A double album featuring popular traditional Cayman groups, the Cayman Islands Folk Singers and the North Side Kitchen Band, will be released next week.
The Cayman National Cultural Foundation will be hosting a release party at the Grand Old House on Thursday, Aug. 16, to celebrate the launch of the album, which is titled “Come Back Home.” The double CD features songs such as “Gummy Yard,” “Cardile Gone to Cuba,” “Beef in Cane Piece,” “You Have To Wait Till My Ship Comes In,” and the title song “Come Back Home.”
“It is necessary to preserve our folk music; we need to remove these songs from ‘behind the breadfruit tree,’ where they were being obscured from the imagination of our young people, and bring them center stage for all to enjoy,” said Cayman National Cultural Foundation’s artistic director Henry Muttoo in a press release.
“This album is a collector’s item and a must-have for any person who is a fan of Cayman’s musical culture and history. We celebrate the contributions that these two groups have made to advancing the Cayman story,” Mr. Muttoo added.
The album follows CNCF’s previous releases of traditional music of the Cayman Islands, featuring “Aunt” Julia Hydes, and Radley Gourzong and the Happy Boys.
Mr. Muttoo hopes the music on “Come Back Home” will be enjoyed by all, while affording Caymanians, especially the young, another resource to help them recapture and retain some of their treasured musical heritage.
The North Side Kitchen Band was formed by Ned Miller in 2002. Mr. Miller played the fiddle and harmonica alongside his brothers Coburn on guitar and Rexford drums, with Burke Ebanks on guitar. Darvin Ebanks and Freddie Ebanks played guitars and Harvey Whittaker played percussion and maracas.
Dedicated to preserving and exemplifying “kitchen music,” as it is known, the North Side Kitchen Band plays songs that, instead of being written down, have been passed down orally for many generations. Songs such as “Under the Coconut Tree” and “Munzie’s Boat” describe island life as it was many years ago.
In 2009, the Cayman National Cultural Foundation formed the Cayman Islands Folk Singers, a company of amateur singers and musicians dedicated primarily to preserving, celebrating and propagating the musical traditions of the Cayman Islands.
The group exists to bring the people of the Cayman Islands folk music works of the highest possible artistic and technical standards and production values, and works that are reflective of the Caymanian image and appreciative of its place in the Caribbean region and the wider world, according to the CNCF. In the years since its inception, the group has been showcasing Cayman’s rich musical heritage, telling “the Caymanian story” through song.
Thursday’s launch party, which starts at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m., is open the public. Tickets for the event at Grand Old House are $60 per person, which includes a copy of the album, appetizers and a Cayman-style buffet dinner. There will also be live performances by the Folk Singers and Pa’lante Jazz Band from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
For more information on the “Come Back Home” launch party and to purchase tickets, contact CNCF on 949-5477 or email [email protected]