My year in review

by Cesco Emmanuel

I like blogging on a sunday and it dawned on me today that I should write about what musical adventures I had this year – a review of sorts. I know it may seem a bit ego-centric but here goes.

For the first time, I played the role of a ‘sideman’ in a Soca back-up band for Calypsonians – Black Stalin and Ronnie McIntosh – at a local fete here in Trinidad (for a definition of Soca music, click here). My first and only time playing in that forum.

I entered the 30th Biennial Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival, in the solo guitar category with Villa-Lobos’ ‘Etude No. 8′. I came second in the competition against quite a young talented group of classical guitarists.

I completed Grade 8 in Guitar from the Associate Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). Next stage – DipABRSM exam in two years time.

Got a few more film scoring jobs for two NGO campaigns – Habitat for Humanity Trinidad and K.I.N.D.; as well as scoring the theme for Trinidad’s 50th Anniversary celebration of ’50 Legends of Sport’ and lastly the short, Comedy/Drama film – ‘A Story about Wendy’.

I did a few solo gigs in September and December, as well as joining Stefan Roach and his flamenco group. I even joined classical singer Andre Mangatal for his stellar tribute performance to Andrea Bochelli back in July.

But by the coolest and craziest to happen was the summer tour with Kobo Town. It was on the night of July 16th that I got a call from Drew Gonsalves. We chatted a bit about how the summer was coming along, we talked about our families and life in general. He asked me what were my plans for summer and I told him that I was working on a few film scoring jobs whilst I took a break from teaching.

He then said that the band was going on tour across Europe – Germany and Slovenia in particular and then back across to Canada for a few dates in Quebec, and would I be up to joining the band? and if so, how soon could I get to Toronto?

I was on a plane by the weekend. The tour was a success and we all had a grand old time.

My hope for this year was to play as much music as possible, to explore any avenue that came my way musically and to continue learning and improving my guitar technique.

So far, so good.

Now the only question is, how to top all of this next year?

I hope 2013 will be the best year for music yet.