By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 06, 2017
Last Wednesday, Max Prime’s “We Jammin’ Still” was declared the Road March of the year. Over the two days of Carnival, it was played over 556 times as opposed Machel Montano’s “Your Time Now” that was played 77 times. On January 11, Joanne Briggs declared: “Ultimate Rejects” has already been declared the people’s anthem for Carnival 2017″ (Trinidad Guardian). She wasn’t wrong. Over the last two months, “We Jammin’ Still” replaced our National Anthem as an expression of our people’s sentiment: a directionless nation in crisis.
Continue reading ‘An Anarchist Anthem’
By Raffique Shah
February 24, 2017
I had planned to write on the resurgence of Calypso Rose since last year, when, having read about her successes in France, I decided to check YouTube to get proof of the pudding, in a manner of speaking. I have grown wary of boasts by many bards, more so those of the fast-foods Soca-ilk who make similar claims when all they have done is appear at carnivals or concerts up the islands or before diaspora-audiences in North America.
Continue reading ‘Hail the Queen’
Right: Holly Betaudier at the Independence Queen of the Ball and Dance Competition 2007
By Joan Rampersad
Tuesday, May 31 2016 – newsday.co.tt
Former radio and television producer and presenter, as well as actor Holly Betaudier passed away peacefully at his home in Westmoorings at 11.20 pm on Sunday night. He turned 91 on January 27, 2016.
Continue reading ‘Holly B passes at 91’
By Raffique Shah
January 11, 2016
“I don’t know who Jit Samaroo was, but listening to others speak, he must have been a great man…my condolences to his family.”
That was a caller from Princes Town to TV6’s Morning Edition’s host Hayden Blades, who devoted much of last Friday’s programme to persons wanting to pay tribute to Jit, who had died the day before.
Continue reading ‘Humility was Jit’s hallmark’
Bunji rocks ‘106 and Park’
By Leiselle Maraj
May 02 2014 – newsday.co.tt
Host of BET’s 106 and Park, Bow Wow (Shad Moss), did his research before interviewing local artiste, Bunji Garlin, and his wife, Fay-Ann, on the show’s episode that aired yesterday, questioning the two about their boycott of the recently concluded Tobago Jazz Experience.
Continue reading ‘Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons on 106 & Park’
By Raffique Shah
February 23, 2014
The Mighty Sparrow’s resurrection from a coma seems to have awakened many a dead, although the miracle I hoped for most, breathing new life into calypso, appears to be beyond the Birdie’s prowess.
Ever since calypso’s most iconic practitioner fell gravely ill, no pun intended, I assumed that the Government had quietly funded his medical expenses. After all, here’s the world’s greatest calypsonian in his winter years encountering not-unexpected health challenges, and his country, the land of calypso that he helped brand, enjoying a healthy economy, so much so that the authorities award millions of dollars every year to artistes of relative Lilliputian stature, you would think….
Continue reading ‘Sparrow alive, calypso dead’
y Raffique Shah
December 22, 2013
Just when it seemed that we would end 2013 with only memories of macabre murders, of innocent children being battered and slaughtered by barbaric adults, two Caribbean singers rescue us with their vocal and musical prowess, with the food of love that transcends the pettiness of insularity, lifts our spirits and maybe even our souls.
Continue reading ‘The singers…and the songs’
Selwyn Ryan – March 26, 2013
Soca, dancehall and hip-hop music are said to be influencing youths into criminal behaviour. This is according to a report by the Ryan Committee on Youth at Risk. The report was laid in Parliament by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Friday. The committee’s report said while it was impossible to draw a definitive correlation between violence or explicitness of lyrics and the level of criminality among youth, the lyrics of 2012 soca hits “tend to support the idea of a contemporary youth culture that is very consistent with the rebellious behaviour of previous generations of youth.”
Continue reading ‘Ryan crime report: Soca music breeding criminals’
From the article below (the bottom of the first page and continuing onto the second page), it appears that Machel Montano did perform at the “Nine Mile Music Festival 2013” which was held in Florida, Miami on March 02, 2013. There were concerns that his U.S. visa would have been revoked following his conviction last year for assaulting four persons in 2007 outside Zen night club in Port-of-Spain and for using obscene language. Montano was fined on February 25, 2013.
Continue reading ‘Machel Montano Performed in Miami After All’
By Corey Gilkes
March 04, 2013 – trinicenter.com
I had planned to make my first contribution for 2013 to be on the series of important film documentaries on Trinidad Carnival put on by the TT Film Festival, not least of which were the two on Minshall and the presentation given by Ray Funk. Some were poorly attended but they were all priceless in the way each of them opened a little more of that portal on ourselves more of us need to see. Minsh used the streets as his canvass to express his philosophy in the traditions of Bailey, Saldenah and the legions of largely (tragically) nameless persons who used the Midnight Robber, the Minstrel, the Baby Doll, the Dame Lorraine, the Burrokeet, the Jab Molassie to hold up the mirror of society and all its hypocrisy and excesses to show us what many of us really are. That aspect of our Mas, the use of the open space as a gigantic participatory (before the advent of security, ropes and the word “exclusive”) political and social theatre, is perhaps the most important message that needs to be kept firmly in the minds of those who wish to take over the Mas – specifically those who have reduced it to empty, expressionless displays of bikinis, bras and feathers as if here is Las Vegas.
Continue reading ‘The “Pontificat”: Akilah Holder’s ‘Carnival’ Article’