The Dutchy Brothers of San Fernando, Trinidad were the sons of an immigrant from a neighboring Dutch colony (Suriname), a saxophone player called Leonard “Dutchy ” De Vlugt.
As children, they were musical prodigies, regularly appearing on children musical radio shows (Auntie Kay’s show, for example), and as they grew, their band became one of the top dance bands in the Caribbean during the fifties and sixties.
Led by Pete De Vlugt on saxophone, the band included his brothers Eugene on bass, Orville on guitar, Rudolph on drums and Ottmar , a pianist whose virtuosity often led the band musically.
I should also mention that the great steelband arranger and musician Mr. Earl Rodney, was also once a member of the band, playing the bass guitar.
The Dutchy Brothers band was one of the most popular bands with the youth of T&T in the late fifties into the sixties.
Pete De Vlugt and the Dutchy Brothers – Music of The Year ( full album) 1960
Pete De Vlugt’s Orchestra featuring the Dutchy Brothers – Music Of The Year was a popular dance album in 1960.
It featured the following selections “
A1 Romeo And Juliet
A2 Tropical Bolero
A3 Beats There A Heart So True
A4 Somewhere Over The Rainbow
A5 LA Mer
A6 EL Negrito Del Batey
B1 The Story Of Three Loves
B2 Chopin’s Piano Bolero
B3 Lover Come Back To Me
B4 EN Payo
B5 He’ll Have To Stay
B6 El Viandero
The musicians were :
Bass – Eugene De Vlugt
Bongos – Leo De Vlugt
Congas – Jeffrey Camps
Drums – Rudolph De Vlugt
Guitar – Orville De Vlugt
Piano – Ottmar De Vlugt
Tenor Saxophone – Pete De Vlugt
Trumpet – Norbert Scanterbury
Wood Block – Samuel Lambkin
The Latin Calypso sound was very popular in Trinidad and Tobago in the nineteen fifties and sixties, and one of the biggest hits of that era was “Caremelos” by the Dutchy Brothers.
The focal point of much of the Dutchys’ music was their gifted pianist, Otmar De Vlught.
A skilled and demonstrative player, he would mesmerize observers with his antics and expressions as he aggressively mastered the keyboards.
The Dutchy brothers Band of San Fernando was a dominant force on the Trinidad music scene for years, and brought much joy to music lovers and party people of that era.
Here is the Dutchy Brothers version of “Chopin’e Piano Bolero”, featuring Otmar De Vlught on piano.
Pete DeVlugt and The Dutchy Brothers Band
The Dutchy Brothers Band (L-R) Orville, Rudolph, Scanterbury, Ali Ramesar (standing), Nearlin Taitt (seated), Peter, Jeffery Camps, Eugene and Ottmar.
This version of the band included famed guitarist and champion tenor pan player , Nearlin “Lynn” Taitt , who was to migrate to Jamaica to become one of the founders of rock steady and reggae music.
In my youth, one night in the early sixties, I remember leaving a swinging Dutchy Brothers fete in Royal Hotel to get a breath of fresh air, and being awakened from a youthful drunken stupor by this Dutchy brothers hit ,blasting out from the fete.
And the band had such a flair !
I remember the “scratcher man” known as Papa and the cowbell player dancing their choreographed steps , keyboardist Ottmar DeVlugt , his face contorted with emotion as he almost attacked his piano , and the rest of the band , swaying to the music.
The band never sounded sweeter!
The tune was ” No Other Love” which featured the distinctive sound of the Dutchy Brothers and was a big hit for them in the nineteen sixties.
The lyrics of this song were written by Bob Russell and the music, though credited to Paul Weston, is actually derived from Frédéric Chopin’s Étude No. 3 in E, Op. 10.
This song was a 1950 hit by Jo Stafford, Paul Weston’s wife.
The popular Dutchy Brothers orchestra, one of the top Caribbean dance bands of the 1960s, was the pride of San Fernando, Trinidad.
Here they are with their distinctive Latin sound and one of their hits, Los Sabrasones”
Another memorable and very popular hit by The Dutchy Brothers was their arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers.”
Our respect and admiration goes out to the talented De Vlugt family and the Dutchy Brthers band for their contributions to our musical culture , and the pride and joy they brought us as culture and music lovers , especially those from San Fernando and South Trinidad.