Profiles of Caribbean Artistry
36 GUYANESE INDIVIDUALS & ORGANIZATIONS RECOGNIZED AT FOLK
The organizers of Guyana Folk Festival II have identified
thirty-six Guyanese individuals and institutions to receive the Guyana Folk
Festival 2002 Wordsworth McAndrew Award. The award, named after the
distinguished Guyanese folklorist Wordsworth McAndrew, is being awarded to the
recipients for their contributions to Guyanese folk and popular culture.
The number 36 is reflective of the number of years of Guyana's independence.
Guyana became an independent nation on May 26, 1966.
The awardees were selected from over 400 names generated by a panel of Guyanese
residing across the Guyanese Diaspora, including one living in Australia and
another in Thailand.
The Guyana Folk Festival 2002 Wordsworth McAndrew Awardees are:
1. S.R.R. Allsopp. For his
outstanding contributions to the study of English language in Guyana and the
Caribbean, especially for compiling the Dictionary of Caribbean English
2. Ron Bobb-Semple. For his contributions to Guyanese theatre and
drama in New York.
3. Johnny Braff: For his pioneering role in Guyanese popular music.
4. Maurice Braithwaite. For his role in promoting and supporting Guyanese
art and culture. "The Braffit Basement" has become an important salon in
Guyanese cultural life in New York.
5. Negla Brandis. FFor her exceptional contribution to Guyanese fashion and
aesthetics for more than three decades in London, England; Connecticut;
Washington, DC; New Jersey; and Guyana. Among her accomplishments is the Miss
Guyana International Pageant.
6. E.R. Burrowes. For his contribution to the development of Guyanese
artists. He can safely be described as the father of Art Education in Guyana. In
1948 he founded the Working Peoples Art class. The Burrowes School of Art is
named after him.
7. Pat Cameron. Doyenne of Guyanese broadcasters. Host of the influential
radio program On Show Young Guyana which helped to give recognition to
the musical abilities of many young Guyanese. Also, a talented actor and an
enthusiastic celebrator of Guyanese folk traditions
8. Martin Carter. One of Guyana's greatest poets and renaissance men.
9. Bertie Chancellor. Broadcaster and Guyana's Dick Clark--the "oldest
teen-ager." Bertie Chancellor is associated with radio talent shows in Guyana
and through his program "Teensville" he launched the careers of many of Guyana's
10. Megan Chan. For her unstinting service in running the Washington, DC -
based organization GUYAID.
11. Nesbit Chhangur.
Broadcaster, Songwriter, band leader, youth leader, and teacher. Nesbit Chhangur
can safely be described as the pioneer of country music in Guyana. With Olga
Lopes Seales he hosted on Radio Demerara the shows Berbice Calling and
Olga Singing. His songs, A Guianese Lament and Call to Guiana,
are the most poignant record of the racial crisis of the 1960s and an eloquent
example of the healing power of music. Chhangur lives in Canada and performs
12. Dem Two. Dem Two is Ken Corsbie and Marc Matthews.
Individually and collectively, Ken and Marc have made sterling contributions to
theatre and the spoken word in Guyana, the Caribbean, and across the Guyanese
13. Lynette Dolphin. Outstanding cultural administrator and collector of
Guyanese folk music. She published several collections of Guyanese music. Her
last was 100 Folk Songs of Guyana.
14. Francis Quamina Farrier. Broadcaster, Playwright, Documentary
producer, and archivist. Pioneered radio serial drama in British Guiana with the
Tides of Susanburg.
15. Robert Fernandes. Important and influential photographer of Guyana's
16. Terry Gajraj. Pioneer and innovator of Chutney music. Has attracted
critical acclaim for the Chutney rendition of many of Guyana's folk songs.
17. Roy Geddes. Dedicated steel band leader. In 2003, he will celebrate
50 years as a band leader. He is considered by many to be the most proficient of
tuners. He has single handedly created a museum to steel band at his home in
Roxanne Burnham Gardens, Georgetown.
18. Gary Girdhari. For his role in mobilizing Guyanese writers and
publishing. Gary Girdhari is President, Association of Artists and Writers and
Editor of Guyana Journal.
