>> Tuesday, July 29, 2008
For Immediate Release
Source: Alicia Sealey
Scotiabank Caribana(TM) Publicist
July 29th, 2008
OCPA’s 2008 Canadian Calypso Monarch Finals -A SOLD-OUT SHOW!
Toronto, Ontario, Canada: The Organization of Calypso Performing Artists (OCPA) month-long 2008 “Calypso Tent Music Series” ended on Sunday, July 13th, 2008. This year, there were two official OCPA calypso tents: Kaiso Forum, and The Professionals. The 2008 OCPA Canadian Calypso Monarch Finals titled “KAISO 365” took place on Saturday, July 26th, 2008 at the Leah Posluns Theatre where the show sold out at 8pm; 15 minutes after the show began. About 20 patrons who were accustomed to buying their tickets at the door were turned away.
The overwhelming quality of calypsos and their unique theatrical presentations was so high that there was no clear winner at the competition’s intermission when all nine contestants had performed their first song. After the second half of the competition where the sold-out, calypso-seasoned audience had heard all competitors singing their second song, there was still must discussion as to who would win the “2008 OCPA Canadian Calypso Monarch” crown.
While waiting for the judges to tabulate their scores, the audience was entertained by various artistes including Guney who recently did a cover version of Winford Devines’ seminal calypso “Progress” – voted in an online internet poll as the “Best Calypso” for the 20th century.
Calypso music originated in Trinidad & Tobago. It is the traditional music that accompanies most, if not all, afro-centric carnivals worldwide. When traditional calypso shows first started in Trinidad & Tobago, they used to travel from village to village putting on their shows in a temporary structure, or a tent. Though most calypso shows now take place in permanent buildings, they are still referred to as “calypso tents.” It was/is the job of the calypsonian to compose songs about politics, current events, philosophy, and comedic rants … really anything that catches his/her fancy. FYI: Similar to the traveling European minstrels of yesteryear, the African griot – the forerunner to the Caribbean Calypsonian – would pass down orally the news, history and culture from generation to generation.
In 2008, The Professionals’ calypso tent played at a fixed venue, while Kaiso Forum’s roamed the GTA.
This exciting, annual music series showcased the best Calypso and Soca performers in Canada. It started on June 14th, 2008, and ran for one month on Saturdays and Sundays at various venues in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Each weekend featured an alternate calypso tent performing original Calypso/Soca music in its best storytelling tradition of social and political commentary, humour, and wit.
A panel of volunteer judges awards points based on the following criteria: Lyrics (max. 35 marks); Melody (20); Rendition (25); Presentation (10); and Originality (10) for a total of 100 marks. The order of merit is determined by discarding the highest and lowest score per participant. This judging criterion is used at OCPA’s preliminary and final competition(s). At each show, the judges’ decision is final, and their results are announced at the end of each competition.
On Saturday, July 26th 2008, OCPA adjudicated the following winners at their 2008 Canadian Calypso Monarch Finals’ Competition: BEST LYRICS-De Carra for the song "No Black School"
BEST MELODY- Winston Maingot for the song "Take Back We Country” sung by Macomere Fifi
BEST PRESENTATION- Macomere Fifi for the song "Barrack Obama" (spelling of official song name as registered by the artist with OCPA)
BEST VOCAL RENDITION- Macomere Fifi for the song "Barrack Obama" (spelling of official song name as registered by the artist with OCPA)
MOST ORIGINAL CALYPSO- De Carra for the song "No Black School"
BEST COMPOSITION ON A LOCAL TOPIC- De Carra for the song "No Black School"
MOST HUMOUROUS CALYPSO- De Carra for the song "No Black School"
BEST ARRANGEMENT- Oswald James for the song "Take Back We Country" sung by Macomere Fifi
MOST PROMISING NEW ARTISTE - PRESTON SHEPHERD AWARD
- Naki (Nzunaki Tuitt)
PEOPLES’ CHOICE 2008 OCPA Canadian Calypso Monarch – RESULTS
RANK STAGE NAME/SOBRIQUET (NAME) 2008 CALYPSO TENT
1 Macomere Fifi (Tara Eulith Woods) The Professionals
2 De Carra (Leslie Carabon) Kaiso Forum
3 Structure (Bryan Thornhill) Kaiso Forum (2007 defending champion)
4 Susan G (Susan Grogan) Kaiso Forum
5 (tie) Naki (Nzunaki Tuitt) The Professionals Redman (Michael Thomas) Kaiso Forum
7 Lady Pearl (Pearl Breteron-Robinson) The Professionals
8 Connector (Joel Davis) Kaiso Forum
9 Beginner (Michael Moore) The Professionals
The 2008 OCPA Canadian Calypso Monarch Finals was carried LIVE-to-AIR on Saturday, July 26th, 2008 on radio locally and worldwide via CHRY 105.5FM (http://www.chry.fm/).
The Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes (OCPA) is a registered non-profit arts organization founded in 1981 by a group of individuals who saw the need for an umbrella group to guide the growth and development of the calypso in Toronto and Canada. Its mandate – as set out in its Constitution and Bylaws – is to promote the calypso art form in all its diversity: storytelling, social and political commentary, and comedy in song; to create opportunities to compose, perform and record calypso; and to facilitate calypso music’s growth and development in general. Contact OCPA directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. OCPA is a stakeholder of the Scotiabank Caribana™ Festival which is managed by The Festival Management Committee (FMC).
Scotiabank Caribana™ is a cultural explosion of Caribbean music, revelry as well as visual and performing arts. Launched in 1967 as a Centennial Project, this world famous festival has become a major international event and an expression of Toronto’s multi-cultural and multi-racial society. The Festival is now celebrating its 41st anniversary. For more information, please visit http://www.caribanafestival.com/.
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