Last weekend was a rainy one but things got really hot on Saturday at the Stumped cooler fete which was held at the Queen's Park Oval in St Clair.
What piqued most patrons' interest was the first appearance for Carnival 2017 by soca superstar Machel Montano, dropping his new single Take It Down: How would it measure up to hot Road March contender Full Extreme by MX Prime and Ultimate Rejects?
Reports indicate that Montano's song is a creeper while Full Extreme continues to be the dynamo at fetes in these early days of the festival.
Among the other performances on the night was reigning International Soca Monarch Voice.
The Carnival scene continues to simmer this weekend with a number of big all-inclusive fetes on, as well as the opening of calypso tents and the continuation of the Panorama competition.
Following a premiere on Sunday at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (Sapa), Klassic Ruso calypso tent had its home base premiere at Port-of-Spain City Hall last night.
This tent features some heavy hitters in calypso including All Rounder, his daughters Lady Wonder and Shirlaine Hendrickson, reigning Humourous Calypso Monarch Bro Ebony, former national calypso monarch finalist Brian London, Contender, Crazy, Bro Ebony, Brian London, Manchild and Dr Will B.
The traditional Arima premiere of Kalypso Revue calypso tent will be held tonight at the Velodrome.
This tent boasts bards like reigning national calypso monarch Devon Seale, former monarchs Chalkdust and Sugar Aloes, Nation Building Monarch Skatie, Ninja, Alana Sinnette, Michelle Henry, Nicole Greaves, Falco, Saint Nick, Marlon Edwards and many more.
The tent will be at home base, SWWTU Hall, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain tomorrow night, and at Sapa on Sunday.
Tonight the Airports Authority is holding its much-anticipated Gateway to the World all-inclusive at the south terminal of the old Piarco Airport.
Music will come from Kes The Band, Roy Cape All Stars with Blaxx, Tizzy and Ricardo Drue, Karma The Band, David Rudder, Voice, Rupee, Orlando Octave and more.
The Out in South Cooler Experience is also taking place tonight at Sapa, corner of Todd Street and Rienzi Kirton Highway, San Fernando.
The annual Old Hilarians all-inclusive party comes of age tomorrow evening, with its 21st edition (Cheers to 21) being held at the Courtyard of Bishop Anstey High School on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain.
Over the years, this event has grown in popularity not for just offering superb music but for its unique culinary choices, like stewed horse and gheera pig tail.
Helping the girls celebrate their milestone will be Kes the Band, Roy Cape All Stars, Blaxx, Ricardo Drue and Tizzy, Ultimate Rejects, featuring MX Prime, and DJs Alicia D Duchess and Jugglers.
On the topic of music, the best can be enjoyed tomorrow evening when JMPV Productions holds Roots...D Story Continues at Under the Trees, The Normandie, St Ann's, from 5 pm.
Headling this one-of-a-kind production will be David Rudder, SuperBlue, 3 Canal, Roger George, and Pelham Goddard & Roots.
The opening of calypso tents is very much in the thick of things tomorrow as Kaiso Karavan will premiere its season at La Joya, EMR, St Joseph.
The cast includes Singing Francine, De Fosto, Johnny King, Stinger, Cardinal, Mba, Eunice Peters, Singing Sonia and Dirty Curty.
Another of the weekend's big fetes is Sunday's Wanderlust–Taste the World (UWI Fete) to be held at the St Augustine campus.
Drawing cards at this party include the performances by Machel Montano and his full band, Roy Cape All Stars and Dil-e-Nadan, not to mention the exquiste cuisine from places like Africa, China, France, India, Italy and Mexico.
In Panorama news, judging for Single Pan steelbands was scheduled to be completed last evening with the results being released this morning at 10 am, at Port-of-Spain City Hall.
The final of the National Single Pan competition is supposed to be held on Sunday, at the Arima Velodrome, at 4 pm.
Preliminary competition for Small, Medium and Large conventional steelbands commences on Monday evening for East, Tobago and South Central Zone bands, respectively, in their panyards. Competition continues nightly next week.
Live music on theroad for Street Party
It is supposed to be a secret and surprise but live music returns to the streets of Port-of-Spain for Carnival 2017.
