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Updated: 2 hours 24 min ago

Road March champ to perform in Jamaica

Sat, 06/09/2018 - 00:31

T&T’s Nigel Lewis, who won the 1996 Road March, is a headline act for tomorrow’s benefit concert for three hospitals in Jamaica. Lewis, Minister Keesa Peart, Patricia Levy (Sister Patt), Renowned Gospel Singers, and Michael Richards will perform at the High Point High School, 3601 Powder Mill Road in Beltsville, Maryland. This eagerly awaited gospel concert will be an evening of praise, worship, and inspiring gospel music.

Organisers of the concert pledge that all the net proceeds of the concert will go directly to benefit three major hospitals in Jamaica. This is one of the organisation’s efforts to help to alleviate the suffering of many poor and needy residents of the island.

Lewis exploded onto the soca music scene with Movin’ to the Left in 1996 and had everyone moving to the left and moving to the right. Winning that year’s Road March title, he became a household name worldwide. His success blossomed and he was on the road to superstardom.

Lewis’ dynamic style was influenced by many great performers from his island home. At the height of his soca career in 2000, he made a change and rededicated his life to Jesus Christ. Nigel’s transformation of his prolific style of secular soca lyrics and pulsating soca rhythms to more religious messages and reverence to God has been awesome.

His development into a noteworthy singer/songwriter/musician is expressed in songs that address poverty, world peace, and voting rights. He composes exalting messages and words of thanks to God which inspire listeners of his music.

“My music is about the people, not me,” Lewis says. His up-tempo style is inspired by his relationship with God. His dynamic performance of Follow the Leader is emblematic of his spirit.

Nigel’s excellent performances with songs such as Godman Style, Walk Away, Second Chance, Follow the Leader, When Jesus Say Yes, The Greatest Day, Jesus, Crazy Praise, and Blessed Today continue to grow his fan base and obtain more accolades.

In 2011, Lewis received the International Reggae & World Music Award (IRAWMA) for Best Gospel Song. In 2014, he received regional recognition with ten Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Award nominations for his album, Unlock the Block, and took home the Marlin for Adapted Reggae Recording of the Year for his hit single God Over Everything.

Lewis now has seven Marlin Award nominations, including Album of the Year (N.O.W.—No Other Way), Producer of the Year, Reggae Recording of the Year (My God feat Papa San), Calypso Recording of the Year & Song of the Year for hit single, My God, featuring award-winning Bahamian choir ensemble Shaback.

Lewis says, “My goal is to light up the darkness. I do music because it’s the gift that was given to me by the Father. I use it to spread His message.”

Keesa Peart, a Jamaican native living in the Cayman Islands in 2004, won the Cayman Islands Gospel Festival competition for best song with her original composition, Come Let Me Show You. With that achievement, she decided to take her singing career to another level.

Her debut album in 2005, Touch Jesus, was tremendously successful and she released her second album, Your Life Is In God’s Hands, in 2008 with her hit single, Hold On.

Since the release of her albums, Peart has ministered throughout North America, Bahamas, Canada, Colombia, Aruba, Montserrat, and Jamaica where she presently resides.

Minister Keesa Peart has shared the stage with both local and international gospel singers.

In 2009, Peart decided to embrace full-time ministry and she and her husband returned to Jamaica where they felt God’s calling for ministry.

In 2012, she graduated from the Glad Tidings Institute having received her Master’s degree in evangelism.

During 2012, Peart released the international hit single I’ve got somebody with me, which earned an award for international song of the year 2014. She was awarded international female gospel artiste of the year for 2015.

In 2016, she released her third album entitled Without You Lord, which includes Di Devil Nah Get Mi Soul, I Know I’ll Make It and I’ve Got Somebody With Me.

To learn more about tomorrow’s benefit concert, call 301-440- 6132 or 240-505-7743.

Categories: Entertainment News

Kishore Kumar singing contest tomorrow

Mon, 05/28/2018 - 02:15

Twenty local and foreign singers will participate in the Kishore Kumar Singing Competition, carded for tomorrow, Tuesday, at the NCIC Nagar, Chaguanas. Staged by the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC), $150,000 in prize money is up for grabs in the contest.

NCIC PRO Surujdeo Mangaroo said the organisation ran a similar competition 25 years ago that was won by popular local Indian artiste Anil Bheem. He said there had been many calls to the NCIC for the competition to be reactivated.

“We have been bombarded with calls from near and far for a clean family type competition so we wanted to give this to patrons,” said Mangaroo. He added that the show will be held in an alcohol-free atmosphere, and patrons would be hearing the talents of 15 local singers, and five from abroad.

Local artiste includes Anil Bheem, Roshan Sankar, Neeshad Sultan, Satrohan Maharaj, Boya Shahfayat Mohammed, Leon Madho, Rehanna Gopaul, Sondar Sooknarine, Varma Maharaj, Badri Nath, Lalchan Rama,Nadia Madhoo, Rajesh Dallah,Anand Adheen and Prakash Ramcharan.

