Posts Tagged ‘Miami’

MIAMI BROWARD CARNIVAL IS RIGHT ON TIME

Jennifer Lovell from NY masquerader for Dingolay mas band

Jason Walker

Carnival, the largest physical manifestation that has been exported worldwide, is up South Florida again. The Miami Broward One Carnival will happen Sunday the 7th of October in 2018. The timing of the Carnival is perfect with the backdrop of the USA having issues with the immigrant population (which over 90% of the US population is either born outside of the US or is the descendant of someone born outside of the country) and the current political power structure.

Carnival does directly represent the 35 countries of the Caribbean that has spawned this amazing festival, yet Carnival has cultural elements from all over the globe and deriving from the continent of Africa, it is an event that finds a way to bring unity with diversity.

Carnival is an explosion of music, food, costumes and various aspects of culture, the best that the melting pot of the Caribbean offers. It engages family of all ages and communities and people from all walks of life. The patrons will be exposed to costume bands, music bands, steel pan bands, the diverse food along with a worldwide connection and sense of excitement and bliss.

The Carnival could not come at a better time. We all need a moment of community that is filled with joy and peace. A day where all cares are thrown to the wind and we lose ourselves in our best selves. On this day we will partake of the euphoria that has been handed down from generation to generation and has sparked creativity, connectivity and ecstasy.

The Miami Broward One Carnival will have all the activities spoken of and culminate with a concert of some of Soca’s best artists. The concert is headlined by Kes the Band, Patrice Roberts and Ricardo Drue. Here is a small Q&A we had with Ricardo Drue to give us more of an opportunity to learn more about him.

 

Questions for Ricardo Drue

JW: For those that don’t know who Ricardo Drue is, describe yourself.

RD: Ricardo Drue is a son the Caribbean, born in Antigua Raised in Trinidad and currently living in Florida. I think I’m probably one of the most goofy and weird artiste you’ll ever meet. I enjoy entertaining people and I am forever grateful for every opportunity that I get to perform for the masses. Every chance I get to perform is a chance to help someone get away from whatever bad they may be going through.

JW: If you could write your own headline, what would it be?

RD: Ricardo Drue A man who changed the World with Music/Soca

JW: You have been in the music game for a very long time. What are your tips on staying relevant?

RD: Staying as connected to the industry as much as you can, which includes educating yourself on the ins and outs of the game. This industry changes very fast, and if you not attentive enough you can get lost very quickly

JW: What are you grateful for in your life?

RD: Life itself, just the fact I’m able to wake every day is a blessing. I am also grateful for my Family, i am nothing without them.

JW: When did you know you wanted to take music seriously?

RD: At the age of 5, I knew I was going to do something with music, I wasn’t sure what it was but I knew it was music.

JW: What is one of your favorite projects you have worked on or songs you have done?

RD: Favorite project to date with have to be iD “(stamp you name)”. With this song i learned how to bring true emotion out of my audience.

JW: What kind of stuff did you grow up listening to?

RD: R&B, Pop, Calypso and Country (lol I know).

JW: Who are some of your music heroes?

RD: BoyzII Men, Bob Marley, Bunji Garlin, Ronnie Macintosh, Micheal Jackson & Neyo

JW: In your musical journey so far, what are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?

RD: Always be humble, you never know when you are going to be down, The same people you treat badly on your way up, is the same people you will meet on your way down!

JW: What is next for you?

RD: We have expanded the iDnation, and now in addition to music we are also doing events around the world, For example we have “Druesday” in Antigua, and we also have Adventure Island ( wed oct 3rd 2018) for Miami Carnival and so much more.

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Miami Broward One Carnival Celebrate 30 years of Carnival in South Florida

By Jason Walker

MIAMI BROWARD CARNIVAL CELEBRATES 30 YEARS

MIAMI BROWARD ONE CARNIVAL CELEBRATES 30 YEARS. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIAMI BROWARD ONE CARNIVAL

Miami Broward One Carnival reaches a major milestone in 2014. Three decades is a long time for any area not based in the Caribbean to host the largest physical manifestation of Caribbean culture: Carnival. The name Miami Broward One Carnival reflects the historic unification of two Carnivals that were staged for several years in close proximity in South Florida, on the same day at the same time. Both events drew thousands of people and had stage shows and bands.  The people, however, wanted one Carnival for the sake of unity, – everyone could partake in all that Carnival has to offer.

