Anthony Esprit aka “Everno”, the singer/songwriter who helped nurture a generation of calypsonians in his home village of Mahaut, died recently in the Bronx, New York where he resided for the past several decades.
News of the death of the popular Mahaut calypsonian was greeted with a deep sense of sadness on social media and among family members, friends, and villagers.
Everno was from a generation of calypsonians from the Mahaut community who entertained fans and calypso lovers with a yearly dose of songs based on local issues and backed up by the ever-popular Belles Combo, one of Dominica’s leading bands in the late ’60s into the mid-1980s.
In the early to late 1970s, Everno, together with the late Provoker (Lawrence Riviere) dominated the calypso scene in Mahaut during a period in which the art form was extremely popular in that part of the country.
Everno and Provoker, along with others like Mighty Mopper, Sugars, Humphries and later, General Kendies and Remo, would compete in the annual calypso monarch competition which formed part of the carnival programme in Mahaut.
With the powerful back-up sound of the Belles Combo, Everno would go on to win several crowns and become the winningest calypsonian of his generation.
Everno, like Provoker and Kendies, would go on to compete in the national calypso monarch competition during that period.
He became a member of Stardom Tent in 1973.
One of Everno’s most popular songs, “Jam Dey Jammin” which he performed in the ’70s, was, at the time, co-written by a young man from Mahaut, Calvin Esprit, who would himself, much later, in the early ’90s, go on to test his calypso prowess in the national calypso competition as De Senator.
In recent years, Everno would perform as part of the annual “King of Kings Show” in New York organized by Anne-Marie Clarke and her group.
He was a much-loved individual, very jovial and deeply community-minded who worked at DCP factory as an operator for a few years before emigrating to the United States, where he lived for over 30 years.
Everno is survived by his wife, four children and grandchildren.