Reigning 2012 National Chutney Soca Monarch KI continues to be a winner. The young JMC 3Veni lead vocalist was voted Chutney Soca Entertainer of the Year at last week’s International Reggae & World Music Awards, held in Chicago. Other winners included Rihanna, Pitbull and Marshal. On a roll with 3Veni, KI, who is currently on a US tour, turned in a superb performance last Saturday at the world famous Six Flags venue in New Jersey where some 2,000 cheering fans were in attendance. Also witnessing KI’s acclaimed performance was Arts & Multiculturalism Minister Dr Lincoln Douglas.
JMC 3Veni has made an indelible mark on the West Indian market, branding the Chutney Soca genre of music in places like North America, Barbados and Guyana. Before heading off for more performances at this year’s Caribana in Toronto, Canada, at the end of the month, KI and the band will perform in Antigua tonight. A humble, multi-talented artiste, KI continues to express gratitude to his fast-growing legion of fans, especially for their confidence in him, as well as his recording studio (MAHA). He says, “positivity and prayers are my motto,” and advises young, upcoming artistes that these watchwords are a sure formula to success. He also expressed thanks to his sponsors, inclusive of Carib, Caribbean Airlines, Angostura, bmobile and Brantec. The most played song for T&T C2K12, KI’s Single Forever was played more than 2,100 times on 23 radio stations. KI said he is eagerly looking forward to C2K13 and is promising to come with “plenty new ideas.” He is also excited to be back on the road for Carnival with Trini Revellers, the mas band 3Veni has played for since its inception.
Cooking in a rage
CAL Invaders makes the best potato salad and Mayaro makes the best curry crab and coconut dumplings. I found this out last weekend when I sat on judging panels on two consecutive evenings to select best dishes when Invaders hosted its pan cookout on Saturday, and the Tourism Development Company (TDC) staged its final Pot Spoon Turn Down cookoff in Mayaro on Sunday. The Invaders cookout was nothing short of sheer fun as chefs from four steel orchestras—LH Pan Groove, NSSO, BP Renegades, Invaders— tried to outdo each other, and achieve bragging rights for having the Best Potato Salad and Best Barbecue. In the end, Invaders was adjudged the Best Overall Team. However, the team that was the talking point was Renegades whose theme of Renegades Goes to the Olympics copped the Best Presentation Award. From laying down lanes on the ground leading to its counter, to affixing the Olympic rings atop its tent, a prize rostrum, a runner bringing in a lit ‘olympic torch’, to some originally named dishes, Renegades ran away from the competition,
Music and food come together
breasting the tape in fine style. A couple of Renegades’ dishes were colourfully named, Shot Pot-Ato Salad, with bell peppers creatively used as the shots, and Javelin Chicken. Attended by Tourism Minister Stephen Cadiz, Community Development Minister Winston “Gypsy” Peters, Minister of Science & Technology Dr Rupert Griffith, TDC chairman Rajiv Shandilya and Rio Claro/Mayaro Regional Corporation chairman Hazari Ramdeen, Sunday’s Pot Spoon Throw Down, at the Mayaro Recreation Grounds, was well attended, despite being threatened by a forecast of very inclement weather.
The day’s highlights included Demo Kitchens hosted by the winning national culinary team. Runners-up to Mayaro in the Seafood Throw Down Competition were Biche, Guaya and Rio Claro, respectively. Mayaro was also named People’s Choice champion. In all, the chefs of Mayaro won themselves $7,500. With Errol Fabien serving as the day’s host, guests being welcomed by the Mayaro Marching Band, and music by DJs Shammi and Phillo, live performances also came from Tony Prescott, calypsonians Surpriser and D Juba, pannist Brett Phillip, Dancing Shakti Sisters Co, Catherine Johnson Lewis, and Mayaro Folk Performers.
Exodus thrills Barbados crowd
Republic Bank Exodus Steel Orchestra thrilled a mammoth crowd last weekend in Barbados when the band performed at the Neal & Massy/Republic Bank Pan Pun de Sand event, held at Brandons Beach. The finale of the 2012 Crop Over Pan Weekend also saw calypsonians Red Plastic Bag and Black Stalin send the audience into a frenzy. Opening for the T&T stars were Bajan acts Pan Xtreme, Reddy Panners, Eastland AllStars and Mosaic. Intermittent showers through the day failed to keep thousands of pan starved Barbadians from the popular and scenic venue as most patrons walked with their umbrellas, standing in rain to cheer on Exodus. At the end of it all, event producer Karen Pestaina told The Barbados Advocate she was most pleased with the audience, and was particularly enthused by the performances of Exodus and Black Stalin.
Just Friends go on Broadway
Folks who attended last Sunday’s launch of Just Friends C2K13 presentation—Broadway—all left the St James venue satisfied and with one unison on their lips, “we are playing mas with this band next year.” In all, eight sections, including My Fair Lady, Gypsy, Cabaret and Hair, were modelled. Describing the band as “a fun band, for all ages,” committee member Annmarie Placide said Just Friends, which is a mere four years old, “is an infectious, inexpensive and addictive experience for any masquerader.” She added: “We provide the masquerader with an easy to wear costume that is quite attractive, and we cater for all, for the young to the not so young; not to mention we have the best music on the road.” Aside from placing in this year’s Band of the Day competitions, Just Friends also copped the band of the Year (Medium) title with its presentation of What Happens in Vegas... Other committee members of Just Friends are Earl Crosby, Dune Ali and Chris Humphrey. The band’s designing team includes Janelle Greaves, Marion George and Devon Jerome.