Nurse's Lounge: Caribana 2010 is now officially here!

>> Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bandshell stage at Yonge-Dundas Square

Itks midday in Toronto and a lot of people in the downtown core are taking extended lunch breaks to witness the launch of the 2010 Caribana festivities. It's a medium sized crowd at Toronto's busiest downtown intersection.

I rode here from home on a day where the humidity balloons the temperature to 37 degrees celsius. I was ok until I stopped moving. Actually, if the water fountains had been turned on today, I would have jumped right into the spray.

A host of formalities had to be addressed before the entertainment got going. You know how that goes....sponsors and politicians rightfully showing face to curry favour with the community. I suppose I ought to big up Blackberry for taking part two years in a row. (After all, I posted this with my BB.)

The talk eventually gave way to performance by local act including: Afropan Steel Orchestra, Neu Jenarashun, Red Man ( a Calypsonian) and Nikeisha Toussaint. Sadly, a technical error got in the way of her performance of her new single "Bumper".

That's it for now....I need to find some water!!!

Love and Soca,

Nurse Karen

Karen Richardson

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Dr. Jay is Set to Paint the Town WHITE This Weekend

>> Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Dr. Jay is Set to Paint the Town WHITE This Weekend
Toronto’s favourite pre-carnival tradition returns this Saturday:  Dr. Jay’s WHITEOUT.  This trendsetting Caribbean event is a highly anticipated precursor to the city’s August long weekend festivities.  For the fifteenth consecutive year, partygoers are expected to don white attire all night long until sunrise as they dance to the best in Caribbean soca music.
Whiteout was started by Toronto-based DJ Dr. Jay de Soca Prince in 1995.  Patrons must dress in white clothing from head to toe in order to obtain entry, creating a glow in the dark effect under black light.  The look is reminiscent of Toronto itself under severe snowy conditions, known locally as a “Whiteout”.  The concept has gone on to be imitated internationally by carnival event promoters throughout the West Indies, the United States and the United Kingdom among other places.  However, Dr. Jay prides himself on strict enforcement of the all-white dress code in a way that others do not.  Each year, WHITEOUT strives to break new boundaries, be it creative venues such as Medieval Times dinner theatre in 2005 or surprise appearances from the likes of hip hop phenomenon Drake in 2009.
 In 2010, the event will feature live performances from a high-energy cast of artistes, live and direct from Trinidad and Tobago.  Among them is legendary saxophonist and band leader Roy Cape who, earlier this year, was fêted for 50 years in the Caribbean music business.  His band, The Roy Cape All-Stars, will provide the soundtrack of booming bass, tweeting treble and piercing brass for performances by Blaxx, Olatunji Yearwood, Rita Jones,  Zan and Umi Marcano.
In contrast to Roy Cape, Umi Marcano is the youngest performer on the bill.  He says he counts it an honour to be included in the long standing tradition.  “I heard it’s the best and Dr. Jay gives you the five star treatment,” said Marcano .“ It’s the best feeling in the world coming [to Canada] for the very first time to perform for my fans across the oceans.  The member of Machel Montano’s HD family represents a new generation in soca music fusing R&B style vocals and dance with Caribbean Soca rhythms for a hybrid groovy style that has quickly gained popularity among youth.  The Kingdom of Soca DJs (KOS) will keep the party going till 6 a.m. The night promises to raise the spirits of the young and the young-at-heart alike. 
If you have never experienced WHITEOUT, be sure to check it out this Saturday.
 July 17, 2010
10 p.m. – 6 a.m.
“Koolhaus” inside the Guverment Entertainment Complex
132 Queen’s Quay East, Toronto
Tickets available for just $30 (plus retail service charge)
For more information on Dr. Jay de Soca Prince or WHITEOUT, 
For media inquiries email


On De Scene: Reelest8. The beginning.

>> Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hi guys. Is ah real long time ah eh report tuh allyuh, but allyuh know ah does only drop in when ah ha ting tuh talk bout rite.

Last Saturday, 10th July, ah had de pleasure of hosting de launch ah de newest band in Trinidad & Tobago, Reelest8. (Now allyuh cud play wit dah name all allyuh like buh I feeling it. After hearing dem ah cud honestly say ah feeling de 8 too. (See de name play start (((grins))).

Reelest8 consists of: Bandleader/Producer/Musical Director, Gordon Samuels; Drummer, Kareem Romain; Lead guitarist, Steve Smith; Bassist, Cornelious Francis; Keyboardist, Dale Dolly; Lead Vocalist, Heaven ‘Snakey’ Charles; Female Vocalist, Keisha Stewart; Vocalist, Kenneth 'Kenny' Richards; Sound Engineers, Alvin Dempster and Cerf Stewart.

