The Legendary Mighty Sparrow headlines national tour

October 26, 2005

More Information:
Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

Rochester, NY — The Eastman School of Music kicks off its popular World Music Series on Tuesday, November 15 with a highly regarded tour from the National Council for Traditional Arts. Masters of the Caribbean explores the varied and exciting musical traditions of the Caribbean by presenting three artists: The Mighty Sparrow (Trinidadian calypso), Ecos de Borinquen (Puerto Rican jibaro), and Ti-Coca et Wanga Neges (Haitian Twoubadou).

Slinger Francisco, better know as The Mighty Sparrow, is a living legend with a career that spans more than 40 years and 100 albums. A giant of a personality and loved throughout the Caribbean, he tours the world and remains the best-known calypsonian of all time.

Miguel Santiago Diaz founded Ecos de Borinquen in 1978 in order to revive the traditional jibara music of Puerto Rico, which features the small, guitar-like cuatro. This eight-piece group includes 2 cuatro players, a guitarist, a guirero (guiro player), a bongocero (bongo player), a singer, and a trovador (poet-singer who improvises).

Haitian singer Ti-Coca (David Mettelus) formed his first group with neighborhood friends in 1971, and soon acquired the nickname “Ti-Coca” (little bottle of Coca-Cola) because of his diminutive stature. For the last 28 years, Ti-Coca and Wanga-Neges, his accordion-led acoustic quintet, have created twobadou (“troubadour” music) in the traditional style. This tour marks the group’s U.S. debut.

Masters of the Caribbean is the opening concert of Eastman’s World Music Series, which includes three more concerts:

  • Huun-Huur Tu, Tuesday, January 24, 2006 — The Mongolian throat-singers return after their sold-out show in 1996! Hailing from the republic of Tuva, the group has been at the forefront of the worldwide discovery of this unusual musical tradition.
  • Garikayi Tirikoti, Friday, April 7, 2006 — Master performer of the Zimbabwean mbira will perform both historical and modern music of the Shona people.
  • Gamelan Lila Muni, Wednesday, April 19, 2006 — No World Music Series would be complete without Eastman’s own Indonesian gamelan ensemble that features pageantry, music and dance.

All World Music Series concerts take place in Eastman School’s Kilbourn Hall ( 26 Gibbs Street) at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the RPO Box Office ( 108 East Avenue), by phone at 454-2100, online at, or at any Rochester-area Wegmans Video Department.