Denbow, Claude: Dr. Claude Denbow, appointed Professor in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, with effect from October 11, 2000                More about Professor Denbow


              at the BROOKLYN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

        The organizers of Guyana Folk Festival II identified thirty-six Guyanese individuals and institutions to receive the Guyana Folk Festival 2002 Wordsworth McAndrew Award.  The award, named after the distinguished Guyanese folklorist Wordsworth McAndrew, recognizes the contributions have made by the recipients to Guyanese folk and popular culture. 

The number 36 is reflective of the number of years of Guyana's independence.  Guyana became an independent nation on May 26, 1966.

        The awardees were selected from over 400 names generated by a panel of Guyanese residing across the Guyanese Diaspora, including one living in Australia and another in Thailand. 

The Guyana Folk Festival 2002 Wordsworth McAndrew Awardees are:

        1.  S.R.R. Allsopp.  For his outstanding contributions to study English language in Guyana and the Caribbean, especially for compiling the Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage.

        2.  Ron Bobb-Semple.  For his contributions to Guyanese theatre and drama in New York.

        3.  Johnny Braff:  For his pioneering role in Guyanese popular music.

        4.  Maurice Braithwaite.  For his role in promoting and supporting Guyanese art and culture.  "The Braffit Basement" has become an important salon in Guyanese cultural life in New York.

        5.  Negla Brandis.  For her exceptional contribution to Guyanese fashion and aesthetics for more than three decades in London, Connecticut, Washington. D.C., New Jersey and Guyana.  Among her accomplishments is the Miss Guyana International Pageant.

        6.  E.R. Burrowes.  For his contribution to the development of Guyanese artists.  He can safely be described as the father of Art Education in Guyana.  In 1948 he founded the Working Peoples Art class.   The Burrowes School of Art is named after him.

7.  Pat Cameron.  Doyenne of Guyanese broadcasters.  Host of the influential radio program On Show Young Guyana which helped to give recognition to the musical abilities of many young Guyanese.  Also, a talented actor and an enthusiastic celebrator of Guyanese folk traditions

        8.  Martin Carter.  One of Guyana’s greatest poets and renaissance men.

        9.  Bertie Chancellor.  Broadcaster and Guyana's Dick Clark-----the "oldest teen-ager."   Bertie Chancellor is associated with radio talent shows in Guyana and through his program "Teensville" he launched the careers of many of Guyana's talented musicians.

        10.  Megan Chan.  For her unstinting service in running the Washington D.C.-based organization GUYAID.

        11.  Nesbit Chhangur.  Broadcaster, Songwriter, band leader, youth leader, and teacher.  Nesbit Chhangur can safely be described as the “pioneer of country music in Guyana.”  With Olga Lopes Seales he hosted on Radio Demerara the shows Berbice Calling and Olga Singing.  His songs A Guianese Lament and Call to Guiana are the most poignant record of the racial crisis of the 1960s and an eloquent example of the healing power of music.  Lives in Canada and performs internationally.

        12. Lynette Dolphin.  Outstanding cultural administrator and collector of Guyanese folk music.  She published several collections of Guyanese music.  Her last was 100 Folk Songs of Guyana.

        13.  Francis Quamina Farrier.  Broadcaster, Playwright, Documentary producer, and archivist.  Pioneered radio serial drama in British Guiana with the Tides of Susanburg.

        14.  Robert Fernandes.  Important and influential photographer of Guyana’s hinterland.

        15.  Terry Gajraj.  Pioneer and innovator of Chutney music.  Has attracted critical acclaim for the Chutney rendition of many of Guyana’s folk songs.

        16.  Roy Geddes.  Dedicated steel band leader.  In 2003, he will celebrate 50 years as a band leader.  He is considered by many to be the most proficient of tuners.  He has single handed created a museum to steel band at his home in Roxanne Burnham Gardens.

