In 1976 a Trinidadian in the USA, with an eye on returning home and working for the government, decided to apply to do a Masters in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
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Scintillating Sando Alive
San Fernando City Auditorium was overflowing with talented calypsonians on November 19 as Kaiso Showkase, in collaboration with the City of San Fernando, presented Sando Alive. Patrons were treated to three hours full of passionate and memorable performances. The Sunday-evening cast gave credence to Mayor Junia Regrello’s vision of developing San Fernando through its cultural and creative industries.
In a brief address, he said highly paid creators such as pan tuners were in demand worldwide. With over 300 steelbands functioning in the US alone there was too much work for the few tuners available. He said the students, in schools he has visited, were only considering traditional careers and professions.
The show got off to a lively start with Ras Kommanda (Steve Pascall) warming up the crowd appropriately with Sando Alive. San Fernando celebrated its 29th anniversary as a city on Saturday, November 18.
Ras took time off from his duties as chairman of Tuco South Central Zone and PRO of Tuco to show his support and lend his talent to City Celebrations. Out of a cast of 18 singers,11 were women and most of the singers were from San Fernando or South Trinidad.
Lady Adanna, in eye-catching ensemble of purple and pink silk and pink turban commanded the stage with her poise and awe inspiring version of GB’s Calypso Rising and was equally brilliant when she sang the poignant Are You Ready For The Truth.
Curlissa Charles, a bank employee by day, encouraged the audience to ponder on T&T’s place in the world with her powerful rendition of Beyond the Boundary. Charles recently won the Best Village Calypso Competition.
Patricia Smith had the audience smiling and mimicking her hand movements with her catchy soca parang Swimming to Tobago for Christmas. Patricia performs with the community-based Central Rainbow Stars Tent.
Firebrand Lady Gypsy, wearing a striking butterfly patterned kaftan, navy leggings and gold trimmed navy boots, took control of the stage and had everyone listen to the hard hitting lyrics of Plight of My People delivered with fierce conviction.
Petit in stature and big in voice, Kerice Pascall delivered a serious message with the The Black Equation. The niece of Steve Pascall, Kerice performed this year with Kaiso Showkase. She has made it twice to the National Calypso Monarch semis.
King Harry, in his tomato red attire, had the audience foot tapping to his Play Panman and Woman and was followed by Hamidullah who introduced some humour singing Stingy Hammi; he is no longer called Sugar Daddy but rather Stingy Hammi due to the downturn in the economy.
Nerukhi longed for a solid country girl, who can cook, in his catchy Ah Need ah Country Gyal. Ato Osei Nerukhi, who also produces, is a retired teacher and is the PRO of Tuco’s South Central Zone.
Chutney Soca artiste Devica, from Claxton Bay, who performs at Rainbow Stars Tent, drew blushes from patrons as she outlined her search for Baigan, any size or shape, to plant her land. Veteran performer El Drago then sobered proceedings, charming patrons with Sparrow’s Mae Mae and the late Lord Blakie’s Steelband Clash.
Tuco president Brother Resistance made a dramatic entrance, bell in hand from the back of the auditorium and had everyone singing along to his rapso hit Ring de Bell. He said it was a pleasure to be invited to perform in San Fernando and to take a break from administration.
Alana Sinette, a Dimanche Gras finalist, sang White Collar Crime reminding patrons that few are jailed in T&T for such high level crime. She was followed by a retinue of female calypsonians with Miguella Simon exiting the stage to sing to the Mayor and other male patrons. Die with My Dignity was her tune of choice and Singing Sandra would approve of the manner in which she mastered it. Karen Eccles, a staple at the Divas Calypso Cabaret in the North, sang Whats Wrong in confident and polished style.
Exposer, with a smile on his face, sang Too Old for That which outlines some love making style rules laid down by a mature woman for her 40-year-old boyfriend. Acrobatics were non-negotiable.
In its entirety Sando Alive was a thoroughly entertaining production and full kudos are well deserved by the Kaiso Showkase crew for treating southerners to a high-calibre calypso show.
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