Sebastian Scotney spoke to guitarist Cameron Pierre, about his gig at The Flyover in W10 on April 20th, performing music from his 2012 album Radio Jumbo:
Sebastian Scotney: You came to the UK from Dominica at 18 What was the original plan?
Cameron Pierre: I had no idea that I was about to travel to the UK. There I was age 18 enjoying life discovering music and girls, all of a sudden a letter arrives from the travel agent informing me that my passage had been paid for me to travel to the UK in one week’s time. No warning, no nothing. Arrrggghhh!!!!!! My original plan upon arrival was to study audio electronics but for several reasons that did not happen.
SS: You were working (doing what?) , but also had a reggae band at first?
CP: Within two months or arriving in the UK I found myself a job at “Fidelity Radios” working on an assembly line, assembling radio, stereo and television sets. An experience which has proved to be quite invaluable over the years. One year later I started my very first band with my brother called Samaritans, which then mushroomed into another band call Inity Rockers. We spent many years as a backing band for several Jamaican reggae artists. Back then I was primarily a reggae musician. A vastly different cosmos I can tell you.
SS: You have been in Courtney Pine’s band for roughly a quarter of a century.How did you two meet?
CP: I met Courtney after one of the singers in the reggae band that I was in casually mentioned that her best friend’s brother played the saxophone, so we invited him down. He was 16 at the time.
SS: Your most recent album is ‘Radio Jumbo’. What’s the story?
CP: “Radio Jumbo” was a French radio station based in Citronia, Southwest of Dominica. What separated Radio Jumbo from the rest was the music that it played. While the other stations in the region concentrated mainly on Top 40 music from America and the UK, Jumbo’s stock-in-trade was music from the French speaking Caribbean. Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti and all points in-between, including music from Cuba, Columbia and the Dominican Republic.
I wanted to document some of the sounds and ideas that mesmerized me as a kid. Interestingly since Jumbo’s release I’ve had emails from some of the original DJs thanking me for remembering them… Plus the raison d’être for Jumbo’s existence.
SS: Who will be playing the Apr 20 gig at The Flyover?
CP: I’ll be performing with some of my favourite musicians… Michael Bailey: bass, Donald Gamble: perc, Westley Joseph: drums, Felix Ruiz: keys.
SS: What’s the venue?
CP: The venue is called The Flyover, previously known as ‘Inn On The Green’. Great venue, great food. It’s in Notting Hill Gate, my manor, off Portobello Road.. Nowhere else in London can compare.
Sebastian Scotney: What kind of music will you be playing?
Cameron Pierre: We will be performing music from the “Radio Jumbo” album.
Have a listen : the title track from the album is on Youtube