The 2022 Barbados Celtic Festival continued its celebrations in fine style on Saturday with a lively parade of pipers and drummers from Scotland and Canada, who once again teamed up with members of the Barbados Defence Force Band as they made their way through the heart of Bridgetown.
Jeana Leslie, Director of the Barbados Celtic Festival, says the team behind the annual festival was delighted to be back on the island once again after the break caused by the pandemic.
She says it was always an enjoyable experience for the band to merge Scottish and Caribbean genres of music.
“The pipers and the Barbados Defence Force Band on this parade have been playing some traditional Scottish folk pipe band tunes, however later we are going to move up to the boardwalk and we are going to mix in some calypso and folk. It’s going to be an amalgamation of the two with both bands,” Leslie said.
“Everyone is so delighted to be back here again; your country is absolutely amazing, the people are beautiful, they are so friendly and welcoming, so the experience is [great] getting back on Bajan soil and getting to play with the Barbados Defence Force Band and the amazing musicians.”
She says that having been on pause for the last two years because of COVID, the band saw the restart of the festival as a truly momentous occasion.
“We have not performed anywhere for the past two years. It’s the first festival that most of the musicians from Scotland and Canada and England have performed at since COVID, so it’s a really special and monumental occasion.”
Director of Music for the Barbados Defence Force Band, Captain Brian Cole, expressed his pleasure with having the BDF band working with the Scottish pipers and drummers, describing it as an interesting experience.
“We got to embrace the Scottish culture, the Scottish music, learning from the bagpipes, not only just the notes on the page, but the style of the music they play is just tremendous.” (SB)