19. Eddie Grant. Internationally acclaimed popular singer and record
producer. According to David Rudder, Eddie Grant is one of the two Guyanese who
influenced the direction of calypso in the Caribbean.
20. Stanley Greaves. For his work as a teacher and artist. Stanley Greaves
celebrated Guyana fauna and folk life in his paintings. Stanley Greaves is
associated with the creation of the term "Guyanist"---one who has an undying
love for Guyana.
21. Bernard Heydorn.
Psychologist, Educator, novelist, and cultural researcher. A prolific and
insightful observer of Guyana social and cultural environment. His vision is not
anchored in Georgetown but incorporates the Berbice experience. His books
Walk Good Guyana Boy, Longtime Days, and Unlit Roads are essential
and accessible readings for anyone wishing to explore Guyana's heritage.
22. Peter Kempadoo. For his pioneering work in the documentation of Guyanese
folk music. He created Jarai Productions which produced the influential
collection We Kind Of Folk. That collection helped to popularize the
important folk song "Dis time na lang time."
23. Vivian Lee. Broadcaster,
Public Relations expert, Songwriter, and Cultural Promoter. An important
creative spirit in Guyana. Created the famous radio character Mrs. Snodgrass and
wrote the lyrics for Down at the bottom floor popularized by Lord Canary.
Promoted national and international musicians. Produced one for the early
Guyanese film, the musical comedy, If Wishes Were Horses. Also a pioneer
in the Guyanese recording industry.
24. Ivor Lynch. For his untiring work as a musician and promoter of Guyanese
25. Wordsworth McAndrew. Broadcaster, Folklorist, poet. It may not be an
exaggeration to say that he has been one of the most influential folklorists in
26. Dave Martins. Leader of the internationally famous group Dave Martins
and the Trade Winds. Dave Martins is a living legend. His songs celebrate
Guyana. His Not a Blade of Grass is a national anthem.
27. Sister Noel Menezes. Educator and Historian. Expert on the history of
Portuguese in Guyana. Retired as Chair, Department of History at the University
28. Valerie Rodway. Teacher and prolific music composer. Among her
compositions is "O Beautiful Guyana."
29. Bill "Bhagee" Rogers. The Shanto King of Guyana. Had international hits
with The Weed Song and BG Bhagee. His works provide a valuable
lens through which to observe Guyanese life in the early decades of the 20th
30. Olga Lopes Seales. Pioneer of radio broadcasting. Responsible for
exposing musical talent in Berbice. Equally successful as a broadcaster in
31. A.J. Seymour. A literary giant. His Dictionary of Guyanese
Biography was the first effort to identify influential Guyanese across the
ages. A.J. Seymour has had an influence on most aspects of culture in Guyana.
32. Raj Kumari Singh. Poet,
playwright, fiction writer, and cultural innovator. Universally recognized as a
leading figure in East Indian cultural matters and bold explorer of fusion. Her
poems such as The days of the Sahib articulated the hopes and ambitions
of Guyanese people in the post emancipation era. Singh played an influential
role in the cultural development in the Guyana National Service where she
influenced music. Her influence is evident on the Guyana National Service record
album I want to Build.
33. Shurland "King Fighter" Wilson. Along with the Mighty
Sparrow, King Fighter was a founding member of the Young Brigade, a group of
calypsonians who had indelible influence on modern calypso. King Fighter drew
upon Guyanese folk melodies and lyrics to develop his calypsos. He won
international fame with Sookie. According to David Rudder, King Fighter
one of the two Guyanese who influenced the direction of calypso in the
Caribbean. The other is fellow awardee, Eddie Grant
34. The Atlanta Guyana Association. For the annual organization of Guyana
Day in Atlanta, Georgia. The annual gathering celebrates Guyanese family life.
35. The Link Show for over two decades one of the most expected
moments in Guyanese satirical theater. The Link Show is a production of
The Theatre Company. The principal officers of The Theatre Company are Ron
Robinson and Gem Madhoo.
36. The Rajkumari Cultural Center. For its contribution to preserving
and sharing Guyanese East Indian heritage, especially in the areas of music,
dance, poetry. The principals of this New York-based organization are Taij
Kumarie Moteelall, Pritha Singh, and Karna Singh.