A Friendship Of Note
One of the best music reviews I have ever received was written by Francesco Emmanuel in 2006, when he was with The Muse’s Muse. His photograph appeared with the review and I remember thinking at the time that it reflected a real decency. The kind of decency you would one day like to meet in person.
It turned out that among other things Cesco, as he is also known, was a very accomplished and versatile guitarist and some time later he emailed me to say that if at some point I wanted guitar accompaniment with my music he would be interested. I immediately called him to discuss possibilities and we talked about what compositions might be suitable.
Cesco is originally from Trinidad and Tobago and spends his time between there and Canada. Despite the fact that he is much younger than I am and our respective music styles are quite different, we found we had lots to talk about in emails back and forth and, as I mentioned to him, Cesco was “the nicest guy I’d never met.”
We finally did meet in Toronto over Indian food (butter chicken and dal) and, as expected, got along like old friends. Happily Cesco’s guitar ended up being included in my CD Music in Search of a Movie. The particular composition of mine that he accompanied, the “sunset” version of “Anthem for the Unsung Hero,” is now part of the soundtrack for a short film featuring Jane Goodall entitled Change for Chimps. His guitar is also in my composition “Angels of the Ice,” which has been made into a video, and we continue to work together.
The first band Cesco was associated with was a heavy metal cover band. He then went on to form, co-found or join other bands, some progressive/alternative, others avant-garde, experimental. He has also showcased solo material, as well.
Cesco is one of the co-founders of the Toronto-based band Kobo Town. It’s album Jumbie in the Jukebox was nominated in 2014 for a Juno Award in the World Music category.
Amazingly versatile, Cesco is equally at home with classical guitar and last year organized a concert in Trinidad entitled A Night of Guitar, which paid tribute to his late father, and which also featured other local classical guitarists. With A Night of Guitar II scheduled for this coming November 12, this concert is becoming a Trinidadian tradition.
You can read about some of Cesco’s achievements at http://www.cescoemmanuel.com, including his extensive work with film and his latest CD, A Spanner in the Works. On this new CD I had the pleasure of accompanying his music this time, adding a subtle piano melody to the second version of “Hope of Some Kind.” Brian Gagnon added percussion to the track, as well. The recording follows.
Here’s to you, Cesco! Musician, composer, guitarist, singer, author, inventor and, fortunately for me, friend.