Thursday, May 22, 2008

Spotlight: Pamela Maynard - Caribbean Diva

Ms. Maynard has a movie made about her. Never heard of her until I saw her live this monthand she is a Diva all the way, from her entrance, to making the band play the next song so she can sing althought her time was up..

From a magazine:
Pamela Maynard is a new singing sensation from Guyana whose breakthrough has been far too long incoming. Versatile in most areas of popular black music including reggae,soul, R&B, jazz, calypso and soca, this talented Caribbean diva has the kind of vocal range and expression to make an immediate, and we believe lasting impression on all manner of different audiences around the world. Unlike other acts fresh to the UKand European markets, Pamela has extensive professional experience in music. Born in Georgetown, she is the daughter of Guyanese singer/songwriter Mavis Maynard, who wrote Pamela’s debut hit Lost, Lonely and Helpless, and then performed alongside her and Eddy Grant at a memorable show in their hometown. Pamela was still attendingFountain Ame School in Georgetown at the time, but had already been singing at parties and school functions from the age of five. Since her father also ran a local sound-system her knowledge and love of music was built upon rock solid foundations, and this in-dept familiarity with the classics never failed to surprise the assorted bandleaders and galaxy of big name acts she would later sing with in years to come.

After leaving school in 1976 she joined the Guyanese army, where she sang for visiting dignitaries such as Fidel Castro. She also represented her country by singing at festivals, and from the age of fifteen sang lead and backing vocals with firstly the Yoruba Singers, and then Sid & The Slickers. Both were show bands with a large following in the Caribbean, and would play all kinds of music to their audiences, including cover versions of popular hits. Occasionally they would even make trips to America and Canada, as well as touring the West Indies and South America. Thus Pamela gained invaluable experience during her teenage apprenticeship years, and even managed to frighten a fewinternational acts along the way. “Any time a big artist came to Guyana, I would be opening the show for them” she recalls, “and they would send back for me to do something with them out of Guyana, which was good.”

The list of artists she has shared astage with reads like a veritable Who’s Who of world music, since it includes the likes of Ben E King, the Platters, the Drifters and Ray Charles; also top JA acts such as Jimmy Cliff, Hopeton Lewis, John Holt, Byron Lee & The Dragonaires and Boris Gardner as well as calypsonian giants Lord Kitchener, the Mighty Sparrow, Shadow and Baron. After a year spent living and working in Barbados between 1977-78, where she sang atmost of the island’s top venues and hotel resorts, she then joined a well known Trinidadian group called the Troubadours, enjoying considerable acclaim in the process. The following year she became lead singer in soca creator Lord Shorty’s band, withwhom she toured Canada. It was to prove a memorable experience since the group split up just a year later, with the band members being left stranded far from home. Undaunted by their predicament and confident in her ability to pull through, she began performing both solo and with bands (including Aubrey Mann’s on the Canadian club and talent show circuit) all the while still searching for that elusive breakthrough. A real highlightof her Canadian stay was singing at the Guyanese Consulate in Toronto.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Pamela Maynard has passed away on Sunday November 25, 2012 from breast cancer. A bank account has been set up to assist with funeral cost. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

For wire donations:
Swift Code: TDOMCATTTOR ABA 026009593
Bank Name and Address: TD Canada Trust
110 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M5C 1T4

Name On Account: Music Lover
Branch Account #: 6534676