Dominica – Sixteen of the very best musicians from Dominica, Nature Island of the Caribbean, have donated 17 tracks to the result-oriented Ralph Casimir and Orion Cultural Fund (ROC Fund), spearheaded by Delmance “Ras Mo” Moses. The songs are published on a CD entitled Cultural Passport which was released on October 25th, 2003, 7 days before Dominica’s Independence Day, and at the beginning of the acclaimed World Creole Music Festival, the most popular tourist event on the Island.The funds generated from this project will be earmarked towards teaching of
culture, music and music business to the youths of Dominica. Dominica has been
noted to be a cultural center in the Caribbean, sprouting music styles such as
Zouk, Belle’ Cadence and Bouyon; however, the island falls short of harnessing
the full potential of its music from a social and economic standpoint.
According to Free Joseph, one of the artists involved in the project, “The
musicians have been long aware that collective security brings unity. Through
this project the fruits will ripen faster and the youths shall reap the harvest.”
Another parrticipant, Wendy Robin, who resides in Canada said, “Dominica is
filled with very talented people and we all need to support each other because
we might just be grooming the next superstar”.
The ROC Fund was created after the name of Ralph Casimir and Orion. Ralph was a
bookbinder, commission agent, solicitor clerk, cantor for the Roman Catholic
Cathedral, Town Councilor, and secretary of the famous West Indian Conference of
1932. He founded the first Literacy Society in Dominica and was responsible, as
an agent for the Black Star Line and member of the United Negro Improvement
Association, for bringing Marcus Garvey to the Island. Orion is a national
female legend who was a preserver of Dominica’s traditions, a magnificent
drummer, dancer, artist and teacher – a “jack of all trade” and master of all.
Some of the artists involved in the project includes Nasio Fontaine, Ophelia
Marie, Ras Perez, Reggae Cowboys, Lazo, Camron Pierre, Jeff Joseph & the Grammax
band, Pat Aaron, Jahlee, to name a few. The CD is designed with a picture of
Dominica’s passport at the front, signifying the fact that Dominica’s musicians
are Dominica’s cultural ambassadors.