Developing As A Hybrid Manager Within The Area Of Arts/Culture And Social Entrepreneurship
by Kellie Cadogan - Managing Director, East Point Productions Inc.
ABOUT THE ARTICLE: This article is presented in the form of a short one woman monologue. It is an inside and personal view of how, nationally acclaimed Jazz Vocalist Kellie Cadogan, of East Point Productions Inc, has been managing the areas of her business from a creative and entrepreneurial perspective. This unprecedented monologue therefore highlights her journey as a hybrid manager. To experience the full effect of this article, play Kellie’s album “The Nearness of You” or the following attachment while reading.
ABOUT THE CHARACTER
Kellie Cadogan is 100% Bajan. She graduated from the Theatre and Music programs at the Barbados Community College (1999 – 2004) and pursued her degree at The University of the West Indies, Trinidad. After her two-year degree, she returned home in 2006 to teach Music in secondary school. By 2008, after suffering from chronic sinusitis and a greater calling to follow through on her dream, she left her steady paying job, to take on the full-time role of managing her company East Point Productions Inc, which offers Voice and Drama services. Since then, she has no regrets having pursued this venture for she has accomplished more than she anticipated in a short period of time. She is an active and driven business woman who enjoys every moment of managing her business. She manages herself as an artist, teaches voice and drama locally/regionally and has been creating musical drama productions as an innovative approach to social issues. As a Christian, she is inspiring, hard-working, people focused and professional. This is an account of her journey thus far.
…She opens a folder and comes across a review of Ultimate Soul Weekend 2009, written by George Thomas (Chairman of the Association of Music Entrepreneurs Barbados, Director GotRhythm.com)
She reads out loud;
“Kellie Cadogan is a young jazz singer who has developed tremendously over the past year. Her performance at the Ultimate Soul Weekend on September 26th (Barbados) was one to remember and over the coming years greatness could potentially manifest before our eyes. Kellie demonstrated great technical proficiency while introducing the audience to her personality. Her scat singing was reminiscent of the great Ella Fitzgerald, without being a facsimile.
The audience was also treated to Kellie’s previously unknown talents on the piano as she accompanied herself during an original number entitled “I Try.” The piano gave us an opportunity to hear and feel the artist in an undistilled manner that was refreshing and inspiring. This writer believes that the artist should continue to compose and perform more pieces in this mode of expression; this was especially seen in her original Jazz gospel number ”In Love with God.”
Is Kellie Cadogan a Jazz Icon in the making? Only time can answer that question but for now we all can say “The lady can Swing“.”
Kellie: Woah… (she smiles broadly revealing the only dimple in her left cheek)… really inspiring.”
She gets up and takes down her Barbados Music Award for Jazz Artiste of the Year (2010). She wipes the fresh dust that has gathered. With the award still in hand, she sits in the chair, little finger in mouth, feet curled underneath her and stares at the award in a pensive mood.)
Kellie: “When I recorded this album (late November 2008), winning an award or being considered for one was not on my mind. I wanted to document my work and get it out to the world. All I had was an idea, a small budget and supportive resources. Then to win an award a year later…if I had stayed in the comfort zone of teaching full-time, this would have still been on my “to do list.”
Her mind is racing. She quickly gets up and pulls out a stack of flyers and clippings of the projects she’s worked on over the past two years and flips through them. As she sticks up each she calls them out loud:
“Believe 2007 (my first production – a musical drama); Holder’s Season (2008); An Evening with Kellie Cadogan 2008 (the launch of myself as an artist and my business); Calabaza Jazz (my CD launch January 2009); Barbados Jazz Festival (BCC Jazz Project 2009); Love Safely Get Tested – HIV AIDS Musical Drama Production (2009); Mission Trip to Belize with BCSI; Sandy Lane Gold Cup (2009); Somatic Voice Workshop – Virginia (2009); Vocal Workshop and Showcase in Belize (2009); Ultimate Soul Weekend 2009 (opening act for Stephanie Mills); An Evening of Love 2010 (Valentines HIV & AIDS Musical Drama Production)…. .”
There is silence in the room – it’s the end of one of the tracks.
