Sam Boodram

THUMBS UP: Chutney music legend Sam Boodram, left, shows his appreciation after receiving his cheque. From left are George Singh, music producer Big Rich and GI.

Chutney music stalwarts Sam Boodram and Budram Holass were among a number of acts in the genre to be presented with small grants by the Southex event management company.

Southex CEO George Singh presented cheques valued at $5,000 to the two living Indo-Caribbean music legends at their respective homes earlier this week. The money, part proceeds from Southex’s recently held “Arrival D Concert” virtual show will assist both men with their medical bills, Singh said.

“These guys are our icons. Our industry has been at a standstill since March and it has become difficult for artistes in general to meet their daily expenses. Through the Arrival concert we have been able to assist many of these artistes apart from the icons with small cash grants that will assist them in meeting some immediate needs whatever those may be,” Singh told Kitcharee about the endeavour on Friday.

Held on Indian Arrival Day (May 30) the online concert featured some of the top local Bollywood singers including: Rakesh Yankaran, Rooplal Girdharrie, Satnarine Ragoo, Veejai Ramkissoon, Reshma Ramlal, Anuradha Hansraj, Savita Singh and GI Beharry, among others. All acts were backed by the Avatar band led by Kishore “Wizzy” Ramdath.

The event was streamed live on Facebook and YouTube and viewers were invited to donate via credit card and PayPal with all monies collected promised to artistes that have been most affected by the Coronavirus.

Singh said the remainder of those donations were distributed to a number of other acts whose income has been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 lockdown.

“Apart from these two prominent artistes, a host of other artistes have applied and will benefit from smaller grants to help them through what has been a very tough period in our local music industry,” he said.

The Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) promoter said while the green light is understandably yet to be given for the return of live stage shows they are going full steam ahead with the planning phase for a number of events.

“While things begin to open up, the entertainment industry is still at a standstill. We are hoping that this will change sooner rather than later. We have a number of projects at different levels of planning, hoping to be ready for things as they open,” he concluded

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Sam Boodram will always be remembered as the grandfather of chutney music. He was an icon. His songs will live forever.

That’s how an emotional Nisha Bissambhar (Nisha B) summed up the memory of her Uncle Sam following the death of the chuntey music legend. The local music icon passed away on Tuesday two weeks shy of his 87th birthday.

A monthly roundup of news about Caribbean books and writers, presented by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest

Welcome to the latest installment of the Bocas Book Bulletin, a monthly roundup of Caribbean literary news, curated by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, Trinidad and Tobago’s annual literary festival, and published in the Sunday Express.

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From her tiny apartment in New York City and with some gentle prodding from her husband Kevin, Reshmi began documenting her culinary adventures as she navigated the fascinating, multicultural and flavourful world of West Indian cuisine.

She is a modern day Michelangelo, popularly known as Lethe (also named Jeanine Lethe Crouch). Her subject matter epitomises the moments and experiences that define her inner thoughts which captivate the onlooker.