Throughout this month of February on Thursday nights at 7:00pm, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts is offering a four week vocal workshop that explores music from the Caribbean.
The course will cover various repertoire from reggae to calypso, to music from the more modern eras. The course will also feature the impact that such legends as Harry Belafonte, Jackie Opel, and Bob Marley had on music from the Caribbean.
Music of the Caribbean will be taught by Winnipeg Jazz Songstress Adèle Wilding. Wilding is the inaugural winner of the 2005 BWA Nina Simone Award in London, England. She has performed at Jazz festivals, and taught Jazz workshops throughout Canada and the U.K. She has also toured Western Canada four times, appearing with several of the regions finest jazz, blues, gospel and soul artists.
Caribbean music is something that is very much in Wilding’s DNA. Born to a British Father and Barbadian Mother, Wilding has grown up listening and absorbing music from the West-Indies. “We were very lucky growing up in our household...that as a result of our heritage we had all these eclectic musical sounds in the house. This music is very much in my wheelhouse and I’m very excited to share this with students and the public at The Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts,” says Wilding.
Wilding points out that music from the Caribbean is a mixture of influences from various regions of the world. North Africa, Europe, Arab and indigenous influences all go into the mix. “The history of the Caribbean is steeped in colonization. It is divided into different sections that reflect that colonization…The British West Indies, The French West Indies, the Dutch West Indies...and then you have the Virgin Islands, and the Turks and the Caicos which are owned by the British overseas territory, and you had influences from Spanish colonization as well,” explains Wilding. Another one of the main influences was the impact that the African Slave trade had in the region and its music. The Caribbean Islands were used as a principal market for slave labour and music from Africa had a major effect on the music.
The Course Wilding is teaching centers around music such as reggae, and calypso, and will feature artists such as Bob Marley and Harry Belafonte. The course will also show the effect that the Barbadian musician Jackie Opel had music by fusing elements of ska, R&B, soul, soca into a genre known as spouge music.
The course is a vocal workshop, and is geared towards singers and musicians. One of the things Wilding is doing is teaching songs to the students, and in the fourth and final class, students will do a short rehearsal, and then do a 30 minute performance of the Caribbean material they have learned in the class.
Music from the Caribbean as presented by the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts promises to be a very informative and educational seminar, taught by a true expert on the subject.