Artistes Bios

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DENNIS JAMES

Dennis James hails from the island of St. Lucia. He moved to Canada in 1972 and continued to find success as a performer with dance band Groove Master and several other bands in Montreal. He first grabbed attention in Toronto in 1999 when he entered the Calypso Monarch competition and reached the finals. In 2000 he was runner-up for the title and also placed thire in his first appearance in the Soca Monarch competition. James was a big hit with Toronto audiences and received the Peoples' Choice Award in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He went on the capture the Calypso Monarch title in 2001, 2002 and 2006.

REDMAN

Michael Thomas aka Redman hails from the island of Grenada where he began his musical journey as a reggae performer in 1984 thrilling the street and dancehall audiences. In 1988, accompanied by Grenada's Police Band, he sang his first Calypso and was Master of Ceremony in their kaiso tent. He moved to Toronto in 1989 and in 1990 was a finalist in OCPA's tent. Redman performed in the tents for 11 years and he has been a finalist no less than nine times.

In 2009 Redman captured the crown with his two social commentary songs "Black Hen Chicken" and "No Picong". Known for his upfront and peppering kaiso lyrics, his logo is ''none shall escape in kaiso''. Redman took a much needed rest for seven years before returning to centre stage in 2008. A very versatile performer, Redman has recorded reggae, R&B, Calypso and Soca and is one of the top draws in the cast of Kaiso Forum in the 2009 Calypso Tents Music Series.

PANMAN PAT

Pat began singing calypsos at Hillview College in Tunapuna, Trinidad. Pat has been a pioneer for the Carnival Arts in Canada and performed for the first Caribana festival in Toronto. He has taught steelpan in Toronto District School Board schools and introduced steelpan as a formal high school credit course over 25 years ago.  Pat was co-author of “Caiso, Caiso – The Story of Calypso Brought to Life”, a cultural handbook for Canadians interested in Calypso. In 2011 he was awarded the Kathy Searles Memorial Award for his contribution to the carnival arts in Canada.

STRUCTURE

Structure entered the Calypso Arena in the 1980's in his native home Barbados with the social commentary "Product of the Classroom". He was a regular in the yearly Pic-O-De-Crop competitions there, developing his unique style of incorporating subtlety and humor into his art form. In 2002, after immigrating to Canada, he entered the OCPA-sponsored Calypso Monarch competition and placed 1st runner up.

Structure went on to capture the title in 2003, 2004 and 2005, along with ten of the eleven remaining categories, including the most coveted People's Choice Award. The founder and manager of the Kaiso Forum Calypso Tent, Structure also has a deep passion for cricket and dominoes. Structure has held the position of Vice President of the Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes for two years and been an advocate for the Calypso art form, pledging his continued support so see it grow from strength to strength until attaining the recognition it rightly deserves.

In 2006 Structure placed sixth in the fiercely competitve national Pic-O-De-Crop Calypso competition in Barbados with "Youth Restoration" and "I Want A Bag!" - remarkable achievement for a non-resident performer. In 2007 Structure captured the Canadian Calypso crown for the forth consecutive time with his brilliant and wiity "I Know" and "No Mexico"

SUSAN G

Susan G. started her singing career as a background vocalist in Barbados with the Battleground Calypso Tent and lead vocalist with the dance band Sauvage. In Barbados she also worked with top calypsonians Red Plastic Bag, Gabby, and Gryner. In the early 90's Susan made Canada her home, where she started singing with the band A Taste of Madness. She is one of the lead vocalists and band leader of one of Toronto's top Soca band Neu Jenerashun.

Susan G is best known for her smash hits 'Gimme Pan', 'Soca Addict' and 'Mr. Music Man'. Susan has made international appearances in the Cayman Islands, Columbia, and across the United States and Canada. Susan is celebrating her thirteenth year as a performing member of the highly- acclaimed COBA dance/theatre company. For 2006 Susan won third runner up in the Toronto Calypso Monarch Competition. She captured the 2007 Calypso Monarch title in Ottawa and won the 2007 Calypso Monarch in Miami, U.S.A.

vertical-montage-fifiROGER GIBBS (RAJIMAN)

Toronto-based singer and guitarist, composer, arranger and recording artist originally from Barbados, Roger started as a lead singer of the Sandpebbles, a popular Caribbean dance music band. He currently performs with Shak-Shak, an acoustic Calypso side and a ska/reggae/funk/jazz/blues band, The Liquidaires.

