Keino Swamber presents Golden

Keino Swamber will perform songs from a wide range of artistes at his Golden concert at Naparima Bowl on July 30. - Angelo Marcelle
Keino Swamber will perform songs from a wide range of artistes at his Golden concert at Naparima Bowl on July 30. - Angelo Marcelle

Although Newsday editor, actor and singer Keino Swamber has been performing since he was a child, it was only in 2018 that he took the step to have his own show.

You might have seen the San Fernando resident in musicals such as Wind in the Willows, Rent, The Sound of Music and Little Shop of Horrors or plays such as Man Talk, Beef, No Chicken, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, Play Yourself Prime Minister, Wife Swap and Scrooge.

Swamber did not formally study music but gained experience working with the late actor, stage director and producer Raymond Choo Kong; writer, artist and director Mervyn de Goeas; and director Louis Mc Williams, as well as the St Stephen’s Alumni Choir and Genesis Chorale. Turning 50 on February 17 this year was a major shift for him and, with the pandemic waning he decided this was the time to host his second concert, Keino Swamber presents Golden.

It will be held on July 30 from 7 pm at the Naparima Bowl, San Fernando. Guest performers including Ziggy Rankin, Moricia Cagan, Brenda Butler and Jassiem Williams will also be there.

Moricia Cagan will perform at Keino Swamber presents Golden concert at Naparima Bowl, San Fernando. - AYANNA KINSALE

Swamber was pulled into a choir by a second-year teacher to sing for the outgoing principal of La Romaine RC.

His mother leaving the radio on while doing her household chores further developed his love for music. These combined phenomena laid the foundation for his love of music.

Even though Swamber joined choirs and acted in musicals and plays in his early adulthood he was not ready to host his own show.

“Although I would have entered competitions, sang for weddings, funerals and sang solo in shows it was a different thing altogether being the featured artiste in your own show.”

But seeing the way artistes like Vaughnette Bigford branded and marketed herself gave him the extra push to host his own. Many non-mainstream artistes see Bigford as a template for how one should build and establish a brand.

His first concert – It’s My Turn – was his time to step out, he said.

Swamber has also learned that being successful means knowing one’s audience.

Ziggy Ranking will perform at Keino Swamber presents Golden concert on July 30 at Naparima Bowl, San Fernando. -

“For me, having turned 50 this year, my demographic would be the more mature among us,” he said.

His audience would just want to be in a space with other people like themselves and enjoy “good, wholesome music,” he added.

He hopes corporate TT will find a space for non-mainstream artistes. Creative people were often challenged by the lack of support, he added.

“When you look at who some of the major corporate sponsors are gravitating toward, it is already established artistes or the fete promoters. I think there is a need for more support for smaller entities.”

Brenda Butler is one of the guest artistes on Keino Swamber presents Golden concert at Naparima Bowl. -

He added that non-mainstream artistes have an audience that is possibly being neglected by corporate sponsors. He thinks one way to solve this is to have sponsors communicate to artistes what is needed to provide sponsorship.

He said it appeared a particular demographic was not considered by these companies at all.

“They lock on to the 18-35s or 18-25s and they see nothing beyond that, when you have a demographic of people who are a dwindling middle class, who have capital, who want to be entertained as well and who are willing to spend that money.”

At Keino Swamber presents Golden, people can expect to hear music that “really speaks to them.”

The song choices focus on love for Trinidad and Tobago’s children, each other and rebuilding human relationships. There will be a mix of R&B, reggae, Broadway musicals, soca and calypso.

In his baritone voice, Swamber will deliver songs from a wide range of artistes like Tarrus Riley, Mavis John, Stevie Wonder and calypsonian Nelson.

Swamber hopes to have an annual concert, once there is support.

“We can’t just fool ourselves and just decide we are going to have a show whether people come or not; whether we get financial support or not. We have to be realistic as well. But that is my hope.

“As we speak, I already have a name and a theme for a possible follow-up concert.”

As for original music, Swamber does not intend to do any because of the risk.

“I don’t think I am ready to be tested like that as yet.

“When someone decides to create a piece of work, it really is a piece of them they are sharing with the world. Sometimes we don’t know how that is going to received and that is where the hesitation comes in.” But what he wants to continue to do is share good music and love.


"Keino Swamber presents Golden"

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