Anthony Joseph - Vocals
Andrew John - Bass/Vocals
Jason Yarde (MD) - Saxes/Keyboards
Thibaut Remy - Guitar
Richard Olatunde baker - Percussion
David Bitan - Drums
“afro-blue to astro-black and what glimmers in between” – The Times
“One of the most talented and engaging purveyors of the music right now” – Mojo
Anthony Joseph was born in Trinidad. A poet, novelist, musician and academic, he is the author of four poetry collections and two novels. His first novel, The African Origins of UFOs was published by Salt in 2006. As a musician he has released six critically acclaimed albums. His seventh, People of the Sun, a project recorded in Trinidad, London and France was released in summer 2018, alongside his second novel, Kitch, a fictional biography of calypso icon Lord Kitchener. Future publications include an epic, experimental novel, The Frequency of Magic, due in 2019 and a new poetry collection. He holds a PhD in Creative and Life Writing, and lectures in Literature, Critical Theory and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, London, and at the University of Liverpool where he is the Colm Toibin Fellow in Creative Writing.
ABOUT PEOPLE OF THE SUN
Trinidad. 4,768 km2 of land surrounded by turquoise waters, a unique piece of the Caribbean puzzle where musical vibrations arrive on the waves from the neighbouring islands.
For ten years or so Anthony Joseph has traveled the world, recording and performing music in a somewhat makeshift manor. Visits to Trinidad until recently had been limited to only a few weeks or a month, but yet from wherever Anthony may have found himself, he never felt for a moment that his island was far from him. This bind is so strong that even the distance of thousands of kilometers couldn’t weaken its grasp. A force evident in the rhythms, poems and books and now honored even further in the recordings for his new album. ‘People Of The Sun’
And so, by uniting local musicians, the aptly named Caribbean Roots, they began recording in the very heart of Trinidad’s capital, Port of Spain. The idea was to soak up the intense effervescence of its local music — from both past and present — and to finally bring into existence, an album that had long lurked inside Anthony’s mind.
With his inimitable talent for blending elements of Caribbean soul, funk and jazz while showcasing his uncanny storytelling ability, this wise wordsmith has presented himself as someone who can link two generations of Trinidad together. Thanks to him, the older generation, steeped in local musical tradition and the new young generation, who are more open to current trends, have now joined forces. So here you have practitioners of the steelpan, soca, and rapso right alongside lovers of more contemporary R&B, soul and rock flavours. Creating something far from being an old-fashioned rendition of the past, nor a digital reckoning of the present, what we have is a tasteful fusion that wholeheartedly points toward the coming times.
Musicians Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Brother Resistance, Modupe Folasade Onilu, Mikhail Salcedo, John John Francis, 3 Canal and his daughter Meena have all tagged on along the way to lend their musical mastery. Be it steel drums, militant poetics, percussive witchcraft or vocal prowess alongside the Ibis String Ensemble, who have injected string arrangements to give the album a melancholic dimension reminiscent of early Blaxploitation soundtracks.
All the above musicians found themselves locked away in a house that had been turned into a studio on the north of the island earlier this year. With only the ocean as their neighbor they began to work, riding waves of creativity and putting down the right recordings. Aided by melodies and arrangements from Anthony Joseph’s right-hand men; bassist Andrew John and saxophonist/producer/arranger
Jason Yarde, along with drummer David Bitan the project’s compositional core have handed themselves over as, “People Of The Sun’.
The steelpan’s metallic overtones are the album’s guiding musical thread throughout, constantly present, helping to highlight Anthony’s political lyrics, social commentary and conscience black identity. The grooves are so strong they bring both the players and listeners together in a collective trance…
‘People of the Sun’ will put Trinidadian music to new listeners far beyond its sandy shores. Currently, it may enjoy slightly less visibility than its Jamaican and Cuban counterparts. However, its musical motto remains, “Together we aspire”, and never before have these words resonated more intensely.