Music of Guyana
The music of Guyana is a mix of Indian, African, European and native elements. Important American, Caribbean, Brazilian and other Latin musical styles are popular. Popular Guyanese performers include Terry Gajraj, Mark Holder, Eddy Grant, Dave Martins & the Tradewinds,(Johnny Braff, Ivor Lynch & Sammy Baksh) Aubrey Cummings and Nicky Porter. The Guyana Music Festival has proven an influential part of the scene.
The first half of the 20th century saw a number of popular Guyanese dance bands, including the BG Musicians Band, Harry Banks Orchestra, Al Seales & His Washboard Swing Orchestra, Bert Rogers & His Aristocrats Dance Orchestra and Mr. Gouveia's Orchestra. By the 1960s, these big bands with prominent horns, woodwinds and other instruments became less popular in favor of a wave of string bands. These included The Rockets, Bumble & the Saints, Sid & the Slickers, Bing Serrao & the Ramblers, Combo 7, Rhythmaires, Dominators, Curtis MG's, Rudy & the Roosters, Yoruba Singers, Little Jones, Mischievous Guys, Cannonballs, and the Telstars.
The Rockets led by Michael Bacchus and lead singer Johnny Braff along with Bumble & the Saints, led by Colin Wharton, was perhaps the most influential group in this shift. By the end of the decade, new instruments like box guitars (introduced by Bing Serrao & the Ramblers) had taken over, while heavy guitar work by the Rhythmaires and Combo 7's complex drum solos proved influential.
Other bands of the 1960s and 1970s were Cannonballs, Curtis MG's, Dominators, Little Jones, Mischievous Guys, Rhythmaires, Rudy and the Roosters, Sid and the Slickers, Telstars, and the Yoruba Singers.
Shanto is a form of Guyanese music, related to both calypso and mento. It became a major part of early popular music through its use in Guyanese vaudeville shows; songs are topical and light-hearted, often accompanied by a guitar.
Calypso is especially...