GARY CARDINEZ Trinidad Newsday
AS of March 1, after 57 years, veteran musician and band leader Roy “Pappy” Cape “hung up” his prized Selmar Parris Super 80 saxophone as a performer with the long-standing brass band he formed - Roy Cape All Stars.
He said that was not how he wanted to end his career, but it just happened.
Speaking from his home in Oropune Gardens, Piarco, Cape related his story: “I was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and it changed my life completely. I had to take care of myself and that has been my focus over the last few years. From now on there will be no more Roy Cape All Stars. I have reached an agreement with the band. They are still functioning, and will call a press conference to announce the new name sometime later.” But somehow Cape’s story seems to have taken a turn which sees him busier than when he was playing with the band. He is now always on the go as an organizer, and chairman of the Roy Cape Foundation. He said the idea of the foundation was sparked in January 2016 by the killing of two schoolboys on their way home from school, and the deteriorating personal security situation in the Laventille community.
“A friend called and informed me of the shooting and suggested that we do whatever we could to initiate a community programme of music education to engage young persons in the joy of learning music as a means of combating the threat of violence and other anti-social behaviour which have seemingly become a way of life in the community.
Wow!!!! Thanks Pappy for all the years of great music especially when accompanying Dr. Leroy Calliste "Black Stalin"
"Roy Cape All Stars"; undisputedly the best MUSIC band in Trinbago, for the past three decades. Long live the maestro!
Sorry to hear that news Bro! But just for the record You could quit the Band but You cannot stop blowing that Horn. Til yuh last Breath get up everyday and Play something for the Great Spirit that gives us all Life! Also if there's anything I can do to help your project PLEASE let me know. Jeff Medina 702 581 1747. God Bless You Brother!
Well Roy, all good things must come to an end. Sorry to hear about your diagnosis but I can certainly relate to it..Many of my loved ones have succumb to it.. But lets reminisce on the good old days, the days when you discovered Roy Cape, his talent, his unique tone right up there with Billy Vaughn, the brass ring and his comrade Vasso De Freitas. Phil Brito was known for his mellow sweet tone, and Bentely Jack (watap) was known for his incredible speed, but I tell you when You and Vasso teamed up with Bertram Innis and then the Troubadors Trinidad could've shouted to the world this duo's blended harmony was the one to beat. I dont know if the credit should go to the selmer brand or the chops of you guys but your illness could take the sax from you but nothing could take the sax out of you.. Vasso suffer the same fate and eventually lost the battle but I remember a few months before he died he and I sat in his front porch where I played a recording of you two blowing and curling in harmonious ecstasy and as I turned towards him to express my awe that's when I saw the tears, not tears of sorrow but of joy as it confirmed the contribution he gave to the music industry of Trinidad and Tobago.. Vasso is now gone, but you are still here and its for a purpose. That occupation with the kids you undertook despite your condition shows how caring a man you are. That is something I knew a long time ago, since the first time I heard you play in Strand theater in 1966 backing up Kitch's Review with the Ron Berridge orchestra... That's when I fell in love with that tone a tone so unique it dared to make me realize that I knew a man who was the tenor counterpart comparable to it.. That man was my dad Cyril Diaz..Dad wasnt the fastest or the best but his tone stood out as superior as yours does to many of us all over the world.. I admire your dedication to the industry, I know there are many grateful youngsters who appreciate whatever you do to enable them to be future Roy Capers... Thank you sir...
What an emotional post of past days. Thank you for reliving those times. Us older folks certainly appreciate going down memory lane. Something for the younger ones to emulate.
Thank you Brenda, as a musician I know what it means to be acknowledged as a success and Roy certainly was. Here's hoping he remains an inspiration for others to follow.. I have a feeling that the new foundation will keep him alive for a long time..
HI roy sorry to see you leave the scene but i guess at some time in life we all have to call it a day and it is never easy, but i am sure the work you are doing now with the foundation will be just as rewarding and i know you will be there in the back ground keeping an eye on the band.
Thanks Roy Cape for putting out new forms of generosity. Thanks for leading in brilliant music, and for displaying steadfastly the merits of our Trinbagonian music. Will miss your Horn, however, you keep jammin, man!