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Information of Andre Tanker
André Michael Tanker (September 25, 1941 Woodbrook, Port of Spain ? February 28, 2003) was a Trinidad and Tobago musician and composer. Tanker was considered one of the most original musicians that the country produced. His influence on the music of Trinidad and Tobago was compared by David Rudder to that of Bob Dylan on American music http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/obituary/0,12723,913148,00.html. Tanker's work defines the Caribbean folk-jazz genre. Tanker's mother was a dancer who was a descendant of Michel-Jean Cazabon, Trinidad's first great painter. He grew up close to the Invaders pan yard and the Little Carib Theatre. His first instrument was a steelpan which he received from legendary pannist Ellie Mannette at the age of 7. When he was "12 or 13" he began to play the guitar and cuatro. In his teens he formed a number of small ensenbles with Ray Holman which played local parties. This evolved into André Tanker and the Flamingos which played at the Trinidad Hilton. He added jazz and was influenced by the Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaria. In the 1960s and 1970s Tanker developed a link with Caribbean music and wrote songs of black consciousness and liberation. He developed an interest in Orisha music and African drumming working with Andrew Beddoe of the Little Carib Theatre who was an Orisha priest. Exposure to Indian music drew him to Indian classical music. He was influenced by Ravi Shankar and later worked extensively with Indo-Trinidadian sitarist Mungal Patasar. Patasar and Tanker scored the soundtrack of the movie Bim in 1973, the second locally produced movies in Trinidad and Tobago. He also wrote the music for the musical version of Derek Walcott's Ti Jean and His Brothers which was produced for the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1972. He followed this with music for Earl Lovelace's The Dragon Can't Dance and a production of Mustapha Matura's Playboy of the West Indies at the Lincoln Centre. Tanker's classic works include Sayamanda, Basement Party, Morena Osha, Hosanna Higher, and Forward Home.