Mona Baptiste arrived in England in June 1948 and by August 1948 she had appeared on the BBC Light Programme – a radio station broadcasting light entertainment between 1945 and 1967 which later became BBC Radio 2.
Mona Baptiste travelled first class on the Empire Windrush to London, disembarking on 22nd June with all the other Windrush passengers at Tilbury Docks. Although the iconic photograph of her playing the saxophone is well known, Mona was already a popular singer on the island of Trinidad where she was born on 21st June 1926.
The Windrush Foundation are hosting an heritage event on Thursday 20th August 2020 to celebrate the life of Mona Baptiste The Star.
Mona gave her occupation as a clerk as is documented in the ship’s records, in spite of her reputation as an outstanding singer in Trinidad. On arrival to the UK, she quickly established a music career and on 9th August 1948, she appeared on the BBC Light Programme with the popular calypsonian Lord Beginner. Mona Baptiste went on to become a regular artist on Radio and TV.
A multi-linguist, she performed in elite London clubs and venues and toured extensively in Europe. Mona comfortably sang in English, French, German and Spanish and appeared in at least fifteen films ranging from ‘Symphony in Gold’ (1959) to Porgy and Bess for East German television.
EVENT – open to everyone:
Keynote Speaker: BILL HERN
Q&A led by ARTHUR TORRINGTON
This event is one of a series of 10 over the next 12 weeks presented by Windrush Foundation and funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund.
FREE Zoom tickets are available via Eventbrite:
Further information is available from: firstname.lastname@example.org