June 27, 2022

Cayman Islands: CNCF to release double album of CI Folk Singers & North Side Kitchen Band

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Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – 31 July 2018 – The Cayman National Cultural Foundation has announced the release of its latest album of Caymanian folk music, this one featuring The Cayman Islands Folk Singers and North Side Kitchen Band. The launch party for the double CD—called Come Back Home—is set for Thursday, 16 August at Grand Old House, and will be open to the public. Tickets for the event are $60 per person which includes a copy of the album, appetisers and a Cayman-style buffet dinner. There will also be live performances by the Folk Singers and Pa’lante Jazz Band.

In 2009, the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) 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. In the years since its inception, the group has been showcasing Cayman’s rich musical heritage, telling ‘the Caymanian story’ through song. The Folk Singers have an impressive repertoire of Caymanian composition, as well as beloved songs from around the region. Songs on the album include “Gummy Yard”, “Cardile Gone to Cuba”, “Beef in Cane Piece”, “You Have To Wait Till My Ship Comes In” and “Come Back Home”.

The North Side Kitchen Band was formed by Ned Miller in 2002. Ned (fiddle and mouth organ), alongside his brothers Coburn (guitar) and Rexford (drums), Burke Ebanks (guitar), Darvin Ebanks (guitar), Freddie Ebanks (guitar) and Harvey Whittaker (percussions/maracas), play traditional island music, the majority of which was composed by their Caymanian ancestors.

Dedicated to preserving and exemplifying ‘kitchen music’ as it was called when the craze first began, the North Side Kitchen Band plays songs that, instead of being written down, have been passed down orally for many generations. These songs, such as “Under the Coconut Tree” and “Munzie’s Boat”, describe island life as it was many years ago.

“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 centre stage for all to enjoy,” said CNCF Artistic Director, Dr. Henry Muttoo. “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.”

This album follows CNCF’s previous successful release of Traditional Music of the Cayman Islands – with ‘Aunt’ Julia Hydes, and Radley Gourzong and the Happy Boys — which has become a tangible reminder of the heyday of kitchen music. Muttoo hopes the music on Come Back Home, “now beautifully rendered by the Cayman Islands Folk Singers and the North Side Kitchen Band, 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.”

For more information about the Come Back Home launch party and to purchase tickets, contact CNCF on 949.5477 or email [email protected]

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  1. Would like to know where I can buy the cd, Munzie boat?

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