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Tuco to produce Dimanche Gras 2014
The Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (Tuco) has been given the responsibility for producing the 2014 Dimanche Gras Show to be staged on Carnival Sunday night at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain. The announcement was made when the organisation’s 2014 plans for Carnival were outlined by its marketing manager Kenneth Phillips, at a media launch at Jaffa Restaurant at the Queen’s Park Oval, Woodbrook, on Thursday evening.
This year Dimanche Gras will return to its original format, he said, with finals of the National Calypso Monarch and Carnival King and Queen of the Bands competitions contested on the programme, after being staged as separate events last year. Without the competition element, with a production staff of 58 people, and a budget of a reported $3 million, Dimanche Gras 2013 was, nevertheless, a miserable failure.
“I can promise that after viewing what we have planned for Dimanche Gras this year, people are going to say ‘Wow’,” contended Phillips. TUCO is celebrating 100 years of vocal calypso recording this year, a theme that will be at the forefront of all its Carnival events, said Phillips. Calypso Fiesta, the semifinal of the National Calypso Monarch Competition, staged annually at Skinner Park, San Fernando, will see an innovation, with the establishment of “corporate tents” at the venue.
“We have changed our marketing strategies, and can now offer different packages to our various clients. “But patrons can rest assured that this addition will not in any way be a hindrance that will affect their enjoyment of the occasion,” said Phillips.
President of Tuco Lutalo Masimba (Brother Resistance), in an emotional address, said in spite of the fact that 100 years had passed since the first vocal recording of a calypso, exponents of the art form were still experiencing very great difficulty in having their recorded work aired, fairly, across the majority of the nation’s many radio frequencies. “Without any help from the State, it is conservatively estimated that collectively, calypsonians invest about $15 million to make music for Carnival every year.
“It is our view that the Government has a responsibility to protect this huge investment in the economy by ensuring calypso music is given an equal place in the market place. Until this is done, TUCO will continue to call for legislation that will demand a fair percentage of local music is played on local radio stations,” he said.