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Walter Ferguson

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Biography

Walter Ferguson was born in Guabito, Panama. His family soon settled in Costa Rica and he spent most of his childhood in Jamaica Town, a neighborhood in Port Limon. There he lived in his aunt´s house, where he used to receive organ lessons. His parents moved to Cahuita, a small hamlet in the far South of the province, where he lives until today.

From an early age, he showed a grand interest in music and he learned to play the harmonica, guitar and clarinet. As a clarinet player, he started the group “Miserable” with other Limonese calypsonians. This was in the 1950s.

In the 60s, he began to write calypsos and until now, he has written over a hundred songs of great quality and cultural relevance for Limonese people.

Walter Ferguson, also known as Gavitt, was always present in calypso challenges held in different points of the Caribbean coast. From the town of Bluefields, Nicaragua to Bocas del Toro in Panama, calypsonians would move by boat, horse, train or truck to compete in improvisation contests and Mr. Ferguson´s fame travelled along with other big names as Panama´s Lord Cobra, or Limonese singers Papa Tun and Shanti.

More recently, Walter Ferguson used to record his music in audiocassettes to sell the tourists in Cahuita. Each tape was unique, an original, personal concert for each person who requested a souvenir.

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