The vision of Carnival in South Florida 30 years ago has manifested itself into one of the most popular Caribbean events in North America. The Carnival even has hit songs that are about that Carnival, such as Alison Hind’s “Never Too Late For Carnival” featuring Trevor Offkey.

Joan Hickson is the chair of the organizing committee. Hickson thought back to “the first Carnival on NW 183rd Street.  I was a member of the St. Lucia Association of South Florida.  We became a band in the Carnival.  I was actually the Queen of the Band one year.  Since that time I have been involved in other bands – D’ Untouchables and D’ First Dimension.  I was on the Board of the South Florida Bandleaders Association and Caribbean American Carnival, which later became Miami Carnival Inc.  I have loved almost every minute of the last 30 years.  It is an accomplishment that we were able to overcome everything and all come together to continue this beautiful event”.

YOUNG ONE IN COSTUME FOR JUNIOR CARNIVAL

YOUNG ONE IN COSTUME FOR JUNIOR CARNIVAL

Hickson also demonstrated the importance of joining both Miami and Broward Carnivals; “it is very important for us to have only one Carnival in this region”, she cited.  “History has proven that we cannot afford more than one – financially, culturally or socially.  It was hard for both organizations; we were accustomed to our independence, but as leaders of our community it was the only choice and it was the right choice.”

Kathryn D’arcy is a director on the organizing committee. D’arcy shared that this year the “theme is a celebration of the 30th Annual Miami Carnival.  The first Miami Carnival was in 1985 in what is now the City of Miami Gardens.”

The late Selman Lewis took the helm of leadership in 1990 and with great fortitude, cunning, will power and strong support helped to guide the Carnival to be one of the most recognized in the world.

Miami Broward One Carnival by Walter Drayton

IMAGES FROM CARNIVAL IN SOUTH FLORIDA BY WALTER DRAYTON

Getting to the milestone of 30 years is very important and has been very difficult. The Carnival organizing committee has to make sure all facets of the very large event are taken care of, that there is buy in from the non-Caribbean community, the governing municipalities of South Florida, and the other Carnivals to avoid conflicting schedules. D’arcy shared that doing this “is a personal triumph because of my history with Miami Carnival.  I was not there in 1985, but I was in 1986 and every year since.  I’ve been a bandleader, a mas player, a competitor, an onlooker and an organizer of Miami Carnival.  I have seen and been a part of different facets of Carnival and from an organizational perspective I’ve seen every problem, every triumph over adversity – and there have been a lot of them.”

The Director of Marketing, John Beckford (formerly part of the Broward Carnival organizing committee), states that the Carnival means to him “embracing heritage and celebration of Caribbean arts and culture. It means food, drinks and music indigenous to the Caribbean. It means, getting together with friends and family if not for this one time each year…it means old man Winter is about to set in….” Hickson declares that, “I have loved almost every minute of the last 30 years.  It is an accomplishment that we were able to overcome everything and all come together to continue this beautiful event.”

For it to last this long and still grow and be relevant is admirable, the question as to how it has lasted so long was posed to Hickson.  She responded by saying “Our community loves Carnival.  No matter where we are from, we all had Carnival at home, so it’s natural to want to show our kids and teach them our culture.  Every year another thousand people discover Carnival and will bring their friends the following year.”

Broward Canrival

IMAGES FROM BROWARD CARNIVAL

Miami Broward One Carnival has left enduring memories for all, memories that have seared into people’s subconscious to become lasting life images. Board members shared some of their memories; Beckford shared his most enduring memory which was a “A quiet conversation with Selman Lewis two days before he died, about how unity of Miami & Broward carnivals was the right thing to do…. Selman….miss him….”; Hickson adds, “… the memories of Selman Lewis are there. We called him “The Runner” because the rest of the Board had specific responsibilities but he was, overall, responsible for everything.  Plus, Selman was too elegant to ever run. The name was our private joke.  I always loved seeing the Kings, Queens and Individuals on stage, especially when we did the show at the Coconut Grove Convention Center and they had a big stage to perform on.  The Junior Carnivals are good memories.  I loved it when the steelbands came from T&T and people just chipped along smiling and happy.” D’arcy remembers “Wet Mih Down” playing while masqueraders jumped up on stage in pouring rain in Miami Beach; sitting on the wall of Hialeah Park watching the masqueraders pass; the heat at  carnival parties in Studio 183 and Travelodge; Sherman Helmsley (“Mr. Jefferson”) jumping up on stage at the Convention Center; a City of Miami Policeman pushing pan on stage at Bicentennial Park; TanTan and Saga Boy at Pier 1 in Miami Beach; the perfection of D’ First Dimension Mas Band; all mas bands, steelbands, Junior bands and J’Ouvert bands that make up Carnival.”

