley tunes so here now everybody should know all Gabby’s tunes, all Plastic Bag’s tunes; it is part of your history.
The songs we are playing or making are the songs you are going to jump and wuk up to, we’re not making songs that are going to make our music last long.”
Boogsie Sharpe, Trinidad and Tobago’s revered composer, arranger, bandleader and pan soloist, said he was looking forward to tutoring at steel pan workshops facilitated by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) at the Queen’s Park Steel Shed. Brancker’s workshop is to be held at the Frank Collymore Hall.
NCF Chief Executive Officer Carol Roberts-Reifer said that the three-month Crop Over festival was a celebration of Barbadian music and Barbadian excellence.
“I think it is also important during the festival to understand that it is also a celebration of Bajan excellence, whether it is in the culinary arts, the visuals arts … or whether it is in music and that Crop Over is also a celebration of the best Bajan music that you can find,” she said. [email protected]