Anguilla: A little island with a big voice

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Anguilla’s musical genius is on prime display to US audiences nationwide as her artists showcase the phenomenal range of talent, from classical to popular, emanating from this Caribbean island.

In the popular music arena, Anguillian star performer Amalia Watty is making her mark on the national television show American Idol, that airs weekly on the ABC network. Amalia aced her audition with her rendition of Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love”, impressing the judges Katie Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Ritchie. She is now heading off to Hollywood for the next round of competition.

Amalia has been wowing audiences regularly in and around New York, at venues including the Bitter End and The Blue Note in Greenwich Village, Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side, at the US Open, and last year at the Afropunk Battle of the Bands competition in Brooklyn.

At the other end of the spectrum, young Anguillian musicians Kyiv Edwards (saxophonist), and Kasem Thompson (trombonist) will be among featured performers in the American Protégé Winners Recital at Carnegie Hall in New York City, on Sunday, April 1, at 11:30 am. The duo will be accompanied by pianist Kamal Vanterpool. All three artists attend the Morlens School of Music, a local music institute whose mission is to aid in the development and advancement of youth through music study.

Kasem and Kyiv were adjudged second place winners in January of this year, after their audition video was reviewed by a panel of adjudicators on behalf of the prestigious organization. The American Protege Competition, held under the auspices of Carnegie Hall, seeks to expose and promote talented musicians in a competitive environment. Edwards and Thompson were entered in the amateur category of the Woodwinds and Brass division.

On any given night, but particularly from Thursday through the weekend, visitors to Anguilla can enjoy live performances at restaurants, bars and hotels across the island. The island’s strong musical heritage crosses many genres and has produced legendary artists such as Bankie Banx, Boss and his Horsepower Band and Omari Banks, just to name a few.

For information on Anguilla, please visit the official website of the Anguilla Tourist Board:; follow us on Facebook:; Instagram: @Anguilla_Tourism; Twitter: @Anguilla_Trsm, Hashtag: #MyAnguilla.

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