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Look out for "The Progress of Winsford Devine - A Collection of Caribbean Lyrics", book launching coming to a city near you. more...
 

 

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Mayaro Imprint had its genesis in JAD Communications, a Canadian public relations firm established by Jamil Asinia, Nandi Ogunlade (Bianca Jacob) and Lincoln Depradine in the mid-nineties. These media veterans are dedicated to exploring the relevance of writers, artists and activists to our unfolding experience.
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The Progress of Winsford Devine - A Collection of Caribbean Lyrics
Edited by: Nandi Ogunlade
Compiled by: Jamil Asinia

Book Launch and Signing

July 12th, 2006
Community Room
@
Tropicana Community Services Organization


Devine Book Launched in Toronto

The recent book-launch for The Progress of Winsford Devine: A Collection of Caribbean Lyrics held in Toronto turned into a virtual showpiece of Caribbean unity prompted by the attendance of three Consul Generals: Trinidad and Tobago's Michael Lashley, Grenada's Conrad Gibbs and Jamaica's Anne-Marie Bonner.

The pan-Caribbean audience was most appropriate since Devine, described by Lashley as a “first-class wordsmith,” has composed calypsoes for singers throughout the Caribbean leaving his stamp on regional culture. Lashley noted that the collection, which includes Devine's most potent compositions, “chronicles the lyrical prowess'' of the composer.

Devine, who turns 63 on August 15, has penned some of the greatest calypso and soca songs of the past four decades, including: Somebody recorded by Baron, Progress recorded by King Austin, Sailing recorded by the Mighty Trini, Phillip My Dear recorded by Sparrow and Too Young To Soca recorded by Machell Montano which Lashley used a reference to demonstrate Devine's brilliance.  “Words – the choice of words – are potent weapons that calypsonians use to hit every man jack,” he noted pointing out that even England 's queen can be on the receiving end of calypso's wit. He noted that lyrics are “the very heart and soul of what it is to be a Caribbean person.''

The importance of lyrics was a reiterated by Grenadian-born Caldwell Taylor, a copyright lawyer and cultural guru. Taylor said the oldest set of lyrics to a calypso dates to 1805 when estate workers in Trinidad , “infected with the virus'' of the successful 1804 Haitian Revolution, decided they wanted to follow suit and overthrow their slave masters.  “The most serious weapon they had,'' said Taylor , “was a calypso.''

Taylor traced other instances where calypso, particularly its lyrical component was used as a weapon in attempting to bring about change.  He described calypso as “a document of West Indian history,'' saying it also “continues to be the most democratizing force in the Eastern Caribbean .''

Devine, he said, has “lyrical imagination'' and “melodic intelligence,'' and should also be regarded as a poet, philosopher and prophet.

The Progress of Winsford Devine is published by Mayaro Imprint, a New York-based company started by Trinidad-born Jamil Asinia.

He told the launch that he read a magazine article in which Devine expressed interest in having his composition compiled in a book.  Once he had come to an agreement with Devine. He brought his longtime friend and journalist, Toronto-based Lincoln Depradine on board. Writer and editor Nandi Ogunlade (formerly Bianca Jacob) edited the book and wrote the lead essay.

Depradine acknowledged those who supported the publication and the new company and appealed to the business community to put resources into building and enhancing

 
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