The "Isle of Saints" is an aural composite of all my travels throughout the [Caribbean] region as heard inside my head and felt in the heart. - Bill King
From Aruba to Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Virgin Islands, Tortola, Grand Cayman, Antiqua, San Blas, Panama, Jamaica, Santa Domingo, - Cuba. In fact, the cover art was purchased in 1998 in Santa Domingo from a street vendor and proudly hangs from one of my music room walls. It’s credited to Haitian artist; Laurent Casimir, who passed in 1990.
I rode the scribes bus for a quarter century photographing and writing - rarely mixing professional worlds between musician and journalist. I was there to listen, to feel, sense and absorb – then relay those experiences in thoughts and words. It’s the number of unforgettable people I encountered and the shared experiences, I will forever savor. The Uprising is a name I chose to address this project. It’s about our times and another time – a world in crisis, yet it’s only us, the world’s people, who can derail the rampaging “greed” train. We can do this thorough our music – the marriage of cultures, ideas, and relationships.
I’ve been fortunate to have a twenty-five-year relationship with Cuba and its people. The three musicians who grace Isle of Saints come from Havana and Santiago de Cuba. They all entered my life at various time periods. Bassist Roberto Riveron and I played in Jane Bunnett’s, Afro/Cuban Blues Project some years back. Percussionist/vocalist Magdelys Savigne and violinist/vocalist Elizabeth Rodriguez are currently members of Maqueque; Bunnett’s award-winning back-up band.
This project evolved from producing Mags and Elizabeth’s [Rodriguez] project, OKAN. I played them a new original composition and expressed a concept I had in mind and they threw themselves wholeheartedly into the project. Everton Paul has been a music soulmate of mine for a good forty-five years and his home studio Side Door Records is the most inviting living room for making music anywhere. Along with two great engineers; Shane ‘Shakey J’ Forrest, who presided over the recording and my long-time recording engineer friend, Michael Haas from Inception Sound.
Bill King – Producer/arranger/composer/keyboards
Elizabeth Rodriguez vocals/violin
Magdelys Savigne – drums/vocals/percussion
Roberto Riveron – bass
Engineer – Shane “Shakey J” Forrest
Mixing Engineer – Michael Haas
Cover Design: Jesse “Dubmatix” King
Painting: Laurent Casimir
Recorded at Side Door Records, Toronto – 2017
Artist: The Uprising
Title: Isle of Saints
Label: Slaight Music
Genre(s): Jazz / Cuban / Latin