Caribbean In The House At A Capitol Fourth Celebration

Robert-Greenidge-trinidad-steelpannist
Legendary Trinidad and Tobago-born steel-drum player, Robert Greenidge, l., was part of the Jimmy Buffett performance at the PBS' presentation of "A Capitol Fourth."
Macys.com

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Mon. July 5, 2021: A Caribbean immigrant was definitively a part of the “A Capitol Fourth Celebration” from PBS, held last night to mark America’s 245th birthday.

Legendary Trinidad and Tobago-born steel-drum player, Robert Greenidge, was part of the Jimmy Buffett performance that saw Buffett singing folk legend Woody Guthrie’s classic Americana tune “This Land Is Your Land.”

Greenidge is part of Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band. He and keyboardist Mike Utley backed up Buffett on the song, that was intercut with scenes of various American landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Grand Canyon.

Greenidge, 71, was born in Success Village, Laventille, Trinidad and began performing as a pannist at age eight and performed internationally beginning in his teens.

In 1970, he represented Trinidad and Tobago as a soloist and as a member of Trinidad and Tobago National Steel Orchestra. Within the next year he migrated to the United States where he studied and played music.

Greenidge went on to play on Carly Simon’s 1976 album Another Passenger, Ringo Starr’s 1976 LP Ringo’s Rotogravure and Robert Palmer’s 1978 album Double Fun.

From 1978 to 1983, he played and toured with blues singer Taj Mahal. He continued to work in his native country and has played the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival every year since 1979.

He then performed on Grover Washington Jr.’s 1980 album Winelight and John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1980 LP Double Fantasy. He also featured on JJ Cale’s 1982 album Grasshopper, Earth Wind and Fire’s 1983 album Powerlight and Jimmy Buffett’s 1983 LP One Particular Harbour. Greenidge later played on Jimmy Buffett’s 1984 album Riddles in the Sand and Steve Perry’s 1984 LP Street Talk.

Greenidge went on to perform on Buffet’s 1985 album Last Mango in Paris, his 1986 release Floridays; Robert Palmer’s 1989 album Addictions: Volume 1 and Buffett’s 1984 album Fruitcakes.

In 1986, Greenidge released his own album, “Mad Music,” with fellow Coral Reefer Michael Utley. He has continued to record with Utley as Club Trini.

Greenidge won the national steelband competition Panorama twice with the Desperadoes Steel Orchestra in 1991 and 1994, both times with his own compositions.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Greenidge among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

The 41st annual edition of the A Capitol Fourth special was hosted by Vanessa Williams and broadcast at 8 p.m. ET on PBS. The program also was streamed on Facebook and YouTube as well as PBS’ website.

Other performers included Gladys Knight, Train, Cynthia Erivo, Kermit the Frog, Alan Jackson, Pentatonix, Renée Fleming and Williams herself.

The show also featured a live firework display over the D.C. skyline, as well as tributes to the men and women of the military and their families, and a salute to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams ahead of this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.