john  arnold
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john arnold

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The best kept secret in music



'Jazz on the Greens'OPOKU WAREFriday, September 15th 2006

Tobago's ace jazz musician and musical director John Arnold on the keyboard last Sunday at the launch of his CD at Kariwak Hotel.

It was 'Jazz on the Greens' in the perfect setting of the Kariwak Hotel gardens when Tobago's ace jazz musician and musical director John Arnold launched his 11-track Jazz Album, 'Smooth Jazzy Feelings', last Sunday afternoon. Before a highly appreciative audience, which included Chief Secretary Orville London, Pan Trinbago President Patrick Arnold, former national soccer coach Bertille St. Clair, Tobago's leading Jazz Disc Jockey Al Joe and John's mom. Arnold who studied jazz music while at Berkeley University in the United States during the early 1980s has the distinction of catapulting Signal Hill Alumni Choir to international recognition. He is an ace keyboardist, recorded his first Jazz album four years ago. The album Deep Inside featured some of the island's top singers such as Lynette Louis, Garth James and the late Shanette Williams and is only available online at present. Arnold told the Tobago News that the time was much better now to launch a Jazz album because there were three niche radio stations, which play jazz music. He said this was one of the factors taken into consideration in the production of his album. Smooth Jazzy Feelings features instrumental tracks such as 'Caparadi', 'Youme,' '125 Theme,' 'Cruising Thru My Island', 'Jumbie In The Road', 'Katrina', 'Fellas It's Me' and 'United In The Storm', all composed by Arnold. The launch of the CD featured a live performance of some of the album's tracks by John and a number of the island's ace musicians, most of whom worked on the album. Lindon Rowley played bass, Kenneth Clarke was on the tumba, Tony'Pan Jumbie' Williams play the tenor pan, Desmond Graham ramajayed on the double tenor, the guitarist was Terrance Shaw, Roy Dennis was on drums and John was on his favourite keyboard. The audience was given a wonderful treat of top-class jazz music in the cool of the afternoon. Ace Trinidadian jazz musician Mike Boothman joined the band on stage for the final jam on 'Old Lady Walk a Mile and a Half'. Pannist Desmond Graham commenting after the performance told the Tobago News that, "jazz is a more sensitive type of music, you must always be aware of what is going on around you, it is like a conversation in music," he said. The album was produced at Lance Jack's Cocrico Studio at Shirvan Road, which is reputed to be the most technologically advanced in Tobago. Meanwhile, John indicated to the Tobago News that the new album will be launched in Trinidad in mid October. Trinidad has a sizeable jazz population and the Tobago music icon is expecting beautiful things to happen for the 'Smooth Jazzy Feelings' album.



CD prior to this is Deep Inside...can be heard streaming on
The album is here, a clear indication of the style that is definitely Tobago and Trinidad. A smooth Jazz album featuring John Arnold on piano with some help on other instruments from his friends.
The album is a journey that can only be described as pure musical adventure.
John Arnold started playing the piano at the age of seven and has never stopped. John believes that his mother had the greatest influence on him, as she was determined and insisted on music being part of his upbringing. John is fortunate to have had many great teachers in Tobago who all had a part to play in his musical development.These included persons such as the late Uri’s Elliot, Enola Arnold, Gwyneth Armstrong and the maestro, the late Newman Alexander. John has also studied harmony at the prestigious Berkley College of Music.
There are few genres John has not dabbled with and this has enhanced his all round musicality as he is not stuck in any mold; he is comfortable with gospel, jazz, folk, Latin, soda etc.

John Arnold is widely known for his creative choral arrangements of the Signal Hill Alumni Choir, but his new album is a clear departure from intense choral work to making his fingers talk in the smooth jazz genre.
This is his third personal release having released Breaking Ground and Deep Inside previously.

The tracks on the album include the following:
1. Caparadi: this song is a story of the capital of Paradise-Tobago and the beauty of form and the tranquility it possesses. It features pianist Desmond Graham as well as jazz guitarist Thereon Shaw.
2. John Boulay: TNT is surely a unique place and the multi ethnic, multi cultural composition of the nation allows us to recognize our differences and celebrate our similarities. This Tobago folk song is interpreted on sitar and table and features Thereon Shaw on guitar.
3. You me: This is the story of you and me, a clear look at us .It features pianist Desmond Graham.
4. 1-2-5 Theme: a smooth groove for you to just lay back on the patio and watch the sunset. John releases on this track while Pan Jumble demonstrates his skills on the pan .
5. Cruising through my Island: this song was composed in 1988 and this is the first release of a truly classic piano interpretation in what can only be described as free style.The journey is present while you cruise.
6. Sweetest Taboo: a cover version of Side’s hit tune and features Lynette Louis on vocals, there is no voice like hers in Tobago, sultry but warm and seductive.
7. Do nothing till you hear from me: again Lynette Louis demonstrates why she can rank with some of the world’s best jazz singers.
8. Jumbie in the road: an interpretation of another Tobago folk song with a back beat to make you dance.
9. Katrina: this was composed during the storm Katrina. John recalls the effect that storm had on him, he had to cool down.
10. Fellas it’s me: nothing can beat a strong groove and this song invites you to sit loose and feel safe.
11. United in the Storm: despite racial tensions and intolerances we as citizens of Trinidad and Tobago must unite in the storm because it will pass away.

The album seeks to define the many moods John Arnold experiences in his piano playing for many years now. Many thanks to Lance Jack who co- produced the album and mixed the tracks and to the many friends who featured on the album.
This is a limited edition so it is imperative that you get your copy now.



Feeling a bit camera shy


An eclectic blend of folk,jazz,caribbean riddums with themes that are Caribbean yet the world understands.Piano style that is laid back but makes significant statements to all listeners.You can feel the heartbeat of the music from track never stops even after you are finished the melodies will haunt you....songs for living ...songs for life.John Q Arnold
John Arnold is certainly one of Tobago's cultural icons and stands tall as a man of excellence and high standards in musical expression.

John Arnold holds a Bachelor's Degree in Management from UWI St.Augustine, A certificate in Piano and Harmony from Berklee College of Music and a Certificate in Event Management from the George Washington University in addition to many other managerial courses.

John Arnold taught Business and Accounting at the Signal Hill Secondary Comprehensive for over twenty three years and presently holds the position of Event Coordinator in the Tourism Division of the Tobago House of Assembly.
John has been the backbone of the illustrious SIGNAL HILL ALUMNI CHOIR over the years and has led the Signal Hill School Choir, Signal Hill Alumni and the Signalite Chorale to many Music Festival victories. Together John Arnold and the Signal Hill Choirs have now dominated folk presentations for over two decades in Trinidad and Tobago .

Dynamic leadership is one of John's keymark traits.

The following outlines some of his major achievements over the last twenty years :
* National Song Finalist 1990-1992
* CBU Song Festival Finalist 1992 St.Lucia
* Technical and Event Coordinator for Tobago Heritage Festival, CDC, Tobago Fest., Carifesta, at various times between 1990-2000.
* Record producer [Breaking Ground / Ah we Music ./ Signal Hill Alumni CDs
* Cacique Award Winner for Best Musical Direction 1998
* Accompanist for the childrens television program; "12 and Under" hosted by Hazel Ward Redman.
* Leader Jazz Contemporary Band Kariwak Players
* Former COTT Licensing Officer for over ten years.
* Former Presenter of WORLD MUSIC PROGRAM Tambrin Radio 92.1 FM
* Musical Director for the National Contingent Carifesta 2000 and 2003

* Caribbean Sunshine Award 2006 in New York for contribution to Culture in the Caribbean