News Releases

The UWI’s Classic Concert celebrates the Father of Soca – Garfield Blackman, ‘Ras Shorty I’

For Release Upon Receipt - February 23, 2018

St. Augustine

The UWI Classic Concert, the Blackman family and Media 21 have come together to celebrate the contributions of national legend and icon, the late Garfield Blackman: Ras Shorty I: Father of Sokah/Soca and Jamoo.  This unique genre called Soca (the fusion of East Indian and African rhythms) has won the hearts of Trinbagonians globally and is etched in the Caribbean DNA.  In the third Classic Concert, the Blackman family and friends will pay tribute to Ras Shorty I.  The concert is titled, The Journey – From Lord Shorty to Ras Shorty I and will take place on Sunday March 11 at 6pm at Queen’s Hall.

The show’s star-studded cast will include decorated artistes such as Rikki Jai, Gypsy, Explainer and Olatunji, all of whom will perform a rendition of a Ras Shorty classic as well as one of their own.  Ras Shorty I’s profound legacy is carried on in his children and grandchildren, who continue to make Sweet Music for the enjoyment of many.  Nehilet, Isaac, Eldon, Abby, Sheldon Blackman will play leading roles with performances throughout “The Journey.” All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA) Theatre Hall Fund.

In his early career, Lord Shorty gave us classics such as, The Art of Making Love, Indrani, Soul Calypso Music, Sweet Music, Om Shanti Om, Endless Vibration, Money Eh No Problem and Watch Out My Children, which was recorded in ten languages and was adopted by the UN in an anti-cocaine campaign which focused on the dangers of drug abuse. With his religious shift, he adopted the name Ras Shorty I.  After some time away from recording he began recording again, fusing soca and gospel in a style he called Jamoo.  Ras Shorty I continued to tour transnationally with his band, the Love Circle, which consisted mainly of his family members until the time of his passing.

For more information on The Journey – From Lord Shorty to Ras Shorty I and to purchase tickets, please contact the Fundraising and Alumni Affairs Unit of the Office of Institutional Advancement and Internationalisation (OIAI) at The UWI St. Augustine Campus at 224-3739 or 224-3740 or email or




About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website: 

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)