Kellie: Lord, I’ve done quite a bit…
Interview: Bajan-born Lover’s Rock Legend with jazz roots
John Stevenson: Bring me up to speed on what you’ve been doing in recent times. What’s this about Jazz Safari and MTN? Are you moving in a jazzier direction nowadays?
Dennis Bovell: Recently, I’ve signed a back catalog deal with EMI, made a new album – ‘All Over The World’, been touring America with Macka B & Mad Professor, doing some DJ gigs in Portugal, touring South Africa with Linton Kwesi Johnson, guesting on Argentinian group Los Cafre’s smash hit – ‘Bastera’ and performing on several ‘Lovers Rock’ multi-artist shows as well as preparing my next offering which is to be in the form of acoustic renditions of some old and new songs. I’m off to Uganda to the second edition of the MTN Jazz Safari festival working with renowned musicians from America and Africa – saxist Eric Marienthal, Oscar Seaton alongside Tshaka from Uganda and others from Kenya. We will be doing shows in Nairobi, Kampala and in Tanzania. I’m also sound engineering for some fine musicians.
JS: Wow, talk about a full plate of cou-cou … What was it like growing up in Barbados? Was there a lot of music in your childhood in the Caribbean?
DB: Growing up in Barbados in a Seventh Day Adventist home, there was only spiritual music. My uncles performed in the late 1950s and early 1960s as ‘The Walker Brothers’ on Rediffusion radio and at Seventh Day Adventist churches all over the island. Next door neighbours (my cousins Leonard, Gussie & Daryl) had a selection of records that included Ray Charles, Ben E King, The Drifters, Sam Cooke and of course The Mighty Sparrow & The Merry Men.
JS: Do you return to Barbados frequently? What do you think of the music scene there and the success of stars like Rihanna Fenty?
DB: Last May, I visited Barbados and met with [Bajan reggae sensation] Biggie Irie, who is one of my favourite performers along with Mighty Gabby. In the 1960s there was a band in Barbados called The Chisels from St. Peter. The leader was a guitarist called Hoddy Fenty. The whole Fenty family was musical. I’ve often wondered if Rihanna is any relation. If so, it is little wonder she has made it internationally. Until then, I was a contender for the title of most internationally known Bajan musician, having toured the world, working with artists like Fela Kuti (Nigeria), Alpha Blondy ( Ivory Coast), Steel Pulse (UK), Calcutta (Sweden), Viola Wills (USA) Sa’ada Bonnaire (Germany), Princess Erica (France), Jimmy Oihid (Algeria), 99 Posse (Italy), Ryuichi Sakamoto (Japan), Titus Kinnemaka (Hawaii), Manu Chao (Spain), The Slits (U.K), Boomtown Rats (Ireland) Boz Scaggs (USA), Taj Mahal and the Pambery Steel Orchestra (Trinidad), Istanbul Symphony Orchestra (Turkey), Edwyn Collins (Scotland), the late Marvin Gaye (USA) and Arturo Tappin (Barbados). I have also worked with Reggae artists such as Pat Kelly, Ken Booth, Johnny Clarke, Toots & The Maytals, Errol Dunkley, Dennis Brown, Pablo Moses, I Roy, Chalice from Jamaica and the English ones: Louisa Mark, Marie Pierre, 15-16-17, Brown Sugar, Janet Kay, Matumbi, Paul Dawkins, Pete Campbell, Bobby Kray, Benjamin Zephaniah and Linton Kwesi Johnson.
JS: You wrote the soundtrack for Franco Rosso’s 1979 masterpiece “Babylon”. Beside your musical direction, the film was chock full of all kinds of gems such as I-Roy’s ‘Whap’N’Bap’N and Vivian Jackson’s ‘Deliver Me From My Enemies’. You also went on to write music for acclaimed TV shows in England such as ‘Global Revolution’. Why aren’t you doing more of this kind of work?
DB: The reason I’m not doing more film score work is probably because I’m doing quite a lot of other things, waiting for the next one to come along. I did manage one other film score recently – a film called ‘Sud Side Story’ produced in Italy by Roberta Torre. I did a bit of acting – in Italian – there as well as the score. Naturally, if the opportunity arises I’m game for that sort of work.
JS: You became very interested in the Sound System culture in England as a youth – not unlike Brinsley Forde’s character “Blue” in Babylon. What was that immersion in South London reggae music culture like?
