Debutante mas production team Paparazzi Carnival became the first mas band to launch a C2K13 presentation—Red Carpet—at the Queen’s Park Oval last Sunday. As a first-timer, the new band was able to attract quite a nice turnout with an assortment of socialites in attendance. As expected, the media were out in full to cover the event and were not disappointed when models displayed about a dozen costumes, designed by some young talented people, including Sandra Hordatt and Leasel Rovedas. For the display, music was provided by UK-import DJ Big Tunez, and live performances were by soca stars Chucky and Kees Dieffenthaller. Other bands expected to launch their C2K13 mas within the next month are Spice (tomorrow at Pier 1, Chaguaramas); Just Friends (on Sunday); Tribe (July 21 at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain); Harts International, Yuma, Island People and K2K Carnival.
Happy Birthday, Valentino
Last week Wednesday night, veteran calypsonian Brother Valentino (Emerold Phillip) celebrated his 71st birthday in fine style, surrounded by several of his colleagues, at De Nu Pub (The Mas Camp) in Woodbrook. Among the artistes coming out to join the rastafarian bard were Black Stalin, Twiggy, Brigo, Bally, Baron, Kenny J, Trinidad Rio, Contender, Doppy and Errol Ince. With Mervyn Telfer serving as show emcee, and with musical accompaniment by Cummings & D Wailers, patrons were richly entertained by calypsonians Soft Touch, Karega Mandela, Brother Mudada, Brother Resistance, Luta, Valentino and surprise guest artiste Jamaican-domiciled Lord Laro.
Stingy part-time lovers blank pan
Why don’t Trinis like to pay money to hear good live pan music? That was my question last Saturday night when Pantastic Steel Orchestra staged a fund-raising concert at Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars panyard, on Duke Street, Port-of-Spain, charged an admission fee of $50, and a handful of paying patrons turned up. The concert featured All Stars, BP Renegades and the host band, led by former All Stars pannist Johan Popwell. Compared to the two legendary East Dry River steel orchestras, Pantastic is an infant in the steelband family, being in existence just three years and based in Santa Cruz. The band opened proceedings. Renegades was up next and its repertoire included Afficionado, The Beatles’ Let It Be, a medley consisting of Kitchener’s The Carnival is Over and Sparrow’s Memories, Machel Montano’s Vibes Cyar Done, Prophet Benjamin’s People’s Champion and the band’s Pan in the 21st Century winning selection Pint of Wine. For its performance, All Stars chose selections like Sparrow’s Drunk & Disorderly, Melda and Doh Back Back, Procul Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale, Michael Jackson’s Save the World and Robbie Greenidge’s Paradise Garden. Pantastic rounded off a night of exquisite pan music, its set including Baila More and Benjai’s Trini.
Penny marks 35 years since big win
Congrats to Janelle “Penny” Commissiong Chow on the 35th anniversary of her winning the Miss Universe title in 1977 next Tuesday. Thirty-five years ago, it was in the 26th edition of the annual Miss Universe Pageant, held at the National Theater, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on July 16, that 24-year-old Penny conquered the world with her beauty. Not only did she earn T&T its first Miss Universe crown, but she was the first black woman to win the title.
51 turns 8 with high degree of fun
I always envisaged the age of 60 and retirement as the advent of days of leisure, and rest and relaxation. However, now that I have been reinstated, it seems that I am busier than when I served as features editor. Last weekend was definitely a hectic one. It began with my attending the eighth anniversary cocktail celebration of 51 degrees Lounge, on Cipriani Boulevard, in Port-of-Spain. It was a night of elegant suits and gowns as the red carpet was rolled out. Patrons were treated to drinks from Patron tequila, Yellow Tail wine to the new Absolut flavoured vodka. Kees Dieffenthaller performed after a thank-you speech by 51 Degrees chairman Elias Moses, and shareholders Roberta Sabga and Johnny Soong ceremoniously cut an anniversary cake. The occasion was a most enjoyable one and, in addition to the wide variety of premium drinks and exotic cocktails, guests were treated to a delectable cuisine, prepared by chef Peter Salvary. Among the specially-invited guests were Environment & Water Resources Minister Ganga Singh, Sports Minister Anil Roberts, Peter Elias, Theron Marquez, Rajiv Shandilya, Brandon Khan, Peter Lewis and the Scoon brothers of Grenada.