‘Come Back Home’ explores Cayman’s heritage

The Cayman Islands Folk Singers pose by the seashore at the launch of the 'Come Back Home' album on Thursday evening.

Some 200 traditional music lovers turned out Thursday evening to help celebrate the launch of a double album by two iconic Cayman groups.

The Cayman Islands Folk Singers and North Side Kitchen Band launched their album, called “Come Back Home,” at a party at Grand Old House in George Town.

Among the attendees were members of the bands themselves, as well as Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush, Acting Minister for Culture Joey Hew, and Henry Muttoo, artistic director of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, which produced the album.

Mr. Hew said the album showcased the rich heritage of the Cayman Islands and “holds true to our oral traditions, by telling the story of the Cayman Islands and its people through music.”

He added, “Through this album we are able to honor our past, share the knowledge of our forefathers, foster intergenerational dialogue, and last but certainly not least, highlight and showcase the wonderful talent and creative expression of the arts and culture community.”

Mr. Muttoo described the album as a collector’s item, and said it was a “must-have for any person who is a fan of Cayman’s musical culture and history.”

In a press release issued following the launch party, he called on the government to support the arts and culture in the Cayman Islands. “I long for the day when those artists, who have proven their worth through works of caliber and who wish to pursue an idea, will receive concessions, in the same manner that businesses receive concessions because, while it is true that businesses and economic development are necessary to grow the country, so are the arts and culture necessary in the building of a creative, disciplined [population] whose existence is rooted in substance and not rhetoric.”

Acting Minister for Culture Joey Hew speaks at the launch of ‘Come Back Home’ Thursday night at Grand Old House.
Speaker McKeeva Bush, left, with original member of the Cayman Islands Folk Singers Marcia Muttoo and her husband CNCF Artistic Director Henry Muttoo.