The Carnival brings thousands of persons to South Florida consistently from across North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and even Europe. It is a huge boost to the South Florida economy, a great plug for Florida tourism and a fantastic display of Caribbean Culture. Caribbean and Non-Caribbean people get engaged in the Carnival in diverse ways. They are not just standing on the sides and grooving to music anymore, they are becoming a part of the show joining bands, putting on costumes and fully becoming part of the Carnival. There are Caribbean and non-Caribbean people volunteering to help with the organizing of the Carnival. According to Beckford, “some embrace carnival and are curious of the diversity. Thanks to TV, Internet and World Travel, more non-Caribbean folks explore and embrace Carnival. Each year I see non-Caribbean numbers grow in attendance”

Kia Hidspire representing Grenada & St Lucia along with Nicole Williams representing Jamaica in Tribal Mas Band in the 2013 Miami Broward Carnival

Kia Hidspire representing Grenada & St Lucia along with Nicole Williams representing Jamaica in Tribal Mas Band in the 2013 Miami Broward Carnival

There are many aspects for people to enjoy and be engaged in. Patron and Reveller Nicole Williams who makes the trek from New York City states that “my favourite part would be the beginning when we start to march”; Miami Native Rhavi Bharath eloquently points out that “the Carnival bliss in that moment of sweet soca, alcohol, stunning women and scenic ecstasy was a time forever etched in my subconscious.” There are also masquerade bands that will travel thousands of miles to partake of Miami Broward One Carnival. Garth George and his Fusion Karnival Band out of New York is such band. According to Trinidad & Tobago born George Fusion Karnival masquerade band is one of the largest to come out of New York and he states that “Miami Broward (One) Carnival is the last bacchanal getaway of the summer before the main event in T&T to get ready again for another year”.

The Carnival engages various people in many areas. When asked about this phenomenon D’arcy expounds that “there are cashiers, Marshalls to direct the parade, people to work with the vendors, marketing needs people to service the sponsors, we have PR volunteers tweeting and instagramming at every event.  These are just some of the people who work with Carnival.  From an attendance point-of-view, it’s exciting to see the promise of diversity play out on our stage.  Every color, creed and race is on the road, but in addition the age differential is amazing in that nobody is too young or too old to play mas.  We have masqueraders in wheelchairs; we have LGBT masqueraders; anyone and everyone is welcome as a masquerader or attendee.  We are truly diverse and that is the true pageantry and spectacle of Carnival.”

Looking back at the three decades it is hard to separate Selman Lewis from the memories. Hickson shared that “Selman Lewis is the cerebral founder of Carnival.  The WIADCA Committee founded Carnival in 1985.  In 1990 Selman Lewis took the Carnival and dragged it to a higher level.  He formed alliances which brought Brooklyn and other cities to Miami in record numbers.  He started the Coconut Grove Convention Center parties.  He started doing a Carnival Launch.  He then started doing an Official Launch of Miami Carnival in T&T.  He was the brainchild behind the beautiful brochures which many Carnival produce.  He had a unique mind and the ability to communicate which allowed him to dominate every meeting and every group, and to get people to agree with his viewpoints.  He formed the first “Junior Board” with the intent of having a group of younger people to take over Carnival.  His policies and procedures are still used today.  He was a Carnival Genius.”

Miami Broward One Carnival celebrating 30 years should be a powerful display of Caribbean culture, expression and, yes, unity. The Carnival will be in two parts the Miami Broward Junior Carnival will be held on Sunday, October 5, 2014 at the Central Broward Regional Park & Cricket Stadium (3700 NW 11th Pl, Lauderhill, FL 33311) and on Sunday, October 12, 2014 there will be the staging of the Miami Broward Parade of Bands, 30 Years Celebration at the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds, 10901 Coral Way, Miami, Fl 33165. For more information visit www.miamibrowardcarnival.com.

