Trinidad & Tobago
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Vintage T&T Artists & Trinbago Style Music

                       Disclaimer: This Music is solely to promote T&T Style music

     and is not for any sort of profit. No copyright infringement is intended!


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Kaiso is a type of music popular in Trinidad &Tobago. Kaiso music has its origins in West Africa particularly in present-day Nigeria and in the Kongo. People would also gather in "Kaiso" tents where a lead singer would lead them in songs. Many early Kaisos were sung in French Creole. Kaiso songs are generally narrative in form and often have a cleverly concealed political subtext. Kaiso performers are known as Kaisonians. From Kaiso came Calypso, Soca, Chutney Soca and Dance Hall Soca.  



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Calypso is a style of Afro Caribbean Music that originated in Trinidad & Tobago during the early to mid-20th century. Its rhythms can be traced back to West African Kaiso. Calypso is usually witty and satiric. It contains  local and topical event of political and social activities. The tone is one of allusion, mockery, and double meaning. Calypso was first led by a Griot (Historian) then by a Chantuelle (Lavway: French) and eventually by a Calypsonian.




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Extempo is a lyrically improvised form of calypso and is most notably practiced in Trinidad and Tobago. It consists of a performer improvising in song or in rhythmic speech on a given topic before an audience. It is inherently competitive and success is judged by the wit and ingenuity of the performance. Extempo sing's about their opponent in a humorous or praised manner. Topics comprise of current and local events with mockery, ridicule and sarcasm, or with flattery or praise.”




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Soca (Sokah) > Soul of Calypso

The Godfather of Soca Garfield Blackman also known as Lord shorty originally called his music Sokah. In the 1970s, he began experimenting with calypso by blending it with Trinbago Chutney and Indian instruments like the Dholak, Tabla and the Dhantal. Shorty was the first to define his music  with "Indrani" in 1973 and "Endless Vibration" in 1974. Endless Vibrations and Soul of Calypso brought Soca to its peak of international fame. Shorty was also influence by Cadance from Dominica and their local artist Maestro whom he visited in 1975. As Soca grew, it incorporate elements of Cadance, Funk, Soul, Zouk, and dance music genres, and continues to blend in contemporary music styles and trends up to this day.


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Patriotic Music of Trinidad and Tobago is part of the culture and history of the twin islands. Patriotic music came to prominence when Kade Simson (Brynner) sang and won the Independence tune in 1962. Tunes are about praising the country, individuals, culture, customs, unity, beauty, food and other achievements. It can also criticize to point out problems.



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Chutney Soca originated with Drupatee Ramgoonai born 6 March 1958 in Penal-Debe, Trinbago. She is of East Indian Heritage.  She was responsible for coining the term "chutney Soca" in 1987  with her first album, entitled Chutney Soca. Her biggest hit was Roll Up the Tassa. She was instrumental in Tassa and Chutney Soca finding its place in Carnival and her efforts later led to Chutney Soca Monarch competition.
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Steelpan Music originated in Trinidad & Tobago in the 1930s becoming one of the sounds most associated with island music. Originally, bamboo of varying sizes had been used as percussion instruments to accompany vocal songs mostly but the white colonial British government restricted the  drums of the African and Indian population because it was used as a form of communication.



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Combos Music in Trinbago was usually a small musical ensemble with emphasis on the guitar, organ and singing. In the 1960s the very first combo with electric guitars was Silver Strings. The group’s leader was Kenneth Pinheiro. Before the electric guitar and amplification of instruments, horn instruments held the spotlight. The electric guitar became something of a new instrument, taking over the lead in bands. Coming fast and furious thereafter were combos like Ansel Wyatt, Cassanovas, Group Solo, Esquires etc.. The combos had a new sound and new approach to music. The combos made vocalists very popular in fetes.
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Big Bands - In the early stages of Caribbean orchestra music during the 1920’s to the late 50’s the instruments in any band were acoustic in nature. A wooden box with metal pegs over a central hole were the bass sound. Later the box bass gave way to the upright string bass. The electric guitar eventually replaced the box or acoustic guitar due to the advancement of music technology in areas of amplification. In the rhythm section were the old bands tom toms (congas) along with the bottle and spoon and the iron which accented the music and gave it that true grassroots Caribbean flavor. The brass section was eventually added and this proved the icing on the musical cake. The trumpet, trombone and sax added their special touch to round out the music.  

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Rapso is a form of Trinbago music that grew out of the social unrest of the 1970s. Black Power and Unions grew in the 1970s, and Rapso grew along with them. The first recording was Blow Away by Lancelot Layne in 1970. Cheryl Bryon was the first woman to perform this brand of music in calypso tents, and it mushroomed in the early '80s with Brother Resistance. Rapso is the poetic "rap" form of Trinbagonian music. It also has its origins in the oral tradition of Trinbago Carnival such as the Midnight Robber, Pierrot Grenade, etc.
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Christmas Parang Music are popular folk music originating from Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago. It was brought to Trinidad & Tobago by Venezuelan migrants who were primarily of Amerindian, Spanish, and African heritage. The poorer class Spanish introduce the Christian Christmas flavor and the African contributed the rhythm and percussion to a already Amerindian music. The word Parang is derived from two Spanish words: Parranda, meaning "a spree or fête", and Parar meaning "to stop". Soca Parang has emerged from Parang and is mostly sang in English. Soca parang is a combination of Soca music and Parang. It was first introduced by Calypsonian Crazy (Edwin Ayoung) in 1978 with his tune titled "Parang Soca"


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International Music from Trinidad and Tobago is well established for a very small country. From Classical, Jazz, Pop, etc the twin island is well represented from artists that set standards and are registered in some of the world's major music charts. 
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