Born: September 27, 1967 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Jamaican guitarist Seretse Small, in 2007, celebrates 20 year as a professional musician. Music, in general, guitar artistry, in particular, began for him as a student at the Jamaica School of Music later he would attend Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory of Music in the United States. His greatest learning experience, however, comes outside curriculum cutting his teeth in live performances in reggae and jazz.
While Seretse spent the past three years on a world tour with Grammy-winning reggae artiste Sean Paul, it is as a jazz guitarist that he made his own name in Jamaica and across the Caribbean. He has performed the major jazz festivals in Jamaica, Grenada and St. Lucia.
A Caribbean man indeed, Seretse Small grew up in Jamaica by multi-cultural, artistic parents. Mother Jean Small, a poet, linguist/actress from Guyana, and his father, a musician from Trinidad, both endowed the guitarist with a wealth of Caribbean history to draw on in his music. He was exposed from an early age to a very Africianist perspective, having been grounded among persons, such as poet Michael Smith, legendary guitarist Ernie Ranglin and dub poet Mutabaruka, men who understood art.
Listing his main influences as Earl Klugh, George Benson, Van Halen and Al Di Meola, Seretse attested that his mentor Jasper Adams coached him in the music of the greats and in understanding the greatness of the Caribbean people.
Initially learning to play the guitar from his father, Seretse claims that it was not his instrument of choice; neither does he see himself as a gifted guitarist. I tell people I'm not a guitarist, but they think I'm an amazing guitarist, he said.
Not only gifted as a guitarist, Seretse has also done extensive teaching, music publishing and storytelling. I am devoted to communicating the heart and soul of Caribbean people, he said. Seretse sees himself as a griot, a West African term for 'storyteller', hence the name of his publishing house, Griot Music, which he repositioned following the grueling Sean Paul tour.
The guitarist realized the potential in starting a music-publishing firm after a stint in the United States. He noted, The side of publishing I'm concerned with is the creative side, nurturing young persons, developing their songwriting skills, giving these persons a forum through which to express themselves”.
Not only is Griot Music fulfilling its core functions but also the company was recently elected as the National Coordinator for the Global Battle of the Bands.
The guitarist formed his own band, Seretse and the True Democrats - Wendell Lawrence (drums), Karl Gibson (bass), and Ozou'ne (keyboards) and they are presently working on their first album. Back in 2000, however, Seretse Small recorded a one-man, acoustic guitar CD that he aptly titled Silo Sessions, a recording done in a Silo on farm in New York.
The high-achiever who has also appeared as a featured artiste on BET Jazz, is currently well away in establishing his own live studio and in addition to hosting his Tuesday Night Live shows at Christopher's Jazz Café, in Kingston, Jamaica he host a live music show on Jamiaca's News Talk 93 FM radio.
Seretse Small, amazing jazz guitarist, entrepreneur who captivates audiences with every performance describes his sound as very sensual, orgasmic and intensely improvisational.
Tracks: Solas Market; A Spanish Tins; Dancing in Degrasse; No Woman No Cry; liza; Message From the Forest; Satin Doll; Bluesy; Every Time; In A Daze; Late Night Desire; Breath; Ahe Loves Me; My Love.
Personnel: Seretse Small: acoustic guitar.
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