Promoting Guyana through music and film…
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Local folk/rock musician Gavin Aaron Mendonca (right) has teamed up with Leader of the Buxton Fusion Drumming Group, Marlon ‘Chucky’ Adams
Local folk/rock musician Gavin Aaron Mendonca (right) has teamed up with Leader of the Buxton Fusion Drumming Group, Marlon ‘Chucky’ Adams

‘Rainforest Conversations’ set for 2022 release

Local folk and rock musician Gavin Aaron Mendonca has teamed up with Leader of the Buxton Fusion Drumming Group, Marlon ‘Chucky’ Adams, and Azikiwe ‘Ziggy’ Denheart of Infinity Productions to produce what is perhaps their most ambitious project yet – a series of concerts performed in the Rupununi, accompanied by a music video and short film.

The latter is expected to highlight the importance of protecting the jaguar, as well as our iconic rainforests; the production will also utilise the Macushi language as a means of paying tribute to the ‘forest people’ – our Amerindians brothers who have, for thousands of years, protected Guyana’s eco-heritage.

Both Gavin and Marlon believe that as youngsters, they can make a positive impact on the preservation of Guyanese folklore, even in a modern-day society dominated by pop-culture and “flooded with foreign content.”

The two have embarked on this latest project as yet another way to contribute to the preservation of the country’s folk music and culture, whilst highlighting just a few of the hidden gems of North Rupununi, one of Guyana’s most scenic regions.

Gavin with Chucky and Ziggy

The concert series will see the duo on top of Turtle Mountain in the Iwokrama Rainforest; at Atta Lodge, high above the trees on the infamous Canopy Walkway; and at the North Rupununi’s Oasis – Rock View Lodge.

The first performance atop Turtle Mountain was released on New Year’s Day 2022 and commenting on how it was accomplished, Gavin related: “Imagine driving for 12 hours through the dark jungle to get to Iwokrama, bus breaking down and all. Having arrived, getting a quick meal and a 20-minute break, we then hiked 1 ½ hours up a mountain with guitars, drums and gear on our backs!”

Once at the top, Gavin recalled hearing the rumbles of the thunder get louder, as the wind grew more and more intense. “We had to hurry and set up and get this performance done in one take or else we would have been soaked at the top of a mountain. What a thrill it was!”

Gavin and Chucky believe that they can make a positive impact on the preservation of Guyanese folk songs

The video, which can be streamed on YouTube and Facebook (Creole Rock Page) or at www.creolerock.com, significantly sets the pace and bar of what to expect from Gavin and ‘Chucky’ in this new year. “We continue to relentlessly pursue our mission and dreams – which at times could feel like climbing a mountain – but, once you keep going you will eventually make it to the top,” Gavin expressed.

The remainder of the concert series will be released bi-monthly throughout the first half of 2022 and will lead up to the release of the music video and film titled ‘Rainforest Conversations.’

Gavin and Chucky have said that they are grateful to everyone who has helped them on their latest journey including Iwokrama River Lodge, Wilderness Explorers, Rock View Lodge, North Rupununi District Development Board, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, Guyana Tourism Authority, University of Guyana, Banks DIH Ltd., Rupununi Music & Arts Festival, Visit Guyana, Rick’s and Sari, Sankar’s Auto Works, Studio Anansi, Chetson’s Ltd. and Escape To Rest Natural Handcrafted Soaps.

With Guyana’s folk songs gradually becoming a thing of the past, Gavin harbours the fear that soon enough, Guyanese could possibly lose interest altogether. It is for this reason that Gavin and ‘Chucky’ have decided to team up to reverse the perceived disinterest, and to provide opportunities for more folk songs to be played; they are hopeful that this would nurture an appreciation and respect for what they mean.

In the meantime, Gavin has been traveling the world to perform, even serenading the people of China and Dubai, among several other countries. To be able to perform Guyanese folk songs is something Gavin considers to be one of his greatest accomplishments yet. We wish the team well and we look forward to seeing the completion of this important project.

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