By Lincoln Depradine
Trinidadian Keina Calliste is the daughter of one of the Caribbean’s greatest calypsonians — but despite a family legacy in Grenada, she had never visited the island.
“I like it,” she said. “It’s not that much different from Trinidad. We have a lot of similarities.”
Calliste’s father was Leroy “Black Stalin” Calliste, the five-time winner of the Calypso Monarch competition of Trinidad & Tobago, the 1999 Calypso King of the World, and a legend of calypso. His father, George Calliste, was a native of Grenada.
His most popular songs included “Black Man Feeling to Party,’’ “The Caribbean Man,’’ “Wait Dorothy Wait,’’ and “Bun Dem.’’ In 2008, the University of the West Indies awarded him an honorary doctorate.
Keina followed in the musical footsteps of her father, but took a slightly different path, becoming a pannist. She now performs with her hometown steel orchestra, TCL Skiffle Bunch of San Fernando in Trinidad.
“We had a school band so I decided to just fool around after school and I liked it and I stuck with it,’’ she said. “I was still going to school when I joined Skiffle Bunch and I never left.’’
Skiffle Bunch, which gave two public performances in Grenada over the weekend, was visiting under an arrangement involving the Grenada Carnival Committee, the Grenada Steelbands Association and George F. Huggins Grenada, Ltd.
Calliste, who holds a degree in business management from the School of Business and Computer Science in Trinidad, has toured the Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbados, with Skiffle Bunch.
“The standard here and the passion are very high,’’ Calliste said. “It was really amazing that people here know so much about pan in Trinidad. People in Grenada really keep up to date on the pan movement.’’
–Grenada Information Service