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Calypsonians invade Point Fortin
The Big 5 in the National Panorama competition—Trinidad All Stars, Desperadoes, Renegades, Exodus, Phase II Pan Groove—are billed to be on the cast of Pan on d’Avenue on Saturday evening in Woodbrook. Staged for the fifth year by the Woodbrook/St James Community Association, this year’s event is expected to the biggest installment of the popular event. So popular is this steelband event, in similar fashion to the attraction of T&T Carnival and Point Fortin Borough Day celebrations, visitors from North America and the region fly in to be entertained by 30 of the best steelbands in the land.
Adam Smith Square is the main review spot along Ariapita Avenue on Saturday and liming spots which dot the roadway aplenty are expected to draw even larger patronage. Prior to its destruction by fire last year, De Nu Pub (The Mas Camp), at the corner of the Avenue and French Street, was a major assembly point for the public. With the parade, proceeding from west to east, extending from Taylor Street to Colville Street, some of the popular watering holes with the largest patronage would include Pub House, Hog & Whistle, Frankie’s, Club 63, La Habana, Stumblin’, Shakers, Tzar and Coco Lounge.
Pan on d’Avenue is not a pan competition but can be compared to the J’Ouvert Bomb competition as the participating bands keep what they are playing a secret, playing their repertoires only as they parade along the Avenue. But, one can guess who might play what. For instance, for certain, Massy Trinidad All Stars will delight faithful fans with Scrunter’s Woman on the Bass and this year’s winning Full Extreme. Both National Panorama runners-up Desperadoes and Renegades will include their 2017 tune of choice Peter Ram’s Good Morning. It ought to be a pleasant surprise to hear what heavyweights like Supernovas, Exodus, Phase II, Invaders Couva Joylanders, Skiffle Bunch, Starlift and reigning National Panorama Single Pan champion Newtown Playboys would perform.
With the actual pan parade scheduled to begin at 7 pm, guests at the review stand will be entertained by Wasafoli Rhythm Section and dancers followed by Stephen Derek’s masqueraders. Tribute will also be paid to departed popular Woodbrook mas designer/craftsman Stephen Derek and his work shall come alive with his family coming out to showcase some of his creations.
Suave Steel will entertain patrons at Adam-Smith Square and there will be Arabian dancing and the award ceremony beginning at 6 pm.
Several of the foundation Woodbrook families will also be honoured including the Carews. Dollys, Largens, Mankees, Sabgas, Waddles, Rollocks and Jaggernauths.
Calypso invades Point Fortin
Point Fortin Mayor Audon Mason rolled out the red carpet of the southern borough last Sunday to the executive of Tuco North Zone for their first ever excursion. Three bus loads of patrons rolled out of the PTSC compound on South Quay and Pieman Bar at the corner of George and Prince Streets, Port-of-Spain at 10 am to make the two-hour journey.
As the caravan arrived at the Clifton Hill Beach Resort, patrons alighted to uncover a varied Sunday lunch menu
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and to be entertained by the resort’s resident disc jockeys and some of the calypsonians making the trip. Tuco North Zone chairman Mark “Contender” John, aided by executive members and Susan Maynard, ensured that everyone in the party were well fed and entertained.
After lunch the live calypso show began, hosted by Shirlaine Hendrickson and featured Cro Cro, All Rounder, Brownboy, Mechanic, Kaiso Mac, Dr Will B, Pieman, Def Prince, Artistic and Stockings. All of the bards sang humorous ditties with the evening’s lone encore going to Pieman who sang Obeah, his composition about calypsonians who resort to obeah for popularity and success in competitions.
As he ended his song, Black Sage called out Contender for an extempore face off much to the audience’s delight and appreciation. It was at this point that these two extempore exponents challenged the mayor ending with him being adjudged winner by the audience. Rounding off a most enjoyable day was the Point Fortin Engine Room.
A weekend of chutney, food and pan
This the weekend before Independence Day is filled with a delectable array of entertainment goodies. For starters, similarly to the very popular CPL T20 cricket tournament currently in progress, local music fans are encouraged to bring their coolers, food and big lime to the first ever Chutney and World Rhythms Festival being staged on Saturday at the National Cricket Centre, Couva. On this night, Executive Producer of the festival, Randy Glasgow Productions (RGP), is promising “a night of musical fireworks,” with some of this country’s leading chutney and World Beat music stars featuring on stage.
Headlining on the chutney side are the traditional chutney King of The World Rakesh Yankerran, multiple Chutney Soca Monarch KI & The Band, chutney singing star Anil Bheem & The BMERZ Empire, female chutney diva Drupatee Ragoonai, the multi talented Sally Sagram & Xtreme, Savita Singh, General Imran GI, and leading Caribbean singer of Bollywood love and romance melodies Indar Kanhai.
On the playbill for the World Beat side of things are living music legend Mungal Patarsar & Pantar, rock fusion star Nigel Rojas with Orange Sky and new singing sensation Nailah Blackman and her band Overdrive.
Hosting are music producer DJ Big Rich and 103 FM radio personality Richie Ram.
Apart from this impressive musical line-up, food will play an integral part of the festival. Popular local culinary wizard Chef Jason, alongside Chef Khalil Ali and Chef Sharaz Mohammed, will be on hand to serve up some of their trademark dishes including, cowboy-styled fish, ribs, chicken, pork, duck, Tandori shark & bake and curry coconut cheesecake.
Producer RGP said it’s their intention to make this festival an annual event with the prospects of attracting music fans from around the Caribbean and North America from year two with strategic international marketing, promotion and positioning on the world music festival calendar.
Pan is again on the front burner this weekend when the South/Central Region of Pan Trinbago stages A Nation’s Pride, at the Couva Joylanders Pan Yard, Railway Road, Couva, on Sunday, at 7 pm. Pan on d’Avenue will showcase 30 steelbands, plus traditional mas, limbo and other dance forms while Sunday’s southern pan event will feature Skiffle Steel Orchestra, Couva Joylanders, Pan Elders, Fusion Steel and Tropical Angel Harps.
Sunday also brings a special pan event to the Witco Sports Club Grounds in Champs Fleurs from noon. A month ago Ursula Tudor, one of our longest serving playing pan musicians, was seriously injured in a vehicular accident in San Juan. A veteran of Desperadoes steel orchestra, Tudor will be the recipient of funds raised at a benefit concert.
The executive of Desperadoes will also use this occasion to honour Tudor as one of the longest serving female pan musicians locally, one who has played in almost every one of Desperadoes’ 11 National Panorama victories. To date, she still travels and performs with the orchestra.
Apart from Desperadoes, a number of our country’s most dynamic and versatile orchestras, instrumentalists and vocalists have committed to performing. Some of these include Massy Trinidad All Stars, bpTT Renegades, Golden Hands, Laventille Serenders, Pamberi, Ken “Professor” Philmore, and Alana & Naomi Sennette.
For further information call 380-0138, 461-5840 or 374-5262.
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