Sparrow hints at new music

(Trinidad Express) The Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco) is toying with the possibility of new music for the next Carnival season.

The news came from “The Birdie” himself on Wednesday night, shortly after he accepted the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT) from President Anthony Carmona at the National Academy of the Performing Arts (NAPA), in Port of Spain.

In an interview with the media after the ceremony, Sparrow was asked what might be in store for him and he replied that returning to the arena “would be good”.

Recovering after a prolonged illness last year that saw him bedridden in a New York, USA, hospital for months, Sparrow said he has come a long way, having graduated from being confined to a wheelchair to using a walking cane, which he is ready to “throw aside”.

On the possibility of a re-entry to the calypso scene next year, Sparrow said:

“I don’t want to make any promises but I will be around, God willing.”

He had earlier said:

“I will give it a chance. I have one or two ideas already.”

The Mighty Sparrow
The Mighty Sparrow

Sparrow said he was happy and felt “special” to be presented with the nation’s highest award but he could not help but think of his late peers and friends who were also deserving of such an honour, particularly Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts) and Lord Melody (Fitzroy Alexander).

On his own award, Sparrow said:

“Nothing comes before its time.”

Sparrow said he was also happy to be an exemplar to the young people and aspiring calypsonians that “hard work” pays off and he said one of his secrets was prayer.

“Work hard, don’t ever give up,” Sparrow said.

“You see what happens when people work hard and dedicate themselves,” he added.

Wednesday night offered an unexpected treat for the scores of family, friends from the calypso fraternity, pupils and others who packed into the Lord Kitchener Auditorium at NAPA to witness Sparrow being bestowed with the ORTT by Carmona, which was also done in the presence onstage of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, her husband Dr Gregory Bissessar and Chief Justice Ivor Archie and his wife, Denise.

Sparrow ditched his walking cane to make his way towards the President, giving the audience, who were on their feet as soon as he appeared,  reason to shout out as he ‘bounced’ across the stage.

As one audience member remarked later on, Sparrow had ‘swag’ long before the term was born.

As the legendary back-up band Len Cummings and the Wailers were introduced at the end of the entertainment segment, it became clear that the Mighty Sparrow was about to take the stage.

He followed an entertainment line-up of the Bishop Anstey High School Choir; Warrant Officer Class I, Robert Tobit, on the tenor pan; calypsonian David Bereaux, performing Sparrow and the Vikash School of Dance, who later joined The Birdie onstage for his “Marajhin”.

As he did for his first performance since returning home, Sparrow opened with the “Our Father”, hushing the awed crowd, and proceeded to perform a series of his hits.

The cry of the “Congo Man” rang out as powerfully as it ever did, with some audience so beside themselves with joy that they too had to shout out.

Sparrow at one point sat on a stool, basked in the spotlight and in a truly intimate show, treated the audience to his rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”.

In the mingling that followed the ceremony, Sparrow greeted and posed for photographs with a long line of fans and peers.

Included in the audience were Government ministers, calypso stalwarts and soca stars. Also spotted in the crowd was legendary mas man Peter Minshall.

Many were overheard commenting on Sparrow’s resilience and hoping that he does, indeed, make his way to the stage next year.

Sparrow said he was “happy” and felt “special” to be presented with the nation’s highest award but he could not help but think of his late peers and friends who were also deserving of such an honour, particularly Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts) and Lord Melody (Fitzroy Alexander).



‘Magnificent Seven’ remake to be featured at Toronto film fest

TORONTO,  (Reuters) – Director Antoine Fuqua’s remake of the 1960s Western “The Magnificent Seven” is expected to kick off the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept.

Garry Marshall

Director, producer and writer Garry Marshall dead at 81 – media

(Reuters) – Director, producer and writer Garry Marshall, who was responsible for creating sitcom hits such as “The Odd Couple” and “Happy Days” and directed hit movies “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” died on Tuesday, Variety reported.


Tamil superstar takes over southern India ahead of film release

(Reuters) – Frenzy gripped southern India yesterday, a day ahead of the release of Tamil cinema superstar Rajinikanth’s crime-drama film titled “Kabali.” Chennai, the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, buzzed with activity with men plastering life-size posters, depicting Rajinikanth’s character in the movie.

default placeholder

Singer Elton John gives boost to groups fighting AIDS

NEW YORK, (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Groups working to battle AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean are the first winners of grants established by singer Elton John to end discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, the singer said.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Pakistani singer Khan unites Bollywood and Qawwali in UK shows

(Reuters) – Singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, known for both Bollywood hits and Qawwali, Sufi devotional music that dates back more than 700 years, is taking the two genres to Britain in August for three concerts.


Rihanna cancels Nice concert after attack

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Pop star Rihanna has cancelled a concert scheduled for Friday in Nice after a gunman in a truck ploughed into crowds marking Bastille Day in the southern coastal French city, killing at least 84 people.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: