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ZipZap Wabap

Sunday, December 15, 2013
Levi's Lore

Since we’re running down the end of lucky 13, this week’s offering is a “z,” un coup de zipzap, une danse de wabap, un chant de Bélé. All of which goes to say—I went away on one of those flights of fancy which sometimes strike us with good fortune, when we’re least expecting it. 


But then again: chak moun sav ka bouyi an kannari yo (everyone knows their own business—hopefully). So for the long weekend just gone I had the pleasure of a fleeting return to the pays natal of Aimé Césaire, Franz Fanon, Edouard Glissant, Patrick Chamoiseau, Rafael Confiant. Bel Martnik has figured prominently in my life since the early 1990s when I started to embark on my wanderings throughout le monde creole. 


I had already laboured hard in the Guardian plantation for a year after spending the previous five years thoroughly acquainting myself with my adoptive home of T&T. It was time to explore the roots of the region I had come home to after the rootlessness of my early years in London, which unlike Kitch, was not the place for me. Some freelance work with the long defunct but excellent regional weekly publication Caribbean Week, served both to whet my voracious appetite and also to provide the necessary opening.



I saw coverage of an international guitar festival in Martinique, which I shortly discovered alternated with a biannual jazz festival. So 20 years ago I found myself quivering with anticipation, pacing my Monte Grande apartment before flying out to cover my first Jazz à la Martinique festival. I was a regular at both the guitar and jazz festivals right through till 2000. It was the entré to the rest of the Caribbean I had been searching for.


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