Celebrating 100 Years of Lord Kitchener

If calypso’s “Grandmaster” Lord Kitchener (Aldwin Roberts) was still alive, he would be celebrating his 100th birthday on Monday, April 18, 2022 (Easter Monday).

In an effort to ensure his legacy remains relevant, a team of entrepreneurs and cultural community activists, mainly from Arima, is planning a one-year commemoration from this year’s birthdate until April 17, 2023.

Known as the Arima Rebranding Team (ART) the group is headed by former education curriculum coordinator, and community activist, Henry Saunders, and includes Donald Baldeosingh, Thomas Isaac and James Toussaint.

GRAND MASTER: Kaiso legend, Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts) with his stand-up bass in 1956 | Photo courtesy: Trinidad Express Newspapers

The year long celebration begins on Saturday 16th April, with “100 Years of Kitch,” a Concert produced by SAO Soca Awards Ltd. CEO Colin Jackman. It will feature performances by the son of the Grand Master – Kernal Roberts, Terri Lyons, Explainer, Abu the Entertainer and other local and international artistes, from 7PM at Southern Academy for the Performing Arts. Admission: $100 TTD

The observance continues on the morning of Lord Kitchener’s birthday, Monday 18th April 2022 (Easter Monday), with an interfaith service 9AM at Church of God Center of Ministries, Malabar. Then from 4PM to midnight at Arima Angel Harps Panyard, the festivities will reconvene for “All Things Kitchener”, featuring Kernal Roberts once more, along with other local and international artistes. Admission: FREE

Kitchener’s musical compositions were diverse and melodic. He blended calypso with jazz, particularly bebop, but most important of all was his marriage of calypso with Trinidad’s indigenous musical instrument, the steelpan. In 1944 he composed his first pan calypso, “The Beat of the Steelband,” which initiated a long-lasting alliance between the steelband fraternity and the calypsonian.

He won his first Road march title in 1946 with a Calypso entitled “Jump in line”. He left us with eleven Road March Victories, one Calypso Monarch ‘A tribute to Spree Simon” and fever.

Kitchener transitioned on February 11, 2000 at age 77 years.

For more information call: (868) 720 -5527 or (868) 780-7921

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