Aldwyn Roberts

Aldwyn Roberts was born 18 April 1922 in Arima, Trinidad.

He was commonly known as Lord Kitchener, Kitch or The Grandmaster.

He was education at Arima Boys' Government School and was known as 'Bean', because he was very tall and slim. His secondary education was cut short at 14, following the death of his father who was also his mentor. He was always encouraged by his father to sing and play the guitar, and this led him to become a full time musician. 

His career was kick-started when he won the Arima Borough Council's Calypso Competition in 1938. He went on to win this competition for the next three years.

In 1942, he moved to Port of Spain to further his music career. This brought him immediate commercial success with his calypso 'Green Fig', also know as 'Mary I am tired and disgusted'.

In 1944, Aldwyn was persuaded by fellow calypsonian Alric Farrell (The Pretender) to become a professional singer, and it wasn't long before another calypsonian Neville Marcano (The Growling Tiger) decided Aldwyn should be known as 'Lord Kitchener', and surprisingly, the name helped to advance his music career.  

In 1948, Aldwyn arrived by boat (The Empire Windrush) to the port of Tilbury in Thurruck, Essex along with Egbert Moore (Lord Beginner) and Harold Phillips (Lord Woodbine). The trio started to entertain in clubs throughout London.

In 1953, Aldwyn moved to Manchester. He continued to perform and found even greater success than envisiged. He became the owner of several properties, one being a nightclub. He met and married his first wife of 15 years Elsie Lines. He later married Valerie Green.

In 1961, he performed at the London Carnival.

In 1962, he performed with Slinger Francisco at the Manchester Carnival.

In 1963, he returned to Trinidad and in that same year he won the Road March competition which marked the start of his dominance in the Carnival Arena.

His love for the steelpan instrument led him to compose calypsos that were both lyrically and musically constructed in order to develop the steelpan instrument. His dedication to the steelpan can be recognised and is supported by the fact that 19 of his compositions were chosen as the tune of choice for Panorama winners over 35 years.

In 1978, he recorded 'Sugar Bum Bum'. This calypso became his most successful commercial composition.

In 1999, Aldwyn retired from the calypso scene.

His last public appearance was at the Ringbang Celebration 2000, organised by Eddy Grant. Aldwyn was introduced on stage by fellow Trinidadian Rudolph Walker, to a performance of 'Pan Night and Day' played by Len 'Boogsie' Sharpe and the Invaders Steelband.

After a short illness, Aldwyn Roberts passed away on 11 February 2000 at the Mount Hope Hospital, Port of Spain.

Many of his compositions are steelpan standards and should be played by all aspiring steelpan players.