All Things Kitchener to celebrate Grandmaster’s 100th birthday
A year-long commemoration of the Lord Kitchener will be launched next month.
The Calypso Grandmaster, birth name Aldwyn Roberts, would have turned 100 on April 18 this year.
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.
Themed “All Things Kitchener,” the Pre-launch A Concert produced by SAO Soca Awards Ltd. CEO Colin Jackman takes place on Saturday, April 16 at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts featuring local and international artists.
The celebration continues on the morning of his birthday which falls on Easter Monday with an interfaith service at 4 pm at Arima Angel Harps Panyard for a celebration of 100 years of Kitch with a performance featuring this son Kernal Roberts.
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 11 Road March Victories, and one Calypso Monarch ‘A tribute to Spree Simon” and “Fever”.
Kitchener passed away on February 11, 2000, at the age of 77.