Locals Making it Big in International Jazz

saxophone-jazz International jazz day
April 30, 2021, is International Jazz day and for all you jazz lovers it's good to know that some of our fellow citizens are making a big impact on the world stage.

Courtesy of Nigel Campbell, our local go-to on jazz —especially Caribbean jazz— here are a few Trini-rooted jazz artists who are making it big on the international jazz scene. 

Etienne Charles 

The most famous of course is the renowned jazz trumpeter, Etienne Charles. Despite his international success, Etienne often returns home to collaborate with local artists and to feed his creative soul. His music clearly comes from his Caribbean belly and his website proclaims his Trini roots. 

You can learn more about him and see his latest projects on his website, but Nigel's article "Etienne Charles - a profile" will get you up to speed on who Etienne is and why we can be proud of him. 

 David "Happy" Williams

 David "Happy" Wiliams is a Woodbrook-born double-bassist, who never came back from a two-week New York visit because he kept getting offers to play music. He's played with jazz greats like Stan Getz and Chuck Mangione, but his music still reflects his Trini roots. You can hear pan on many of the songs featured on his website.

 Leon 'Foster' Thomas

Leon Foster Thomas is a jazz pannist with a music degree and three solo albums to his credit. The critics call him a virtuoso and he is definitely helping make pan an accepted instrument on the world jazz stage. 

You can check out his work on his website

 Rudy Smith

Another international jazz artist spreading the gospel of pan is Rudy Smith who has been "beating" jazz on pan for decades. You can see an impressive list of international jazz artists Rudy has played with on his website and there's an Island Jazz Chat with Rudy Smith on the Jazz in the Islands podcast

 Other Notables

 There are others, like jazz panmen Annise Hadeed, Othello Molineaux, Ron Reid, who is also an accomplished bassist, and drummer Richard Bailey. 

I can't do justice to any of these artists here, but the purpose was just to let you know we are well represented in the jazz world.

 Local jazz blog and podcasts

Special thanks to Nigel Campbell for helping us with who-is-who in the jazz world.  If you're even mildly interested in the jazz world from a Caribbean perspective you can keep pace with Music Matters: the Caribbean Edition and Island Jazz Chat podcasts.

Our Pandemic Finish Line
Trini podcasts you should listen to


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Monday, 18 October 2021
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