Mangaroo said Kishore Kumar was a well-loved playback singer in T&T whose career spanned several decades and peaked in the 1960s to his death in 1987. He said Kumar visited T&T several times in the 1970s and served as inspiration for many local singers who have tried to emulate the extremely talented and loved artiste, and perform his songs on many local and regional stages.

More info 

Kishore Kumar’s most popular songs are:

Roop Tera Mastana
Dil Aisa Kisi Ne Mera
Khaike Paan Banaras Wala
Hazaar Raahen Mudke Dekheen
Pag Ghungroo Baandh
Agar Tum Na Hote
Manzilein Apni Jagah Hain
Saagar Kinaare
Zindagi Ek Safar
Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai
Chingari Koi Bhadke
Mere Dil Mein
Gaadi Bula Rahi Hai
O Saathi Rei
Om Shanti Om

Foreign singers

They include:
Jimmy Subhidass (Fiji)
Joe Seenath (US)
Rishikumar Baitali (Suriname)
Randy Bhagwandin (Canada)
Mala Harripersad (Guyana)

Categories: Entertainment News

Stand for Love The Concert

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 00:27

Stand For Love is a fund-raising concert by which all proceeds will assist David “Okee Dokee” Huggins acquire a prosthetic leg.

The popular radio show host/musician/professional vocalist and voice over artiste lost his right leg last year due to a diabetic wound.

According to Okee Dokee: “With a waiting list as long as the road to heaven, I made the decision to start a fund-raising effort and so… Stand For Love was born.”

He added: “After a series of physiotherapy and private professional nursing, my residual limb is now healed and ready for fitting.”

Stand For Love, the concert takes place at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, on Wednesday, May 30, from 7:30 pm.

The supporting cast reads like a who’s who in the entertainment industry. Over 18 local artistes have responded positively to call resulting in a mammoth line up.

Performers include Wendell Constantine, Wendy Sheppard, Debbie Nahous, Denyse Plummer, Johann Chuckaree, Raymond Edwards, Ray Holman, Sharlene Flores, Marcia Miranda, Sandra Hamilton, 3Canal, Quattro Musica, Jamal Winchester, Rico DiGuitta Man, Jodel Lutchman, Sergio Stefan Ayoung, Alexander Mack and David Huggins.

Hosts of the evening will be Maurice Brash, Louanna Habib, Sean Mendez and Francesca Hawkins.

A well-known presenter and producer for GEM Radio Network, as well as many of the local radio frequencies, including 105.1FM, Power 102 FM, Rhythm Radio 95.1FM, WeFM, Star 94.7 and 107.7FM, Huggins is also the primary soloist of the St Theresa’s RC Church, Wookbrook.

Friends and supporters are inviting all and sundry to come out, hear your favourite singers and musicians and let’s stand for love on the evening of Arrival Day, the public holiday, to help David “Okee Dokee” Huggins regain his mobility.

Categories: Entertainment News

Bigford brings something big to Little Carib

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 01:23

“South people stake their claim on me,” Vaughnette Bigford likes to joke. “It’s almost as though they feel a sense of ownership.” And well they might, as the La Brea-born entertainer frequently performs in Naparima Bowl, the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (Sapa), and other popular southern venues. “That’s where most of my base is. Southerners come out to my concerts!”

Now, Bigford is seeking to attract a greater audience, and widen the span of her appeal to embrace music lovers from the north as well. While she has, of course, performed at several collaboratives at northern venues, she will be holding her first full-length concert upwind of the Caroni bridge on Saturday June 9th at the Little Carib Theatre at 7.30 p.m.

“The Little Carib is one of my favourite spaces,” she enthuses, “along with places like Kaiso Blues in Newtown and the Central Bank Auditorium. I love the acoustics, and I feel a certain connection to my audience. I like to see their faces, read their expressions. I also feel a sense of connection to all the artistes who have passed through there before me.”

The music for Vaughnette Bigford in Concert was arranged by Michael Low Chew Tung (Ming), Theron Shaw, and Rodney and Khalen Alexander, although she says she “chooks her hand” into arrangement as well. “All of my band members contributed to the arrangements, actually.”

Guest performers for the night will be Michael Salcedo on the steelpan, John John Francis on vocals, and what she promises will be “a special surprise”.

Bigford is fresh from her 2017 Born to Shine CD tour, during which she performed before ecstatic fans at venues throughout Trinidad. The feedback on her signature concerts, Shades of Vaughnette, was excellent, she says. “We’ve already sold about 1,000 copies of the CD.”

It was an exciting tour, made more notable for her by the evident appreciation people have of the music of Trinidad and Tobago. “There was a lot of nostalgia for music they hadn’t heard in a long time; Carol Addison, Kalyan, Oliver Chapman, Wildfire…I gave a different interpretation of it, and that took them back to their special place. Even for the younger people, you could see that it resonated with them.”

