Cyprian Fernandes: George DeSouza entertainer a super life in clippings













Cyprian Fernandes: The Seraphino Antao family album, great pix

I am indebted to Joe and Rosario Antao for allowing me the use of these very special and rare photographs from the Seraphino Antao (Kenya's -- and Goa's -- great sprint champion, Commonwealth Games double sprint Gold Medallist) family album.

Mombasa, Kenya: arguably three of the finest sprinters of all time

 

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Cyprian Fernandes an interview on journalism

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Philip De Souza, Mr Music, any time, any where



Philip De Souza

Lead Guitarist



With the late Ramos Mascarenhas






The String Beats with Henry Braganza

The String Beats Philip, Ramos and Peter Santimano


With drummer Paul De Souza and others


Phil De Souza was born in Cortalim, Salcete, Goa. At the 10, he travelled by ship to Mombasa and after a further two days’ journey to Nairobi, he saw his father for the first time in his life.

In June, 1953, he was admitted to St Teresa’s in Eastleigh. In December that year, his dad decided to move the family to Mombasa and Phil went to the Goan High School there. At the age of 13, his mother bought him his first guitar/
“Our music teacher was Nevis Pereira who had just returned from the United Kingdom. The legendary piano player Edmund Silveira gave me my first music lesson,” recalls Phil.

Silveira had come to the school to teach the guitar and the first song they learnt was “Oh When the Saints Come Marching In.

“My fellow learners included Alan Rook, Denzel Sequeira, Corny Tellis and many others. We just played the chords for the same song.  Alan Rook taught me my first scale of C major. By the time I was 18, I had picked up a lot through playing with other friends.

“One time a group of musicians came from Nairobi and they were looking for a guitarist for gig in Mombasa at the Tailor’s Society. I got the gig.”

At the age of 18, Phil got a job in Nairobi through the clarinettist Joe De Souza. “On my first day in Nairobi, I was introduced to Joaquim Ramos Mascarenhas, also a guitarist who had been playing dance music and jazz for a year.

“We both loved the jazz guitarist Django Rinehart and The Shadows also had a great influence on us especially Hank Marvin, the lead guitarist. We also loved the legendary boogie guitarists Bert Weedon and Duane Eddie.

“We decided that we should form a band like The Shadows since we liked them and played most of their songs. The String Beats were formed with Joe Sequeira (drummer) and Peter Santimano (bass).”

As The String Beats practised to get their act together, Phil also jammed with the likes of Cooty and the Supersonics, All Stars, and Auggie Alvares (multi-instrumentalist including piano, saxophone and trumpet) who encourage him to play jazz.

In July, 1969, he moved to UK. While on holiday in  Portugal, the  same year, he had his Echo guitar with him and was exploring the music scene in the place called Cais De Sodre where lots of bands were playing the Shadows and Portuguese songs. He was invited by very friendly musicians to jam with them and was offered a job in the night club if I wanted. Anyway, I moved to Germany that same year 1969.

“In Germany, I started work in the British army. After two years, I was joined by my wife Agnes,  daughter Vanessa and son Dominic. It wasn’t long before I met some army guitarists and was chosen to play in a band called the CITY GENTS, my first band in Germany. I played mostly Fridays and Saturdays these guys who were from the Royal Airforce band.

“After two years, I joined an all-civilian British band called the Germs. After five years, I decided to give the band game away. I had put on some extra weight and took up jogging and swimming. My kids loved learning to swim.

“I heard that Joaquim Furtado, the saxophonist, was in Frankfurt and he invited me to play with the Black Velvet from the UK. Later, I asked him to come to MOENCHENGLADBACH where I was living, to play with my German musicians.

“After a five-year break from bands, I made my dream come true by playing jazz in German pub, clubs and restaurants.

“Going back to Nairobi, I remember playing in Skippy’s Karnival band which provided the backing for a huge cast of singers and dancers in a major concert held at the Nairobi City Hall. Steve Rodrigues and I shared rhythm and lead and a guy called, I think, Nazarin was on bass. Skip also took the show to Mombasa where we played 3 pm, 6pm and 9 pm shows.”


In 2004, he moved to UK and started playing with drummer Paul De Souza (saxophone and keyboard). He is currently playing (guitar and saxophone) with another drummer, Leo Rodrigues.






Cyprian Fernandes: 100,000 hits on my blog: Thanks for keeping me a little sane!



100,000 hits on my blog
In my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined that the readers of my blog would take to the high peaks of a 100,000 hits. In fact, when I started the blog that was the furthest thing on my mind. I would have been happy if one or two friends had read it and joined me on my therapeutic journey.
I am very grateful and humbled at the same time. As I said, I did not have any lofty ideas for the blog. The years after 2007 had been pretty rough, only I did not know it. When my GP told me I was depressed I almost fell out of my chair. I thought he was joking … but no, he insisted I go and visit a psychologist and a psychiatrist. I could not understand it, so I went to try and find some answers.
After my first visit to the psychologist, I hit the research button on Google and spent quite a lot of time understand anxiety and depression. One of the things I learned was that my downside could as a result of negative thoughts and concerns swimming in my head (I am not being clinically correct here) and I had develop positive drivers to chase the bad thoughts away.
At the end of my first visit to the psychiatrist, he asked me what I liked doing best: Writing, I told him. So start writing, he said. Hence, the birth of the blog which eventually led to the publication of my debut novel Yesterday in Paradise.
So you can see that many of you have had a very positive role to play in my life. Thank you. Once I finish the East African musicians series, I guess it will be time to slow down a bit. Don’t know, let’s see what tomorrow brings.

God bless.

PS: Fortunately, I only needed three weeks each with the psychologist and psychiatrist.

Richard Rattos: The Drifters

Michael Rattos, Clifton Carrasco, Richard Rattos, Magnus Fernandes, later Eddie Rattos took over the drums


  Richard Rattos: the consumate professiona

Richard Rattos

The Drifters


In 1963, The Drifters, in Kampala, Uganda, was started by Richard Rattos (guitar and vocals), Michael Rattos (guitar, bass), Clifton Carrasco (drums) and Magnus Fernandes (vocals, bass). As teenagers they were a solid band and went on to win fans all around East Africa including the musical mecca of Nairobi. Most polished Nairobi musicians recognised in The Drifters a band to be reckoned with and respected. In 1966, Clifton Carrasco went on to further his studies and a third Rattos brother, Eddie, replaced him as the drummer.

They recorded their version of the Swahili favourite Malaika. The band was disbanded in 1968 when Richard to Ireland for further studies.


Just a few of The Drifters gigs: Kampala Club   Kampala G I  Jinja G I  Silver Springs  Tororo Rock Hotel  Lake Victoria Hotel   Free Masons Lions Club  Aga Khan Club  Rugby Club   Nairobi G I   Lake Naivasha Sailing Club    Entebbe Club    Apollo Hotel:  (Horizons   Kololians)   Nairobi Gymkhana    National Theater (competition)   Norman Cinema (competition)and lots of other gigs
 

Long before 1963, Richard R had been teaching himself the guitar and singing along to his own accompaniment. Some 54 years later, he is still the consummate professional vowing crowds wherever he hits on those strings and fires into the Rock N Roll microphone. He has guested, jammed with and starred in too many bands and gigs to remember. The wonderful thing about this guy is that he rarely has an off day. Again and again he gives his all, total professionalism. Half century is a long time for a musician to ply his trade, wonderful that Richard can give his best every time he fronts up in Sydney or around Australia. Rock On, Dude.