The last band to provide live music for masqueraders on the road, replaced by DJs and massive sound systems, was Triveni, playing for Trini Revellers, and this is sorely missed by the mas-playing throng.
Masqueraders are expected to have their fill of live music when Street Party hits the streets on Carnival Monday from 3 pm.
Pulse found out that some of the principals behind this welcome and exciting project are David Rudder, Etienne Charles, Leston Paul and Designer.
Pulse also learned that the official announcement for Street Party will be made on Sunday evening when Charles stages the world premiere of Carnival: The Sound of a People at Queen's Hall.
This evening, at 5.30 pm, he is also holding a pre-concert lecture at Theatre 1 of UTT, housed in the Napa building on Keate Street, Port-of-Spain.
Charles' Carnival: the Sound of a People is an opus that continues his penchant for the rituals of his homeland, composed after four months of travel and deep research across T&T to unearth the arts of Carnival that highlight the vivid and vast elements of our culture and history.
What he discovers is that Carnival traditions alive and thriving in areas with strong communities and families.
Art forms such as the Tamboo Bamboo, Stick Fighting, Tambrin, Jab Jab, Blue Devils, Black Indian, Moko Jumbie, Fancy Sailor, Dame Lorraine, Steel and Iron Bands continue to grow and evolve after being passed from generation to generation through the oral tradition.
At this evening's public lecture, presented by Monlo Music Ltd and the Calabash Foundation for the Arts, in collaboration with the University of T&T (UTT), Charles will give students and the public insight into his research which included hours of video and audio recordings.
Admission to the lecture is free with limited seating. Tickets to the concert will also be available at the lecture.
Young people to sing extempore
The final of the second annual Junior Extempo Monarch Competition, presented by Friends of the Youth of T&T (FYOTT), is scheduled to take place at the Cipriani Labour College Auditorium, Valsayn on Thursday, February 9, from 10 am.
Defending champion is St Benedict's College student Kevan Calliste, grandson of veteran calypsonian Black Stalin (Dr Leroy Calliste), who won the title at the inaugural competition last year at the SWWTU Hall, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.
FYOTT conducted a workshop for intended participants at the Pleasantville Community Centre, San Fernando on Wednesday and the preliminary round of judging began yesterday at the Police Retirees' Association, Riverside Plaza Annex, Besson Street, Port-of-Spain, for contestants in the North/East region.
Preliminary judging continues on today, Friday, for contestants in the South/Central region, at the Pleasantville Community Centre, San Fernando. Starting time on both days is 10 am.
Patron of the event, President Anthony Carmona, last year noted it was the first occasion on which secondary school students were participating in "an important quintessential feature of our art form."
He said the competition provided an opportunity for the younger generation to learn the importance of perseverance, vision, and belief in self, in order to accomplish great things.
"We underestimate the impact extempo has on the world," he contended, adding this was the only country in the world this genre of the art form was alive and well. He referred to extempo as "the gayelle of calypso," in which words and music were used as opposed to the sticks used in the stick-fighting gayelle.
Carnival concert guests
Carnival: The Sound of a People will feature Charles on trumpet and percussion; Godwin Louis (alto and soprano saxophones); Christian Sands (piano); Alex Wintz (guitar); Luques Curtis (bass); and, John Davos (drums). Special guests will be:
Damien Whiskey | Midnight Robber
Touch D Sky | Moko Jumbies
Ronald & Ronaldo Alfred | Original Jab Jabs
Anderson Patrick | Black Indian
Sweet Fingers Tambrin Band
Lawrence 'Wax' Crooks | violin
Carl James | triangle
Charles Phillip, Prince Williams & Japhet Alman | tambrin
Everald 'Redman' Watson, Lion Osuna & Kayode Charles | percussion
David 'Acid' Brown | Kalinda/Stick Fighter
Bertam 'Bud' Toby | Kalinda & Tamboo Bamboo Vocals
Dave Williams | Dame Lorraine
Laventille Rhythm Section
Earl Rodney | steelpan
2001 Jab Molassies | Blue Devils & Biscuit Tins