BIOGRAPHY: CALYPSO ROSE
McArtha Lewis, Calypso Rose, was born in the small island of Tobago in the West Indies. She started singing at the age of 15, and for over 50 years she is the reigning Queen of Calypso. In a world where men dominate, she was able to stand out through her strong personality and her stage charisma.
In 1966, she wrote “Fire in Meh Wire”, which has begun one of the international anthems of Calypso, translated into 8 languages. In 1978, she was the first woman to win the title of Calypso Monarch (the annual competition in Trinidad & Tobago, choosing the best Calypso singer of the Carnival season) and the Road March (the song the most played on the road during Carnival). From there, no stopping this energetic and powerful woman, she has taken Calypso all over the world becoming an honorific ambassador of Trinidad & Tobago and Calypso music. She has shared the stage with some of the biggest international stars, Miriam Makeba, Tito Puente, Mahalia Jackson, Michael Jackson, Roberta Flack, Bob Marley and many others.
Her music catalogue goes from social and political commentary, to party music, inspirational hymns and gospel music.
Calypso Rose has received more honors and medals than any other living Calypsonian, including the Medal of Honor from the Government of Trinidad & Tobago, the Lifetime Achievement Award in Chicago…. The list would be too long.
She was the main character in the documentary “Calypso @ Dirty Jims” (FR2, BET….) and she has been entertaining European audiences at such venues like the Cirque d’Hiver, Paris, Barbican, London or at Womex….
Calypso Rose re-launched her international career with her 2008 release “Calypso Rose”, produced by Maturity Music, Trinidad and distributed through Harmonia Mundi, France. The single release and music video “Israel by Bus” was well placed in the World Music charts and itunes France.
She has been touring regularly in Europe and the United States, and her Summer 2010 gigs were so successful, especially Womad (Reading, UK) that she is flying off to Australia and New Zealand for a tour in March 2011.
A documentary film on her life “Calypso Rose the Lioness of the Jungle” directed by Pascale Obolo featuring, among other highlights her visiting Africa. The film was broadcast by PBS, France TV and Trace TV and has received many awards (second documentary prize at Fespaco in 2013). Whilst practicing for her new album with top World Music producer Ivan Duran, she met Manu Chao just before Carnival 2015, and from their first magical moments of jamming together, the rest will become history. Stay tuned!
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