Recently, she has been faced with a few health challenges, including respiratory issues, which, for a singer, can be difficult. “A guitarist can put his instrument in a case to protect it,” she explains, “but as a singer, I can’t.”

Now back in fighting form after her post-Christmas-to-Carnival hiatus, she is once again ready to stand before her audiences and sing her heart out. This time, she is coming with something different. “We’re bringing new music, to appeal to a broader audience.”

She refuses to be typecast as solely an interpreter of local songs. “I love doing that, but I also do other things, and this will be a reminder. For example, I haven’t done jazz or World music in a long time.”

And many of her newer fans, who may know her only from Born to Shine or recent concert tours, might be surprised to discover the Vaughnette that had been showing off her wide range of skills since 2004. For her, it will be a kind of homecoming. “I want people to know I’m an artiste who has always done different things. They are going to see a different side of Vaughnette.


Categories: Entertainment News

Fans pack Under the Trees for Rudder 6.5

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 01:38

Five years ago, at Rudder 6.0, staged at the Grand Stand in the Queen’s Park Savannah, Portof- Spain, David Rudder offered a number of hit songs from the past from artistes such as The Beatles, Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones, and a host of others, which he credited as having had an influence on his chosen career as an entertainer and recording artiste.

“That concert was an historical look at the music that influenced me, tonight’s concert will take another look at the music I have created for the people over the 56 years of my career,” he said, prior to taking the stage Under The Trees at The Normandie Hotel in St Ann’s last Saturday night (May 5) for Rudder 6.5, a celebratory concert in recognition of his 65th birthday.

The venue was jam-packed with loyal patrons of the work produced by the iconic entertainer, prompting Fire Service officers on duty to restrict admission, after a while, to ensure their safety.

Rudder has always ensured that lead guitarist Wayne Bruno and the Rapid Response band are the professional musicians who accompany him at his gigs, where possible. The music they provided on the occasion—sharp horn lines, fancy guitar work, and throbbing percussion— along with the competent harmonies of the back-up singers, allowed patrons to enjoy, to the max, Rudder 6.5.

In addition to Bruno, other accomplished musicians included Kenneth Baptiste, Albert Bushe, Barry Howard, Jeremy Ledbetter, Ryan Romany, Vernon Headley, Hadyn Robin, Kayode Charles, Allan Nelson, Kensa James, Michelle Marfan-Urquhart, Cherise, Browne, Michelle Assing, and Tamba Gwindi.

It was an anniversary for the veteran percussionist Gwindi, as well. “This event is also like an anniversary of sorts for me because it marks 28 years of working with David on stage, in the calypso tents, at his concerts locally, along with Charlie’s Roots and Wayne Bruno and the Rapid Response Bands, throughout the Caribbean, and in the recording studios. I salute David for his commitment to keeping live percussion in the mix over the years and his contribution to keeping our people thinking in the midst of the music,” he said. In the audience, and also celebrating a birthday with Rudder on the occasion, was businessman Satish Pariagh of 2001 Carpet House in Chaguanas.

“I rescheduled a travel arrangement to be here tonight,” he said. “I have been a Rudder fan for many, many years, and never miss an opportunity to see him perform.”

Rudder offered about 50 selections from his extensive repertoire, venturing down memory lane with acclaimed hits such as Bahia Girl, Calypso Music, Song for a Lonely Soul, Mad Man Rant, Jump Up, Madness, Calabash, Permission to Mash Up de Place, Trini to the Bone, Hammer, Long Time Band, and High Mas.

In remembrance of the late calypso aficionado Diane Marshall-Holdip, he offered The Power of the Song, a selection that pays tribute to the late Grandmaster Kitchener.

Accompanied by Michael “Ming” Low Chew Tung on keyboards and Jeremy Ledbetter on Melodica (a free-reed instrument similar to the pump organ and harmonica) he skilfully executed the littleknown songs Tuesday Night Lover, It’s Only Natural, and Fire Queen.

A poignant moment was his touching rendition of I Will Always Be There For you, a musical, metaphor-laden pledge of loyalty to T&T sung by Melanie Hudson in the 1990s. Rudder’s performance also invoked a variety of emotions. At times, he induced quiet reflection, at other times gaiety, and on occasions, a sense of national pride.

Rudder has the distinction of being the only person to take all available titles in a single year, having won the National Calypso Monarch, Young Kings and Road March competitions in 1986. His Hammer was also the Tune of Choice that year for the National Panorama winner, Trinidad All Stars.

Rudder has since eschewed all calypso contests, but continues to supply works of an integrity equal to most and superior to many of his peers; examining in his lyrics and music a number of revolutionary concepts.

Rudder 6.5 goes to Toronto, Canada, next month, for staging at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, on June 9.

