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Badjohn makes bacchanal at Kaiso at High Noon
Toronto-based calypso archivist George D Maharaj has to seriously consider a bigger venue for Kaiso at High Noon 2014.
The annual after-Carnival ritual, which is really a big lime where people walk with food and drinks and gather at his San Fernando home for six hours of non-stop calypso, has, without doubt, outgrown its venue.
Now in its sixth year, the kaiso event was dedicated to regular entertainers Squibby and Clyde Pierre, who both passed earlier this year.
“The objective is mainly to promote the art form of calypso in a non-formal relaxed backyard atmosphere. This event is always on the Sunday after Carnival and admission is free for people who appreciate calypso,” Maharaj explained.
More than 200 people from across the country and even the globe were on hand on February 17, when Maharaj invited artistes to bring their music and come.
Come they did, from the unknown to the internationally acclaimed; among them chutney queen Drupatee, calypsonians Ras Kommanda, Kurt Allen, Brian London, Lady Africa, Black Sage, Abebele, Hezekiah Joseph, the last four representing extempore, Lady Gypsy, Royal Benjai, the Juiceman (Toronto), Doppy, Tunapuna Scanty, Hamidullah, MBA, Contender, Swami, Malcolm, Louis Delmas, ace pannists Lennox Bobby Mohammed and Cayman Islands-based Earl La Pierre Sr, The Pianoman, Boyie and the Tin Can Orchestra, The Englishman (Trevor Nevette from England) and R&B singer Neal Lalgee.
In the laissez-faire atmosphere, members of the audience kicked back and relaxed as they savoured the lyrical content of the 2013 compositions, which, in the midst of the madness and the bacchanal, may have taken second place to the rhythm of a selective few.
And while Kurt Allen may have missed out on the 2013 National Calypso Monarch title, he gained the People’s Choice award that evening.
The last Badjohn, as Allen has named himself, had the very prominent audience, consisting of politicians, attorneys, businessmen, historians, sporting personalities, mas makers, absorbing his every word and nuances as he waded into the politics of the day and paid tribute to the Black Stalin.
So, too, Ras Kommanda, who delved into the absurd, while evoking a response of “Yeah boy, yeah!” from the audience with his assumptions and statements (of fact and fiction).
The audience included former government minister Diane Seukeran, Dr Stuart Millar, Dr Anthony Elias, Dr Utam Maharaj, Ramco’s Azard Rahaman, TCL’s Satnarine Bachoo, Alaskan judge and calypso historian Ray Funk, guitarist Lennox Saunders, Caribueno Fuego musicians David and Derrick Winchester, attorneys Steadson Jack, Ainsley Lucky, former San Fernando mayor Ian Atherly, Robert Meyers, Cayman Islands calypso archivist Gaston Maloney, steelpan archivist Noel Murray and steelpan collector John Schmidt of New York, Chicago radio DJ Mike Sears and national cricket selector Roland Sampath.
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