Put more emphasis on sustaining creole music, says Gordon Henderson

Gordon Henderson

One of the creators of cadence-lypso music, Gordon Henderson, is recommending that more emphasis be put on sustaining creole music which he says is one of the original objectives of the World Creole Music Festival.

Henderson, a singer, songwriter and entertainer for more than 40 years, was the leader of Dominican band, Exile One, which created cadence-lypso music in Guadeloupe in the early seventies.

Henderson said in an interview with talk show host, Matt Peltier on Wednesday, that if there is any thing wrong with the World Creole Music Festival, it is stagnation.

“You know, it’s three nights of pulsating rhythms for 16 years whereas there are other things that we could include to this festival like making a world creole music market” he advised. He said there were numerous producers, distributors, promoters in the same market in the world creole industry.

“Let’s position Dominica as the place that they should come to trade so these agents can sell our artistes, we will buy some of theirs and we wouldn’t have this continuous every year..line up, what’s the line up and this one shouldn’t be there. Let it be done in an industrial way.”

Henderson, who lives in France, said organizers of the festival are too parochial in their approach and cited the need to consolidate the world creole music market which encompasses a wide area including the French Antilles and even France and  parts of Africa with a population of millions.

“We need to have an executive headquarters here, and we have that opportunity. Cadence-lypso gave us that opportunity. Are we overlooking it? Are we ignoring it? Are we ignorant of the fact? I’m not very sure.” Henderson questioned.

He is also promoting the introduction of a world creole music awards which he says is “long overdue.”

Henderson was on Tuesday presented with the LIME Lifetime Achievement Award at Creole in the Park.

He is scheduled to perform at the event on Thursday afternoon from 3.00 o’clock.

The ‘father’ of cadence-lypso will not be staying for the World Creole Music Festival “for good reason” as he is scheduled to perform  at a memorial concert for the late Jeff Jo in French Guyana and has to participate in a series of lectures and seminars leading up to that event.

Dominica’s lady of song Ophelia Marie is also carded to perform at the event in French Guyana.

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  1. August 12, 2015

    All the recomendations you are making are excellent,but who should be organizing those new activities the government or the private sector.

  2. Anonymous
    October 26, 2012

    Board of the WCMF, listen to what Mr. Henderson is saying. Just look at Jamaica and Trinidad as examples. They never strayed away from their reggae and calypso, and guess what, this is what they are known for internationally now. When people go to Jamaica, they go because of the Bob Marley/reggae music experience. Why not market Dominica promoting our Cadence-lyso/creole culture. This is why people come to Dominica to have a new experience. Be smart!

  3. Brooklyn
    October 26, 2012

    I agree however, the young people from the city don’t know how to speak creole. I believe creole should be taught in schools. therefore we all could understand what the creole music says or perhaps we can create some new creole music composers.

  4. Tet Yo di
    October 25, 2012

    Skerritt and his incompetent DLP Govt. has shown absolutely no interest in developing the much-talked about cultural Industry. They do not trust the people.

    A cultured, informed people would ask questions and demand participation in the development of their country. So kill the culture of creativity and hard-work.

    Institutional begging is the adopted policy in use. Taxing the already burdened people through 15% VAT is their option, not serious investments into the cultural Industry. The kweyol music already enjoys internation acclaim.

    Innovative/creative Dominicans face hell. Their ideas are not listened to. The bad advice of foreign’local advisers, political colleagues, are more readily taken onboard.

    Remember, DBS Radio banned for three years, Kadans-lypso songs of two Dominican musical icons, Gordon Henderson and Ophelia Marie. Those artists were disrespected, penalised for standing up for their rights, after their music/property was taken by DBS and recorded into a Kadans-Gold CD for sale, without their permission. Court case ensued, remember re. artists Intellectual Property.

    Fellow Dominicans chastised Gordon for demanding that Exile One musicians are adequately remunerated, equal to, on par with any foreign artists, who are handsomely paid.

    Is so we come? Selling passports, until it reaches the hands of criminals, cannot be a more viable economic and cultural development initiative.

    Neither the DLP Govt., nor the Minister of Culture,the Cultural Council or Cultural Division raised any eyebrow. Many Dominicans remained mute. The authorities allowed the banning of those indigenous Kadans songs for 3 long Years without a murmur. Kadans music was dealt a serious blow.

  5. Jesus is Alive
    October 25, 2012

    With all the festivities going on I think Dominica’s has fail to realized that there is a God and his son who died to save them from their sin.
    It’s time to repent people and turn to God.
    There is a Judgement day coming are you ready?

  6. wa-A
    October 25, 2012

    Yes my mantor and titja tell dem so it can become a Mantra in their head.Is you first set me on my way on de gita and write my first kaiso for which I am eternally grateful.Yeah and start having complete creole calypsos in competitions and calypso tent and I am not talking choruses.Go down in schools and seek out innovation and experimentation of beats.Too many
    parrots,yes i know is our national Bird but you get de pictja…

  7. Anonymous
    October 25, 2012

    I agree fully with Mr. Henderson. This is the WCMF. We need to promote more of the creole music. We don’t need another do copy other people. What makes us unique is the creole music. I am not against a guest artist but the emphasis should be on Creole Music. For those of you that don’t know Mr. Henderson was very instrumental in the inception of the WCMF. The man knows what he is talking about. We need to embrace his ideas.

  8. inside job
    October 24, 2012

    nice work henderson, its because of the consequences i know nothing about your endeavour. i am now searching out and learning about my culture more and more i learn about things your guys tried to do or did. thanks. to the rest of them SPEAK OUT. WORDS MEANS ALOT.

  9. Curious
    October 24, 2012

    I agree with Gordon… Well said

  10. October 24, 2012


  11. good
    October 24, 2012


  12. October 24, 2012

    I can not agree with you more, we need people like you to come home and put some more time into Dominica music, like brother Joe

  13. anonymous
    October 24, 2012

    We just love talk. Yet nothing hapens.

  14. DA Child
    October 24, 2012

    Positive sentiments from a pioneer who knows the music business inside out. We want our Music language and culture to reach the ends of the earth and back. We also want to bring in the right kinds of people into Dominica who will help it develop and flourish. Dominica has a lot of good to offer the world. My fellow Dominicans, lovers of culture and progress take heed to this man’s words.
    Merci Beaucoup Monsieur Henserson!

  15. inside job
    October 24, 2012

    finally. gordon henderson speaks,ophilia should speak, micheal henderson speak, nasio fountain speak,heston francis speak,freddy nicolas speak, cornel speak, fitzroy williams speak.. so bloody long then>?

    • Zor
      October 24, 2012


    • Gordon Henderson
      October 24, 2012

      In all humility, what do you mean by “finally”? Where were you when Gordon Henderson spoke out against non-respect to Dominican artistes re fee payments and he was demonized and excluded to be replaced by lambs of silence, or when he stood against state owned radio piracy and he was banned for 6 consecutive years from DBS and others…Gordon Henderson has always spoken! regardless of the consequences!

      • Really n Turly
        October 24, 2012

        nice one Mr Gordon Henderson;they/we like to forget,we have short memory,they forget how much you do for this festival,they doe know you was the “tip of the spear”they doe know about you and Q95.Dominica is a fertile country that is covered with overgrown bush which retard growth.

      • CIA on the Watch
        October 25, 2012

        Gordon, with all the advise coming from form the various sectors, be warned Gorden if ever you return these are the ones who will bite you like the crabs in the barrel, a classic example you must look at is the current situation in Dominica where Politicians and their cohorts are doing whatever they want and are biting those who are taking the matters to seek resolution

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