Alexander D Great - Broadcaster/Composer/Educator
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Biography
 
Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Alexander grew up in London from the age of five. On leaving school in the mid 1960s he became a professional musician/songwriter, creating his own style from a mix of Beatles, Blues and Baroque music.  In the early 1970s he spent a year in the USA playing with a 50 - piece band. There he learned to arrange and orchestrate, after which he took a BA in Music at Dartington College, followed by a PGCE at Roehampton. He has taught music at secondary and tertiary levels as well as musicianship and composition to degree students at Brunel University. Alex has also presented lectures/seminars on Calypso at the universities of Huddersfield, Leeds, Nottingham, Queen's University, Belfast and Morley College, London.
 
 
After a 30 - year career playing a variety of music including Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Reggae Alex returned to his calypso roots in the late 1980s creating his own fusion, Socablues. In 1998 Alex wrote the first full - length calypso opera, "Rumshop" staged at the Lyric Theatre, West London.
Publications include poems for "Hello New" (pub. 2000, Orchard Books), "Velocity" (pub. 2003, Black Spring Press), a chapter on Calypso for the Arts Council's Carnival book "On Route" (pub. 2003, X-Press) and a chapter in "Creative Learning, 3-11 and How We Document It" (with Celia Burgess-Macey, pub. 2008, Trentham Books). Ethnomusicologist Professor Tina K. Ramnarine has done a fairly substantial assessment of Alexander's work in her study of the Caribbean diaspora "Beautiful Cosmos" (pub. 2007, Pluto Press).
 
 
An energetic and inspirational performer, Alexander has appeared at festivals and well known venues across the UK with The Alexander D'Great Trio, including The Cambridge Folk Festival, Notting Hill Carnival and The Barbican.
 
A qualified and professional teacher, his considerable communication skills make him an ideal and popular workshop leader. His captivating workshops combine Caribbean story, calypso music and rhythms, and group composition. Balancing a blend of listening, participation and composition skills, participants are encouraged to compose a calypso song, based on a chosen theme or issue.
 
 
As well as coaching young up and coming calypsonians for the Association of British Calypsonians (ABC) Alex divides his time between running a 10- piece band, his own small record label and doing calypso/poetry workshops in schools and colleges in the UK and the Caribbean. He has appeared several times on TV and Radio in Trinidad, Dominica and the UK (including both BBC and ITV).  Since February 2000 he has been Calypsonian – in- Residence for the BBC for whom he delivers a current news-based calypso on a fortnightly basis for broadcast across the BBC regions. These can be heard by logging on to http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/ukblack