The Rounds - March 24, 2007

>> Saturday, March 24, 2007

Good Evening Soca Lovers,

I’m Nurse Karen and these are Doctor Jay’s rounds. It’s been a little while since I’ve been here at FLOW to talk to my favourite people in the world…but I’m back. Your Nurse Karen was taking in the sights and sounds of the beautiful West African nation of Ghana as they celebrate their 50th year of independence. While on the continent I enjoyed body surfing on the other side of the Atlantic to cool off from the intense heat at Pram Pram Beach. I traveled to the Cape Coast Slave Castle where thousands of our enslaved ancestors were kept before they were taken to places like the United States, Jamaica, Haiti…and even my very own St. Vincent. I visited Kukum National Park, home to hundreds of Elephants, Giraffes and everything else you’d find in a box of animal crackers. I walked seven lengths of a rope bridge that was suspended from trees forty METERS in the air. I went to Kumasi, which is the capital of the Ashanti region. There I toured the Kings palace and I saw traditional Kente cloth being woven. In Accra, I toured the city , ate some of the tastiest Talapia and Red Snapper and danced till I could barely walk at a place called the Office. Spex would be happy to know that our brothers and sisters in Ghana are TRULY up to de time when it comes to Dancehall Music. Where soca is concerned, the local highlife music fills that gap quite nicely. The musical connection is obvious…and it does my heart proud to know that our Caribbean artistes are staying true to the centuries old rhythms that expose our undeniable African roots.
The anthem for the Ghana @ 50 celebrations is a song called “Birth of Ghana”. It was written in 1957 by Lord Kitchener, Trinidad and Tobago’s most frequent road march champion. All in all I had an amazing time, so thank you all for your well wishes by email and Myspace and in person. Trust me, I missed you just as much as you missed me…so I did my best to at least bring back some warmer weather. It was the least I could do.
That and catch you up on the latest in the worldwide soca scene, of course! Last night was Machel Montano’s historic 25th Anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. This is the first time the venue has been used to host a soca show and they managed to sell out the theatre for two shows on the same night. Machel Montano HD…Congratulations are in order for you. No one can contest… that camp has consistently offered some of the most memorable soca music over the years…and a stage show that simply can not be beat.
If you, like me missed the big event last night, you’ll be happy to hear that the show will be broadcast on BET and BET J in the upcoming weeks. There are four scheduled air dates, so consult your local listings.
Your West Indies Cricket team is still hanging in there as the host World Cup Cricket, in spite of the crazy atmosphere resulting from the murder mystery surrounding the the death of the Pakistani Coach. They won their last match on Friday against Ireland on Friday to top group D…and will square off against Australia on Tuesday.
I’m Nurse Karen and those are Doctor Jay’s Rounds. Send me your comments at soca at flow 935 dot com. Now back to the doctor.


The Rounds - March 4, 2007

>> Sunday, March 4, 2007

Good evening soca lovers, I’m Nurse Karen and these are doctor jay’s rounds. So, It’s Sunday again and you’re back for some good old fashioned Soca Therapy. Is a good ting too. For those of you who are lucky enough to be holding tickets to the big return fete this Saturday…you better start to train those muscles from now. March 10th promises to be a real workout and ah tell you, the Kingdom of Soca will have you wukking tings you never thought about in years. Arms gah be strong fuh Open De Gate with Shurwayne Winchester, de vocal chords mussee healthy if you plan to reach the heavens for Fireball. and keeping up with Maximus Dan, Nadia Batson and Biggie Irie is no small ting, neida…because you’re not going home till the morning comes.
Last week, one of our texters told us that the Guyanese posse will be out in the hundreds to party at de Return. Well if you think you think that is plenty, you should have seen the streets of Georgetown, Guyana this past Mashramani Day. Brand new Road March Queen, Vanilla proved to have the most popular melody to hit the streets. Her song “Queen of the Band” has made her Queen of the Road for the very first time. The 24-year-old from Hopetown Berbice, joined the team at Kross Color records as a graphic designer. The owner needed a female to sing a jingle on short notice and Vanilla’s flavour could no longer be kept secret. That opportunity led to background vocals and now centre stage. The new artist competed in the Carib Soca Monarch competition this year, but didn’t place…and guess who eh kay!?!? The judges and dem could eat they heart out.
The new reigning Soca Monarch of Guyana is John “Slingshot” Drepaul. He managed to knock the crown off the cute little head of Adrian Dutchin. From what I hear Slingshot is no stranger to fighting up for Guyana. He once fractured a limb singing at a local food aid concert, and last week “may God bless he soul” de man go and break three bones in his lower back while taking part in the Float Parade. NOBODY could tell me dat man is not patriotic!
I’m patriotic too. Proud to be Canadian. Proud to be Caribbean and proud to be…African. For the next two Sundays, if you miss me, I’ll be gone to Ghana, West Africa. While black history month may have passed, it’s never to late to learn about the part of the world from which the roots of this culture originally took shape. I will be visiting the Gold Coast to celebrate the nation’s fiftieth year of independence from Britain. I will be learning about leaders and freedom fighters, and definitely enjoying the tropical heat and the beautiful beach.
I know some of you are wondering what on earth all this has to do with soca music. Plenty come betta dan dat! The beautiful music we call soca was created by, performed by, perfected and popularized by people whose veins pump African blood. Ghana was the last stop for hundreds of thousands of black men and women who were snatched forcibly from their homes. They would eventually populate the Caribbean for 400 years as slaves. As we enjoy the rhythms in our music and the beauty in our masquerade, please remember that all of this celebrates a heritage that was paid for on the backs of our African ancestors. It’s ours to enjoy, so long as we in our freedom keep within us the same light of faith that guided them through a much darker time.
I’m nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay’s Rounds. Please send your comments to soca at FLOW 935 dot com. Spread the Love…



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