Spektakula Tribute to Sparrow
Here's an interesting fact. The Mighty Sparrow's career began in 1956, which makes this his 56th year in the calypso arena. In that time the Birdie has achieved international acclaim having performed throughout the world and also having received awards and commendations from many nations. The love and adoration of the people of Trinbago, however, remains the adulation that means the most to him.
On September 22 Spektakula Promotions will present at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) an event simply titled, A Tribute to Sparrow, through which his fans will have an opportunity to say to him, thank you for the music. This event will also serve as a celebration of the nation's 36th Anniversary of becoming a Republic back in 1976.
A number of artistes will come out to honour Sparrow among them being David Rudder who like the Calypso King of the World is an icon of the calypso art form. Also performing at the show will be veteran Barbadian calypsonian, Gabby who is not only a good friend of Sparrow's, but very much respected by him, both of them having travelled the world together in the past. Other artistes in the line up will be announced soon and these will span from vintage kaiso bards and the top soca artistes of the day to classical acts and one of the islands top choirs.
Born, Slinger Francisco in Grenada, Sparrow was brought to Trinidad when he was one year old and grew up in Port of Spain. He attended Newtown Boys' RC School where he was introduced to music having been selected to be a member of the St Patrick's RC Church choir. Singing the traditional Gregorian chants and hymns in Latin helped Sparrow developed the vocal dexterity he became known for and outfitted him to perform with excellence not only calypso, but other genres such as soul, jazz, blues, pop and much more.
In 1956 when he was 20 years old, Sparrow debuted on the national platform with his classic hit, "Jean And Dinah," which won him both the Calypso King and Road March King titles of that year. From there Sparrow moved on to an illustrious career that saw him performing before royalty and presidents. In fact, he was the first artiste in the world to release a song in tribute to and in support of the presidential campaign of Barrack Obama.
The eight-time National Calypso King/Monarch and Road March Champion was in 1969 presented with the Humming Bird Medal Silver and the Chaconia Medal Gold in 1993 for his contributions to calypso and culture. In 1977 the government and people of Nigeria conferred upon Sparrow a Chieftaincy proclaiming him, Chief Omowale of Ikoyi. These are only a few of the many such honours bestowed upon Sparrow thus far.