Bocas Lit Fest

Two masters of Extempo calypso are set to entertain international audiences at the famous Edinburgh International Festival today in a special programme to mark 70 years of the world’s first literary festival.

Calypsonians Short Pants and Black Sage, both former Extempo champions, will be accompanied on guitar by another former Extempo master, Tobago Crusoe, when they perform as part of the Fire Down Below event in the Spirit of ‘47 programme, a collaboration between the British Council and the Edinburgh International Festival.

“In 1947 it was the belief that art could change the world and help the reconciliation of the European continent divided by WWII that led to the creation of that wonderful festival, and we are pleased to be part of the celebration of on-going international collaboration,” said director of T&T’s own literary festival the NGC Bocas Lit Fest Marina Salandy-Brown, who has curated and will chair the event.

Short Pants adds, “I feel proud and privileged to be a part of the team. I do have a lot of respect for my colleagues, Tobago Crusoe and Black Sage, and performing there with them ought to be a wonderful experience. Extempo is what it is; a unique art form that only few of us still practise. It is my hope then, that we will rise to the occasion, uphold the tradition and be proud ambassadors of the art form and our beloved country.”

The event also features prizewinning Jamaican Poet Laureate and novelist Lorna Goodison, Grenadian writer and editor Jacob Ross and Guyanese artist and academic Roshini Kempadoo, and is chaired by Marina Salandy-Brown, Director of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest.

Click here to read more about FIRE DOWN BELOW at the Edinburgh International Festival. The event can be heard online from August 16 as part of the Spirited Voices podcast series here.

Short Pants and Black Sage in extempo debate at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, April 2017
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