CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. Aug. 27, 2009: The award-winning, internationally renowned BP Renegades Steel Orchestra from Trinidad and Tobago is among other artistes set to perform at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. on Saturday night, August 29 in honor of the twin-island`s 47th anniversary of independence.
`There is no better way to celebrate Trinidad and Tobago`s independence than to showcase some of the best performers of one of our indigenous art forms, the steelpan, and other national talent,` said Trinidad and Tobago`s Ambassador to the United States, Glenda Morean-Phillip.
Along with the BP Renegades Steel Orchestra, other performers will be Anne Fridal, an international dramatic soprano; Renee Solomon, a lyric soprano and a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio; Marvin Smith, a lyric baritone, winner of the overall performance excellence at the Trinidad and Tobago 28th Biennial National Music Festival, and Charles Brunner, holder of the 2008 Guinness World Record for playing the piano 101 hours and 7 minutes.
`I love playing the piano,` said 57 year old Brunner. `Although I achieved my first world record after playing a 444 song medley non-stop for 12 hours, I felt the urge to challenge myself once again. I also wanted to show the younger generation how a strong mind can succeed.`
The British captured Trinidad from Spain in 1797. They took possession of Tobago in 1803 and in 1888, Trinidad and Tobago became one island. On August 31, 1962, Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from Great Britain. The country has become known for its multicultural musical genius.
`Today, Trinidad and Tobago has one of the highest growth rates and per capita incomes in the Caribbean region,` said Morean-Phillip. `With the expansion of the energy sector, and in particular, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), the country experienced its highest economic growth. It is the leading exporter of LNG to the United States, and supplies approximately 70% of U.S. LNG imports. Trinidad and Tobago`s economy benefits from a growing trade surplus as prices for oil, petrochemical and LNG remain high. It is economically strong due to its oil and natural gas resources.` – By Lystra Lashley/Special to CWNN