There is no doubt that the Caribbean, like so many other regions of the world, is a melting-pot of cultures. These enchanting islands of the Caribbean Sea share biological, geographic and historical branches of evolution but each has evolved with its distinct blends and flavors of food, music, festivals and cultures. In the biological world, Darwin describes this as "speciation", a process of natural selection that leads to the development of related species, each with its own attributes that make it identifiably unique.
Today, the Caribbean is a welcomed getaway for most of the world; each island, its own slice of paradise; each culture, an interplay of indigenous Amerindian, African, European and world influences.
Cascadú is a son of the Caribbean. This second son of the Escayg family, born and raised in Trinidad, is a descendant of Amerindian, African, French and Syrian parentage. His debut CD, Caribbean Odyssey, takes us deep into the soul of his Caribbean heritage with original compositions that clearly express his consciousness and vision. Not only do we get to experience this versatile composer, percussionist, pannist and vocalist but we also experience him as an enticing story teller who pulls us into the web of inter-connectedness of his world. The booklet of this CD is filled with interesting stories behind each piece of music, a welcomed map for the journey ahead and confirmation that this artist does not bask in the ordinary.
Cascadú began performing at the tender age of 6. Steeped in the folkloric music and dance of his native Trinidad, he began the study of orchestral and world percussion in 1978 while pursuing a degree in Biogeography at York University, Canada. While at York University, he played steel drums with the campus-based West Indian Performing Group and with the noted Toronto steel orchestra, Afropan. His love for hand drums and the tumbadoras (congas) in particular, led him to the study of latin percussion and he sought a period of residency with Emile Latimer of Buffalo. He attributes his early inspirations to such players as Don Alias, Tata Guines, Patato Valdez, and Mongo Santa-Maria and the more contemporary players like Paulinho DaCosta, Airto, the Escovedos and Ralph Macdonald.
His love for Latin and Brazilian music, and the desire to develop his musicianship brought him to New York in 1984 where he studied with such notables as the late Frankie Malabe, Ray Cruz, Ray Romero, and Jimmy Delgado. Cascadú delights in his memory of Monday nights at the Village Gate in the mid - late 80's, where he was able to see, hear and study the great latin giants.
Cascadú has also pursued a successful career in academia as a marine research biologist, and professor of marine and ecological sciences. His ecological awareness and love for the ocean, stems from his youth growing up in the "bush" in Trinidad, and the memory of his family spending those "long, lazy summers" at Mayaro, a beach on the south east coast of Trinidad. He has won several scholarships and participated in research expeditions with major scientific figures and organizations such as the National Undersea Research Center, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association, the American Museum of Natural History and the Institute of Oceanography at the University of Washington. It is no wonder then that this musician delivers a genre of music that touches the spirit and defies categorization. Check out his composition Grouper Grounds! This piece is sure to find its way into your soul and the film industry.
Cascadú has been delighting audiences in the Caribbean and the New York tri-state area with his warm, seductive blends of Jazz and Afro-Caribbean themes for more than a decade now. As a percussionist, he has worked and recorded with leading artists in his native Trinidad like Clive Zanda, Len 'Boogsie' Sharpe and Raf Robertson, as well as,internationally renowned figures like Jon Lucien, Yvonne Roome, Elza Soares and Chief Bey.
Here are some of the things said about this artist:
"Cascadú is an artist of profound vision, ability and sensitivity" Jon Lucien
"This music has heart and integrity...the only two things that matter in the end" Kirk Whalum
"As an artist, he has found a medium that is perfect for his message-the beauty of the earth and all the folks and creatures that live on it" Cliff Furnald, New Haven Advocate
So sit back and surrender to this musician as he blends musical styles from Africa, the Caribbean and Brazil and subtly infuses elements of Jazz to create a warm, lush and sensual mystique that is both exhilarating and enchanting.
This is the music and this is the man!