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Sokah, parang and steel heats up wet weekend

Friday, December 8, 2017

With a full moon approaching there was water everywhere but people drank sumptuously from the flood of entertainment taking place nationwide. On Saturday, Yorke Inc held yet another bumper happening at the Salybia Nature Resort & Spa, venue for its annual Wild Meat Soca Parang Food Festival. Artistes like Road March champ MX Prime, Scrunter, Baron, Kenny J, and DJs Howie T, Sounds of Kabuki and Duane kept patrons dancing until way after the party’s scheduled midnight completion.

Also taking its crowd way into Sunday morning was Pan in D Rosa 7, staged by the Pan in D Rosa Committee and Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation at Lime Boulevard, Santa Rosa Heights, Arima. Desperadoes, First Citizens Supernovas, bpTT Renegades, Republic Bank Exodus, PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars, CAL Invaders and San City Steel Symphony were just some of the steelbands that graced the occasion.

Down South, Nialah Blackman had a successful launching of her debut album (Sokah) while back in the north it was Parang & Steel hosted by PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars in Newtown.

What can be said of Nialah’s premiere release? Her sound reflects the evolution of the genre, but stays true to its fundamental ethos as the “Soul of Calypso.”

In a pre-show interview she said, “It’s the unity of cultures, bringing people together. Soca is togetherness, peace, love and harmony among all the races.”

Nialah wants soca to be the sound of the future of T&T and, based on the audience’s response last weekend she will keep her promise, “This concert is going to be an annual event. It will be a platform for young people to showcase their culture. Sometimes we can get lost in the influences of other genres and cultures, but we need to respect ours.”

The granddaughter of late soca pioneer Ras Shorty I and daughter of 1979 National Calypso Queen Abbi Blackman, this drop-dead-gorgeous and talented soca princess is well poised and on her way to ascending to the pinnacle of the genre.

Last Sunday was just a wee bit more sedate although patrons were seen dancing up a storm at the Paragon Sports & Cultural Club’s annual Parang & Soca Luncheon in Cocorite. Headlining this gig were Marcia Miranda, Los Vikingos de San Jose and DJ Cardo.

Rounding off a weekend of non-stop entertainment action was the annual parang festival in Lopinot.

This weekend is no different and fingers are crossed that the weather is kinder, especially for the many outdoor events. This evening Newtown Playboyz holds It’s A Sweet Parang Soca Lime at its Pan Theatre on Tragarete Road, from 6 pm. Live performances will come from Pelham Goddard & Roots, Los Angeles de San Miguel, Marilyn Williams, Moricia Cagan, Nigel O’Connor and host Newtown Playboyz.

Prayers are being offered for clear skies tomorrow evening as well when Republic Bank stages A Gift of Love, featuring The Love Movement, Adam Smith Square, Woodbrook, at 6 pm.

Southern action includes the High Commission of India and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Co-operation, in collaboration with Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, staging Rhythms of Manipur from 6.30 pm. This will be held in Fyzabad at the Shri Siddhi Vinayaaka Avocat Mandir, on 296 Siparia Old Road, Avocat Village.

I Dream A World, featuring bpTT Marionettes, is on

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at Queen’s Hall, and The True Meaning of Christmas, featuring T&T Youth Philharmonic (TTYP), Voices of The University School (VOUS) children’s choir and Euangelion Singers and Band will be staged at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), Port-of-Spain. These two concerts begin at 7.30 pm.

The second instalment of Parang & Steel 2017 will also be held tomorrow at Silver Stars and, in St James, on Mooneram Street, Cheers Pub will holds its lively Parang, Pork & Pan, featuring The Love Bunch parang group, Sapophonics Steel, The Stella Band and more.

Rock band jointpop is also in concert tomorrow at All Out Lounge, Queen’s Park Oval, Tragarete Road, Woodbrook with its Noise n Toys benefit.

For the past 13 years, jointpop hosts and performs at this toy collection concert. The show also doubles as the jointpop Christmas office party and it is always well attended and a fun filled night.

This will be the last jointpop gig of 2017 as the band is heading to the recording studio next Wednesday, until December 22 to record it’s eighth album, to be released in 2018. Recording will be done at STUDIO 303, the UTT studio at Napa.

Top Seattle-based producer Paul Kimble will be on board again , to follow up the production he did on the last jointpop album Quicksand (2015). Kimble is the bassist and producer of legendary US band Grant Lee Buffalo. MusicTT has assisted jointpop with funding for the album recording.

Also performing tomorrow night will be The Malcontents.

The Noise and Toys concert costs $80 entry at the door, plus a gift wrapped toy with a label or note with the information of gender and the age group of the child. All the toys are collected on the night and then distributed to various unprivileged kids homes across the country. Remember the one and most important rule of entry: No Toy Guns please.

Things cool down on Sunday evening with T&T Youth Philharmonic (TTYP), Voices of The University School (VOUS) children’s choir and Euangelion Singers and Band at Napa, Port-of-Spain; and, The Marionettes’ I Dream A World finale at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.


Christmas with the Saints 2


The students of St Mary’s College are embarking for a second year on their Christmas production Christmas with the Saints 2, to be at the college’s Centenary Hall on Pembroke Street, Port-of-Spain. This event is organised by Form Six students and will serve as a glorious night of entertainment for the parents, teachers and students of St Mary’s College, and to the wider public who wish to enjoy a Saturday night of music and performance.

The concert brings out the best of the school’s present talent, including award-winning calypsonians Desle Julien, Duane O’Connor, Renaldo Alleyne-Noreiga and Reshawn Goodridge. The event also incorporates the talents of past students like vocalist Jake Salloum and instrumentalist Luke Walker.

Besides solo performers like these, patrons can expect to be wowed by the school’s parang side Los Santos whose recent victories include placing third in the National Junior Parang Competition.

The concert will similarly place emphasis on our national instrument, showcasing the college’s incomparable pan-side The Symphony of Saints, among pan soloists like Dylan Yuk Low.

At the admission fee of a mere blue note ($100) this show is a steal-of-a-deal if ever there was one, especially with its star-studded retinue of guest performers. Guest artistes include Parang Queen Alicia Jaggassar and Los Alumnos de San Juan, 3Canal, The Flick, Ms Dija, Shortpants, Mastertone Salloum and La Nueva Experiencia.

Jake Salloum is the creative director of Christmas with the Saints 2 and its musical director is Alea Jaggernauth. The show is produced entirely by the Form 6 Students of St. Mary’s College.

Christmas Delicacies (fruit cake, pastelles etc) and drinks (sorrel, ponche de crème etc.) will be on sale and tickets are are available at the college’s office, or through Manager Enrico Rajah (623-8835/745-4391). Showtime is 7.30 pm.

All proceeds go towards recurrent expenditure and the Music Room.


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