Categories: Entertainment News

A bit of this, a bit of that

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 03:13

Mark John, known in the calypso arena as Contender, celebrated his 67th birthday in fine style on April 26 with a concert staged at the Murchison Brown Auditorium of Port-of- Spain City Hall.

The show, hosted by Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (Tuco) official Shirlaine Hendrickson, featured a mix of artistes and genres and was attended by a number of well known calypso aficionados.

The stage was also beautifully designed by calypsonian/artist William “Dr Will B” Bannister.

Seen at Let It Happen @ 67 were NLCB official Michael Jogie, former Culture Minister Joan Yuille Williams, Tuco president Lutalo “Bro Resistance” Masimba, Tuco South Region head Steve “Ras Kommanda” Pascall and Brig Gen (ret) Carl Alfonso.

Contender was honoured by Tuco with a birthday plaque for his continued contribution to the calypso genre.

The show began promptly at its advertised 8 pm start with the singing of the national anthem and a prayer by Hendrickson.

Performing in the first half were rapso artiste Benny J, Dr Will B, Comrade Deen, Twiggy, Funny, Kaiso Mac, Gypsy, Lady Wonder, Hendrickson, All Rounder and birthday boy Contender.

Kaiso Mac offered a Tribute to Black Stalin, a serious piece remembering the icon while Funny’s Dey Shakin It kept the crowd belly full of laughter while addressing the serious issue that is public urination.

All Rounder, backed by his daughters (Shirlane and Diane “Lady Wonder” Hendrickson), delivered the crowd’s engaging piece, Garlic Sauce, having fun all the while reminding the crowd why “All Rounder is a boss.

Spread it.”

Contender, not to be out done by friends, made it happen when he also performed a few of his pieces including Quiz and Young & Restless.

He also took a moment to give thanks to the Most High as an incident on Easter Sunday— which he didn’t elaborate much on—but stated events surrounding it could of almost made him not reach 67.

Following a brief intermission during which patrons availed themselves to goodies on sale, inclusive of cow heel souse, BBQ and fried chicken, geera pork and other delights, Pie Man resumed proceedings.

What began as a five-way extempo clash between Gypsy, Myron B, Black Sage and Contender quickly dissolved to a seemingly re-battle between newly appointed National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman and current reigning Extempo Monarch Myron B. The show culminated with performances by Cro Cro who’s Hello kept the crowd engaged singing the chorus and Crazy with his classic Nani Wine, which had patrons wining out of City Hall just after midnight.

Enhancing Laventille steelband parade Expect a few changes to the 2018 edition of the Laventille Emancipation Steelband Parade, now in its 20th year and staged by the Laventille Steelband Festival Foundation (LSFF), headed by Michael Cooper.

One of the changes in this year’s event is the moving of the Emancipation ceremony and formal opening, originally outside The House of Angostura, to the corner of the start of the parade at the corner of Mc Allister Street and Eastern Main Road.

With the build-up to the event will in progress, the committee is currently processing requests from ten steelbands outside the catchment area who wish to participate.

Also expected to parade along the route are best of the regions, based on this year’s National Panorama final results. So, in addition to national champion bpTT Renegades, expect to see runners-up CAL Skiffle (South/ Central) and Republic Bank Exodus (East).

In its 20-year staging of the steelband parade, the LSFF has attracted tens of thousands to the event, including the President of the Republic, prime ministers, government ministers, members of the diplomatic corps and other dignitaries. In stark contrast to the negative reputation attached to Laventille as “a hot spot” for crime, the Laventille Emancipation Steelband Parade has been one of the safest outdoor events in the nation for 19 years.

Aside from the August steelband parade, the LSFF has a number of initiatives on its drawing board to implement this year, in spite of being short on funds. However, its committee remains upbeat that its parliamentary representatives Fitzgerald Hinds and Adrian Leonce, as well as the Community Development, Culture and the Arts, and corporate entities in the community will step up to the plate and assist.

Among these initiatives are a Youth Pan Camp during the August school vacation; a Forum (The Way Forward), formatted to stimulate empowerment and participation by the steelbands of the catchment area, scheduled for Saturday, July 28 at the Laventille Community Complex; and, a Camboulay flambeaux procession through Laventille (Call of the Drums), scheduled for the evening of Friday, August 3. As usual, the Laventille Emancipation Steelband Parade will be held along the Eastern Main Road, corner of Mc Allister Street to Leon Street, in Success Village.

Past students helping school

One of the most active and progressive past students organisations—the members of St James Secondary Alumni (SJSA) are on a fund-raising drive. One fun event this year is its Annual Get-Together/Reunion, on Saturday, May 19, as a Cooler Fete at the school’s premises, on Panka Street, St James, from 6 pm. The SJSA hopes to realise between approximately $50,000 for the projects this year, including the Scholarship Fund (Bertram Arlette and Van Stewart Awards); restoration of the storeroom in the home economic lab; completion of electrical work in the home economic room; lending a hand towards the work to be done in the computer lab/music rooms. Members were unable to work on any project last year because of a shortage of funds, therefore, a clarion call has been sent out to all past students to step up to the plate and participate in this year’s celebration.

