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Entertainment shines through showers

Caribbean Strong is a success story
Friday, November 3, 2017

Thousands descended on the Queen’s Park Savannah last Saturday to re-ignite the flickering embers of the spirit of the West Indies Federation and Caribbean unity when the Caribbean Strong hurricane relief benefit was held. Reminiscent of Woodstock back in the sixties and the more recent Machel Monday and Fantastic Friday events, locals joined regional patrons to turn on their heart lights for the beleaguered peoples of Barbuda and Dominica.The Caribbean Strong Hurricane Relief Concert & Telethon featured some of the biggest artistes of the region including Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, Fay Ann Lyons, Destra, Olatunji, Kees Dieffenthaller, SuperBlue, Rikki Jai and Ravi B. The 12-hour production was hosted by Nikki Crosby, Tommy Joseph and Philomena, and amongst its other acts were recent young awards-recipient Aaron Duncan, Nialah Blackman, 3 Canal, Olatunji, Dwayne Bravo, Shal Marshall, Iwer George, KV Charles, Imij & Co’s Malaika Valentine, Karma, Nisha B, Sunny Bling and Hypa Hoppa.

One of the programme’s poignant moments came at its end when Montano introduced Dominican artiste Tasha P who was featured in a heart-rending video about the plight of her compatriots. She also sang a duet with Montano, a song originally intended for the soca superstar and Destra.

Destra displayed her big heart by performing with her leg in an orthopedic strap, now part of her wardrobe after sustaining injuries during a performance in Bermuda in August.

Syri, daughter of Bunji and Fay Ann, shared the stage with her parents during their performance and towards the show’s finale Bunji also joined Montano on stage to perform their hit single Buss Head.

In an earlier intervew, Caribbean Strong official Tony Chow Lin On stated that Saturday’s event will not be a one-off production. There was a Caribbean Strong concert in Antigua the next day, and the team and has plans to stage similar events in the future.

Thousands were also in attendance for two nights for the 2017 edition of Oktoberfest staged at Adam Smith Square, Woodbrook. Apart from the numerous booths adorning the park, the main stage also featured performances from a number of artistes including Orlando Octave, Ravi B and Kees.

Extempore warfare tomorrow

Six Extempore monarchs, a reigning Humour Calypso Monarch and a past National Calypso Monarch are billed to perform at the SWWTU Hall on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, tomorrow night when Tuco (North Zone) and The Extempore Committee stages Extemporama 2017.This is the 12th presentation of Extemporama, the brainchild of Mark John (calypsonian Contender), chairman of the Tuco North Zone.

John has partnered with the North Zone Executive in producing this event which has evolved into a staple on the Calypso History Month calendar.

Tomorrow’s event is being held in tribute to late cultural icon Mervyn Telfer, a past former committee member, MC and calypso aficionado, and the programme is a virtual face-off between extempore exponents representing Tuco’s North, South and East regions.

Representing the North will be Black Sage, Contender, Brother B and Cutty Ranks as well as Lady Africa, Lingo, Myron B and Dion Diaz (East); and, Gypsy, Brian London, Short Pants and Abebele (South).

Showtime is promptly at 8 pm and tickets are available at Cleve’s, Crosby’s and all Tuco offices.

Scouting for talent in south

Talent Expression 2017 is off and running. The 16th edition of this premiere South talent competition, hosted by the Southern Marines Steelband Foundation, kicked off with the preliminary stage of the competition held on October 22 at the Southern Marines Pan Palais, Southern Main Road, Marabella. Seventeen semi-finalists will face the judges on Sunday, at the same venue at 7 pm.

The young ladies of the Kumasu Cultural Performers dance troupe of Marabella are leading the way into the semi-finals, closely followed by veteran vocalist Deryck Hinds, and two outstanding young pan musicians in Tyeesha Alexander and Akeem Cyrus.

But the frontrunners have to keep a close eye on veteran vocalist Lystra Nurse, the exciting young dance troupe from Debe, Neeshana Dance Academy, and Caleb Hinds recently crowned winner National Action Cultural Committee Emancipation Calypso Competition 2017.

Any contestant in a talent competition of this nature has to be also wary of vocalist Bernard Brereton and the Maco Media Comedy crew and other contestants who may be seen by some as dark horses in the race but who are preparing to upset the front runners as they battle to secure one of the ten spots in the Grand Final to be held on November 19.

Tickets for the Grand Final are available at the Pan Palais, from members of the committee and members of the Southern Marines Steel Orchestra.

Talent Expression 2017 semi-finalists

Kumasu Cultural Performers
Deryck Hinds
Tyeesha Alexander
Akeem Cyrus
Lystra Nurse
Neeshana Dance Academy
Caleb Hinds
Bernard Brereton
Keisha Cobham
Joshua Hinds
Ronald Harrington
Joanne Quamina Julien
Maco Media Comedy
Kerry Ann Alexis
Gwendolyn Blackburn
Patrice Alves
Mark Francis


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