Indian classical singer Sam “Lion of Cumuto” Boodram has died. The singer is known for having over 6000 recorded songs, according to chutneymusic.com.
He died on June 30 and was 86.
The National Council of Indian Culture of TT’s (NCIC TT) PRO Surujdeo Mangaroo said he was “deeply saddened” to learn of Boodram’s passing.
He described Boodram as a versatile singer and icon.
“I have known Uncle Sam for more than four decades. I first met him when my Aaja Kalool Ramsamooj started playing dholak for him. It was from then onwards I acquired the taste for local classical songs and music.
“He has won several competitions hosted by the NCIC, and has also graced our stage on several occasions, either during Divali Nagar or Heritage Month. He was a widely travelled vocalist taking his talent across the Americas and the Caribbean.”
The council extended its condolences to Boodram’s family.
Boodram was born on July 14 1933 and grew up in Aranguez, chutneymusic.com said.
It added that at ten he relocated to Cumuto where his passion for music was developed.
Boodram began singing local classical music in 1947 at 14 and then moved on to chutney and religious singing.
He did collaborations with artistes like Raymond Ramnarine.
In a phone interview with Newsday on Wednesday, Ramnarine said Boodram was “the pillar” when it came to traditional chutney.
He said people looked up to him when we came to traditional classical and traditional chutney music.
He said it was a huge loss to the industry. He added that Boodram was ailing for a while.
“I remembered in 2011 we approached him. We met at JFK airport for the first time and we spoke at length, to know that a man like him could sit with me and he would call me son.
“He would say, ‘son I love what you all are doing.’ He just gave me so many compliments. I had so much respect and admiration for him but after that meeting at JFK airport, I loved him even more.”
Boodram and Ramnarine collaborated in 2011 on the hit Lawa. Ramnarine asked all artistes to really take note and heed of his legacy and what he stood for as it relates to the art form.
“He always wanted us to preserve the traditional chutney music, traditional classical music…”
Boodram had six children, 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.