Dave Martins

Dave Martins

Very important voices

  In the bewildering variety of things that come over the electronic transom we now have on the internet, there occasionally comes a gem that stops you in your tracks; even more rare is the gem that gives you goose bumps. 

Build better or suffer

This week, in the aftermath of the Category 5 hurricanes ripping up the Caribbean, some gripping videos and still photos are making the rounds, and a standout in the lot is a BBC documentary on Hurricane Irma titled ‘Apocalypse and the Aftermath’.

Effective communication strategy

As anyone who has seen me perform knows, I frequently go off in some good-natured commentary on various things cultural, and one of them is the effectiveness of our dialect, so that a reaction from Bernard Fernandes, a diaspora Guyanese, lauding a point about dialect I recently made, leads me to shout, as I have before, for the value of our dialect and to consequently object when it is attacked. 

Hurricane horrors

Before I went to live in Grand Cayman in 1980, I felt that I had some idea of what a hurricane would be like – high winds, plenty rain, houses boarded up, stores closed, and, in the case of low-lying islands such as Grand Cayman, a few feet of sea-water coming ashore. 

Jamaicans booing Chris Gayle

Caribbean media was awash this week with reports of Chris Gayle, playing for the St Lucia Stars in the CPL, as opposed to the Talawahs, the side representing Jamaica in the national tournament, running into some concerted booing from the crowd at Sabina, purportedly because of his disloyalty, or rejection of his roots.

A glance at the CPL

With the current CPL Cricket Tournament in full cry, a very nice lady from the local media called asking me to write something, in a lighter vein, on the event. 

Think about our own dilemma

It is sometimes the case, in this age of the extensive flooding of information on subjects of the day, that a particular item can be of such long standing and of frequent and vigorous treatment, that we lose sight of the original propulsion in the matter.

Our sports ambassadors

I have made passing reference to it previously in references to migration, but in the midst of learning new things about the country we’ve moved to, we are also often coming to realize, outside, something about the homeland, and one of the latter for me, during my years in Grand Cayman, was the powerful impression visiting Guyanese sports teams left on that country, year after year.

Flying The Region

There was a time when air travel for Guyanese didn’t offer many choices, and even jetways were scarce ‒ on my first trip outside, Toronto didn’t have them; it was come off the plane in sub-zero weather and walk to the terminal ‒ in my case, run.

Being Guyanese

Several years ago, at a Tradewinds night in Orlando for the Guyanese American Cultural Association of Central Florida, I gave a speech on ‘Being Guyanese’ that went around the world online and appeared in the Chronicle here.

Music industry in crisis

Within the first year of my returning to live in Guyana in 2008, I set about recording an album of new material, in the established Tradewinds format, at Krosskolor Studios in Campbellville, using local musicians. 

The Tradewinds Caribbean blend

Sometimes in the middle writing column A, I will suddenly be caught by a thought for column B (it happens the same way in writing songs) so that although I admit some weeks it’s a close call, in fact one never runs out of topics. 

Say no to the money

Again and again in recent months one continuously hears harsh criticisms of Caribbean cricketers who are accused of being money-grabbers and not doing what their predecessors did in “playing for country” without regard for the dollar. 

Standouts

He’s widely known as ‘Reds’ Perreira but his passport name is Joseph, named after his grandfather Joseph Francis Martins, who, in later life, was my father after he married a second time. 

The now world

A Caribbean lawyer friend of mine, a very perceptive gentleman, occasionally sends me pieces of writing on this subject or that on the basis that they will interest me. 

Forty-one years ago

On Tuesday this week I’m walking up Carmichael Street about to turn into Lamaha, and a man comes running out of the business on the corner and hails me: “Boy, I’m glad I ran into you. 

Musical intentions

My son Tony, who writes for an ad agency in Ottawa, Ontario, is working on a book about Tradewinds, and I have had some interesting exchanges with him on a range of topics that fall under that remit. 

Tourism is no monolith

In my early days travelling the Caribbean with Tradewinds, my head immersed in music, tourism to me was essentially a somewhat monolithic operation, made up largely of airplanes, hotels, white-sand beaches, and blue water; that’s how it struck me.  

Calypso humour

From time to time on this ubiquitous internet that parades things before us, one often sees presentations reminding us of aspects of our lives that are no more. 

Peering through the cricket smoke

Among a number of vexing matters grinding us in the Caribbean, one of the most vexing is the state of our cricket and, in parallel, the raging controversies about our West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).