That's the Way
r'kardo st'von grew up in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, where his passion for music and performance was developed by an eclectic exposure to different genres from the early age of 8. In Trinidad, he worked and trained with music teachers Barbara Harris and Myrtle Cumberbatch at Fatima College, acclaimed musicologist Geraldine O'Connor, and Award winning songwriter Sterling Gittens. A talented calypsonian as well, his witty and lyrically sound compositions captured the Republic Bank Calypso King Title on three occasions and he was also a finalist in Trinidad's National Young Kings competition. Together with vocalist Shereen Mc Donald, r'kardo captured the hearts of Trinidad in the semi-finals of Scouting for Talent 1997 performing a unique duet version of Stevie Wonder's 'Ngicuelela, I am singing'. As a contempary vocalist, he was also the second place winner of the Courts 'Have a Heart' Competition in 1996 in a field of thirty finalists. After moving to New York in 1999, this progression culminated with a BFA (with an emphasis on jazz performance) in music/ theatre from New York's Marymount College in 2002, and training with Musical Theatre Works Tony nominated director Lonny Price and actress/ singer Fredi Walker-Browne.
His theatrical credits include off Broadway credit in New York for the Interborough Repertory Theatre touring Company of 'The Roots of Rap' and the NETworks touring Company of 'Rent'; acting credits for several television commercials and jingles while growing up in Trinidad. He is currently working with 'Rent' alumni Fredi Walker Browne on an original theatrical piece based aroun the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.
r'kardo has performed, and continues to do so, his unique blend of original and standard material, jazz fusion and acoustic soul music at New York's own Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Cami Hall, funk poetry spot The Chocolate Monkey, Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar, Bedstuy's Solomon's Porch, open mic spot Village Underground, and the infamous Brooklyn Moon Café with his band 'the rhapsodie collective' featuring Ado Coker on keys and Thierry Remion on guitar.
r'kardo st'von (Ricardo Stevon Mendoza) performed his return 'debut' jazz fusion concert in Trinidad at the club '51 Degrees' in November 2008; with an eclectic mix of revamped and remixed standards, cover and original material from his 2009 recording project. Guest performers included Mchel Low Chew Tung and his band Elan Parle, H2O Phlo, Nadia Batson, Ziggy Ranks, Ataklan and jazz sensation Vaughnette Bigford. The show was a success, and a repeat performance was scheduled for May 3rd 2009 at the Casa de Ibiza lounge in lieu of his upcoming jazz fusion recording project. r'kardo was also a featured headliner at 'Jazz in July', a two night jazz extravaganza in July 2009 staged by Victory International.Website: http://www.myspace.com/rkardo