Musician Dennis De Souza passes
Tue, April 24, 2012 - 4:08 PM
Guyana-born international musician Dennis De Souza has died.
De Souza, who was known among his Caribbean counterparts as a legendary Caribbean pianist, died Saturday at the Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga. He was 77.
De Souza, who was born in Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, Guyana, had been a patient at Credit Valley for the past two weeks. The veteran musician, who last performed publicly 18 months ago, was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and in recent weeks pneumonia. His two sons and a sister were at his side at the time of death. De Souza’s wife died two years ago.
De Souza left Guyana for England via Trinidad in the 1960’s, but on landing in the twin-island nation, he fell in love with the country and decided to stay. It was not music that kept him there, but a love of cricket, and the budding musician soon found himself playing with the Harvard team and Queen’s Park Cricket Club alongside Willie Rodriquez, Ben Kanhai, Sonny Ramadhin, the Davis Brothers and Joey Carew.
De Souza began seriously pursuing his first love, music, in Port of Spain after he visited a well-known nightclub, the Penthouse, where he was asked by its owner Choy Aming to become the resident piano player with the house band.
He gained a reputation as an excellent musician, and in the mid 1990’s was hired by the Hilton Hotel to become its resident pianist. From there, De Souza went on to play for the Holiday Inn in Port of Spain.
He also did a number of gigs in other islands, where he became a legend among music lovers.
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