A society that does not safeguard its children devours its future. And, in T&T, children are dying at an unacceptably high rate.
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Trinidad All Stars jammin’ still
I thought I would get some rest after Carnival but that has turned out to be wishful thinking. On Thursday night I attended Albert Bailey’s announcement that his brother’s spirit in mas will be invoked for Carnival 2018 in the form of the Bailey Dynasty mas band. The band will be based at the historic Bailey residence on Buller Street, Woodbrook.
Friday night saw me doing a double shift at the media launch of Vaughnette Bigford’s first ever CD–Born to Shine–at Kaiso Blues Cafe, followed by Massy Trinidad All Stars’ National Panorama victory celebration at its legendary Duke Street pan complex.
On Saturday it was off to Pasea, Tunapuna, for Baron’s 70th birthday thanksgiving.
Certainly a welcome return to Carnival, Bailey Dynasty intends continuing the splendour and pageantry left by mas icon George Bailey. Now with Lee Ann Bailey at its helm, the band will be portraying A Journey Down the Nile. Though without legs and in a wheelchair, Albert Bailey is all chipper and excited about the mas and promised that the presentation will have attractive costumes “for all ages, shapes and sizes.”
Lee Ann Bailey, Albert’s daughter, also seized the opportunity to celebrate her 26th wedding anniversary last week Thursday.
A Journey Down the Nile will compete in the small band category in the Band of the Year competition. Bailey said he intends taking small steps as a prelude to the band’s planned “epic” for Carnival 2019 – Africa.
The All Stars celebration was a blast, attended by a mammoth horde of past and present Pan Trinbago executive members, members from other steelbands and thousands of pan lovers. The band’s full Panorama complement performed Ultimate Rejects’ Full Extreme, All Stars winning selection. Also creating much exhuberance on the night were guest artistes Kees Dieffenthaller and The A Team Band, featuring Eddie Charles.
However, the night’s piece de resistance was the surprise performance of world renowned Barnadian saxophonist Arturo Tappin. Accompanied by All Stars frontline player Dane Gulston and other musicians, he sent the crowd into a frenzy when he played Full Extreme on his jewel-encrusted instrument.
Carnival 2017 was not just a victorious year for All Stars in the National Panorama competition, as the band also placed first in the Carnival Monday Band of the Day competition; placed fifth in the Large Band of the Year contest; and came fourth in Pan Trinbago Northern Region’s J’Ouvert Bomb competition.
Baron’s 70th birthday celebration was also an unforgettable experience. Held at manager Sherma Orr’s Tunapuna residence, and with Kenny J serving as host and extempore by Black Sage, the gathering assumed the appearance of a who’s who in calypso. No fewer than five national calypso monarchs were there, including Cro Cro, Sugar Aloes, Duanne O’Connor, Karene Asche and Devon Seale. Also seen were 2017 monarch finalist Heather Mac Intosh, her father Short Pants, Tuco president Lutalo “Brother Resistance” Masimba, former police commissioner Everard Snaggs, Spektakula Promotions’ Frank Martinea and Lennox Toussaint, musicians Carl “Beaver” Henderson and Vincent Rivers, and radio personalities George Gonzales and Errol Fabien. Also present were well known panmen including Tunapuna All Stars leader Eshwarlal Sam Rajitsingh and Keither St Cyr.
Steelband invades Tennessee
CAL Invaders Steel Orchestra will be leaving the shores of Trinidad for three weeks to perform at the Nation of Festivals Show in Dollywood Park, Pigeon Forte in Tennessee. The Invaders performance runs from tomorrow, March 18, to April 19.
The ensemble of ten players, led by music coordinator Desiree Myers, consists of Richard Benthum, Natalie Baptiste and Anthony Phillip (tenor); Myles Paynter and Toni Williams (double seconds); Elroy Baptiste (guitar) Glenda Boney and Nigel Gonzales (Bass); and Timon Valentine (drums). Toni Williams will also double as the band’s vocalist.
Myers prepared a diverse repertoire with musical compositions ranging from popular gospel selections such as Hallelujah Chorus and How Great Thou Art, to classical selections such as the Tennessee Waltz and William Tell Overture. Included in the repertoire were popular calypso, R&B and reggae pieces. “The repertoire was designed to showcase the versatility of the instruments and to engage the audience by performing selections that are well known to them,” said Myers.
Invaders’ peformance at the Nation of Festivals Show is a popular one, which not only entertains people there but also promotes steelpan and helps market T&T.
The Festival of Nations features traditional music, dance and food from nations around the globe. There will be performances from many places, including Africa, Poland, Ecuador, Bolivia, Ireland, Sweden and Scotland. Interested people can view the Festival of Nations website for more information.
More of Panorama on CD
This year’s exciting steelbands’ performances at the National Panorama Medium and Large Conventional Finals are captured “live” on DVD and Flash Drive.
The 2017 production is a collaborative venture between Pan Trinbago Inc and WACK 90.1FM and KMP Music,
Aptly titled Transformation in Steel, the products are designed to cater to a wider cross section of the public. According to the producer, the Flash Drive is in HD 1080P.
The DVD (a double disc set), a collector’s item of one the most memorable Panorama competitions in history of the event, is available on digital format. Music lovers at home, abroad and those who want a souvenir of national instrument at its best will not be disappointed.
Disc 1 features 11 Large Bands while Disc 2 comprises ten Medium Bands as they appeared at the National Panorama Grand Finals at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
The DVD is priced at $300. and the Flash Drive is $400.
Both the DVD and Flash Drive are being sold at most of the major music stores i.e. The M Store, Piarco International Airport; Cleve’s One Stop Music Shop, Frederick Street; Crosby’s Music Centre, Western Main Road, St James; WACK 90.1FM, Coffee Street, San Fernando; and, at Pan Trinbago Head Office, Victoria Park Suites, Park Street, Port-of-Spain.
NCC prizes on Sunday
The National Carnival Commission of T&T will host the Carnival 2017 prize-giving ceremony for mas, pan and calypso on Sunday, March 19, at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, at 6 pm. For more information, call 737-2282 or 788-1833.