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Ministry treats staff to mini concert
When the minister, the Parliamentary Secretary, the Permanent Secretary and the rest of the staff at the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism got together for their midday end-of-year function last year, folks did not know a mini concert was in store. Well laid-out tables and chairs occupied a room at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port-of-Spain, as part of a buffet-styled luncheon waiting to be had. The menu consisted of vegetable rice, stewed pigeon peas, baked potatoes, pastelles, ham, baked chicken and fish. Short addresses from senior executives of the ministry were led by Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Winston “Gypsy” Peters, and included Parliamentary Secretary Nela Khan and Permanent Secretary Esme Rawlins-Charles.
The music menu was equally as varied. Parang group Amantes de Paranda started off with a few enticing appetisers. Then there were some heavy servings of parang soca from Ninja (a stalwart of that genre), while Nermal “Massive” Gosein provided a couple chutney condiments. Devon Matthews then peppered things up, after which Auburn Wiltshire laid out a delightful dish of flavourful saxophone which he later garnished with dashes of his tenor pan. In adding color, Wiltshire asked well known African drummer Peter Telfer to join him onstage to sauté what was being served. Telfer obliged and the mixture went down really well.
Explainer, a calypso chef who must be credited with vast experience, had the guests watering at the mouth. And when he was finished, people were still licking their chops. This resulted in a call for “seconds” and he acceded to the request for a lagniappe. The audience then lapped up Lorraine, which Explainer pulled from his recipe book of recording goodies. Through it all Minister Peters seemed to be the salt on the afternoon’s music menu. Artiste after artiste during their performances, felt they had a need to head to the minister’s table seeking to have him flavour their offerings. He was a very willing candidate singing and swaying accommodating his artistic colleagues by singing lines when invited to. In the process he was delighting himself, the artistes, and of course his staffers.
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