The islands are known for a style of music called ripsaw, a genre in which a handsaw is the primary instrument, often accompanied by guitar, accordion, drums and other percussion. Though the style has its roots going all the way back to the days of the slave trade, ripsaw music can still be heard all around Providenciales—and its influence can still be heard in some of the island’s most popular musical acts. One of the best loved modern musical pioneers is Lovey Forbes, who created a totally new genre, “combina,” that marries traditional ripsaw and contemporary foreign styles.Forbes and other local acts (also popular around the island are reggae, calypso and soca) can be heard in the annual Turks & Caicos Music and Cultural Festival alongside international headliners—the 2006 Festival, July 31 through August 7, features Ludacris and Fantasia, among others.
Two other performance venues are the Williams Auditorium, located on South Dock Rd. and home to events like The Cactus Slam Festival, and Brayton Hall off Leeward Highway, which often hosts events and shows sponsored by the Turks & Caicos Friends of the Arts Foundation.