Ajnish Mohip, son of classical chutney duo Rana and Susan Mohip, felt inspired to create a forum for young musicians and formed the Hummingbird Music Production in partnership with his schoolmate Timothy Bally.
Together, the young men staged Bring Back the Old Time Days at the National Academy foe the Performing Arts (Southern Campus), San Fernando, on September 1.
No doubt drawing inspiration from his parents’ aggregation (Sargam International Orchestra), music brought the two young men together when they met while attending Naparima College. Mohip is currently a Lower Sixth Form pupil at the college and Bally is into his second year of a Bachelor degree in Music at the Royal Holloway University of London.
Bally said the idea of the venture came to them after he experienced his own dilemma as a foreign student. He said the inaugural concert was in part to help him fund his three-year programme in which he is currently enrolled.
“He (Ajnish) was inspired by his parents to form his own group. They are Indian classical entertainers. Unlike his parents, Ajnish ventured into jazz, calypso and western classical music.
“But, apart from this, we raised funds to assist me with my studies in music. I am studying music abroad. I see this as not only an opportunity for me to benefit, but to assist Ajnish’s initiative to set up a bursary for young musicians who wish to study abroad; this will help them out.”
Bally said they planned to make their production an annual event, taking the concert to different parts of T&T. He said it was also an avenue to assist young musicians with the opportunity to get their talents out and be heard.
The four-month-old group consists of eight vocalists, four pannists, and three guitarists.
To say the show was “excellent” is an understatement and it was particularly thrilling to see young artistes performing several classicals by the greats of yesteryear.
The wide and varied repertoire performed at Bring Back the Old Time Days encompassed international jazz and classics like Natalie and Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable; UB40’s Can’t Help Falling in Love (With You); Freddie Jackson’s Me and Mrs Jones; and, Frank Sanatra’s New York, New York.
In the calypso/ kaiso/chutney category, homage was paid the late great Lord Kitchener, David Rudder’s The Ganges Meet the Nile, Singing Sandra’s Dignity and the Mighty Sniper’s Portrait of Trinidad. —Innis Francis