NEW YORK – Father’s Day weekend in New York City will once again be celebrated in true Caribbean musical style when Abstract Entertainment continues its steel pan jazz tradition for the third year at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Allen Room in Manhattan.
David Michael Rudder, Trinidad & Tobago’s calypso revolutionary, will headline the 2007 concert on Saturday, June 16, 2007 and will perform alongside a classy Caribbean All-Star cast, including Arturo Tappin, Ralph McDonald, Robert Greenidge and Nicholas Brancker, between them representing a fusion of some of the finest talent from the region.
Appropriately during June’s “Caribbean American Heritage Month,” the producer of the annual series and the founder of Abstract Entertainment, Caribbean-American Ralph Ramsey, is showing yet another facet of the Caribbean’s part in American life.
“The show goes beyond simple entertainment and is a reflection of the contributions that Caribbean Americans make to the cultural and economic landscape of this great city,” said Ramsey, an electrical engineer by profession and an entrepreneur by purpose.
“There are so many upscale venues in the city which are home to world class calendar events but a Caribbean component was missing from that equation for quite a while,” he added to explain the raison d’être of the festival.
Ramsey, whose father is an avid steel band member and mother a jazz aficionado, feels his background appropriately propels him to promote the fusion of these genres to another level. “I grew up in a household where tales of the Desperadoes Steel Orchestra were told to the backdrop of Miles Davis,” he says, adding that “I also wanted to celebrate fathers in a way that had not been done before … just like my father, there are many fathers who wear their steel pan necklaces with pride but also listen to jazz music with strong fervor.”
As much as it has flourished over three years, the Jazz at Lincoln Center series has not been without challenges such as high production costs. But Ramsey’s determination is renewed each year from those in attendance. “I feel the enthusiasm of the people during the show, at intermission and at the end of the show,” he says. “It’s infectious and especially encouraging.”
For Ramsey, the steel pan jazz series is more than a concert, it’s an investment. “I hope that large companies will live up to their corporate responsibility and support the communities which support their products and services. In this way we will all grow,” he says.
The 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Neville Jules, the legendary leader of Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra.
The concert is sponsored by Air Jamaica, Barbados Tourism Authority, Hawks International, Money Gram, New York Carib News, Ocean View Development Corp, Tropical Paradise Caters, WACK Radio 90.1 FM and WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM.