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WeBeat St James is alive

Thursday, June 15, 2017
Natalie Yorke performs with Pelham Goddard & Roots at Jazz Beat, an entertaining item on this year's WeBeat St James Live.

Last weekend’s finale actually began on the preceding Wednesday with the staging of Jazz Beat and the Honorees Night, this year’s honoree being Woo Ling’s Supermarket, a enterprise which has served St James and environs for over seven decades. Brent Woo Ling was on hand to collect a plaque from former Port-of-Spain Mayor Murchison Brown, as well as a financial token and hampers.

Last week Wednesday night’s show was hosted by vocalist Moricia Cagan and its cast included elan parle, Jason “Fridge” Seecharan, Pelham Goddard & Roots, Nigel O’Connor and the T&T Police Service Band.

WeBeat St James Live continued on Thursday with WeConnect, a forum which featured members of the St James Police Youth Club and motivational speakers, plus Youth Fest which was headlined by Errol Ince & The Music Makers.

Many who attended every night of the festival said that Thursday’s show was the best event of the festival and that Errol Ince & The Music Makers were exceptional in terms of its repertoire and its accompaniment of artistes.

Friday’s main event was WeKaiso, produced by Carl “Beaver” Henderson and showcased 3Canal, Chalkdust, SuperBlue, Relator, Explainer, Chuck Gordon, LaniK, Bally, Crazy and Nikki Crosby.

On Saturday morning, the sun rose on We J’Ouvert from 4 am with the night reserved for the steelband parade, augmented by traditional carnival characters.

Saturday’s Pan on De Move event, scheduled to begin at 7 pm, with steelbands parading in a westerly direction from Long Circular Road corner, began late with the first music to perform before the Amphitheatre viewing area—Tunapuna Vibrations—performing at 9.35 pm. Before the first performance guests were entertained by La Creole Pan Groove Single Pan band. Among the dignitaries in the review stand were Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste Primus and WeBeat Live 2017 honoree Brent Woo Ling.

Before the first steelband, Scrunters Pan Groove, made an appearance at 10.30 pm, it was preceded by Junior Bisnath’s Kaisoca Moko Jumbies from South Trinidad and traditional carnival characters, commandeered by NCBA official David Lopez.

In the wake of Scrunters Pan Groove, the procession of steelbands moved smoothly, introduced by radio host Akhenaton Simmons. Brimblers, Harvard Harps, playing a beautiful arrangement of Heartaches, a 1931 standard sung by John Klenner and composed by Al Hoffman, Woodbrook Playboyz and bpTT Renegades all moved the thousands who lined Western Main Road. Living pan legend Anthony Williams, now blind, actually rose from his wheelchair to sway to Renegades’ arrangement of Black Stalin’s Play One.

With midnight approaching the flow of steelbands continued with appearances by CAL Invaders, Old Tech, PCS Silver Stars, Massy Trinidad All Stars, Phase II Pan Groove with Hadco and 2017 Single Pan National Panorama champion Newtown Playboys.

With the passing of founder Earl Crosby, the SJCIC, led by interim chairman Cecil Tomlin, must be complimented for successfully staging the 17th edition of WeBeat St James Live, keeping alive a vision inspired by Crosby.


Pan Under the Stars

Ably led by chairman Gerard Mendez, the Northern Region of Pan Trinbago continues to produce events aimed at creating revenue for its coffers. The latest of these ventures is tonight’s Pan Under the Stars, to be held from 8 pm, at the panyard of Newtown Playboys Steel Orchestra, located at 64 Tragarete Road, Newtown. Joining Playboys, the reigning National Single Pan Panorama champion, are CAL Invaders and Brimblers, led by Larry Largen.

Another after-work show is planned by the Northern Region at Invaders panyard, on a date to be decided. Mendez said the Region will also stage its biggest fund-raiser this year—RepublicRama...A Tribute to Mighty Sparrow—on Friday, September 22, at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah.

It is heartening to see a steelband body making an attempt to pull itself up by its bootstraps to generate funds for its membership.


Roy Cape All Stars changes name

When Roy Cape All Stars embarks on its tour as the headline act at Bermuda Heroes Weekend today, it will perform under a new name, D’ All Starz. A release from the band this week stated: “The name change is a natural progression for the organisation, which has been home to several soca artistes over the years—many of whom have gone on to make significant contributions to the entertainment art form, both in the Caribbean and in the diaspora.”

D’ All Starz’s timeless sounds will continue to be led by a stellar frontline vocal lineup, which currently consists of a star-studded soca lineup: Blaxx, Ricardo Drue, Teddyson John and Tizzy.

Musical Director Carlysle “Juiceman” Roberts will continue as the head of the band. Roberts has been a staple with the team for over 25 years, and has consistently lent his wealth of experience, leadership and expertise to the band’s ongoing success.

“D’ All Starz is a family vibe, and we are really happy to continue on this journey with everyone on board,” said Roberts. “In addition to the brass line, technical team and vocalists from all over the Caribbean, we have all of our long-standing band members on board like Stephen ‘Drummy’ Jardine (drums); Anthony ‘Bassey’ Boynes (bass); and Arnold ‘Sly’ Punnette (guitar).”

“We love what we do, and we always come together to deliver a memorable music experience that our fans all over the world have grown to know and love over the years. Every time D’ All Starz steps on stage, it will always be about bringing positive energy and world-class performances that celebrate our Caribbean music and culture.”

Roberts also thanked Dr Roy Francis Cape, fondly known as “Pappy,” for his invaluable guidance to this family of musicians and selfless contributions to the development of music for almost six decades.

Said Roberts: “He has been a pioneer and advocate for the development of the music industry and the creative arts in the region, and his contributions have been recognised as indispensable to many singers, songwriters, musicians and other industry professionals in the circuit. D’ All Starz is honoured to have worked with this iconic, award-winning musician, and is forever indebted to Dr Cape’s vision, passion and selfless life’s work.”

With this transition, D’ All Starz looks forward to continuing its highly-successful Season of Brass Global Tour 2017, as the band brings the classic sound of brass-infused soca music to entertain its international supporters in every corner of the globe. The official ‘D’ All Starz’ website will make its debut in the near future.


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