        17.  Gary Girdhari.  For his role in mobilizing Guyanese writers and publishing.  Gary Girdhari is President, Association of Artists and Writers and Editor of Guyana Journal.

        18.  Eddie Grant.  Internationally acclaimed popular singer and record producer.  According to David Rudder, Eddie Grant is one of the two Guyanese who influenced the direction of calypso in the Caribbean.

19.  Stanley Greaves.  For his work as a teacher and artist.  Stanley Greaves celebrated Guyana fauna and folk life in his paintings.  Stanley Greaves is associated with the creation of the term "Guyanist"---one who has an undying love for Guyana.

        20.  Bernard Heydorn.  Psychologist, Educator, novelist, and cultural researcher.  A prolific and insightful observer of Guyana social and cultural environment.  His vision is not anchored in Georgetown but incorporates the Berbice experience.  His books Walk Good Guyana Boy, Longtime Days, and Unlit Roads are essential and accessible readings for anyone wishing to explore Guyana’s heritage.

        21.  Peter Kempadoo. For his pioneering work in the documentation of Guyanese folk music.  He created Jarai Productions which produced the influential collection We Kind Of Folk.  That collection helped to popularize the important folk song "Dis time na lang time."

        22.  Vivian Lee.  Broadcaster, Public Relations expert, Songwriter, and Cultural Promoter.  An important creative spirit in Guyana.  Created the famous radio character Mrs. Snodgrass and wrote the lyrics for “Down at the bottom floor” popularized by Lord Canary.  Promoted national and international musicians.  Produced one for the early Guyanese film, the musical comedy, If Wishes Were Horses.  Also a pioneer in the Guyanese recording industry.

        23.  Ivor Lynch.  For his untiring work as a musician and promoter of Guyanese music on-line.

24.  Wordsworth McAndrew.  Broadcaster, Folklorist, poet.  It may not be an exaggeration to say that he has been one of the most influential folklorists in Guyanese history.

        25.  Dave Martins.  Leader of the internationally famous group Dave Martins and the Trade Winds.  Dave Martins is a living legend. His songs celebrate Guyana.  His Not a Blade of Grass is a national anthem.

        26.  Sister Noel Menezes.  Educator and Historian.  Expert on the history of Portuguese in Guyana.  Retired as Chair, Department of History at the University of Guyana.

        27.  Valerie Rodway.  Teacher and prolific music composer.  Among her compositions is "O Beautiful Guyana."

        28.  Bill "Bhagee" Rogers. The Shanto King of Guyana.  Had international hits with The Weed Song and BG. Bhagee.  His works provide a valuable lens through which to observe Guyanese life in the early decades of the 20thcentury.

        29.  Olga Lopes Seales.  Pioneer of radio broadcasting.  Responsible for exposing musical talent in Berbice.  Equally successful as a broadcaster in Barbados.

        30.  A.J. Seymour.  A literary giant.  His Dictionary of Guyanese Biography was the first effort to identify influential Guyanese across the ages.  A.J. Seymour has had an influence on most aspects of culture in Guyana.

        31.  Raj Kumari Singh.  Poet, playwright, fiction writer, and cultural innovator.  Universally recognized as a "leading figure in East Indian cultural matters and bold explorer of fusion.  Her poems such as The days of the Sahib articulated the hopes and ambitions of Guyanese people in the post emancipation era.  Played an influential role in cultural development in the Guyana National Service.  There she influenced music.  Her influence is evident on the Guyana National Service record album I want to Build.

32.  Shurland "King Fighter" Wilson.  Along with the Mighty Sparrow, King Fighter  was a founding member of the Young Brigade, a group of calypsonians  who had indelible influence on modern calypso.  King Fighter drew upon Guyanese folk melodies and lyrics to develop his calypsos.  He won international fame with Sookie.  According to David Rudder, King Fighter “is one of the two Guyanese who influenced the direction of calypso in the Caribbean.”  The other is fellow awardee, Eddie Grant

        33.  The Atlanta Guyana Association.  For the annual organization of Guyana Day in Atlanta, Georgia.  The annual gathering celebrates Guyanese family life.

