Zanda's kaiso jazz rocks

Clive Zanda and his Quartet takes patrons to a musical heaven on Sunday at Kafe Blue, Wrightson Road in Port of Spain. - Gary Cardinez
Clive Zanda and his Quartet takes patrons to a musical heaven on Sunday at Kafe Blue, Wrightson Road in Port of Spain. - Gary Cardinez


KAISO JAZZ rocked the house on Sunday evening as 81-year-old Clive "Zanda" Alexander continued building on his musical invention. The veteran pianist and composer showed off his latest musical collaboration at Kafe Blue on Wrightson Road, Port of Spain.

At the event, Jazz in the Cafe, Zanda incorporated Nigel Rojas in his quartet, bringing two icons of two different genres of music together in what Zanda called Kaiso Jazz Rock.

He admitted it was something new and explained to the audience, “I knew Nigel back in the 80s when we were experimenting with the music but somehow we separated and I had not seen him for about ten years. So I decided to narrow the gap. I felt that if we the icons take our experience to the youth we will make meaningful change in the music. Then there will be no gap and each day will lift the country high.”

The audience supported Zanda’s statement with a loud round of applause.

The evening started with one of Zanda’s early song in Chip Down followed by Fever. The musical maestro then introduced Candice De Freitas who sang Girl from Ipanema, Fever, and Sumertime.

When it was Rojas' turn to speak he said, “This is one of the greatest days in my musical life. Working with Clive Zanda, Richard Joseph (drums) and Russell Durity (bass). I am no icon when we have people like Russell Durity playing this kind of bass. He is a legend.”

Rojas, who is also a composer, singer and guitarist, started his set with Love Each Other and when he was finished he simply told the audience, “Despite your religious persuasion just love each other.”

He then paid tribute to one of his musical mentors, Lord Kitchener with a fantastic version of Kitchener's Pan in A Minor. There was a perfect understanding between the four musicians with each one showing dexterity on the instruments played. Rojas’ use of the wah wah pedal was very creative. One member of the audience described the music as “tasteful.”

Rojas' husky voice and guitar playing resulted in total audience participation in his version of Music (Dingolay) in a special tribute to Shadow.

The quartet also played Caribbean Lullaby and Fancy Sailor and Mr Walker before ending off with Tell Yuh Mama. The musicians were already packing up when a chant of “one more, one more” came and they simply obliged.

It took some time to get things going again but the audience did not mind as De Freitas came back on stage to do a reprise of Fever. This time around she asked Durity to do it in soca to the delight of the audience.

On that Sunday evening, Zanda and his quartet took patrons to a musical heaven with their proficient, professional playing and he vowed to keep doing it until he gets the youths to understand the music which we generate here in TT.


"Zanda’s kaiso jazz rocks"

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