“We are determined to improve the facilities needed by our present and future students in an environment that is worthy of producing excellence,” said SJSA member Salma Hosein-Constance this week. “Our theme continues to be ‘Building on a Strong Foundation’, which drives our efforts to maintain our school’s motto ‘Set Standards High’.”

This year’s fund-raiser is being held in memory of alumnae Earl Crosby and music will be provided by popular band Brass 2 D’World and a disc jockey. Tickets for the May 19 event are available at Crosby’s, Western Main Road, St James; Singh’s Liquor Mart, Bournes Road, St James; How’zat Sports Bar, Tragarete Road, Woodbrook; St James Secondary School; and committee members. Members of the committee include, Salma Hosein :Constance (374-2485); Carol Brown (724 - 5714); Nicholas Howard (686-6252); Robert Wiltshire (313-1443); Abigail Small (390-0580); Peter Riley (290-7847); Angelee Barkarr (683-3434); Marlon Murray (744-8883); and, Andy Cummings (750-2273)

European Film Festival premieres on May 10

Following close on the heels of the just concluded Bocas Lit Fest, the 22nd annual European Film Festival (EFF) opened with a cocktail reception on Tuesday hosted by the EU Member States with diplomatic missions in T&T and the Delegation of the European Union.

The opening, held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), Port-of-Spain, was held under the patronage of the German Embassy Ambassador Holger Wilfried Michael.

Directly after the cocktail reception/launch a special screening of the German film Who Am I? was held.

This year, The European Film Festival will feature 29 films of various genres from the 14 EU member countries.

The full slate of movies will begin on May 10.

Deadline approaching for Caribbean films

The deadline for filmmakers wishing to submit a film for screening at the 13th edition of the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff )—to be held from 18-30 September, is fast approaching. Those wishing to submit a film must do so by the May 14. A rough cut will be considered.

The Festival accepts submissions from Caribbean filmmakers, Caribbean filmmakers in the diaspora, and international filmmakers with films from or about the Caribbean or its diaspora. Submissions must have been produced after January 1, 2016.

All submissions must be made online, via the ttff Visitor Page at https://filmfreeway.com/ trinidadtobagofilmfestival There is no submission fee.

For queries, contact us directly at [email protected] ttfilmfestival.com, or visit the FAQ page on our website at http://ttfilmfestival.com/call-forsubmissions The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff ) celebrates films from and about the Caribbean and its diaspora, as well as from world cinema, through an annual festival and year-round screenings.

In addition, the ttff seeks to facilitate the growth of Caribbean cinema by offering a wide-ranging industry programme and networking opportunities.

The ttff is given leading sponsorship by bpTT.

Categories: Entertainment News

MCDCA serves up tasty jazz treats in PoS

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 03:57

For those who could not go to Tobago for the Jazz performances, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts (MCDCA) gave them a day of Jazz with [email protected]-Simply Jazz and Fusion the Jazz Experience on April 26 in Port-of-Spain during the lunch and evening times.

Fusion-the Jazz Experience saw the elements all aligned to create the perfect evening outdoor concert on the steps of the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa).

The cool evening breeze and the effortless beauty of Napa’s architecture and lights complimented the medley of performances by the National Steel Symphony Orchestra and guest artistes Vaughnette Bigford, Michael “Ming” Low Chew Tung, the UTT Jazz Ensemble, and Shiva Manick.

As expected, it was yet another outstanding performance from the National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO) as they delivered to the audience’s delight. Artistic Director of the NSSO Akua Leith signaled the orchestra’s intention to continuously raise the bar for steelpan performances as he led his team through a varied repertoire from Mungal Patasar’s Dreadlocks featuring Shiva Manick on the tabla, to Guantanamera and Sunday Morning Funk to name a few.

The powerful voice of Vaughnette Bigford, the smooth music of the UTT Jazz Ensemble, notably saxophonist and group leader Anthony Woodroffe, and Michael “Ming” Low Chew Tung on the keyboard had the crowd of more than 400 music lovers drifting and clapping throughout the night. They brought out the best of Jazz music in T&T, and the NSSO’s experience with fusion performances was evident as they blended the steelpan and jazz rhythms.

The MCDCA also capitalised on this event by facilitating a Craft Market in NAPA’s Foyer, featuring jewelry, local wines, handbags, homemade delicacies and much more.

The end result of this event: the crowd was left wanting more, which seems to be the usual aftermath of each cultural event hosted by the MCDCA.

The success of the nighttime event was paralleled by the second edition of the MCDCA’s [email protected] Concert at Woodford Square, titled Simply Jazz.

