Looking back at the (Trinidad) Carnival…

It’s been a week since the reign of the Merry Monarch came to an end. I grew up just outside Port of Spain, to a Carnival-avoiding papa and a pan-loving, mas-playing, culture-crazy mama, with access to the home of an adopted grandmother who lived right on Ariapita Avenue (opposite where the popular Corner Bar now is). In other words, I’ve always been a Carnival baby, … Continue reading Looking back at the (Trinidad) Carnival…

All tied up at Music Festival Championships

I may be a bit harsh, but as we say in Trinidad – you cyah play sailor mas and fraid powder. And competitions, theoretically, should be spirited contests to be the “best”, however subjective and controversial the end results may be. But I’ve been a little dissatisfied with this year’s Music Festival progress in Port of Spain, because it seems the Canadian adjudicator – as … Continue reading All tied up at Music Festival Championships

More upsets at Dimanche Gras 2008: favourite King goes uncrowned, while Aloes takes one off Cro Cro

It was another evening of upsets and crowd-displeasing results at the Dimanche Gras 2008 show. The evening ended earlier than it typically does, winding up just after 12:30am early Carnival Monday morning. For the first time in years (ever, perhaps?), Dimanche Gras fans may even be able to get some shut-eye before J’Ouvert. Or not. In any case, the most startling upset in the costume … Continue reading More upsets at Dimanche Gras 2008: favourite King goes uncrowned, while Aloes takes one off Cro Cro

Bound to SHINE this Carnival

We’ve been in rehearsal for the upcoming 3canal Carnival show, SHINE, learning the music and choreography in anticipation of another electric offering from the 3canal camp. I’ve loved their music for a long time, so it’s fantastic to be working with them this Carnival season. Check out a video clip of the first rehearsal last week, led by vocal director, Glenda McSween-Collens… It also includes … Continue reading Bound to SHINE this Carnival

Music Pirates: Time to Walk the Plank

Trinidad and Tobago has made an immense contribution to regional and international music with calypso, the steel pan, soca and more. But unfortunately, we have not done enough to support these local artists and inventors by buying legal copies of their music, from which they might actually garner some income. Instead, via illicit music downloading and sharing, and most lucratively for pirates on the streets … Continue reading Music Pirates: Time to Walk the Plank

Exodus in action at Panorama. Courtesy the TDC, via discovertnt.com

The Making of a Steel Pan | Discover Trinidad & Tobago

Originally written for and published in the 2008 edition of Discover Trinidad & Tobago travel guide The steel pan (it’s really a bit of a faux pas to call it a steel drum!) is one of Trinidad’s proudest exports. It distinguishes itself by being the only acoustic, non-electric instrument invented in the 20th century, and one incubated right in and around Port of Spain during the second world war. Origins … Continue reading The Making of a Steel Pan | Discover Trinidad & Tobago

Inscription of hope…

I wanted to share this with everyone… It’s a piece the Youth Chorale performed at Marionettes’ last concert. In these times, I think the message rings and sings as truly as ever… Quoting from a Russian folk tune, composer Z. Randall Stroope arranged a stunning choral and instrumental piece called “INSCRIPTION OF HOPE”. Based on fragments of Jewish text found on a cellar wall in … Continue reading Inscription of hope…

Moforibale Esu

As this calendar year draws to a close, it’s a time for reflection on and remembrance of years past, and for resolutions about the year ahead. It’s a time when many of us think about what the future may hold, and try to prepare ourselves to make the best decisions possible, to (as Oprah might put it) live our best lives. In the Yoruba tradition, … Continue reading Moforibale Esu