Sing for your roots

Dawson teacher, Jacinta Luis releases a song that pays tribute to children in Goa, India
By Katrina Tortorici

Dawson’s very own faculty member, Jacinta Luis, recently released a music video called “Goa,” which can be viewed on YouTube.

Luis is a singer and songwriter as well as a Music Literature teacher. She was asked by the founder of the main Goa associations to write a song for World Goa Day this year.

“Goa, India, is the land of my ancestral roots,” she said. “I was born in Tanzania, Africa, but went to boarding school in Goa for two years. I had memories of the beautiful melodies and folk songs of Goa.”

The music video begins with words that dedicate the song to the children of Goa, who are not privileged to bask in the joys of musical education. The words are sprawled across scenery of waves softly hitting the beach. The music begins gradually, and then the view changes into a beautiful field of greenery and colourful flowers, all of which reflect the real Goa, according to Luis.

“Goa is a magnificently beautiful tropical state that is filled with greenery and flowers, as well as having fabulous beaches. It is situated on the west coast of India,” she said.

The song is mostly in English, however the chorus is sung in an Indian language called Konkani. The chorus is a conversation between two people, followed by a greeting to Goa itself, as Luis said, “I personify Goa and tell her she is beautiful and end the song with ‘thank you,’ which is Dev Borem Korum.”

“Goa” is not only folk-like, but falls into the musical category of Jazz; with Carols Jimenez on guitar, Al McLean on saxophone, Wali Muhammad on drums, and Stephane Crete on bass, the Quintet provide a soothing and uplifting melody.
Luis has been performing ever since she was a child. Her musical talent comes from both her parents; her father was part of a Tanzania band called the Jazz Swingers and continues to play the accordion at various functions today, while her mother still directs two choirs in Toronto.

“Everyone at home played and sang, so it was what we did for fun as a family,” she said. Among Luis’ recent music video accomplishment, she has recorded two other CDs and has performed concerts in Montreal and Toronto in the past year. In addition, she has just completed her third CD, called “Resurgence,” to be released in Oct. 2010.

“I plan to keep composing, recording and performing,” Luis said. The CD will sell for $5.00 and all profits will go to children in Goa who wish to study music.
Finally, Luis shares her insight and experience with future musicians with these last words of wisdom:

“I would say that music is one of the most rewarding gifts in this world. If you have the opportunity to play and sing at any moment in your life, then go for it! […] What is important is that we give ourselves the gift of experiencing music in whatever form we can.”

Luis’ Quintet will be performing a concert at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall on Saturday, Oct. 30. Tickets for students are available at the Oscar Peterson Box office for $15.00.

For more information, reach Jacinta Luis at or


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