He has recorded two solo CD's ("Spirit of Calypso" and "Calypso Classics on Guitar") and has been a performing member of one of Canada's top dance/theatre companies - COBA - for the past fifteen years. In 2009 Roger was an Artistic Director for the Scotiabank Caribana Festival. In 2010 he was Musical Director for "I, Marcus Garvey" the Edgar White play presented by Theatre Archipelago.

CONNECTOR

Trinidad-born Joel Davis aka Connector is a multi-talented artiste who has made a tremendous contribution to Soca in Toronto since he burst on the scene in 1992 In 1995 Connector had his first hit single, "Bump and Shake Yuh Bam Bam". His second single, "Doh Hide It", topped at number one for two weeks in Trinidad and remained in the top 25 for two months."Doh Hide It" was also chosen to be the 1996 Road March for Caribana in Toronto, giving him the title for a second time.

Singer, songwriter Connector produced his debut CD album titled "Explosive" (1999). In 2000 he made it to the semi-finals in the International Soca-Monarch Competition in Trinidad and Tobago with one of his smashing Soca songs "Juookie-Juookie" from his album "Explosive". He has also been a regular finalist in the OCPA Calypso Monarch Competition in Toronto (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2008) and a semi finalist.

Joel has been featured in such films as "Blues Brother 2000", "In Too Deep", "Ladies Man" and "The City" and he has shared the stage with other popular Soca artistes such as Defosto, Crazy, Baron, Johnny King, Preacher and the Mighty Sparrow, to name a few. Connector has also been the recipient of the Mas in the City Monarch of Canada Award and the Canadian Reggae Music Award for the song, "Bump & Shake". In 1999 he was nominated for The Sunshine Award in New York City for the best political and social commentary calypso "De Nation Cries". In 2005 he won the Caribana Soca Monarch title for the third time with his high tempo "On The Road" and dynamic performance. In 2006, Connector was a finalist in the International Chutney Soca Monarch Competition in Trinidad and Tobago, singing his hit song "Meh 2 Lovers" and his new release "West Indian" on his 2006 CD "Soca Lava".

CROONER

Bill "The Calypso Crooner" Newman grew up near Georgetown in Guyana where he was immersed in the myriad of musical genres that made up the typical play list of radio at that time. From Calypso to Classical and everything in between could be heard on the airwaves and he was particularly drawn to the music of the calypso stars of the day. Intrigued by the very clever lyrics of the calypsos he heard, he started writing his own calypsos at a very early age. This lead to him being featured on children's radio programs as early as age eleven and from there he progressed to singing with several local bands as a young teenager.

In the mid-1990's he entered the Toronto calypso arena and was an immediate success, winning the People's Choice award at his first Canadian Calypso Monarch competition with his classic "TV Talk Show", and was a runner-up as recently as 2007. He was also featured in the first ever C.B.C.radio broadcast of a calypso concert in 2008. His style, harkening back to the classic calypsos of his youth, has been eagerly embraced by calypso fans in the city. Along the way he has garnered several music and cultural awards and has recorded four CD's of original calypsos. He has also just completed recording a CD of original love songs titled "Love Unconditional" in the style of the great crooners. Bill's rich baritone voice has served him well in singing calypso music and is equally well employed in this genre of romantic music.

BEGINNER

Beginner was born in Trinidad & Tobago and started his singing career in 1968. Inspired by his family members of Calypso fame (Lord Beginner), he has been a finalist in the OCPA Calypso Monarch competition in Toronto more than any other calypsonian and has won the Monarch title five times.

MACOMERE FIFI

Before she became 'Macomere Fifi', award-winning calypso singer, Tara Woods had made the progression from church chorister to Caribbean folk singer to formidable character on the male-dominated calypso music scene. Tara was born in Tobago where she performed with folk art groups prior to migrating to Canada. She immediately started singing with La Petite Musicale of Toronto, an artistic group whose repertoire includes folk singing, Caribbean dance and theatrical productions. Her career in calypso singing started in 1998. Since then she has racked up a list of impressive credits as one of Canada's most formidable calypso performers, winning accolades such as the Calypso Monarch, Soca Monarch, Peoples' Choice Award, Pan Kaiso Monarch of Canada, and Calypso Queen of Canada. Fifi is the current Monarch for 2010, winning in fine style with two songs penned by Montreal-based Winston Maingot, "Haiti Will Rise Again" and "It's Your Turn to Die."

