A qualified apology by Minister of State in the Ministry of the People, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, over comments she made about People’s National Movement (PNM) leader Dr Keith Rowley has failed to q
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A night with the Stars
Celebrating calypso royalty
Despite the continuing World Cup excitement and frenzy, the weekend past had its fair share of cultural activity. Another edition of the annual Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition Folk Fair was staged at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, attracting a huge turn-out.
However, the premier live entertainment event was Valentino@73—The Concert, held on Sunday evening, at UWI’s Daaga Auditorium, St Augustine.
Celebrating a milestone 73rd birthday last Monday, “the People’s Calypsonian” was celebrated by The Legacy Concert Series with a sold-out audience in attendance. Acclaimed as one of the most profound calypsonians since T&T’s Independence in 1962, Bro Valentino has won just one “official” monarch title, achieving this in 2005 as the Veterans Calypso Monarch.
There were several noteworthy highlights of Valentino’s concert, including performances by his children and the cast of renowned calypsonians and artistes of other genres who rendered some of his classic compositions.
For instance, jazz diva Vaughnette Bigford was on the billing, as well as Fyzabad Connection Drama Group, Suite Chorale, Elements Dance Company, Cyril Hunte, Ricky Phillip, Sancha Scipio, Aneka Collins and Joel Phillip.
The star-studded roster included past monarchs Black Stalin and King Luta; 2014 National Extempore Monarch Brian London; 2014 Junior Calypso Monarch Ronaldo London; Talkalypso Monarch Shortpants; Marvellous Marva; Eunice Peters; Heather MacIntosh; Lady Adanna; Ras Kommanda; Abebele; Bro Lasana; Soft Touch; Mighty Diamond and Young Creole.
The celebration of calypso royalty continued through this week as last Wednesday Sparrow headlined his birthday concert at De Nu Pub (The Mas Camp) in Woodbrook. Sharing the spotlight were former monarchs Chalkdust, Black Stalin and Baron.
Speaking on the eve of his 79th birthday (July 9), an upbeat Sparrow said: “While I am here in Trinidad, my fans can expect memorable performances. I am standing a little stronger and my voice is also a little bit stronger. I am trying to dance a little more, but I am not very successful in the effort. I may stand up though and give them a little wine for 79.
“God is not my godfather, step father or my uncle. He is my father; that’s why I have always called him ‘Father God’. Even when I was a little bit ‘naughty’ he saw me through it. I feel so blessed to have attained this ripe age.”
Sparrow’s birthday celebrations continue this evening when Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) and Rudy Ottley’s Divas Cabaret International premiere Happy Birthday Birdie Mighty Sparrow, Up Close & Personal at Little Carib Theatre, Woodbrook, at 8.30 pm.
The cast includes Black Stalin, Karen Eccles, Kerice Pascal, Dilena Diamond and MC Jillian. This production will be reprised tomorrow evening, at 8 pm, at Naparima Bowl, San Fernando.
A must-attend event this weekend is tomorrow’s A Night with the Stars II, a fund-raiser for the Guardian Neediest Cases Fund being staged at the well-appointed PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars pan theatre on Tragarete Road, Newtown.
Last year’s inaugural staging of this event was lauded as “very successful” and featured top-drawer artistes like former Road March champion JW & Blaze, Chutney Soca monarch Rikki Jai and Ninja.
Also making the night a memorable one were 105.1FM morning men Errol Fabien and George Gonzales. Organisers expect this year’s show to be event better. There will be secure parking at Tatil, Maraval Road with a free shuttle service to and from the show’s venue.
The promoters of tomorrow night’s Calypso Convention production present some of the most controversial and exciting calypsonians, including calypso monarchs, peoples champions and more.
From 8 pm, at Lord Kitchener Auditorium, Napa, Port-of-Spain, patrons are promised some of most entertaining acts, headed by four-time monarch Cro Cro; 2013 Calypso Monarch Pink Panther; five-time monarch Black Stalin; and, Cardinal, together with other superstars of calypso.
At least two of the bards—Cro Cro, Pink Panther and Cardinal—say they have some hot new bombshells to drop.
Emcee duties will be handled by Tommy Joseph and Sprangalang.
Tropix Entertainment presents sweet reggae
Sweet reggae music is also on the entertainment agenda with Tropix Entertainment and Rickel Services Ltd staging Forever Summer tomorrow at Jean Pierre Complex, Port-of-Spain, at 8 pm. The cast includes reggae standouts Romain Virgo, Tarrus Riley, Bushman, Loyal Flames and Ziggy Rankin.
Tonight there’s a musical mix at the Lord Kitchener Auditorium, National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), Port-of-Spain, when iHeart T&T: Vox Populi is staged at 8 pm. Serving up the musical pot pourri will be Mr Shak, Jayron “Rawkus” Remy, Lord Relator, Chromatics and spoken-word group 2cents Movement.
The Carnival 2015 mas will be showcased tomorrow night with two band launchings. Passion is launching Neverland at O2 Park in Chaguaramas and D’Krewe is going to the far east, at Holiday Ranch, Toco Road, Valencia By Pass, Valencia, to launch The Village.
There are also goodies for the those who wish to be laid back on Sunday evening when, at 6 pm, Trinity All Generations Steel & School of the Arts will stage its Gala 20th anniversary July Concert, Central Bank Auditorium, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain. This is being held under the patronage of Anglican Bishop Rev Claude Berkley.
Pan Trinbago Northern Region hosts events in July
The Northern Region of Pan Trinbago Inc will be holding two events this month. The first is this evening, at the Food Court, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain. Pan on the Food Court is the second in the initiative to provide steelpan music to patrons at the Savannah food court as they savour the various “street foods”. Scorpion Pan Reflection and Pandemonium Steel Orchestras will entertain between 7.30 pm and 10 pm. Admission is free.
The other is the Annual 1 2 3 Plus Concert on July 18, at 8 pm, at the Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove Theatre, Hamilton Street, Woodbrook. Featured bands include Witco Desperadoes, bpTT Renegades and host band Phase II. Admission is $50 and patrons are asked to bring their coolers and lounge chairs.
These events, in addition to being fund-raisers, are being organised to bring audiences to hear the music in activities not usually associated with steelbands.