The first [email protected] installation, City Blessings, celebrated gospel music on March 29, an appropriate selection to conclude the Lenten Season.

The Jazz theme was next, and the midday heat on April 26 was somehow moderated by the groovy music of artistes Moricia Cagan, LeAndra, the Adan Hagely Project, Candice Caton and Shannon Francois.

Show host Jamie Thomas kept the Woodford Square crowd upbeat as he navigated the lunchtime session. Curious downtown shoppers and students making their way from the Bocas Lit Fest at the National Library were amidst the crowd of over 300 people choosing to fill their lunch hour with music under the trees of Woodford Square, switching off the typical Port-of-Spain lunchtime pace.

The upcoming [email protected] edition will feature an east-indian themed event to celebrate Indian Arrival Day in May, followed by a vintage and steelpan concert respectively.

Staying on the topic of varied music genres, the MCDCA successfully hosted a two-day concert event at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (Sapa) on April 21 and 22, billed as Seasons—a time of Remembrance.

Hundreds of patrons filled the Sundar Popo Auditorium to witness the National Philharmonic Orchestra (NPO) perform in a ‘classical meets local’ setting. Conductor of the NPO Dr Roger Henry reiterated to the audience that the orchestra intends to showcase the music and energy of T&T through the medium of classical orchestra performance.

Notable soloists Natalia Dopwell and Hermina Charles, along with the Academy for the Performing Arts’ Choir complimented the symphony orchestra, resulting in two evenings of world-class entertainment.

The National Theatre Arts Company was not to be omitted, with a solo dancer gracing the stage with gentility in her movements and expression. Satisfied audience members conveyed to the MCDCA team that the calibre of these young musicians and artistes is certainly on par with their international counterparts.

These concerts are part of a wider initiative to bring audiences closer to the range of music genres of T&T, whilst creating opportunities for the veterans, up and coming musicians, and cultural stakeholders to network, thereby expanding this country’s cultural community.

Categories: Entertainment News

Pan lovers feast on tasty musical diet

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 01:45

Pan lovers turned out in their thousands in Siparia last Saturday for Pan on the Move, hosted hosted along the streets of the townby the Diantoic Pan Institute (DPI), under the direction of former Pan Trinbago vice-president Keith Byer.

The April 21 edition was the eighth staged and 11 Single Pan steelbands faced the adjudicators, performing the music of veteran calypsonian Johnny King, religious items as well as being judged for having the best flagwaver.

Heading the dignitaries present were Community Development, Culture and the Arts Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly who presented King with a plaque in appreciation of volume of songs produced through the years.

Bands competing and providing the large audience with some beautiful arrangements were T&T Fire Services, La Brea Blanker 47, Harlem Syncopators, Uni Stars, Trinidad East Side, San Juan All Stars, Gonzales Sheikers, Scrunters Pan Groove, Arima All Stars, Polyphonics and Nu Pioneers.

Calypsonians who have been previously honoured by DPI with steelbands being required to perform selections from their discography have included Calypso Rose, Black Stalin, Lord Nelson and Baron.


Religious Song/Hymn
1. Gonzales Sheikers
2. T&T Fire Services
3. Trinidad East Side
Johnny King Calypso
1. La Brea Blanker 47
2. T&T Fire Services
3. Polyphonics
Best Repertoire
1. T&T Fire Services
2. East Side Symphony
3. La Brea Blanker 27
Best Flagwaver
1. Winston Hope (Scrunters Pan Groove)
2. T&T Fire Services
3. La Brea Blanker 47


Categories: Entertainment News

Music music everywhere ...at home and abroad

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 01:42

Champion in the spotlight

Thousands of pan lovers converged on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, last Sunday for the premiere of the Live Music District, produced by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Music TT, in conjunction with the Port-of-Spain City Corporation.

Also in attendance were Trade and Industry Minister Senator Paula Gopee-Scoon; Port-of-Spain Mayor Alderman Joel Martinez and his wife, Marcelle; San Fernando Mayor Alderman Junia Regrello and his wife, Kamla; Senate VP Senator Nigel DeFreitas; manager, Government and Stakeholder Relations, bpTT Gerard Jackson; and, Port-of-Spain City Corporation Councillor Stephen Harper.

The evening’s programme hosted Gerelle Forbes, headline act was 2018 National Panorama (Large) champion bpTT Renegades and the 70-year-old Charlotte Street steel orchestra showed why it is one of the best steelbands on the planet by offering a repertoire of varied music selections. 

As part of the MusicTT vision to empower musicians and artistes nationwide, the audience was also treated to performances by a number of young artistes, including Chenko, Xone, Neal & Joel and Sherisse Collymore, plus former Byron Lee & The Dragonaires vocalist Oscar B.

