Musicians come out to play Shadow's music at Kafe Blue

Shadow - Gary Cardinez
Shadow - Gary Cardinez

Pan in the Kafe continues on May 29 at Kafe Blue, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain.

The fifth in the series, Steel on Steel, will see musicians delve into the world of Winston "Shadow" Bailey’s music.

Dean Williams (guitar), Wayne Guerra (keys), Richard Joseph (drums), Russell Durity (bass) and Kenneth Clarke (percussion) will try to unravel the mystique that was Shadow.

Joining them on pan are Kern Sumerville and Mikhail Salcedo. Kensa James and Barry Homer will complement the sound with brass.

Shadow’s son Sharlan Bailey, aka Dread Wizard, will be a special guest.

Shadow was blessed with the ability to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. His style was very unorthodox. He never compromised his originality, remained true to his unique style of composing and performing, and gave us the distinctive sound that brought the bass-line to the forefront of his compositions, coupled with the unique poetry of his deceptively simple lyrics. His music used bass more prominently than most calypsonians, of which he once said: "I did Bassman, then I started to use melodic bass-lines, not like they used before, and when I performed in the calypso tents in the early days, I had one extra sheet of music, just for the bass.”

Shadow was also “spiritually aware.” Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than oneself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature.

Historian Bukka Rennie once said that “Shadow in his very simplicity and apparent childish lyrics remains in fact our most complex calypsonian…no different from William Blake in his simplicity, poetic abstractions, and glorifying of nature.”

Shadow made over 45 albums and CDs of extraordinary music that has influenced generations of calypso and rapso artists.

Calypso expert Prof Gordon Rohlehr believed, “Shadow is going to be remembered for his contributions to rhythm and melody, for his strangeness, his weirdness, that sense of obeah in his music, the theme of retribution, his dedication and obsession with the music.”

Shadow did not measure his success by titles and awards; for him it was truly all about the music. Winston Bailey was The Shadow, Shadow was the music, the music was Winston Bailey.

As he put it: “My story never move from music. I could do plenty things without the music, but it would be empty things.”

Steel on Steel starts at 8 pm.


"Musicians come out to play Shadow’s music at Kafe Blue"

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