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Kaiso! Kaiso!

Born a Pope, Crowned a King, Named a Duke...

By Dianne Marshall-Holdip

Event Date: October 24, 2007
Posted: November 05, 2007

Kelvin Pope the 'Mighty Duke' 
Kelvin Pope - 'The Mighty Duke' 
...sings Duane O'Connor; what greater tribute can one pay to a composer/performer par excellence in the calibre of His Excellency Kelvin Pope? The fact that he was born a Pope and got the name Duke before his advent into Calypsodom is largely significant and invokes the phrase 'Divine Destiny'.

While it was indeed regrettable that some of the acts slated to perform were absent, this in no way diminished the quality or significance of the occasion. As an amateur Kaisoca archivist, in more recent times my admiration for the genius of Duke has been taking on immense proportion.

Of significant importance for me in the evening was Cardinal's animated rendition of "Monkey Know What Tree to Climb". I do remember learning that Calypso as a child in Grenada and singing it repeatedly. For the last year I have been trying desperately to ascertain the composer of that gem; my inquiries took me from Winston Maynard to Luta to several other such noted persons and it was Contender who set the record straight for me when I met him at an audition last year. Later, Duke the hero confirmed it and I was, therefore, tremendously pleased to see it taking pride of place among the tunes listed to be performed. "Duke from South", performed by M'Ba, Cardinal's 'twin', is another masterpiece which I have had analysed recently and placed in high in the pecking order . To say that I enjoyed the tribute would be an understatement. I do thank Mrs. Pope for extending a special invitation. To Resistance, Karega, Chalkdust and UTT et al, I offer my unequivocal gratitude.

I continue to become more aware of the mastery in the calypso world. To painstakingly go through the full gamut of Duke's music through the decades makes one shudder as to the enormity of talent residing in one body. He is unmatched, unparalleled and unsurpassed. He is simply the most complex and consummate composer/performer that I have been blessed to listen to. De Fosto's novel lyrics to the magnum opus "How Many More Must Die" was most propitious.

'Kelvin Pope the Duke is truly a King of Kings'

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