The Rounds: International Calypso Monarch is coming!

>> Monday, June 1, 2009

(Originally aired on Soca Therapy on Flow 93.5 FM, Sunday, May 31, 2009)

In this edition:
  • Berlin Carnival
  • Vincy Soca Dans Launch
  • St. Lucia Carnival press launch
  • TUCO planning an International Calypso Monarch Competition
  • RIP Lady Guymine
  • Sheldon Benjamin out of hospital
  • Alison Hinds holding web design contest
Good Evening Soca Lovers, I’m Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay’s Rounds!

This was a busy week in the soca world as the Summer carnival season begins to unfold in fine style. Berlin Germany lit up with some hot soca action this weekend, for its Carnival of Cultures. Thanks to Germany’s number #1 soca sound, the Soca Twins, people like Kevin Lyttle, Maximus Dan, Marlon Asher and Jah Melody made the trip to Europe to take part in the festivities. I thought I should note that all dem man dey was on truck number NINETY SEVEN in the parade of the bands. Is it just me, or does that mean, Carnival in Germany is much bigger than we would have expected?

Nurse Karen with Germany's Soca Twins

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Friday evening a group known as the LIME Vincy Soca Dans gave a huge free show in Heritage Square for all their fans. Record numbers turned up to see Luta, Jamesy P, Fireman Hooper and Tabia perform one of their first full length sets together for the season. Katalyst flew in from Barbados for a special appearance to perform her new duet with Luta. Great reviews so far!

Meanwhile in St. Lucia, the CDF held a press launch for St. Lucia Carnival 2009 on Friday. They announced an increase in police presence this year to ramp up security at all official dot dot....beginning Monday. Monday is the official start of Lucian carnival . The fun starts at 3pm in Castries. Mas bands will be out registering revellers. Sponsor will be bombarding the people with promotions and the like, then some time around 5 pm, the performances will start. Local Calypso and Soca acts will feed the hungry crowd right into the night!

Speaking of Calypso, the Trinidad Unified Calypsonians Organization has begun wheeling and dealing to put together an International Calypso Monarch Competition! The idea is a to create a larger platform for Calypsonians throughout the region to showcase their art. A memorandum of understanding was signed last week to launch the inaugural event this October in Sint Maarten! They decided that a date in the Fall would be a better choice than waiting for the 2010 Trinidad Carnival season, since October falls after almost all of the Caribbean based carnivals have concluded. Sounds like somebody’s thinking down there.

The Guyanese calypso community around the world is in a more sombre mood this weekend as it mourns the passing of one of its true cultural ambassadors. Female Calypsonian, Monica Chopperfield aka Lady Guymine died on Thursday of natural causes. I first told you about her health issues last September when a group of West Indians in New York, including Winston Soso and Sugar Aloes came together to raise cash for her medical costs. Lady Guymine made her debut as a Mashramani Calypsonian back in 1965. Her talents were noticed by The Mighty Sparrow, who invited her to Trinidad to perform in his Calypso tent. She did so for two years. Then continued her nearly 4 decade career touring the Caribbean, and the US. I want to offer my condolences to the entire Chopperfield family for their loss at this time. May the legacy live on!

Before we get stuck on the bad news, here’s something to make you smile. Music producer, Sheldon “Shel Shok” Benjamin came home from hospital on Thursday. If you remember he’s recovering from Cancer affecting the lymph nodes. He’s doing much better, and will hopefully be well enough to attend the LIFELINE benefit concert in his honour and aid at Club Zen this coming weekend.

Before I bounce, I know the times are tough. And a few of you out there might be looking for a job! I got some good news. Soca queen Alison Hinds is in the market for a new design for Alison Hinds dot com. SO, if you think you can handle de wuk. There’s a contest going on right now. Email black coral contest at gmail dot com to enter. You’ve got till June 8th. Good Luck!

I’m Nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay’s Rounds. For more information on all the items you heard today. Find me online at Nurse dash Karen dot com, or nursekaren on Twitter and I’ll be happy to fill you in. Now, back to de docta!

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