DB: Getting into the Sound System culture at as a teenager educated my ear for Reggae and boosted my confidence as a sound engineer. I got to see and hear first-hand, what the public were reacting to and it was a chance to test my productions on them.
JS: How was Matumbi put together and what were the highlights of the group?
DB: Matumbi was put together after the break-up of my band ‘Stonehenge’ which was a rock, blues, R&B outfit consisting of drums, bass, organ, guitar and vocals. Basically, we changed our rhythm section (drum & bass) and our style of music to Reggae, being big fans of Toots & The Maytals, Desmond Dekker & The Aces, The Pioneers, Tommy McCook & the Supersonics, The Heptones, The Melodians, The Upsetters, Slim Smith, Laurel Aitkins, Prince Buster, Byron Lee & The Dragonaires, Bob Andy & Marcia Griffiths, Alton Ellis, Bob Marley & The Wailers etc. Later, the band expanded to eight members and signed a major recording deal with EMI in the 1970s.
JS: What were the highlights of working with Linton Kwesi Johnson?
DB: Work with Linton Kwesi Johnson began when he recorded his first album – Dread Beat & Blood. I was sound engineer, guitarist, pianist and co-producer of the project and to date we have performed live as far away as Australia & New Zealand. A celebration of our 25th anniversary was recorded on DVD, titled Live at The Zenith in Paris.
JS: When I spoke to you last month you were in the BBC London studios with presenter Dotun Adebayo celebrating the 30th anniversary of “Silly Games”, the lover’s rock anthem which you wrote, and one that became a smash hit, rising to No 1 in the UK top ten charts. Of course, Janet Kay’s amazing vocals made the song special. Have you collaborated with her recently?
DB: I have very recently been the live sound engineer for some of her concerts with Carroll Thompson, as well as playing bass while she played drums on ‘Silly Games’ on a few Lovers Rock shows.
JS: You grew up in a period in British history in which police brutality, high unemployment, Rastafari militancy, ultra right-wing nationalism and an intense interrogation of Britishness were the order of the day. To what extent have things really changed in 2009?
DB: These days there’s gun crime, an increase in drug activity, more unemployment, a rise in teenage pregnancies, The [racist] British National Party’s members elected to sit in the European Parliament and the credit crunch. My, how things have changed!
JS: Do you think the reggae scene of today will ever return the edginess and vibrancy of the late 1970s and 1980s?
DB: I hope the Reggae scene will return to the edginess & vibrancy of the 1970s and 1980s. There needs to be a few more groups formed and less solo performers.
JS: To what extent do you think there was a tension between British home-grown reggae, Lover’s Rock and Jamaican reggae?
DB: In the beginning, it was rumoured that it was not possible to capture the true tones of Reggae in England in the studio with British based musicians and technicians. For this reason, Jamaican recordings ruled until we came up with Lovers Rock and they started to follow our lead. ‘Caught you in a Lie’ is a classic example. Brent Dowe of the Melodians even recorded a version of the Matumbi hit ‘After Tonight’. Freddie McGregor recently cut a version of ‘The Man in Me’ – a Bob Dylan song first made popular in Reggae by my band ‘Matumbi’.
JS: (Finally,) how did recording superstar Eddie Grant’s recording innovations affect reggae’s fortunes during the 1980s and beyond?
DB: Eddie Grant’s style of Reggae, definitely helped to increase its popularity worldwide. I remember him telling me about audiences in Nigeria, Brazil and Argentina – places I’ve since visited and felt the vibe.
John Stevenson is a London-based Bajan free-lance writer, broadcaster and Woodshed scribe.
Sonny Bradshaw according to Herbie Miller:
He was a complete musician who played trumpet, adding its warmer-sounding relative, the flugel horn, in his mature years. He was also a competent pianist and was more than useful playing the bass, drums, organ and trombone. Nevertheless, his playing was without the bravado of either Armstrong or Gillespie. He encapsulated the lyricism of Miles Davis and the warm melodicism of Harry James, whose popular song, The Man With the Horn, Bradshaw also made his band’s theme.
He was an imaginative arranger, a composer and an energetic bandleader with an eye for discovering talent.
