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Festival of mas bands continues

Thursday, July 13, 2017

No one seems to be thinking of Christmas or the festive moments until the end of this year as the attendance continues to be huge at mas band launchings which seem to be scheduled for every weekend. Last Friday, Harts Carnival blocked off Alcazar Street in St Clair to launch its Shimmer & Lace. The street was filled with young mas aspirants, as well as Harts regulars, most armed with their coolers and drinks carts, usually seen on the street on carnival day in this band.

On Saturday, it was the turn of Paparazzi Carnival, led by Tracey Andre, to unveil Nomadik Nation at the Richmond Plaza, opposite the Hyatt Regency on Wrightson Road. The band will comprise 11 sections and some of the people involved in designing sections are reigning King of Carnival Ted Eustace, petite soca artiste Lil Bits (Shivonne Churche), Alejandro Gomez, Afiya Bishop and Karlene de Leon. In addition to the DJ music, Saturday’s launch was also served with a live performance by Nialah Blackman.

Paparazzi Carnival will officially open its mas camp this evening at 24 Cornelio Street, Woodbrook at 5 pm with an after work lime. Harts is also opening its mas camp on Monday for viewing, with a tentative later date to begin registration. Another band seeking to catch the early worm with its camp up and running is Jus Wee & Friends, its camp located at Newbury Extension, Glencoe.

The early vibes of Carnival 2018 continue tomorrow evening when Tribe/Bliss/Lost Tribe launches Festival of Bands at St Mary’s College Grounds in St Clair. The Bliss presentation is titled Dolce Vita, while Lost Tribe’s is 7.

Speaking with Pulse this week, Tribe Carnival marketing representative Aaron Fingal said: “This year we have chosen a new venue, new time and new concept. In the past we launched our band at the paddock area of the Savannah and would begin later at night, at 10 pm. Among the new designers of this triumvirate in mas are Toby & Shoma, Chandra Maharaj and Shawn Danraj.”

Fingal added: “This year, based on the theme ‘Festival of the Bands’, means that we are pushing a more festival-inspired vibe through the three bands; inspired by the popular music festivals around the world.

“When patrons enter the venue they would be greeted by a festival village. Before even getting to the actual main stage area, they will have to walk through the village which will have a variety of ethnic and geographic stalls with a dizzying array of attractions.”

Waiting in the wings to launch presentations as well are mas bands like Legends, Yuma, Kalicharan Carnival, Entourage Productions, Lionel Jagessar & Associates, K2K Mas, We Krewe Carnival, Mas Passion, Fantasy, Trini Revellers and Wee International. Fantasy has red-circled next week Saturday for its launch.


Laventille Rhythm Section is hosting its Third Annual Sports & Family Day on Sunday, July 30, at Erica Street Recreational Grounds, Success Village, Laventille.

The sports segment is scheduled to begin at 10 am with a Dance Past and several athletic events throughout the day.

The family segment will also be ongoing during the day with fun activities for the children and All Fours & Draughts tournaments for the adults. These activities will end at 5 pm to promote the live entertainment until 7.40 pm.


Calypso legend Baron will join Alicia Jaggasar for a special repeat performance of La Casa de Fusión, tomorrow night, at Kaiso Blues Café, Woodford Street, Newtown, at 8 pm.

Baron, real name Timothy Watkins, will join Jaggasar on stage for a series of Latin infused interpretations of some of his classic calypso offerings.

“It will be a true honour to welcome a living legend like Baron to our stage and have him not just endorse our fusion music, but actively take part in the creative process. I’m really looking forward to it and I know there is already a great excitement from our fan base to hear what we put together,” said Jaggasar of the collaboration.

Musical director pianist Jeanine Ruiz leads an all-star cast of musicians signed up for the event including Los Alumnos leader and pan player Wayne Jagdeo, guitarist Miguel Charles, drummer Claude Griffith, percussionist Allan Abraham, bassist Nicholas Jaggasar, Michael Jaggasar on congas and singers Lauren Birot-Burkette and Leiselle John Clarke.

Jaggasar added: “We had a wonderful time at the debut and our entire team is really looking forward to an even more memorable finale this weekend. It is definitely going to be once in a lifetime experience.”

Log on to Alicia Jaggasar across all social media platforms for more information on the La Casa de Fusión concert series or call 338-4452 for tickets.


Once a hottie on the soca stage, gospel artiste Michelle Sylvester has released her brand new single, Hold Meh.

The groovy gospel soca single is expertly executed as only the former “Groovy Soca Monarch turned gospel artiste” can deliver.

Back in the day Sylvester rocked the parties and airwaves with hits like Dip Down Low, performed with Terry Seales, Go Ahead and Sleeping In Your Bed. She was the first female to win the Groovy Soca Monarch title, doing so in 2005.

Sylvester has shone with many top soca bands including Sound Revolution, KV Charles & Insight, Rukshun, Horyzon and Triple X with Eddie Charles.

Ten years ago she told the Guardian: “For me, music is a mission not a competition, I’m going out there to do my best and God’s willing, I’ll be successful. I’m comfortable and going forward.”

A song that speaks of the love of God and a plea to her Saviour to hold her close, Sylvester’s dynamic range and smooth vocals makes you want to listen to Hold Meh over and over again.

Just a few months ago Sylvester released the hit single We Say with her friend and “sista” Nehilet Blackman but Hold Meh is her first single for 2017.

Written by Sylvester and produced by J Lab Productions, Caribbean Gospel Music has a new hit on its hands.


Sasha gets her prize


The National Women’s Action Committee (NWAC) will hold the prize-giving ceremony for the 2017 National Calypso Queen competition on Sunday, at 5 pm, at the Nalis AV Room, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain. On February 13, a new National Calypso Queen was crowned. At a heated final at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, Sasha Ann Moses emerged victorious with a song titled The Main Witness. All finalists will be awarded at the ceremony.

NWAC has produced the National Calypso Queen Competition since 1985. Through a series of discussions, lectures and workshops hosted by NWAC, the female practitioners of T&T’s indigenous art form have enjoyed a greatly enhanced status. A larger number of women have now found their calling as calypsonians.

For further information, call 623-5470, or email [email protected]


Rhythm and family in Laventille Baron brings Spanish Woman to La Casa de Fusion From soca to gospel


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