The U.S. Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States is pleased to host American soul singer Carolyn Malachi and her band, in a three-country traveling tour of American soul music. The program travels to Barbados, St. Lucia, and Grenada.
Accompanied by her band members, drummer Wes Watkins, and bassist Jerel Abraham, Carolyn kept the packed audience grooving for the hour-long concert in Barbados, which took place at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Center. Performing original songs “ Blowin’ Smoke,” which she wrote when she was unemployed, and “Free Your Mind,” which is an effort by Carolyn to help raise awareness and funds towards the education of students in developing countries, the enthusiastic audience was soothed and tantalized to the rhythms of the music and Carolyn’s dancing.
The U.S. Embassy is hosting this concert in Barbados to commemorate the island’s 50th anniversary of independence, and to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations and friendship between our two nations. To underscore this, Carolyn performed a cover of popular local standard, “Emmerton,” much to the audience’s delight.
Carolyn and her band also conducted a master class at the Barbados Community College (BCC) with a group of music students from St. Leonard’s Boys’ Secondary School, and BCC. They performed two songs, and one student, Delwin Neblett rapped with Carolyn during a cover of the popular song, “Hold Up.” The performances were followed by a lively discussion on marketing oneself as an artist, music production, and the creative song writing process.
“The U.S. Embassy is hosting this series of public concerts to underscore the excellence and diversity of American music, and to promote cultural exchange. This concert series will appeal to a wide range of music lovers, specifically jazz enthusiasts, R&B fans, young and upcoming musicians, music students, and the general public,” said Public Affairs Officer James Rodriguez. “The U.S. Embassy will continue its support of the arts in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean through dynamic cultural initiatives and programming.”
Carolyn Malachi grew up in Washington D.C. From as early an age as 7, her parents enrolled her in drama, ballet, modern, and Taratibu (South African gumboot) dance classes — which Carolyn enjoyed— but she found herself paying more attention to the music than the choreography. Although a life in the arts eventually pulled her in, she also played basketball in high school, becoming a student athlete by the time she got to Shepherd University a few years later. More recently, Carolyn delivered Shepherd University’s commencement address after receiving an honorary doctorate from her alma mater.
Her 2012 release “Lions, Fires & Squares” earned a 2011 Best Urban/Alternative Performance Grammy award nomination for the single “Orion.” This was followed by “GOLD,” which included contemporary R&B radio hits “All Right” and “Fall Winter Spring Summer,” which NPR named to its 10 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing list. Carolyn’s influence even transcended into the fashion world when she became the first musician to be featured in Lafayette 148’s “Women We Love” campaign. (Lafayette 148 is a high-end global women’s fashion line based in New York City).