My last day in Glasgow dawned damp and iron grey, but my fellow Trading Tales writer Diana McCaulay and I were undaunted by the promise of rain. We set off for the riverside...
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Big Apple treat for mothers
Sunday is Mother’s Day and a special calypso gift is planned for moms in the New York and tri-state areas at tomorrow night’s Mother We Love You Concert, to be held at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College.
The bill, led by The Mighty Sparrow, will also include Calypso Rose, reigning National Calypso Monarch Chucky, Singing Sandra, Shadow, Lyrikal, King Short Shirt, Tony Ricardo, Young Devyn, Susan Kennedy and the Jamaican Braata Jamaica Singers. This show is being staged by Everybodys Caribbean, the flagship entertainment magazine in New York.
The Mighty Sparrow, internationally recognised as the Calypso King of the World and credited for popularising the annual Mother’s Day Concert in New York City, said: “It’s a pleasure to be back on the big Mother’s Day Saturday Concert stage. I am getting stronger and stronger. I did a show in Brooklyn last weekend. I want fans to know that The Sparrow appreciates your prayers during my illness and recovery. I intend giving them my best on Saturday. After Mother’s Day I am doing another show in Miami.”
In 2012, Chucky won the Lord Brynner Calypso Monarch commemorating T&T’s 50th anniversary of Independence and this year, the National Calypso Monarch. This young, talented artiste continues to display prowess and dynamism in soca and calypso. Only 26 years, yet during the last seven years, Chucky appeared four times in the National Calypso Monarch and five times in the International Groovy Soca Monarch competitions.
About his appearance, Shadow said in a recent interview: “It is a concert I love very much and love singing to moms.” Shadow has won the Road March, International Soca Monarch and National Calypso Monarch competitions.
Lyrikal, who had a bumper 2014 Carnival with his popular single Conquer Mih, said: “What an honour to entertain my mother and other mothers at the concert and what a joy to be billed with such Caribbean icons as Tony Ricardo, Shadow and Sparrow.”
This year’s show is especially special to Lyrikal as his mother has been a regular patron at the event each year. This year her son is one of the concert’s star attractions. What a thrill for mother and son.
“It’s always exciting to perform at the traditional Mother’s Day Saturday Concert at Brooklyn College,” said two-time National Calypso Monarch Singing Sandra.
The first woman to win the two highest titles in calypso—the Road March and National Calypso Monarch—Calypso Rose is one of hardest working artistes on the Caribbean scene. Her latest tour included performances in China, Japan and Poland.
Young Devyn is a 12-year-old child prodigy who has been performing since five. She has already graced the same stage with Beres Hammond, Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, Beenie Man and Movado. Born in Brooklyn, NY, of Trinidadian parentage, Young Devyn says, “If this music thing doesn’t work out for me I’m going to be the first African-American woman president of the US.”
King Short Shirt, one of the Caribbean’s best entertainers is now Sir McLean Emanuel. The knighthood was bestowed upon him by the nation of Antigua and Barbuda for his vast contributions to the promotion of calypso and his native Antigua.
Though one of Guyana’s most thrilling entertainers, many calypso fans associate Tony Ricardo with Trinidad, where, for many years, he performed with the famed Trinidad Troubadours. Ricardo is expected to make every mother happy when he sings Mother, We Love You. He may even collaborate with Sparrow on one of his classics.
Braata Jamaica Folk Singers is one of the Caribbean’s leading performing arts ensembles in the Big Apple. Fans and those who are bringing their mom, grandma, wife and sweetheart can expect the group to take them back in time to hear the songs of Lord Kitchener, the Roaring Lion, Bob Marley and Harry Belafonte.
The Sunshine Orchestra is providing the music for the nine veterans and emerging superstars on the star-studded bill.
In one of the production’s highlights, five Caribbean-American mothers (Vena W Baker of Panama; Denise Donaldson of Grenada; Brenda Harris Ephraim of Antigua and Barbuda; Janet Logan of Jamaica; and Gloria Smith of Panama) will be saluted.
My sweet-and-sour weekend
My weekend was going great until I returned home from the steelband parade at Point Fortin Borough Day Celebrations at 3 am on Sunday morning and a friend called to inform me that attorney Dana Seetahal had been “executed” hours earlier in Woodbrook. Whatever sleep I was feeling automatically vanished as I sat up in bed, in shock and in doubt. I began calling around and my worse fears were confirmed an hour later.
The Dana Seetahal I knew was very supportive of artistes and appreciated everything that was culturally T&T. She was a very generous person who donated regularly to charitable causes, and was also very amiable, readily offering advice and assistance to anyone who approached her. Physical fitness and healthy eating were also high up on her agenda. Pulse extends condolences to Seetahal’s family and her colleagues in the legal fraternity.
Seetahal was cremated yesterday but her former Bishop Anstey High School (BAHS) colleagues and friends are planning a one-hour requiem service for her on May 17, at 10 am, at All Saints Anglican Church, Marli Street, Newtown. The girls are trying to have Bishop Berkeley officiate as celebrant. The requiem’s programme will include selected/relevant music by The Lydians and BAHS choir. A homily by a family member and maybe one to three expressions by schoolmates of Seetahal would add the appropriate lustre. The collection will be donated to another BAHS alumni to assist in paying off her medical bills.
Saturday’s pan parade in Point Fortin was an incident-free and well organised event that started just after sunset with the appearance of Jah Roots. Followed by Solo Harmonites and NGC Couva Joylanders, the main road quickly became ignited musically with Republic Bank Exodus’ interpretation of Farmer Nappy’s Big People Party. The popular St Augustine band, led by Ainsworth Mohammed, also played Sugar Bum Bum, Electric Slide and Merchant’s Umbayayo. BPTT Renegades attracted a large following, especially when the Charlotte Street band brought back memories with its arrangement of The Statue, Soca Salsa and a retro Kitchener medley. Witco Desperadoes followed, thrilling with its 1989 selection of Baron’s Somebody, NLCB Buccooneers, Redemption Sound Setters, Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove and Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars.
Saturday night’s experiences are indelibly memorable though for completely opposite and different reasons, making it a truly sweet-and-sour weekend.