MUSICAL legends who helped to shape and influence the local East Indian music industry will be honoured in this Indian Heritage month. Three of them posthumously.
In celebration of the 178th anniversary of Indians arrival to Trinid and Tobago, the Hindi Foundation of TT Incorporated will host its 37th annual dinner and award ceremony on May 29.
Billed as An Enchanting Evening, the gala dinner and award ceremony will be held at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute Auditorium, Max Richards Drive, Mt Hope.
Seven artistes, including three who died, are among those the organisation have chosen to honour. They are Anil Bheem, whose voice mesmerised listening audiences globally, Ramnarine “Tole” Moonilal for his artistry and creativity towards Indian music and, Jameer Hosein for his contribution to classic music.
Bheem and Tole died earlier this year, while Hosein, a local Indian classical icon, who is credited with changing the face of local Indian classical music, died in 2018.
Bheem’s death shocked the nation, when he died suddenly on February 4, at the age of 48, after performing at two pre-carnival events in Chaguanas and at the 103.1FM Fenomenal Fridays at Rig Restaurant, La Romaine. The singer and radio personality was touted to be at the pinnacle of his career at the time of his death.
Tole, the founder of chutney soca cross over band Dil E Nadan and father of the Ramnarine brothers, was a stalwart in the local Indian music industry. He provided a platform for many aspiring artistes to hone their craft. He died in January.
Four others who continue to keep the East Indian cultural legacy alive are also being honoured.
Saraswati Maharaj for her contribution to Hindi film songs, Lutchmedial Gopichand for his unending role in the teaching of music, Rajesh Seenath, dancer and choreographer, and Rafi Mohammed for his contribution as a promoter, radio, and television broadcaster.
The foundation’s chairman – cultural affairs Surujdeo Mangaroo told Newsday the foundation will also honour and pay tribute to three retired teachers Jinsey Sampath, Jankie Baldeosingh and Jasodra Singh.
“We will be recognising three of our founding members who up to this day are very active within the organisation – Chanka Seetaram, Bob Ramganie Gopee and Patrick Edwards.
“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to honour and celebrate the exceptional contributions made by our awardees. Their hard work and dedication must be recognised.”
In existence for almost four decades, the Hindi Foundation has been focused primarily on teaching and propagating the Hindi language.
Over the years, the foundation has paid tribute to sportsmen and women, cultural icons and academic achievers.