Fifi's powerful renditions have won her a loyal following and shown that Canada is one of the world's top producers of Calypso and Soca. Macomere Fifi has performed in Hong Kong, London, Miami, Chicago, and back in her native Trinidad & Tobago and is the current title-holder of the "Kaiso 365" Calypso Monarch Competition. She released her first solo CD "Sweet As Ever" and her songs have been featured on several Caribana compilations. In 2007 she was subject of a documentary film on Bravo Television's 'Heart Beat' series and in 2008 was featured on the 1st Annual CBC Radio Calypso Tent.

vertical-montage-croonerD' JUICEMAN

Author of three books on Trinidadian dialect, Calypso recording artist / composer, Co-Director of "Pass The Torch" (a children's programme that teaches of Calypso and Soca); member, Songwriters of Canada; Advisory Board of Urban Music Association of Canada (UMAC) 2005, Dick is one of the Caribbean community's most popular M.C. and humourist; he is a tireless promoter / producer of Calypso shows and community activist. Dick grabbed the spotlight when he toured Trinidad and was the favourite in the tent in San Fernando. He went on to place second in the Couva competition.

DELEE

Toronto favourite Delee has been a voice in demand since his hit "Celebrating Carnival", a track taken from Delee's 2007 album titled My Soca Posse, his fifth CD release in the last six years. He has musical roots in the Grenada Police Band, among other Caribbean bands and currently writes, arranges, and produces music in his Delmatt Studio, Markham, Ontario. Last two hits were "Party Lover" and "Lonely Tonight" on his 2005 release titled "Soca Party Lover.

JAYSON

Jayson, the 'Grandfather of Calypso' in Canada, has a record of accomplishment that speaks for itself. He won the monarch title in 1984 and returned to win in 1986-87-88. He has composed extensively, writing for other monarchs, Macomere Fifi, Beginner, and Dennis James. He has recorded two CD's – 'Soca Fever' and 'The Best of Jayson', and has songs on seven different Calypso compilations. In 1990-91 Jayson was awarded a JUNO in the Reggae & Calypso category for his 'Soldiers We Are All'. He represented North America in the Calypso Monarchs of The World in 1986 in Barbados. Jayson is a co-founder of the "Pass The Torch" school.

DYNASTY

Dynasty entered the Canadian scene in 1992, reaching at least the Calypso Monarch finals in 1994, 1998 and 2001. He has been a consistent top three performer in the Soca Monarch competition over the past 4 years. During this period, he also performed with the Unique Tent in Trinidad. His songs "Ride De Riddim", "Come Go" and "The Nature of Motherhood" have been staples on radio in the Caribbean and North America.

WEB

Born Hamilton Alexander in Trinidad, the Web has over thirty fiver years musical experience. He played with the Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra in 1966 to1977. He also held the position of trustee and vice-president of the island's steelband organization Pan Trinbago. Web moved to Canada in 1977 and immediately got involved writing and performing Calypso. In the calypso Monarch competitions in Montreal he placed second on several occasions, and he won the title two consecutive years 2001 – 2002. He has been participating in the Canadian Calypso Monarch since 1981 and been a finalist on numerous occasions. He served as President of the Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes (O.C.P.A) and was chosen to accompany the Caribana Festival contingent on their tour to Hong Kong.

KING COSMOS

Henry Gomez was born and grew up in Princes Town, Trinidad. He comes from a musical family that includes the famed bandleader, Johnny Gomez and Gomez of parang fame in Lopinot. He lives and records in Toronto and has received numerous awards for his work - Sunshine Award Nominee (1998), Canadian Reggae Music Award winner (1998), Canadian Calypso Monarch (1995), and the Chalmers Award (1980).

He has been singing calypso for over twenty years. He is also an indie recording artist on the DAGGA label and his discography includes 'More Fire' (2005), 'Fire' (2000), 'Dis One Hot' (1997), 'Half Breed' (1993), and 'Culture Shock' (1990). King Cosmos is truly a versatile entertainer. He was trained as an actor at Ryerson and York Universities and has worked extensively on stage from Quebec to Alberta. He holds a B.A. and B.Ed. from the University of Toronto and an M.F.A. from York University.

 

 

 

 

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