According to their facebook page (which ah encourage allyuh to join): “Reelest8 is a blend of fresh faces and soca veterans. The foundation of the band is the eight core musicians from the band formerly known as Surface, which was a staple of the soca scene for the last decade. While Reelest8 has its sights set on the long-term, there are fetes they plan to accomplish in the short term. The band will officially launch at Caribana in Toronto, Canada, this July. The band also has bookings in Dubai, London, Miami and Trinidad”. Nice one wid de guys dey man, management: (Kenson King (1-868-462-4757), Keisha ALmorales (1-868-786-2671) and Karen Lowery (1-868-351-7108) can all be contacted to book the band), wukking!

DE BEGINNING: It was ah real nice intimate setting at La casa De Ibiza, with family, friends, fellow artistes and supporters. Now allyuh mus be wondering how dey ha supporters ahready if dey now launching. Stick wid meh nah, is veterans we dealing wid ah say. Some of them stamp dey name in bands like Atlantik, Karibbean Rage, Byron Lee, 3 Veni, even a rock band “5 miles to midnite”, and of course Surface.

Ah announced de band and came off stage to “gape”. Wen Heaven (who I know as Snakey) belted out de first bars of Jah Cure’s Unconditional love, how yuh does say it? He had meh at hello! Snakey has improved drastically, or maybe ah just never hear him wid dem kinda styles, buh he immediately had us ladies eating outa he han wid de emotions he conveyed. His cover of Unconditional love was by far de reelest (pun intended) ah hear so far. He take full control ah de stage and audience, without overdoing it. He set de pace.

Meh girl Keisha Stewart had one up on Rhianna cause ah never ever see Rhi-Rhi perform she own song Rude Boy like dat! Keisha had de right blend of sex appeal, class, and “diva-ish-ness”. She made some moves she must have picked up on one of her many trips abroad, (she has worked in places me eh even reach yet, Malaysia and ting yuh know), cause ah never see Keisha move so before! She looked great. Vocally, she was on POINT

Kenny (ah sorry buh allyuh know ah does keep it real)

Ah tink 2011 cud be de year ah de “underground" unappreciated, Soca artistes cause boy, de guest artistes!!! Well everybody know Terri Lyons, if yuh doh know she yet, 2011!!! All ah go say is if dey (re:de mafia) give Terri room, Terri bringing home even more dan she sister Fayanne bring home.

Buffy! Buffy! Buffy and she antics. She was a pleasant surprise. Whole Carnival ah hearing de tune “man wine up on anything, woman wine up on anything.” Ah really didn’t feel de song eh. My thought was, “wha ish is dat?”. After seeing her perform, my lorsh! I now rate it as one of de better tunes for de past season. An energetic, strong, FULL ON PERFORMANCE! I lovessss her!

Emm em *clears throat*. Ah cud now do de “Swappi”. In my introduction tuh de band, ah happen tuh mention dat ah wanted tuh learn Swappi’s dance. Who tell meh say so? During his performance, Swappi call meh out tuh learn his dance, which ah now realize is de Soca version ah one ah de late great MJ’s. Again, true artiste, rite dong tuh he Soca MJ all white kit (which included white sun glases).

Reelest8 repertoire was de rite mix ah songs, de rite length and come September when de have de official Trinbago launch, AH GO BE DEY! De nite was best!

So if yuh from TO, listen out fuh Reelest8 (soon tuh release 3 tracks). Go out & support dem, it go be best!

Only two tings spoil de nite. One is after all de pictures and videos ah take, ah still eh learn de upload from de BB tuh de blog yet. Steupes (@ mehself). Wat is de point of having de ting if ah cah (refuse tuh take time tuh) learn it? My apologies. De oda is meh girl Rochell K Noel wasn't dey fuh de experience, ah cuda well do wid meh wuk up partner. Buh all kicks aside, de lady ha she priorities straight so ah cah complain. AH STILL MISS YUH ROCHEEEY!

Yes guys, it's really been ah while buh, I is still yuh Keeping it real Trinibagonian.

So wha if some oceans divide us, ah still maintain MUSIC WILL UNITE US!

Blessings and miracles,



Nurse's Lounge: Happy 90th Birthday Officer!

>> Monday, July 12, 2010

I've never been too keen about sharing my personal life. In spite of my hobbies and vocations over the years that place me in the way of public scrutiny, I actually work very diligently to keep my life, my REAL life very private.

I live a life that is full, blessed, and challenging.  I have a small circle of close friends, and a huge loving family who accept me in all my various reincarnations.  This weekend, I spent hours and hours in the company of many of those relatives.  People rushed in from England, Montserrat, Trinidad, The United States, and of course St. Vincent and the Grenadines to mark the occasion of my Grandfather's 90th Birthday.