        34.  The Link Show for over two decades one the most expected moments in Guyanese satirical theater.  The Link Show is a production of The Theatre Company.  The principal officers of The Theatre Company are Ron Robinson and Gem Madhoo.

        35.  The Rajkumari Cultural Center.  For its contribution to preserving and sharing Guyanese East Indian heritage, especially in the areas of music, dance, poetry.  The principals of this New York-based organization are Taij Kumarie Moteelall, Pritha Singh, and Karna Singh.

        36.  Dem Two.  Dem Two is Ken Corsbie and Marc Matthews.  Individually and collectively, Ken and Marc have made sterling contributions to theatre and the spoken word in Guyana, the Caribbean, and across the Guyanese Diaspora. 



RUDY BISHOP: Leader of the influential Chronicle Atlantic Symphony Steel Orchestra.

ART BROOMES: Guyana’s jazz legend who died recently. A fantastic drummer, Art had a soft voice and gentle manner. He held court at The Green Shrimp and performed with the likes of Harry Whittaker, Tom Charles and the Syncopators, Keith Proctor, Hugh Sam and others. In the twilight of his career, he was a drum instructor in the Guyana Defence Force.

DAVID CAMPBELL: One of our outstanding and original folk singers. Inspired by the history and traditions of his Arawak people in Guyana, his songs are topics of concern to native people from Guyana to Canada, where he is still active.

TOM CHARLES & THE SYNCOPATORS: Very popular and influential band leader and musical experimenter. He created the Guyana Bhoom. He helped to launch the careers of King Fighter, Annie Haynes, and Monica Chopperfield (Lady Guymine).

IVAN CRITCHLOW: One of the last authentic Congo/Cumfa drummers in Guyana.

MAHADAI DAS: Poet and artist. Like Martin Carter, she was a resistance poet. Passed away this year in Barbados.

DENNIS DeSOUZA: Popular pianist and recording artiste, a recipient of the 1998 Sunshine Award, giving him recognition for his contribution as a renowned Caribbean artiste. With over 15 albums to his credit, his work has been embraced by audiences the world over.

DES GLASFORD & COMBO 7: Leader of the popular Combo 7 string band in Guyana, Des Glasford was a trendsetter, drummer and bandleader.

GUYANA MUSIC TEACHERS ASSOC. This group has had a presence in Guyana since 1846. The formal association is probably 55 years old.

GUYANA POLICE MALE VOICE CHOIR: Had its origins as a singing group organized by the late Rev. James A. Phoenix in 1944, first appearing on Christmas Eve. They developed a repertoire of celebrated Guyanese folk music and toured the world as Guyana’s cultural ambassadors.

AYUBE HAMID: A pioneer in popularizing Indian music and steelband music in Guyana. The theme song for his program Indian Melody Hour was Sahani Raat which is an icon in Guyanese musical consciousness.

ANNIE HAYNES: A songbird who recorded with Ray Seales.

HILTON HEMMERDING: Educator and composer, he was an influential musician in the post-independence era. He was a part of the important EMMEL Singers. His song Oh Guyana is a Guyanese classic.

RAMJOHN HOLDER: UK based folklorist, folksinger and actor. Recorder of an important collection of Guyanese folk songs. He was very popular as Pork Pie in the British sitcom Desmonds.

LORIS HOLLAND: New York based Guyanese Emmy winning musical producer.

RAFIQ KHAN: Broadcaster and Media Manager. As General Manager of Radio Demerara, he commissioned Nesbit Chhangur’s Guyana Lament and Francis’s Farrier Tide of Susanburg.

LADY GUYMINE: (Monica Chopperfield): Lady Monica – Balladeer and calypsonian of exceptional talent spanning decades of participation.

