Like Roy Cape All Stars, JMC 3Veni continues to be a staple in Carnival road music. Originally an East Indian music aggregation, 3Veni now straddles all genres of music, excelling in soca and chutney soca, providing music on the road for mas band Trini Revellers for the past 12 years. Lead vocalist for the band Kris Veeshal “KI” Persad is the 2012 National Chutney Soca Monarch. JMC 3Veni was founded in 1977, as a local East Indian oriented band. Initially the band brought East-Indian culture to the forefront, playing East Indian music focusing on film songs, playback etc. Within a few years of existence, JMC 3Veni (then known as Triveni) had captivated the hearts of many Indo-Trinidadians with their music. The band had successfully brought to the larger audience of T&T a vibrant and captivating brand of East Indian music, capable of standing its ground on stages with other bands in the country focused more on Soca or Calypso; sometimes even captivating their audiences more than the conventional music bands of that time.
The year 1987 was a major turning point for the band, as, for the first time, the aggregation ventured into the soca/calypso arena, as Triveni Brass having conquered the East-Indian audience. Triveni Brass was hired to play on the road for Carnival mas band Rabs Immortal and was awarded second best sounding band for that year. It was then and there, the band was dubbed the premier “crossover” band in the country, becoming the band of choice for many popular mas bands, including Showcase, Raoul Garib, Max Awon, D’ Midas and Associates, and for the past 12 years, three-time Band of the Year winners Trini Revellers. In 1993, the band partnered with JMC Entertainment (Mohan Jaikaran) out of New York City, under the leadership of master musician/keyboardist Veerendra Persad, becoming JMC Triveni. Persad has since then lead the band to its current success, working diligently to promote the nation’s music and culture internationally over the past years. Seven years ago, Persad had reinvented the band’s image once again, changing the spelling of its name to 3Veni.
Travelling to North America, South America, the Caribbean and Europe annually, the band managed to attain many merits to its name, including:
• Sunshine Award winners, four consecutive years
• Indo Caribbean & TnT Awards, three consecutive years
• Awards at the 103 Fm Annual Hall of Fame
• “Best Crossover Band,” The International Soca Awards at the Apollo Centre, New York
• Crossover Song of the Year 2006—Doi Festival—The Cott Awards, Trinidad
• The opportunity to perform for former New York mayor Rudolf Juliani, four consecutive years
• Six-time winner of the Best Sounding Band, Downtown Carnival award, including 2012
• Crossover Band Of The Year—International Chutney Music Awards 2010—NAPA, Port-of-Spain
Although being a premier band for many of the Carnival fetes and all-inclusive parties JMC 3Veni plays a major role in all of the Chutney Soca events throughout the season, including The Chutney Soca Monarch, Chutney Glow, Chutney Brass, etc. As T&T celebrated 50 years of Independence last month, the band was invited to perform at many major events, including Government’s official celebration party—Journey to Jubilee—at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Of great notice is main frontliner KI (Kris Veeshal Persad) who is a most talented, effervescent, and promising crossover artiste, and who has proved that he can compete with the best in the Soca and Chutney business. His professional and affable demeanor, as well as his ability to blend his talents as a band leader, musician and singer providing top class entertainment, certainly is an inspiration to young people and to those up-and-coming artistes. Son of Trinidad’s established keyboardist, band leader, ands producer Veerendra Persad, KI began his entertainment career as a keyboardist at the tender at age seven. He competed and won the very first Children of Mastana competition and shortly thereafter migrated to Canada where he spent his formative years concentrating on his academics and studying music. KI continued to display his commitment and dedication to the band and was given the opportunity to be lead musician and producer for JMC 3Veni. He used this experience to produce the band’s last five albums, and collaborated with Madmen Productions in producing the massive hit—In Front Of Meh—by Umi Marcano, formally of Machel Montano’s HD.
Entering the Chutney Soca Monarch for the first time in 2010, KI placed fourth with the successful hit Catch Meh Lovah (Sunita & Nadia). Last year, his scintillating performance at the 2011 Chutney Soca Monarch Competition saw him place third with his song “No More Rum Again,” accumulating over 10,000 votes. He has since then been a much sought after crossover artiste at major festivals/carnivals worldwide. 2011 has proven to be a record-breaking year for KI, as he was asked to be the opening act for Machel Montano’s Return Concert in Manhattan, New York. He thus, became the first ever local crossover artist to perform at the world-renowned Madison Square Garden alongside his band JMC 3Veni. In 2012, KI went on to win the competition, becoming the youngest ever Chutney Soca Monarch, with his massive hit single Single Forever. He was crowned as he earned over 36,000 votes in a text-to-win system. In this same year, he has already been awarded Chutney Soca Artiste of the Year (IRAWMA); Song of the Year; Entertainer of the Year at the Chutney Soca Awards; and, an award for Chutney Soca presented by NJAC, endorsed by President George Maxwell Richards. Upon concluding a successful C2K12 season, KI has been touring the world with his band, once again performing in the major carnivals around the world.