Caribbean Rock Star Kitchener

We have rock stars in the Caribbean; we don’t call them that, but, in the North American meaning of the term, that’s what they are. Currently, Machel Montano in Trinidad; the Mighty Gabby in Barbados; the late Bob Marley in Jamaica; the late Lord Kitchener in Trinidad – rock stars all.

Kitchener’s birth name was Aldwyn Roberts, but most people knew him by his calypso name of Lord Kitchener, often affectionately shortened to Kitch. Although known for his witty lyrics, Kitch’s particular gift was in the area of melody, for his short rhythmic phrasing, and especially for his cascading melodies singularly suitable for steelpan renditions, full of intricacy and almost classical variations. Several of Kitch’s calypsoes are now standards in steelband music and some of his compositions (the recent are now regarded as classics of the genre. Pan in A Minor for example is a stunning melody that remains exciting and fresh no matter how many times you hear it.

Kitchener was a Lord indeed, if not a God, to audiences all over the Caribbean, but he was not a flamboyant or colourful or raunchy figure as most of the calypso performers of his era – I’m referring here to the period between 1950 and 1990 in the Caribbean when calypso was the raging popular music of the time. In that world of flamboyant, controversial and even shocking characters, Kitch remained an …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.

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