Category Archives: Calypso-from-Panama

We Won’t Let Them Die!

“Lord” Byron Downing as he appeared in an interview from 2008.

We usually equate the Ukulele with the famous Hawaiian singers.

With the news of the death of one of the few remaining Panamanian Calypsonians, “Lord” Byron Downing, we can’t help but feel even more motivated and convinced that they are gone but not forgotten. We are also convinced of the great importance of preserving our wonderful Westindian heritage here in Panama and for the entire world to recognize and cherish. Continue reading

Victor Boa- Jazz Master and Innovator of Panama

This is Victor Boa at the piano with his signature pipe (or cigar) in mouth. He was about 60 in this image as he played at the Plaza Paitilla Inn. He gave this photo to Armando Boza a few days before his death.

This was the LP Victor Boa recorded on the Taboga/Discos Istmeños label in 1970.

We can, with all certainty, say that Victor Boa has had one of the profoundest effects on the Panamanian music scene; that is until the young Jazz virtuoso, Danilo Perez, came along to give our country some kind of cultural definition. But, even Danilo has genuflected to one of his most admired heroes, Victor Boa, and dedicated the 2005 Panama Jazz Festival to this enormously talented and unsung Maestro. Continue reading

Lord Kon Tiki

Lord Kon Tiki, one of Panama’s Calypso legends.

His real name is Alberto Allen Bryan and he was born in Calidonia, Republic of Panama on September 5, 1934 to Constantino Allen and Aydé Bryan. During his early childhood, like many other Westindian Panamanian children in Panama City, Alberto lived in the barrio of El Marañon, where he still lives to this day. He studied primary school at Pedro J. Sosa public school, where I attended, in the heart of Calidonia. Continue reading