Singer / songwriter 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, acclaimed musicologist Geraldine O’Connor, and Stella Award winning songwriter Sterling Gittens.
This progression culminated with him earning a BA in Theatre Arts from New York's Marymount College, jazz performance and musical theatre training from Musical Theatre Works Tony nominated director Lonny Price, and work with 'Rent' alumni, actress/ singer Fredi Walker-Browne. His focus for the last five years has been centered on his music career as a jazz fusion singer/ songwriter, and he is steadily making his mark felt on the performance circuit.
r’kardo has performed at New York’s own Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Cami Hall, LIU’s Kumble Theatre, funk poetry spot The Chocolate Monkey, The Village Underground, Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar, and the infamous Brooklyn Moon Café with his jazz fusion band ‘the rhapsodie collective’. In Trinidad, he staged his own showcases at the 51 Degrees Nightclub & La Casa de Ibiza, and headlined July 2009 ‘Jazz in July’ at Queen’s Hall with soul diva Cheryl ‘Pepsi’ Riley and March 2010 at Production One’s annual ‘Jazz Artistes on the Greens’ at the UWI campus, St. Augustine.
In November 2010, he co-produced and performed in the very well-received ‘Tambran Seed Sessions 2010’, a jazz/ pop/ Caribbean music semi-improv collaboration. July 2011 he produced and performed in ‘The Lady and the Tramp’ with fellow Trinidadian, jazz chanteuse Vaughnette Bigford at ART South Oxford Space in Brooklyn, and September self- produced and performed in ‘Mood Indigo – The magic of Nina Simone’ a dance/ live vocal/ improv collaborative homage to Nina Simone featuring a stellar cast including Karen Bernod, Fredi Walker-Browne, and choregrapher / singer Francesca Harper. His most recent performance achievement however was as a feature act in the 2014 Tobago Jazz Festival where he shared the stage with 2013's 'The Voice' winner Tessanne Chin and wowed a crowd of 15,000 patrons plus.
r’kardo admires greatly, and is constantly inspired by the work of Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Rachelle Ferrell, Lauryn Hill and calypsonians Lord Kitchener & David Michael Rudder.
"when I listen to this young man, shades of will downing, and larry graham shine through within his own unique style – he is a living cushion of sound."
– angela martin-hinds, entertainment columnist, the trinidad guardian, 1999
"a unique and powerful baritone vocal"
– lonny price, director, musical theatre works, NY, 2005
"never have I heard a male jazz vocalist perform an alanis morrisette song and make it sound like nina simone met will downing. AND use a steel pan for the orchestration. fabulous."
– stacey weekes-codrington, entertainment and society columnist, the brooklyn news, 2009
"st’von is a great song stylist, finding intriguing shadings in his lyrics"
- mark lyndersay, music and entertainment critic, trinidad guardian, 2010