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KOBOTOWN, Calypso, Dub, Reggae- Saturday>Hamilton>PJC


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This Saturday, Pepper Jack's has a cool band named Kobotown playing.


Guest DJ's Jon Sikich and Ron Eazy will be spinning the finest in rare Tropical Funk.


Calypso is an art that developed in dialogue with other musical forms. The members of Kobo Town, who come to calypso from all over the musical map, hope to continue and extend this tradition of rhythmic and melodic cross-pollination. Singer-songwriter Drew Gonsalves, from Diego Martin, Trinidad, owes a heavy debt to the dazzling wordplay and rapid-fire imagery of rapso and dub poetry. Percussionist Derek Thorne, from Maraval, Trinidad, brings the explosive drum rhythms of West Africa to the group, forging a sonic link between calypso and its earliest, deepest roots.

Ravi Jadoonanan, who mastered the dholak at the Hindu temple in his hometown of Chaguanas, Trinidad, adds the driving beats of the Indo-Caribbean, while drummer Stich Wynston, a Toronto native, contributes the dynamic and spontaneous character of freestyle jazz. With Jamaican-born Roger Williams comes the heavy bass grooves of reggae, rock steady and funk.

Although a classically trained guitarist from St. James, Trinidad, Cesco Emmanuel's raw and energetic playing betrays his history as a pioneer of the island's rock underground. And Osvaldo Rodriguez, from Havana, Cuba, brings the syncopated violin melodies of the Cuban charanga, a style of music that experienced its "golden age" at the same time as calypso.

Exploring the rich lyrical tradition and compelling rhythms of calypso's formative years the age of the Roaring Lion, Mighty Spoiler, Lord Invader, King Radio and Attila the Hun Kobo Town strives to demonstrate the contemporary relevance of their art by engaging the pressing concerns of our time. Domestic violence, the US war on Iraq, the paradoxes of globalization, the ongoing state of Caribbean dependency, and the bittersweet experience of immigration are all treated within their wide and varied repertory.

For Kobo Town, Trinidad's musical heritage is a living, growing body of work, with a continuing importance in their lives, the West Indies and the world. While exploring new sounds and arrangements, their songs resonate with the satire, storytelling and social concern that lie at the center of Trinidad's national art.



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