The Sounds of the Calabash: Roots, Rock, Reggae

2792296525 1bc9db286e e1347898496394 The Sounds of the Calabash: Roots, Rock, Reggae

Engraved Cal­abash

The (Cal­abash) drum beat don’t stop just cause ribs knock or the poets get cock-blocked… “All these poets think they’re nov­el­ists!” quipped Car­olyn Cooper, emcee extra­or­dinare & pro­fes­sor of lit­er­ary and cul­tural stud­ies at the Uni­ver­sity of the West Indies, Mona as she called time: 3 mins!

She was right, and like her I thought to call time on my long over­due music post in cel­e­bra­tion of Cal­abash 2012, but the sounds are still in heavy rota­tion. One or two have even worked their way onto  my devo­tional playlist on Youtube.  And if you were present in that place where a wel­come mat was laid for hearts that beat to the rhythm of the arts, then you def­i­nitely couldn’t blame the one or two or more rene­gades who gave it their all on either stage (music &/or arts).

The space between the jam-packed sched­ule of The Cal­abash Fes­ti­val 2012 which courted a “con­stel­la­tion of faces and voices and see­ing and ways of being” that made you feel like you were on this side of lit­er­ary heaven, and brought to mind a clear excel­lence among Caribbean lovers and com­pa­tri­ots, was filled with the sounds of the calabash.

From voices that did the gut­ter swipe, to the falsetto heights, to the rub-a-dub-stylee, it made no never mind because it was potent ROOTS-ROCK-REGGAE, and I fell in love more than once.

The fol­low­ing is me play­ing favorites. I urge you to take a listen…

1) NoMaddz — I won’t even waste pre­cious breath label­ing. #The yuth tal­ented fe true. These young men brought the madd-ness the first night. That is, mad­ness com­ing good like ill can be ren­dered superla­tive, and dubbed illest.

Sort out Yuh Life Jamaica!

The Trod

2) Rag­ing Fyah — ‘Six musi­cians divinely united to cre­ate and per­form whole­some music for Gen­er­a­tions.” Judge­ment Day is the title track from their debut album Judge­ment Day. Meet Kumar Bent (lead singer/guitar), Anthony Wat­son (drum­mer), Demar Gayle (keyboard/singer), Del­roy ‘Pele’ Hamilton,(bass guitar/singer), Mahlon Moving(engineer/singer) and Cort­land ‘Gizmo’ White (gui­tar). Rag­ing Fyah, spir­i­tual music to a higher level.’

Judge­ment Day

You want to talk about “wheel back de tune Ms. Selecta” then please do, I can do this all day.  Also gain­ing momen­tum in my life of late:

Irie Vibe


3) Jakoostik nee The Cal­abash Acoustic Ensem­ble — ‘Jakoostik’s mis­sion is to bring the cat­a­logue of clas­sic Jamaican songs to life through acoustic per­for­mances and arrange­ments ener­gized by the spirit of impro­vi­sa­tion.’ You can well imag­ine that they knew their stuff. They took it slow–decade by decade. Two that set my heart beating:

Book of Rules

Sammy Dead/Hard Man Fe Dead

Some his­tory on the group: Jakoostik came as the result of a fea­ture on the last day of each Cal­abash lit­er­ary fes­ti­val where a group of respected Jamaican musi­cians were asked to present and inter­pret clas­sic Jamaican songs as lit­er­a­ture. At first, the group was known as the Cal­abash Acoustic Ensem­ble and then the Jakoostik Music Ensem­ble, nowa­days it is sim­ply Jakoostik.


4) I-Octane — There was a rumor and as untrue as it turned out to be, I must con­fess I delighted in it. I like how the young man stays which is why he’s here. Life hard in the inte­rior and life hard at the edge of the water, but we are ever good at sur­vival. His story is blazing!

My Story


Who have you been lis­ten­ing to lately?



Hi there, I’m Tynisha C. Leon, writer, West Indian, mango-lover, founder and Editor-in-chief of DASHEEN mag­a­zine — the online des­ti­na­tion where cul­ture feeds imag­i­na­tion. Join the cul­ture chat on Face­bookTwit­ter and Tum­blr! If you’d like to con­tribute, drop me a line any­where, I’d love to read/see your unique views! Bless up!






 The Sounds of the Calabash: Roots, Rock, Reggae Tynisha Camelitta (95 Posts)

Hi there! I’m Tynisha Camelitta, writer, West Indian, mango-lover, host­ess & passion-preneur @ DASHEEN mag­a­zine + Camelitta INK! Co. DASHEEN is proud to be the online des­ti­na­tion where cul­ture feeds imag­i­na­tion. If you’d like to con­tribute to this com­mu­nity, drop me a line here, I’d love to read/see you. Bless up!

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