Because of Armstrong, Bradshaw understood the challenges of being an artiste. Harry James gave him an idea of how to swing a big band and remain immensely popular. From Gillespie he learned to organise diverse musical elements into his arrangements and turn up the rhythmic temperature, regardless of idiomatic source, and Davis provided the definition of ‘cool’. All these elements contributed to the shaping of Bradshaw’s popularity during a time when Jamaican musicians performed at levels attained only by masters.
An emerging star during the war years, Bradshaw was popular with dance audiences, overcame the challenges and impediments of the entertainment business, outlasting successive trends that soared into and then fell from vogue, and organised bands, big and small, in every decade until his recent death at 83.
Consistently aware of trends, Bradshaw maintained such personal touch with the creative industry, consumer tastes and the necessity for the use of arts in the building of a nation, that his 60-plus years of cultural advocacy and organisation represent one of the single most independently dedicated servants to the elevation of creative aesthetics and the musician as artistic genius.
At one of his final performances I observed a ‘Johnny-come lately’ put down Bradshaw’s playing as weak and without velocity. This would-be hip listener missed the point and failed to understand that this octogenarian master, instead of making his trumpet a relic, responded to Father Time by cutting back on the stamina and locomotion he could summon during his earlier years. His playing was now redefined and refined.
Perhaps Bradshaw’s greatest skill was that of organiser, not only of bands boasting the best available musicians, but organiser of events and concerts and the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, now approaching its 20th year. Over his 60-odd years of putting together bands and performing music, Bradshaw recognised and advanced the talents of his peers, some of whom went on to achieve international acclamation as important jazz innovators and improvisers. Joe Harriott, Wilton Gaynair, Harold McNair, Sonny Gray, Tommy McCook and Don Drummond are a few. He also used his Sonny B Seven to nurture and polish young musicians who would become seminal contributors to reggae as well as to continue the tradition of large and small band music, regardless of genre.
Noteworthy, also, are the amount and quality of leaders who came through Bradshaw’s groups – Willie Lindo, Dean Fraser, Boris Gardener, Esmond Jarrett and Desi Jones are examples.
The full essay here…
Herbie Miller is a cultural historian and the director/curator of the Jamaica Music Museum. His specialised interest is in slave culture, Caribbean identity and ethnomusicology. He can be contacted at email@example.com
Richard Francois has a thing or two to say about the impact of Jazz on its audience. In a Letter to the Editor of Guyana’s Stabroek News, Francois details the transformations that Jazz went through over the last century. He concludes that in spite of of those changes, there were no negative social impacts on Jazz aficionados. According to him, the same is not true with Dancehall Reggae, which has had a profoundly deleterious effect on listeners.
The WEC has excerpted Richard Francois’ comments about the evolution of Jazz, but will leave it to you to link to the source for the attack on Dancehall.
Change is inevitable. Everything changes over time, even music. And so we would have seen that within all the genres of music, there are changes in composition and delivery. This does not necessarily mean that the foundations of the different genres of music has changed, but just that subtle changes would have been made probably to phrasing, timing, harmony, or lyrical composition.
Let us examine Jazz. A few years ago we celebrated 100 years of Jazz. The sound of Jazz today has changed considerably from what it used to be in the early and mid 1900s. Jazz as a genre had several sub genres back in the day like most music today. And even today, Jazz still remains sub divided. In the past, the composition of Jazz revolved around a variety of sub genres. The music moved from New Orleans Dixieland dating from the early 1910s to the Big Band-Style Swing from the 1930s and 1940s. Then it accommodated the Bebop from the mid-1940s, a variety of Latin Jazz Fusions such as Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz from the 1950s and 1960s, Jazz-Rock Fusion from the 1970s, and late 1980s developments such as Acid Jazz, which blended Jazz influences into Funk and Hip-Hop. These are just a few sub genres of Jazz. There are many more. Today Urban Smooth Jazz is a sub genre that is widely sought after by both the young and mature Jazz fan.
The genre of Jazz evolved through time and is still widely accepted as pleasing to the trained musical ear and the not-so-trained ear.
Jazz has shown that the changes it went through did not have a negative impact on its audience. If anything happened, it was that the changes seem to have sought to expand its listening audience.