Gibbs Brothers bring Bajan folk/calypso to Harbourfront


By Nicole Georges:

John and Roger Gibbs

Roger and John Gibbs of “Sandpebbles” fame look forward to entertaining long-time fans and new audiences with all original music, at the upcoming Barbados on the Water Festival, at the Harbourfront (August 16-18). Now known as The Gibbs Brothers, Roger and John Gibbs plan to showcase songs of the Caribbean calypso and Bajan folk genre which focus on contemporary social issues.

Roger Gibbs says he hopes the group’s music will inspire younger Caribbean artists to explore the rich musical heritage of Caribbean music. “Nobody is really singing this type of Caribbean folk music these days. And it’s not for a lack of talent; it’s just the cultural penetration from North America is so intense, younger artists aren’t looking inward to their own culture and history, to sing about what’s going on there,” Gibbs laments.

The Gibbs Brothers’ music is all original and turns a spotlight on what is happening in Barbados and the Caribbean. According to Gibbs, “We sing about the islands; sugar cane, hurricanes, the Chase Vault (cemetery in Christ Church), and the pre-colonial history of Barbados. We try to draw attention to things people should know about. We need to encourage our young people away from the distraction of their cultural mindset by North American material, to stop copying that, and find their own voice.”

The Gibbs Brothers will be accompanied by fellow Barbadian-Canadian musician Jaime Barrow who plays the Marimboula (box base) instrument, which originated in African and became popular in the Caribbean. The Gibbs Brothers will take the stage at Harbourfront on Saturday August 17 at 4:00 pm.