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Iqbal thrills crowds at six-hour concert

Published: 
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Bollywood singer Jeffrey Iqbal performs during Raymond Ramnarine’s concert at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya, last weekend. PHOTOs: CLYDE LEWIS

US-based Bollywood playback singer Jeffrey Iqbal thrilled the overflowing audience at the Centre of Excellence on the night of March 8.

Iqbal has become the first American to compete in India’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa series. Additionally, he was accompanied by his band and one of North America’s top drummers Jomy George, an African, who stunned thousands with his tabla drumming.

Iqbal belted out several hits from his vast repertoire as he easily imitated several iconic singers in the Indian film industry.

Iqbal said he was very grateful for the support he has received from his fans across the world, and he was even more elated to join his friend Raymond Ramnarine on stage.

He promised to rock the stage and that he did with great ease, much to the delight of the crowd.

Ramnarine and Dil-e-Nadan were always perfect in their presentations throughout the almost six hours of non-stop music, songs, tassa drumming and dances.

Raymond, in his usual charismatic style, had patrons on their feet as he got encores as bonuses for his presentations from such Indian icons as Mukesh and Rafi.

But the night’s presentation was further enhanced by the presence of the “Generation 3” children of Raymond, Richard and Rennie Ramnarine, all of whom sang their way into the hearts of the local and international fans. The children—Varun, Vinesh, Samara, Saiya and twin brothers, Amish and Arvind—came on stage, performed and had everyone asking for more of their unusual presentations. Considering their tender ages, this was remarkable.

This year’s show was superb and set standards that only the Ramnarine boys would have to overturn in the coming years. They were precise, professional and pleasing. No one was tired. No one wanted to go home. It was a show to behold as it was executed with precision.

At the show, a documentary was presented reflecting the works of cultural icon and leader, the late Ajeet Praimsingh who passed away in February.

Rafi Mohammed said he was pleased because the audience was pleased. “I did the show with the people in mind. And I always programme all my shows by selecting the best talent available to us.”

There are international inputs in all Mohammed’s shows, thus creating that linkage with “Indian culture as practised in Trinidad and the Caribbean, with that in other countries, principally from other parts of the Indian Diaspora.”

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