LORD CANARY: (Malcolm Corrica) Calypsonian, he has won three national contests. He has a substantial body of work and performed at tents in Trinidad. He was once a Government minister as Coordinator of Cultural Affairs and member of parliament He has a sweet voice hence his sobriquet Lord Canary.

VESTA LOWE: Has made a major contribution to the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of Guyanese folk music.

IAN McDONALD: Corporate executive, poet, novelist and renaissance man. Cultural critic for decades. Our adoptive native son and a tireless editor. Took over Kyk-Over-All from A.J. Seymour.

BILLY MOORE: (William Moore) was a vocalist, musician and composer who died last year. He had been one of the lead vocalists in the male group ‘The Four Lords’ who recorded the Guyanese Christmas classic Happy Holiday. He also recorded other songs as a solo artiste.

CLEMENT E. NICHOLS: Guyana’s premier composer of military music. His Dear Demerara composed in 1929 was part of the repertoire of CASBO in the 1980’s.

PHILLIP NICHOLS: A musician who has his own drawing room studio in Brooklyn. He arranges, plays and records most Guyanese musicians who come to New York. A talented keyboard musician, he owns one of the popular music studios in Brooklyn and produces for Caribbean performers.

TONY PHILLIPS: An artist carrying on the diaspora work in Australia. His drawings and 3D model of Georgetown of the 60’s are priceless nostalgia.

ROLAND PHILLIPS: An outstanding lyricist about the beauty of the hinterland of Guyana. He passed on last year.

EDITH PIETERS: She has always taken music education to the people. Created the National Youth bands (Orchestra, String Band, and Steelband).

BILLY PILGRIM: Educator, composer, cultural administrator, and folklorist. Among his compositions is Salute to Guyana, one of the national songs. His work on the preservation of Masquerade is very important.

MASSE LALL POLLARD: Sitarist and pioneer in the fusion of Afro and Indi music in Guyana.

BASIL RODRIGUES: Prolific songwriter, retired Headmaster and Regional Education Officer who was recently honoured by Pope John Paul ll for his work in the Church in Guyana’s hinterland.

HUGH SAM: One of Guyana’s most prolific composers; classical/jazz pianist/musician. His background spans the spectrum of styles including jazz with the legendary Harry Whittaker, arranging a film score for the Invaders steelband, and releasing several CDs of Guyanese folk and patriotic music (he calls them “concertinos”).

AL SEALES: Influential band leader and record producer. His recording company was one of the earliest in the Caribbean. The Mighty Sparrow’s first recording was done on Al Seales’ label.

BING SERRAO & THE RAMBLERS: Pioneering string band, the Ramblers have been performing for audiences in Guyana and North America for over 50 years. Recipients of the Culture and Heritage Award, Guyana Independence Celebrations 2003, Toronto. Many Guyanese fondly remember their composition Three in One Saga and signature tune Spanish Eyes.

GEORGE SIMMONS & THE RYTHMAIRES: Like the Ramblers, pioneers in Guyanese string band music. Bursting on the scene in the mid 50’s, the fabulous Rhythmaires possessed the musical alchemy that produced hits like the haunting Sahani Raat and wistful Moon River.

TREV SUE-A-QUAN: An outstanding and unselfish historian. A North American based scientist, he has published the important history The Cane Reapers, on Chinese indentureship in British Guiana.

TASSA EXPLOSION: A well-known talented family group known throughout Guyana and the Caribbean for their exceptional tassa drumming ability. Performed at Guyana Folk Festival 2002 in New York and was an exciting part of the fusion with African drummers at an earlier event.

NADIRA & INDRANIE SHAW: For 20 years, they have returned to Guyana with different Indian dance shows. The two sisters team up for this unique unbroken run of cultural displays.

KEITH WAITHE: With Masse Lall Pollard, an early experimenter with Afro-Indi musical fusion. His influence is both national and international