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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.
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.
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