I didn't go to Vincy Mas this year, and to be honest it kinda hurt.  Yes, I love carnival but, as you know, I experience several carnivals in a given year.  The greatest joy of returning to St. Vincent annually for carnival is the ability to celebrate my Grandfather's birthday with him, as it always falls smack dab in the middle of the action.  When the usual sponsorship arrangement that enables a team from Toronto-Lime dot com (that includes me) to hit up Vincy Mas fell thru, the emotions were mixed.  Truth be told, it's some of the best work you can get...going to the Caribbean to cover carnival, but I'm getting married this year.  I'm busy...and skipping town weeks before the big day isnt' what I would call a wise decision.  However, I really wanted to be there, this year more than ever as this year had it all worked out.  My cousin "Slimmy" and I would have been their celebrate the 90th year of our maternal patriarch, the legendary hero of our family.

So I missed the actual day of his birth, but five days later, he was here in Toronto.  He sat in a banquet hall filled with some 80 of his descendants and relatives, and he was honoured.  So blessed am I to come from a family that unites for occasions like this.  I met some folk for the first time.  I got to catch up with a favourite uncle from my childhood, I got to eat, drink and dance with people who share with me one of life's most vital commodities .... blood.

I saw my family in a new light.  I saw my brother as a confident master of ceremonies.  I heard my mother deliver a heart-felt address. My auntie sang beautifully and humbly, and we all joined in. A beautiful hand painted work was unveiled by another grandchild.  Slimmy wrote and read out a biography that made your heart want to leap out of your chest.  I had the pleasure of composing and performing an original poem in Grandpa's honour. The younger ones ushered.  One cousin made beautiful favours, so we would all have a keepsake of the occasion.  An auntie baked and decorated one phenomenal black cake befitting of a first rate gala occasion.  And I really could go on and on.  I am so proud of my family. So proud, and I really couldn't help but share.

Below, is my brother's tribute video "Portrait of a man".  It tells some of my grandfather's story...and it tells the story of the Canadian branch of "Dalys" through video and still photos.  It shows our family home in St. Vincent, and people who we have embraced over the years as family by choice. It's just what we do.

If you've ever wondered who I really am, perhaps this will begin to answer your question.


Nurse Karen


On De Scene : HP Dethrones two-time Soca Monarch King Ricky T

>> Sunday, July 11, 2010

A mere few hours ago St.Lucia crowned their new Power Soca King HP. History was made at Socarific Saturday with a Disc Jockey claiming the crown and he did STOP Ricky, in what could be described as an intense battle for the crown. The results of the night :

1st – HP

2nd Ricky T

3rd Superman HD

Tonight the Groovy King with his sweet melodies undoubtedly retained the crown with a second consecutive win, in this competition. With fourteen competitors vying for the crown , one could have concluded from the onset that it was not leaving the King , Alpha. Results were for this segment were :

1st Alpha

2nd Superman HD

3rd Nicole David.


On De Scene : Socarific Saturday- St.Lucia Carnival 2010

>> Saturday, July 10, 2010

Today, July 10th 2010 the Cultural Development Foundation Presents the 1st ever "Socarific Saturday" Following in the footsteps of our sister island Trinidad , the Groovy and Power Soca Monarch will be held together hence the show was dubbed "Socarific Saturday"!

Tonight , 30 songs are expected to be performed including that of the reigning Kings of both competitions.; (Alpha - Groovy and Ricky T - Power ) , beginning at 8 p.m. at the Mindoo Phillip Park.

Grooovy Competitors :

Menel- Boy You Have Me

Nintus-Don't Apologize

- One Last Chance

Nicole David - Mr. Dean Dough

Q-Pid - Leave Me Alone

Toya- De Key

Mubarak -Love This Feeling

Phyness - Carnival In Me

Blaze- I Cyan Wait

Superman HD - Gros Pwel

Mantius Carnival Come Back Again

Louie Dan - Jumping Again

- Jammin It Again

T.C. Brown- Ah Taking Ah Whine

Power Soca Competitors:

DJ HP- Pa Melé

Teddyson John- Rags

Esteban- Big Hit

Alpha- Anything

Ambi- Push Dem

Blaze- Blaze It Up

Ilah Man- Mad People Segment

Superman HD- Ready 4 Dem

Q-Pid- Palé Palé

Mubarak- Wave Something

Kakal- Bomb Song

Mantius- Carnival Is Here

Private Six- Have No Head

Platinum George- Cigarette and Rum

Peace and Soca


Booster Shot: Skinny Fabulous makes it three!

>> Sunday, July 4, 2010

The 2019 St. Vincent and the Grenadines Soca Monarch wrapped up about four hours ago.  As usual the crowd was wild with excitement as soca favourites vied for the top prize of Vincy Mas.

Congratulations to Skinny Fabulous on winning the title three consecutive times.

For those who missed it, here's who came out on top at Vincy Soca Monarch 2010

1. Skinny Fabulous - Charge Up (Duracell)
2. Fireman Hooper - Soca Battlefield
3. Maddzart - King Road
4. Problem Child - Delinquents

Love and Soca,

Nurse Karen



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