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Indian Orchestration in Trinidad & Tobago

Since the inception of the first Indian Orchestras in Trinidad around 1940 (The Naya Zamana & S.M. Aziz Orchestra) Indian music has developed by leaps and bounds. The music can be divided into four basic categories. The oldest is the Bhojpuri style classical or "Taan" singing generally consisting of a singer, a harmonium, a dholak and percussion instruments like dhantal, majeera and jhaal. Then came the filmi music which was played by the bigger bands starting with natural instruments like accordion, violin mandolin, bongos and dholak. Later on the guitar, the base and English drums were added with limited amplification. This continued until the 1970's when PA amplification became the norm and electronic synthesizers and keyboards which evolved continuously since then and became a staple of every orchestra. With the influx of cultural ambassadors from India circa 1960 onwards there was a resurgence of interest in Indian styled classical music which continues to the present. Chutney music, which consisted of limited but provocative Hindi lyrics, combined with mostly Soca rhythm, while not a recognized art form has become very popular among the partying crowd. It should be noted that while Trinidad has a comparatively high rate of very talented musicians per capita most of them have had very little or no formal training and acquired their skills by observation and interaction with other musicians. The level of development of this is reflected by the fact that many musicians and singers have been able to successfully transform what was previously a hobby into a profession. The intention of this section of this website is to highlight and document the bands and artistes who contributed to the development of Indian music in Trinidad and Tobago over the years and at present. We would not have a photo of every member who was ever associated with a band. All photos being published are those which are available in our library. The information in this category will be constantly updated as more contributors come forward. This category is solely for the purpose of highlighting Indian Orchestras in Trinidad and not for any individuals. (Copyright Karamchand Maharaj & Hindisongstt 2015).

Acme Dil - E - Nadan Orchestra - Led by Mr. Ramnarine (Tole) Moonilal

Acme's Dil - E - Nadan Orchestra - Led by Mr. Ramnarine (Tole) Moonilal

Acme's Dil - E - Nadan Orchestra - Led By Mr. Ramnarine (Tole) Moonilal - 2

BWIA National Indian Orchestra Led by Mr. Harry Mahabir - 1

BWIA National Indian Orchestra Led by Mr. Harry Mahabir - 2

Carib Melobugs

Choti Sangeet Saaj - Led by Mr. Chunee Lall

D. Rampersad Indian Art Orchestra - Led by Mr. Teddy Bissambhar

Gemini Orchestra - Led by The late Ramdeo Seelochan

James Ramsawak Melody Makers - Led by Mr.James Ramsawak

Jit Seesahai's Melody Makers - Led by Mr. Dean Maharaj

Jit Seesahai's Melody Makers - Led By Mr. Jit Seesahai - 1

Naya Tarana Orchestra - Led by Mr.Yacoob Mohammed

Naya Zamana Orchestra - Led by Mr. Nazeer Mohammed - 1

S.M. Aziz Orchestra - Led by Ustad S.M. Aziz

Sitara Hind Orchestra - Led by Mr. Lal Rampersad

T & TEC Gayatones Orchestra Led By Mr. Capil Gayadeen


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