Oscar B, accompanied by Renegades, helped spice up proceedings with his performance of Lord Nelson’s One Family. He even got Minister Gopee-Scoon and other dignitaries to join him centre stage.

Special mention was made of pan pioneer Anthony Williams who at one time during Renegades’ performance, stood from his wheelchair to dance to the infectious music of the steelband.

Woodbrook, a community that is legendary for producing excellent sports personalities, must have felt like a return to home base on Sunday to former football stars as several of the past greats were seen, like New York-domiciled Hugh Mulzac, Baby Headley, Gerry Brown, Rolph Clarke, Brian Rigsby and Ulric Boxhill.

Renegades, under the direction of arranger Duvonne Stewart and led by Candice Andrews-Brumant, really brought its A-game to the event as its repertoire included timeless classics of various genres as well as new hits from the just-passed Carnival including Blaxx’s Hulk, Kees’ Hello and its winning Panorama selection Voice’s Year for Love. Other well loved selections in the band’s two sets Let it be, Besame Mucho, Maria Maria, Be Strong, Kingston Town, Now that we’ve found love and a Black Stalin medley.

Organisers are well advised to establish this type of family, outdoor activity as a regular event. Also, to further empower residents of the communities in which the Live Music District is staged, they ought to be encouraged to sell home-made snack and delicacies, perhaps even partnered with a mini Namdevco green market at which fresh produce can be on sale.

The potential of this initiative is immense and augurs for even stronger ties between community, central and local government and community poliicing.

...audience inspired

On Sunday, April 15, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and music therapist Martina Chow launched her debut EP album, Inspire, at Kaiso Blues Café, Newtown. The venue was filled to capacity as Chow shared her hope and positive message for our society and its people through her music.

With an angelic voice and emotion-filled performance she captivated all in attendance. Chow had her audience singing along to her pop songs Fly and Resilient, with their motivational words and easy melodies.

She also showcased her expert skill on the flute, at the beginning of another single titled Keep on Keeping on.

Chow’s well-rehearsed band included Mark Brewster, Michael Chang Wai, Tamo Harewood, Shaquille Noel, Stephen John and Gerelle Forbes.

A very touching video produced and directed by Richard ‘Charsu’ Ahong, the single Fly was premiered at the end of the event.

The multi-talented Chow is certainly shining a light in these dark times with her inspiring music.

To purchase her EP Album visit www.martinachow.com/music For bookings: [email protected] Follow her on Facebook and Instagram: @martinachowmusic

T&T’s Strings to headline 2018 Dominica Jazz

Trinidadian string sensation Xavier Strings and Dominica’s Princess of song Michele Henderson will headline what is being billed by organisers as one of the best ever Dominica Jazz ‘n Creole, the 2018 edition, in May, at the historic Cabrits National Park in Portsmouth on Dominica’s north-west coast.

Patrons can expect a real treat at this year’s main stage event in the Jazz ‘n Creole programme which also features several fringe events at venues across the island and in particular, the north.

Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole has become a staple on the entertainment calendar held on Pentecost Sunday (May 20)and features a family event, providing relaxing jazz music and activities for children. Patrons can therefore anticipate stirring Caribbean rhythms on violins played by the Xavier sisters ( Janine and Janelle) as well as the melodious harmony of Henderson’s voice.

Attendees are encouraged to display their patriotism by incorporating some aspect of Creole in their outfits for Jazz ‘n Creole 2018. In doing so, a lucky individual will have the opportunity to a win a ticket for this year’s World Creole Music Festival carded for October 26 – 28.

The ninth edition of Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole is presented by the government of Dominica through its Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Discover Dominica Authority alongside headline sponsor Range Developments. Range Developments are developers of the Cabrits Resort Kempinski which will be opened in 2019.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The printer’s devil was at work last Friday. Guy Beckles was reported being killed during the Black Power era, instead of Guy HAREWOOD.

Apologies to Guy Beckles and family. He is alive and well in the US.

Categories: Entertainment News

Jazz in the capital

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 05:52

The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts will be hosting two jazz concerts tomorrow. The first concert will be the second edition of the [email protected] concert entitled Simply Jazz and it will be held in Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, from noon to 1 pm.

This event supports the Live Music District initiative for Port-of-Spain; a collaborative project among CreativeTT (MusicTT) and the Port-of-Spain City Corporation. With support from the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts. This endeavour is aimed at creating a platform to promote the upcoming musicians of T&T across all genres.

Last Sunday evening, Live Music District treated a large audience to a live command performance by 2018 National Panorama (Large) champion bpTT Renegades and five artistes on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook.

Featured acts for tomorrow’s [email protected] concert are jazz pianist Adan Hagely, fast-rising LeAndra Head, Moricia Cagan, Shaniqu3, Shannon Z Francois and Candice Caton.

The second concert, titled Fusion, the Jazz Experience, takes place tomorrow evening at 7 pm, on the Steps of National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain. As a special treat to the public, the ministry will host a Craft Market at 3 pm at the same venue.

