Sunday, January 27, 2008

Theodare Alvares (Trumpet King THEO)


- By Sunny Nazareth

On any given evening, take a cruise down the emerald waters of the River Mandovi in Goa. From the bustling Panjim to serene Betim to the historic Reis Magos to the tree fringed Campal down to the wave lashing Miramar and further down to the cool Candolim and teeming Calangute, you will be surprisingly flattered by sweet sounds of music emanating from these places. And, if you are not a Goan, then take it from me. Music runs wild in the blood of Goans.

Goans have embellished the world with music wherever they have set their foot upon. One such personality to musically weave the magic wand with trumpet is Theodare Alvares, popularly known to his friends and admirers as, Theo. Theo was recently on a private visit to Kuwait at the personal invitation of Louis and Rita Rodrigues. And, with such celebrity in town, it was only befitting on the part of the Goan Cultural Centre to host a grand reception in honor of Theo who goes by the sobriquet, "Trumpet King". On several occasions this writer have had the opportunity to interact with Theo in Kuwait during the late seventies and early eighties when he used to perform at 5 star hotels and made appearances on Kuwait TV playing trumpet alongside eminent Arab musicians.

During the pinnacle of his musical glory in Kuwait, Theo was instrumental in performing, encouraging and supporting social, cultural and stage art celebrations organized by the Goan and Mangalorean communities in Kuwait. A towering persona with trumpet whenever Konkani 'tiatrs' were staged during his time in Kuwait, Theo performed with absolute professionalism alongside other renowned musicians which in turn, also shed light on Theo's deep love, devotion and dedication to "Mai Bhas" Konkani.

Theo could be rightly defined as a jazz musician who could easily play on any given sharps and flats and, improvise contemporarily, if the occasion demanded. After he bade adieu to Kuwait Theo performed for some of the greatest musicians in Bombay like the great Joe Pereira (Jazzy Joe) and Tony Dias (Piano Wizzard) and even today Theo plays trumpet for the great music maestro of Konkani stage in India, Babush. Theo's roots are deeply embedded in the realm of music. He is the son of the famous producer and director Champion Alvares and nephew of the legendary artiste and dramatist the late C.Alvares. Theo's brother too is a musician of status, the distinguished percussionist Tony King.

It was no wonder that during the felicitation ceremony held in downtown Kuwait on 5th January 2008, some of the professional musicians and dramatists in Kuwait eloquently lavished praises on the personality and musical professionalism of Theo. Prominent among them included Chairman of the Goan Cultural Centre Carmo Santos; super star of Konkani stage Jose Rod; TV Star-AlWatan Kuwait TV Dr. Mohammed Khayat; music teacher at the Indian English Academy School Faustino Menezes; Kuwait's ace senior musician, Socorro de Melo, an immense fan of Theo Louis Rodrigues and a great admirer of Theo Roni D'Cunha.

The function was laced with musical interludes with Theo, Faustino and Russel on Trumpets, Dr.Khayat on Saxaphone, Philip on percussion, Socorro on guitar and Frederico de Melo on keyboards that evoked nostalgic memories of Theo during his heydays in Kuwait and the beautiful rendition of a mando specially composed by Jose Rod was a fitting finale that overwhelmed Theo with touching emotions. The function was excellently compared by Jose Rod to the delight of the applauding audience.

Photographs by Ramdas Revedakar & Allwyn Fernandes

(This report has been published by Arab Times – Page 26 – January 20, 2008)

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