Rookatooks a big opportunity for Guyanese musicians

Dear Editor,

I believe Guyanese musicians are missing an opportunity teeming with potential to catapult Guyanese music and musicians onto the regional and international stage and establish a money making industry for themselves and Guyana. I refer to a brand of music that is referred to as rookatooks (my spelling).

Rookatooks is to me (I could be wrong) a merger of two genres original to Guyana, viz Queh queh and cumfa music. I arrived at this conclusion from my participation in queh queh and listening to the legendary Little Jones band in my youth. This music – rookatook has been made popular by Stichy’s one-man band .

I became convinced of the potential of this  music when I was on the Plaisance Line Top with youths from across the Caribbean and at least two of them, including a Jamaican asked me what type of music it was. My response was it is a mixture of two Guyanese genres.

I had a few months ago said to one person at the music school in the Department of Culture that the development of this music should be pursued.

I believe that Guyanese musicians will do well to start putting lyrics to this genre and begin to produce Guyanese music.  This will go a far way in promoting Guyana, Guyanese music and contribute to the development of a unique Guyanese tourism brand and move us away from being imitators of Jamaican and American music among others. Let us pursue the potential that inheres in rookatooks.

I wish to applaud Stichy and request that he and other musicians put nice, decent and progressive lyrics to this evolving genre and realize the potential that inheres in it.  

Yours faithfully,

Aubrey C . Norton

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