Tribute to a classical lover (September 27, 2015)

Guitar Concert article September 27, 2015The event, A Night of Guitar, featuring five of Trinidad’s top classical guitarists, promises a new experience in the music scene in T&T. Classical/rock guitarist, Francesco Emmanuel came up with the idea as a way to pay tribute to his late father, Paul Emmanuel, who passed away suddenly in October 2014.

The concert will feature Emmanuel, John Hussain, Stefan Roach and David Cockburn as well as tenor Kyle Richardson, who is Emmanuel‘s cousin and joins him in paying tribute. It will be hosted by Conrad Parris.

My father loved classical music and opera most of all. In his retired years he stayed most of the day in front of the TV and he used to love to watch the Classic Arts channel, he knew all the operas and  he would call me to see whenever there was a guitarist on, because I’m trained in classical guitar.”

He passed away very suddenly from complications following gallbladder surgery and initially we planned the concert as a fundraiser, but we were able to pay off the hospital bills. Initially, friends suggested a rock concert but my dad wasn’t really much of a fan of rock music. I remember as a kid playing Iron Maiden in the tape deck in the car and when the tape finally burst he was like ‘well thank God’. I thought if I wanted to do something to honour his memory a classical concert would be something he would have liked to have gone to.”

I’d been feeling for a while that other than the biennial Music Festival, the odd jazz concert and the odd little show for bands, etc., there aren’t many avenues for people to go out and hear different types of music, unless it’s soca or chutney during the season. There’s definitely not a guitar show, so I would like to keep this concert as an annual show and blossom it into something different, maybe a weekend of guitar with different genres, jazz one night, classical one night, rock guitar a next night, because there’s so many good guitarists in Trinidad. Unfortunately, I only picked five for this show, but there are so many more I could have asked who I’m sure would have said yes.”

All five guitarists have all taken lessons at one time or another, and in some cases still do, from Graham Newling, who’s an Englishman from Reading who moved to T&T in the early 80’s. He’s an Associate of the Royal College of Music, London and an Honorary Member of the Classical Guitar Society of T&T. We’ve all also continued the academic educational side of guitar.”

Graham said he’d come out retirement for this show, and I was quite happy that he wanted to be a part of it. I asked Kyle to sing because I missed the opportunity to have him sing at my dad’s funeral and so I’m making up for an omission of mine. It’s a close-knit setting as we’ve all known each other for years. This is going to be a night of great music.”

The concert takes place at Church of the Assumption, Maraval on October 18, 2015, from 5 pm to 8 pm. Advanced Tickets are $200 and $250 at the door. Part proceeds go to St. Vincent de Paul and Vitas House Hospice. For tickets, call: Assumption Parish: 622-5728
Cesco Emmanuel : 315-8260
David Cockburn: 789-9187
Graham Newling – 472-7828
Sievan Siewsarran – 762-2944
Catherine Emmanuel – 340-6589

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