FRENCH Ambassador Serge Lavroff and his wife, Caroline, hosted a reception in honour of Calypso Rose (McCartha Linda Sandy-Lewis) at their St Clair residence on Thursday evening.
Ambassador Lavroff said he’d never met the Calypso Queen of the World before and wanted to seize the opportunity to personally meet and congratulate her on her achievements and monumental cultural contribution. He took advantage of the opportunity, since Calypso Rose, who is rarely ever in TT, is only here for a few days.
“This is a unique opportunity to host a very great artiste and who is today a living legend of Caribbean music. She is the winner of a 2017 Victoires de la Musique Award, she is ‘Lioness of the Jungle’, and she is also ‘Queen of France’. Calypso Rose you do not need any introduction. I would like on behalf of everyone to welcome you and to thank you very warmly for giving us the grace of your presence.”
He reminded the gathering of Calypso Rose’s release of some 800 songs and 20 albums, adding, “Calypso Rose conquered the world; she has put her spell on France. She has put the name of her country, Trinidad and Tobago to music. And last but not the least, she has given her name to an aircraft of the Caribbean Airlines fleet, which means, everybody understands that she can fly now.” Laughter followed that quip.
He noted that some of her compositions bore the strength and the wisdom that can move and set society in motion. He said, “With very few simple words, few notes and most of all with a rhythm which can set things and people to motion, songs like Far From Home, Calypso Queen, Abatina, Leave Me Alone, and most of all, No Madame, have not only made people dance but also had made the world better. For us diplomats, who spend our lives negotiating minute advances, this is a great lesson to ponder that a single song can change the world.”
Lavroff divulged the source of Rose’s strength. “Calypso Rose has a secret and I am going to tell you. It is simply that you make people happy when they hear your music.” Guests applauded.
“By giving people a little joy, you restore faith in life, and this is a great achievement.
“Calypso Rose, on behalf of everyone I would like to welcome you here in this house, in your Kingdom of France, and I would like to propose a toast to your own joy and happiness and everyone who listen to your music.”
Among those present at the function was Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, CAL’s CEO Garvin Madera, Calypso Rose’s manager Jean Michel Gibert, and former culture minister Joan Yuille-Williams.
Gibert told Newsday Rose’s schedule has been so hectic that she has come home for a short rest. For the past few months she has been on yet another Far From Home tour of France and other European countries. However, her last gig was in Mustique Island, where she performed for 100 celebrities, including Mick Jagger.