Tuesday 16th December, 2008

 

Take tassa to next level

 
 
 
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Vijay Ramlal, the Tassa Association of T&T ( TATT), second from right, and members of the Malick All Stars Tassa, the 2008 National Tassa champion.
Photo Courtesy The Tassa Association of T&T

“When you hear the beat of the tassa, your feet move automatically just like they do to the sweet rhythm of the steelband. If recognition is given to one then the other should also be seriously considered."

ADRIAN BOODAN

The head of the Tassa Association of T&T ( TATT) wants the tassa drum declared as this country's second national instrument.

Making this call was Dr Vijay Ramlal, the head of TATT, when he spoke at the prize distribution function for the winners of the 2008 National Tassa Competition last Wednesday night at the Divali Nagar, Chaguanas. The finals were held earlier this year at Aranguez Savannah, San Juan.

Ramlal, who is also the head of the Chutney Foundation of T&T, said tassa playing had grown over the years since it was introduced by the indentured Indian labourers to T&T, and has now become a substantial part of the national psyche. Ramlal said the tassa drum was not limited to any one particular group and was played by almost anyone who has an interest in this form of drumology, as is evidenced by its presence at several national events.

Ramlal said: “Tassa represents a great part of the society of the country, and therefore, it should be recognised.

“When you hear the beat of the Tassa your feet moves automatically just like they do to the sweet rhythm of the steelband. If recognition is given to one then the other should also be seriously considered."

Ramlal is also calling for the establishment of Tassa Yards in nationwide, similar to pan yards. He said such a move could spur on the interest of a wider cross section of the population to participate in the art form.

Ramchand Rajbal, head of the Couva Carnival Committee, who is also a community safety and enhancement officer with the Ministry of Culture, praised the groups which participated in the 2008 competition. He said: “You are all engaged in a brilliant programme to preserve a major part of the culture of the country.”

He said culture acts not only a a vehicle for promoting the talent of T&T but as a social cohesive agent that exerts a positive force especially amongst young people to steer them away from untoward behaviour and gangland type activity.

The winners

n 1. Malick All Stars

n 2. RBTT Dragon Boys

n 3. Tropical Power Country Boys Tassa Group

n 4. T &T Sweet Tassa

n 5. D'Fantastic Four Tassa

n 6. Tacarigua Tassa

n 7. Central Boys Tassa

n 8. Rising Tide Tassa

n 9. Malick Rhythm Boys Tassa

n 10. El Dorado Rising Tassa

JUNIORS

n 1. D'Untouchables Tassa

n 2. Trini Vibes Tassa

n 3. Trini Sangeet Tassa

n 4. Sanjay Boys Tassa

n 5. Moving Stars Tassa

PEOPLE'S CHOICE

Malick All Stars Tassa

MOST PROMISING TASSA

El Dorado Young Stars

BEST DRESSED

Malick All Stars Tassa

TASSA DANCERS

n 1. Malick All Stars Tassa

n 2. RBTT Dragon Boys Tassa

n 3, Malick Rhythm Boys Tassa