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T&T music livens up Texas

Thursday, March 26, 2015
The Mighty Sparrow engages the audience during his performance at the Trinbago Showcase in Austin, Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas—A night of rousing T&T entertainment on March 21 in Austin, Texas, sold out the Karma Lounge, venue for the first T&T showcase at the South By Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas. 

SXSW is a set of film, interactive, and music festivals and conferences that take place early each year in March in Austin. It began in 1987, and has continued to grow in both scope and size every year. 

Last Saturday, hundreds of Caribbean migrants and curious music lovers from around the globe crammed into the cozy venue on Fifth Street in downtown Austin to enjoy T&T music. 

The action began at 8.30 pm with Minister of The Arts and Multiculturalism, Dr Lincoln Douglas, performing as MC for the show. 

First up was spoken word artiste, Dennis Morgan, followed by the fusion sound of Mungal Patasar and Pantar. Los Alumnos de San Juan took the stage next, their costume changes and choreographed dance routines added spice and energy to their parang music. 

The Codrington Pan Family followed, with diverse music selections. 

Road March King Machel Montano then brought the energy of soca. Next came the Calypso King of the World, The Mighty Sparrow, who delivered nostalgic calypso. 

Four-time Soca Monarch, Tobago-born Shurwayne Winchester, started his performance slowly, with a tender patriotic ballad, and then erupted into a volcano of energy. 

Climbing atop the main bar, Winchester directed the masses to form a conga line and made circuits around the venue while performing his Soca Monarch winners: Dead or Alive and Look The Band Coming. 

“I’ve done festivals by myself like this before,” said Winchester afterward, “but this is the first time we’re really presenting ourselves as a team and I felt really comfortable and confident because of that. It was a really great and diverse crowd and I felt like everything that came before was leading up to that Carnival-type explosion, so when it came to that point, I just felt the energy.” 

Atlanta-based rapper, Nicholas “Trinidad James” Williams, attracted a late hip-hop loving audience and effectively brought the curtains down on the showcase. 

ASK Promotions CEO Stephen Howard was pleased with all performances. 

“We all did our part and it turned out wonderful,” he said. 

“Charlene (Belfon) and myself did our part by getting us here, but the bands and the performers needed to really bring that Trinbago energy, style and flair…and they did it in a really awesome way. I have to thank them collectively and individually, as well as the Ministry and the Honorable Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism...The organisers are happy, the audience left happy, the staff at the venue are in love with us. I think we did a fantastic job and this is the first of many great things to come.”


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