Trinidad and Tobago
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Parang stalwart Henry Pereira dies at 76

Laurel V Williams Henry Pereira
Henry Pereira

With photos: NPATT

Parang stalwart and legend Henry Pereira has died at 76.

Pereira died on September 25 after a long illness. His funeral took place four days later at St Anthony's RC Church in Tabaquite.

The National Parang Association of TT (NPATT) offered condolences to his wife, family, and members of the band Los Reyes, previously Los Muchachos del Agua.

A statement on Saturday from NPATT said Pereira, fondly known as the Spanish teacher from Tabaquite, started his teaching career at Rio Claro Government Secondary School. He later taught at the only secondary school in the area, Tabaquite Composite.

As a parrandero, said the release, he was a guitarist and lead singer of both Los Muchachos del Agua and Los Reyes.

His parang career began with Los Muchachos del Agua in 1973 when he started as guitarist for the band," the statement said. "But his voice took prominence when on one occasion, the original lead singer did not show up, and he was asked to do the solo. His performance won him the prize for the best lead singer."

The statement added that he won this title numerous times and had recorded well-known parang songs such as Parranda Fina, En El Corazon del Hombre, Andamos Buscando, Soca Sereno and Canta Noel.

It said Pereira was one of the country's top composers of parang, a skill he passed on to many young parranderos.

NPATT's president Alicia Jaggasar also expressed sadness at his death.

She said, "Mr Pereira will be missed. Many parang bands play his music, and his contribution to the artform would live in the hearts of all parranderos and parang lovers forever."