– Duo to soon record ‘Folk It Up’ Vol. 2
REFLECTING on some of their major accomplishments during 2018, Gavin Mendonca and Marlon ‘Chucky’ Adams are grateful to their supporters whom they said contributed to their being able to live their dreams.
“The year 2019 has been quite a busy and productive one for us,” Gavin told the Buzz yesterday. The duo met and performed for the first time in 2015 at the second Rupununi Music and Arts Festival in Region Nine. Since then, the pair has been quite successful working together and has even joined forces overseas.
The duo has been performing at the Courtyard Mall every Friday from 13:00 to 16:00hrs and will be doing so leading up to Christmas. “We are encouraging young people to come out, bring their instruments and jam as much as they want,” Gavin said.
While the ‘Folk It Up’ Vol I album is currently sold out, it can be purchased or streamed Online at www.creolerock.com/FolkItUp. The album featured 11 (of the 100) Folk Songs, was produced by Burchmore Simon of Kross Kolor Records, and was supported by a grant received for the development of the Creative Industries through the Department of Culture. Gavin and Chucky will soon be recording ‘Folk It Up’ Vol. 2.
Meanwhile, in April 2020, Gavin and Chucky will perform at New Fire Festival, a three-day, eco-friendly camping festival in Trinidad.
Furthermore, Gavin will be heading to New Orleans in January to participate in an annual summit put together by ‘Folk Alliance International’, which gathers Folklorists from all around the world.
“This will be the first time a Guyanese is participating, and should open many doors for me and the Guyanese music industry as a whole,” Gavin expressed. He will then head to Full Sail University in Orlando where he’ll be presenting on ‘The Importance of Cultural Preservation through Contemporary Art’.
Gavin said he believes folk music plays a significant role in Guyana’s history books, as it is the natural sound of Guyana passed down from generation to generation. Each song has a unique story of its own, depicting life as it was in Guyana decades ago. “From the use of our Creole Dialect to our daily activities and how our foreparents felt about and dealt with certain situations…”
As youngsters, Gavin said he and Chucky see the dire importance of protecting and preserving these folk songs, especially in a modern-day society which seems to be more pop-oriented, with media outlets flooded with foreign content.
He said they see this as a threat to the Guyanese identity, and believes young people especially need opportunities to not just hear the folk songs, but to appreciate and respect them for what they mean.
Last August, the production of the album was finished, and Gavin and Chucky were ready to release it to the world. Gavin made a trip to the US, where he launched the album at the annual Guyana Folk Festival in New York, put on by the Guyana Cultural Association of NY.
The album was very well received, and praised by the Diaspora. While in NY, Gavin joined and performed at many free ‘open-mic nights’, playing Guyanese Folk Music for hundreds of young people, who all appreciated and even joined in the singing and dancing.
While in New York, Gavin got a most favourable surprise, when the Guyanese Ambassador in China reached out to him and Jackie Jaxx to be Cultural Ambassadors and perform at the annual Horticultural ‘Expo’ in Beijing.
Gavin made his way to China to perform Guyanese Folk Songs, something he considers to be one of his greatest accomplishments yet. Even the Great Wall of China was added to the list of ‘Folk Up De Place’.
Before returning to Guyana in October, he made a stop in Trinidad, where he performed at UWI St. Augustine Campus. He reached out to the Guyanese Students Association which whole-heartedly committed to helping him organise an impromptu performance on campus. It was attended by over 60 young people, half of whom were non-Guyanese.
“This was a proud moment for me, as I felt as though my mission was being accomplished, and that is to reach out to young people with our folk music, and encourage an appreciation for it. It was here that I realised, even more, the link between Guyana and the Caribbean through our similar folk music,” Gavin expressed.