globalFEST: Calypso Rose, Caribbean Diva


Set List

  • "Summertime"
  • "A Man Is a Man"
  • "Brown Sugar"
  • "Voodoo Lay Loo"
  • "Back to Africa"
  • "Rum & Coca-Cola"
  • "Calypso Blues"
  • "Israel by Bus"
  • "Fine in My Wire"
  • "Medley"

A legend in Trinidad, Calypso Rose closed out globalFEST with the sensuous, vintage dance music of her Caribbean home. Having recorded her early hits in the mid-'60s, Rose is a venerable diva of an all-but-vanished style.

She and her mostly Trinidadian band delivered the calypso of old, before drum machines and keyboards revved calypso into soca and all subsequent variants. This was perhaps the evening's only example of a group playing an established pop music style that they actually grew up with. Amid all the fusing and updating, Rose and her group provided a welcome shot of charm and class. Her playful rendition of "A Man Is a Man" sounded as sweet as anything heard all night.

Originally recorded Jan. 11, 2009, at Webster Hall's Marlin Room in New York City.

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