Roger grew up in a musical family and began his career in Barbados singing with Caribbean dance bands in the 1970’s. He joined as lead singer of the Sandpebbles (brother John played with them), a popular Calypso band that had a string of hits, recorded three albums, several singles and toured extensively throughout the Caribbean, Canada and USA. He shared the stage with many Caribbean stars such as the Mighty Sparrow, Lord Kitchener, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, Johnny Nash, Tomorrow's Children, Kalyan, the Tradewinds, the Merrymen (his older brother Chris' group), and many others. Roger studied music theory through the Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music and has pursued a life-long interest in traditional music of the Caribbean. He worked in the late 70s as a Cultural Affairs Officer (Music), Ministry of Education & Culture (Barbados) and served as the head music programmer for Carifesta 1981, a pan-Caribbean festival of the arts that featured hundreds of top artists from over 30 countries.


Moving to Canada in 1986, Roger has worked freelance with a wide variety of artists such as Anne Lederman (Canadian fiddler), Achilla Orru (Ugandan lokembe player), Moka (Latin & Calypso quintet), La Petite Musicale and the Heritage Singers (Caribbean folk choirs), Mo’Banja (a cappella Caribbean quartet), Kobena Aquaa-Harrison (African guitarist), Franc Mosbaugh (pop singer/musician), the Liquidaires (ska/reggae/funk/jazz band) and Abbey North Drummers (World Music drumming ensemble).  From 1993 until 2013 he was a performing member of COBA (Collective of Black Artists), one of Canada’s leading Black dance/theatre companies.


Roger has recorded two CD’s - ‘Spirit of Calypso’ and ‘Calypso Classics on Guitar – vol. 1’. In 2012 released third CD titled ‘Hot So’ with his band Shak Shak, a collaboration with ethnomusicologist Dr. Chris Wilson. He describes his music as Caribbean Acoustic, a contemporary blend of his Calypso and folk Caribbean roots. Their newest album is titled SHAK SHAK PARTY!. Shak Shak has been the house band over the past five years for TLK's Professionals Calypso Tent, a 4-weekend music series that offers all new work by top Canadian calypsonians.


He was Artistic Director of Worlds of Music Toronto (1998–2000), coordinating biannual series of workshops and concerts of traditional music from around the world. In 2001-2002 he returned to Barbados’s National Cultural Foundation to design strategies for music development and establish a music archives. Roger co-produced the first two Barbados On The Water festivals held at Harbourfront Centre and was the originator and producer for 'Calypso Stars' at Harbourfront Centre's popular Island Soul festival.


He has written and produced several musical productions, including ‘Calypso Calabash’ for Luminato’s Carnivalissima and ‘Caribeats’ for the Island Soul Festival at Harbourfront Centre. In 2012 he received a special award from Toronto Caribbean Carnival Festival for his contribution to calypso in Canada. Roger currently produces for Caribbean Community Engagement, a non-profit arts organization devoted to the Caribbean Carnival Arts. They produced three new festival events in 2016 - CARNIVAL VILLAGE at Daniels Stectrum in Regent Park, Toronto, Niagara Caribbean Festival - a collaboration with the Niagara Parks Commission, and Halibana DrumFest in Haliburton, ON






Roger Gibbs   vocals, acoustic guitars, percussion     

Chris Wilson   alto sax, accordion, keyboards

Antony Pierre   congas, percussion 

Sammy Clarke  percussion 

Jim Bish   tenor sax, clarinet, flutes

Wes Neal   acoustic bass

Patrick McNeilly steelpans, percussion


SHAK SHAKis a Calypso and Caribbean Acoustic band whose music is rooted

in classic Calypso repertoire and Caribbean folk music traditions. Led by Barbadian-born

singer and songwriter Roger Gibbs and multi-talented musician and ethnomusicologist

Chris Wilson, SHAK SHAK is a genuine taste of the seductive rhythms and melodies

that made Calypso a worldwide craze.


SHAK SHAK has been the resident band for the Professionals Calypso Tent

music series in Toronto for the past two years, the only music series of its kind

in North America. The series has been featuring all new work by top calypso

composers and singers for the past 10 years.


SHAK SHAK reinterprets Caribbean folk songs, giving them a new twist, plus

creates its own original Caribbean Acoustic sound. That sound draws inspiration

from a wide variety of traditional genres, such as early calypso or kaiso, Bajan

tukband and string band music, French creole bele tradition, Orisha religious

chants and songs from saraca or “big drum” traditions. SHAK SHAK’s rootsy

renditions of classic calypso songs give listeners an historical context to appreciate

the exotic and rich folk traditions that influenced and shaped this popular Caribbean

music.  SHAK SHAK’s first CD “Hot So” featured eleven tracks – seven original

Caribbean Acoustic songs and three covers from the folk and calypso songbook.



"One of my favorite CD’s of the year so far....   Sweet rootsy calypso at its finest."  

Nicholas Jennings - music critic

"He has produced a gem."   Ken Stower - host, Global Rhythms, CIUT 89.5 FM, Toronto



“…as pleasurable as the accidental discovery of a forgotten 1961 Krug champagne in the wine cellar.”   

 David Farrell,



SHAK SHAK’s two leaders – Roger Gibbs and Chris Wilson – have served for

many years on the Board of the Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes (

OCPA) and five years ago founded and currently produce Calypso Stars,

a 3-hour concert that has for the past five years been Canada’s largest concert

of Canadian calypso and is presented by Harbourfront Centre’s Island Soul festival.

SHAK SHAK’s new CD “Shak Shak Party” was released in January 2017.