Headliners for tomorrow evening’s free concert are the National Steel Symphony Orchestra, Vaughnette Bigford, Michael “Ming” Low Chew Tung and the UTT Jazz Ensemble.

Categories: Entertainment News

Plymouth community starts Jazz in Tobago

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 05:49

The highly anticipated 2018 Jazz experience in Tobago has started. Community-based organisation Plymouth Bethesda Heritage Development Foundation (PBHDF) was first to host its Jazz event—Plymouth Jazz @Dawn Breakfast Fest—with the theme Let’s Start the Experience, on Sunday, April 22. The event, which is in its second year, promotes local breakfast dishes prepared by home-grown cooks and chefs in Plymouth such as the traditional heart-warming cocoa tea, roast bake with a variety of favourite fillings.

The community group teamed up with API Record Label CEO Avery Seaton, who conceptualised the event, with the intent of reviving the community by creating interest and revenue for local business owners. Many may recall that Plymouth was the first district in Tobago where the Jazz Festival was held in 2004. However, due to a decline in revenue in the heavily touted event, the Festival was postponed. In 2010 the Festival was revived by the administration but was never returned to Plymouth.

In 2017, a group of dedicated members of the (PBHDF) took up the challenge of reinstating Jazz with the Breakfast Fest concept and christened it Plymouth [email protected] Dawn. The main intention of returning Jazz to Plymouth is to give the villagers a sense of hope and recreate the excitement that was once enjoyed by business and community. The organisers intend to promote performers from Tobago and Trinidad, initially, to provide a space for local acts and build interest in Jazz among this sector.

The headline performers for Plymouth [email protected] Dawn Breakfast Fest 2018 were, from Trinidad, Brendon “I-Sasha” Young, Tobago songstress Adana Roberts, pianist Sean “Sesalito” Mc Coon, 2018 Tobago Soca Monarch Jehvon “Royal” Jackson and veteran artiste Jeffery “Prince Unique” Thomas Upcoming Tobago artistes Sarah “Devine” Clarke and Kelsie “Kellz” Robley also featured at the event.

Plymouth/Golden Lane area representative Assemblyman Marisha Osmond has taken keen interest in the event’s development and was one of the main sponsors this year. The 2018 sponsors included Darryl’s Famous Foods, Davyn’s Limited, Angostura, Quality Stamps, Men of Exile, Trico Industries, and Street 91.9FM.

The organisers also extended special thanks to Buccoo/Mt Pleasant and Providence/Mason Hall/Moriah area representatives Ancil Dennis and Sheldon Cunnigham, respectively.

Organisers say some of the sponsors and individuals who have already committed to support the event in 2019 and the theme for next year’s event has already been identified—Plymouth—I Am Jazz.

[email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

Here’s My Heart to feature talented artistes, groups

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 00:35

Amadi Productions will be holding its annual concert titled Here’s My Heart in two parts: Saturday, April 14 at 8 pm (over 21) and Sunday, April 15, at 5 pm (under 21), at Daaga Auditorium, UWI, St Augustine.

Amadi Productions, a non-profit organisation, started staging concerts in 2005 on an annual basis and has produced 15 to date. The group’s objective is to promote and present educational, social and cultural events with integrity and efficiency, for the purpose of exposing the talents and skills of youths in the performing arts, to aid in their development and consequently, bring about positive social change in our community.

Amadi director Rhona Mohon has observed that there is little opportunity or stage availability for students and graduates from our educational institutions in the performing arts to express themselves. In times past, Trinidad has had the popular Aunty Kay Children’s Radio Hour and there had been more radio and television opportunities, like the late Hazel Ward-Redman’s Twelve and Under series on TTT, where gifted youths would begin their journey to becoming professional artistes in relevant areas of the arts, but these seem to be diminishing. In an effort to build a more creative society and minimise social ills, Amadi Productions’ resolve is to assist in so doing.

Part I of this year’s Here’s My Heart concert will feature five talented voices of Jacqueline Johnson (Contralto); Joanne Pyle (Soprano); Kory Mendez (Tenor); and, Baritones Arnold Phillip and Stephan Furlonge.

Part II will feature our younger artistes including the Drummology Club of St Joseph’s Convent Port-of-Spain; Presentation College Chaguanas Music Makers; Alliyah Boland (Most Outstanding Voice at this year’s Music Festival); young musician Jovanni Carnavon Gibson; powerful vocalist Alyssa Joseph; dancer Anaya George-Chiddick and poet Daniela Bremnor.

Accompaniment will be by Sheldon Morales and the band Earl Carnavon & Friends, including Marva Newton, Junior Wallace and Terrance Sealey. Hosts of the show are Carla Roach and Roger Prince.


Tickets are available at Cleve’s One Stop Shop, Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain.

Categories: Entertainment News

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