Tracking the Caribbean sound: three current hits

in New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids

[First paragraph]Zouk: World Music in the West lndies. JOCELYNE GuiLBAULT (with GAGE AVERILL, ÉDOUARD BENOIT & GREGORY RABESS). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. xxv + 279 pp. and compact disk. (Cloth US$ 55.00, Paper US$ 27.75) Calypso Calaloo: Early Carnival Music in Trinidad. DONALD R. HlLL. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1993. xvi + 344 pp. and compact disk. (Cloth US$ 49.95, Paper US$ 24.95) Calypso & Society in Pre-Independence Trinidad. GORDON ROHLEHR. Port of Spain: Gordon Rohlehr, 1990. x + 613 pp. (Paper US$ 40.00)In 1983, from my Hstening post in Cayenne, the southernmost extension of the French Caribbean, I reported that "popular musicians in the Lesser Antilles are in the process of breathing life into new musical varieties blending soka, cadence, and reggae" (Bilby 1985:211). Little did I know that what I was describing was the sudden emergence, at that very moment, of an entirely new music in French Guiana's fellow Départements d'Outre-Mer to the north, Martinique and Guadeloupe. Down in Cayenne, which has always had close ties to the French Antilles, there was a feeling in the air that some fresh and invigorating cultural trend was about to burst forth. Even in the Maroon villages of the French Guianese interior, where I relocated in early 1984, the excitement was palpable.

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