Given the evolution of cadence-lypso in neighbouring French islands and other countries around the world, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Creole Heartbeat and mastermind behind the first-ever ‘Cadence Month’, is calling on Dominicans to embrace the genre.
Speaking during the official launch on July 5, 2021, Charles pointed out that since cadence-lypso was formed by Dominica’s very own Exile One 50 years ago, this is the first occasion that the “noble musical genre” and its pioneers will be truly celebrated and honoured here in Dominica for an entire month.
While Charles is hopeful that by next year several patrons from neighbouring French territories will be able to join in on the celebration, he is calling on Dominicans to foster a greater appreciation for cadence-lypso.
“Somewhere along the line we did not take the opportunity to claim it; we did not take the opportunity to do like what other genres have done…like Jamaica, but we hope that we can start a movement where the private sector can start to get mobilized,” the creole activist opined. “We seem to prefer everything else more than what is ours; everything else and remarkably, Cadence-lypso musicians were accepted out of Dominica before they were created in Dominica. We have to learn to accept what is ours.”
He said the month presents an opportunity for the private sector and other patriotic Dominicans to come on board to brand the art form as Dominican.
“The goal is to have a cadence-lypso drink, a cadence beer, a cadence water, a cadence mug and t-shirts of our legends being celebrated on those items,” Charles stated.
As part of ‘Cadence-Lypso month’ which will run from July 02- 30 2021, a series of panel discussions featuring those who were instrumental in advancing the music forward will be held.
“The history of a lot of those legends will be told throughout the month, each with a different story, how it started, how far it brought them and it will be remarkable to note that this cadence-lypso music shouldered Dominica to the four corners of the globe,” Charles said.
Echoing the sentiments expressed by Charles, a member of the Konmité pou Etid Kweyol (KEK), Gregory Rabess, said the month is an extension of this educational thrust on our creole culture.
According to the cultural activist, cadence-lypso laid a creole linguistic foundation for the evolution of other genres of creole music.
“Simply put, the main objective of this month of activities is really educational, to make people, especially the younger generation, more aware of the cadence-lypso phenomenon, the history, the consequences, the impact, and all of that. And also, to use this month to focus on genre, focus on the impact of evolution, and what is happening now and what will happen in the future…so all these elements will be explored in the various programs and activities in the weeks ahead,” Rabess said.
Manager of DBS, Cecil Joseph, one of the headline partners, vowed to continue with this initiative on an annual basis and assist with ensuring that this event be added to Dominica’s annual calendar of activities.
“I don’t care as to how the elites may think, it is important to sell that culture to the generation that will be coming because today, 50 years later, we are now talking of the importance of art. We want to know 20 years later, 10 years later down the line that it will be an automatic thing in school. That’s why DBS radio can say now that for the next month at 12:05 every day we will be having what is called a cadence-lypso story done by Gordon Henderson,” Joseph stated.
The company has also pledged $10,300 for the month of July in promotions and information to the general public on the cadence-lypso genre.
Other collaborators’ comments came from Gordon Henderson who was the leader and founder of Exile One, and the one who coined the term cadence-lypso, Dion Henderson and CEO of Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), Collin Piper, who al poured praise on the organizers for the conceptualization of this month of activities.
The programme of activities for the month started on July 09 with a panel discussion at the University of the West Indies (UWI) open campus moderated by the lady of song, Ophelia Marie. Week two -July 16- will include a panel discussion and cocktail at the Alliance Francaise, moderated by Delia Cuffy.
On July 23, Tim Durand will moderate another panel discussion at the UWI open campus on several topics while week four -July 30- Gregory Rabess will moderate the final panel discussion and cocktail once again at the Alliance Francaise, to bring an end to the month of activities.
All of the discussions are scheduled to take place from 8:00 pm.