Veteran singer Carl Jacobs has never sung with a steel orchestra but will do so on November 4 when CAL Invaders Steel Orchestra hosts its annual Pan, Parang & Pork.
Looking forward to his first-time gig singing with his family, accompanied by a steelband, Jacobs said: “I was surprised when I was approached to do Pan, Parang & Pork. With Carol and the girls, we’d be performing a 30-minute set which would have some of the stuff people know, and a couple of surprises. I have never performed with a steelband before so I am excited and really looking forward to it.”
Based in Miami, USA, for well over two decades, Jacobs is in the process of returning permanently to Trinidad to join his family—wife Carol, daughters Carla and Caryl (Trini), and son Cyle.
Jacobs has worked at Monty Complex, in Coconut Grove for the past 20 years, performing and co-ordinating bookings for its entertainment showplace.
Said the veteran artiste/composer: “I am returning home for good, very soon. I would say I am almost back home, at least 99 per cent back.”
Growing up in Success Village, Laventille, as a student of St Mary’s College, Jacobs began his musical journey in the 60s, singing with community group Host of Others. Subsequent to sharing stages with the performers like Strollers, Sparks and Blue Veils, he performed with Sparrow Troubadors, Michael Boothman & Family Tree, Dennis de Souza, Charlie’s Roots and Shandileer. Jacobs and his wife also had their own act, known as Carl and Carol.
Jacobs has had numerous big hit singles, prior to his migration to the US, among them being Luv Up, Ben’ Down and Rock, Savage, We Wanna Live, From Now On, and Pressure, the latter with his wife.
In an interview during a one-week visit to his homeland, Jacobs said: “I must say that over the years, the local music industry has progressed. Back in the day, people weren’t making the kind of money they make now. You couldn’t live off of music in those days.
“I have noticed a vast improvement in the quality of composing, performances, and the technical aspects of calypso and soca.”
Always one to assist upcoming, fledgling artistes, Jacobs said: “I have never stopped mentoring and encouraging young artistes.”
Proof of this hit very near to home, as two young artistes who have benefitted from Jacob’s mentoring and influence are his daughters.
He said: “A whole lot of me has rubbed off on my children, especially Trini (Caryl), who managed to act on it and actively participated in performing. Carla, on the other hand, settled in life and was more family oriented. They are both fantastic singers. My son, Cyle, is also musically inclined, but not to perform.”
When he is finally back home, Jacobs said he intends getting into business. He disclosed: “I intend opening an establishment that would serve people my age group. It’s going to be something very nice and appealing; something like a champagne bar, where live music our age group knows and appreciate could be played every night. It’s all about providing a service that the older generation can come out among friends and have a good time.”
Another venture Jacobs intends investing in is a beauty supply store, to be run by his wife and Trini.
Asked about choosing Jacobs as a headline act for Pan, Parang & Pork, Invaders spokeswoman Liz Namsoo said: “This is the tenth year Invaders is doing this event so we were looking for something special and nostalgia. I came up with the idea of Carl and Carol because our patronage over the years are people who are familiar with their music, and would appreciate seeing them perform live. The Jacobs Family would be nostalgic and would lend themselves to the unique ambience and experience that is Pan, Parang & Pork.
“The past ten years of 3Ps have been successful and we’ve managed to generate much needed funds for the band. Of course we would not have been able to achieve this without the assistance and support of corporate sponsors, folks that have stood with us for ten solid years. They include Caribbean Airlines (formerly BWIA), National Lottery, Carib and Angostura.”
Pan, Parang & Pork is scheduled for November 4, at 5.30 pm, at the Queen’s Park Oval. Apart from The Jacobs Family, other star acts include Scrunter, Los Dinamicos, Invaders Youth Steel Orchestra and the senior band, CAL Invaders, and DJ Crosby Sounds.