Arturo Tappin blows them away
Local Vibes
March 16, 2007
Arturo Tappin blows them away

Here’s a number of things fans of Arturo Tappin may not know about him: he’s a vegetarian, his first musical instrument was the violin. he’s been wearing dreadlocks for the last 15 years and his grandmother is Grenadian.

What fans of ‘Turo’, as he is called, do know is that he is one of the best saxaphone/clarinet/flute players in the world.{{more}}

And local and visiting blues fans got proof of that on the opening night of the Ministry of Tourism’s Blues and Rhythms Festival last Friday at the Emerald Valley Casino and Resort.

Tappin played a half an hour set with his band, switching effortlessly from one instrument to the next much to the delight of all present, and with an energy that had not been seen on the stage for the night.

With a rich family history in almost everything except musical instruments, Tappin thinks it’s amazing to understand how he got involved in the “sax”.

“My father and grandfather were well renown photographers, but I didn’t follow in their footsteps. My father’s love for jazz, blues, classical and calypso, and my own involvement in church and school choirs introduced me to music, but I didn’t become a singer,” said the Barbadian after his standing ovation and encore on Friday night.

Arturo got his first exposure to performing when he wrote a poem that he recited on radio and television at age six. At 11years old he took up violin playing, then four years later he finally laid his hands on the thing that would make him famous.

This is not Tappin’s first visit to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, he has visited before for performances at the Attic night club and at Basil’s Bar in Mustique.

He also performed at the Blues festival with soul singer Roberta Flack as part of her band in 2003.

“Touring with Roberta Flack opened many doors and a new world for me,” he said. It enabled me to play and perform with the likes of Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, Natalie Cole, Third World and Eddy Grant, Allison Hinds and Rupee to name just a few.”

He said he would like to perform with countrywoman and international superstar Rihanna, whom he says he is extremely proud of for her success.

Tappin said he would also like to tour Europe and Africa as a solo artist.

He is constantly on the move, but is based between Barbados and New York whenever he is not touring.

His five-man band is also loaded with talent and a rich family background of musicians. Keyboardist, Miles Robertson’s mother is a piano and keyboard tutor, Drummer, James Lovell comes from a long line of drummers, Neil Newton’s sister DJ Hurricane is the top female DJ in Barbados and Guitarist, Scott Galt’s mother and father were both musicians.

His second solo album ‘Java’ is now available.