Jason Walker is a freelance writer for Caribbean Today Magazine who has had an award winning journalism career that spans 20 years. He can be followed on twitter at www.twitter.com/jasonwalker_ or emailed at jasonarticle@gmail.com

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Trinidadian Born Miami Native Rhavi Bharath with fellow Masquerader overlooking Biscayne Bay in Miami

WYLCEF JEAN SITS WITH JASON SKYWALKER ON CROSSOVER MEDIA

Wyclef Jean and Jason Sky Walker

Wyclef Jean and Jason Sky Walker by Tiffanny Stennett

          Jason Sky Walker had a sit down with hip hop legend and superstar Wyclef Jean for Cross Over Media TV. On this archived podcast the producer, artist, politician, and author speaks on many topics including the Haiti earthquake, his career, the Fugees, his book, family and more.

          Play the video to watch this interview from one of the most talented and successful artists to come from the Caribbean. Please feel free to comment and give feedback.

Art Piece by Legagnour

Art Piece by Legagnour

Caribbean Fantastic Brings Haitian Spice To Art Basel In Miami-3rd of December to the 2nd of January

There is about to be a dramatic injection of spice and diversity into Art Basel, one of the most popular Art events that occur in the United States, with the introduction of world renowned, critically acclaimed and gorgeous art. Art Basel draws tens of thousands of persons from inside and outside of Miami. However although the event has been around for 40 years, it is not known for showcasing artists or art that come from the African Diaspora.

Fortunately this has been changing recently with the efforts of several people and organizations. Multitudes Contemporary Art Gallery owner and curator Babacar Mbow is committed to bringing forth some of that change. Mbow has a highly acclaimed, diverse and longstanding career in education and art and is uniquely equipped to source and present art from the African Diaspora.  This year’s exhibition will focus on Haiti. Haiti is the country that 1st represented African freedom and independence and the beginning of the end to slavery in the Western Hemisphere, and hence a source of great inspiration for artists. This works perfectly as South Florida has a large Haitian population and by extension a large Caribbean population.

The change towards greater diversity will go into high gear with this exhibition called “Caribbean Fantastic” that runs from the 3rd of December 2013 to the 2nd of January 2014 at the Multitudes Contemporary Art Gallery. Caribbean Fantastic features the works of the extremely talented and exciting Jean Claude Legagneur. Jean Claude Legagneur is a very successful artist whose critically acclaimed works have been seen in places like New York, South Florida, DC, Tokyo, Port-Au-Prince and Santo Domingo. His monumental Mural adorns the American Airlines Terminal at John Fitzgerald Kennedy Airport in New York.

Jean Claude Legagneur is an integral part of African Diaspora history. Legagneur is a relentless painter that has produced a large treasure of artistic gems that has been moving people since 1963. Born in Haiti in 1947 Legagneur travelled to the United States at an early age and was soon working with some famous artists and would eventually make beautiful and engaging imagery for the world to see. Besides the positive accolades given earlier, Legagneur consistently received the descriptions of sensitivity and sincerity from the critics that have reviewed his works over the years.

Caribbean Fantastic takes this history and brings it forward and makes it relevant today. “Jean Claude Legagneur defies mainstream contemporary art’s boisterous claims and enters the realm of 21st century aesthetics”

Caribbean Fantastic runs from the 3rd of December to the 2nd of January during Art Basel at the Multitudes Contemporary Art Gallery. The opening reception for Caribbean Fantastic will be Wednesday the 4th of December at 7pm. The reception will be at the Multitudes Contemporary Art Gallery 5570 NE 4th Avenue Miami Florida 33137. For more information please call 954-338-8670 / 786-597-3042.  Media Contact: Harris Public Relations at 786.897.8854 or publicity@harrispublicelations.com

 

Caribbean Fantastic Schedule during Art Basel Week

Gallery 10am-11pm

Free and open to the public

December 4 : 7:30 PM-10 PM NIGHT OF HAITIAN DIPLOMACY : Opening Night

Under the patronage of the Consul General of Haiti in Miami , The Night of the Haitian diplomacy is at the heart of the dynamics of the new Cultural Diplomacy policy of the Haitian government. The presence of Haitian diplomats in the United States as well as those in the Caribbean and beyond is anticipated. With artists, Hollywood stars, great collectors and other guests of the city, this night will present Haiti in all its potentials.

December 5 : 8 PM-10 PM

Hollywood Artists United: An Evening with Jimmy Jean Louis

The actor who masterfully interpreted historical consciousness through Toussaint Louverture: The Battle of the Eagles is also a humanitarian whose work focuses on the construction and operation of a school in the Haitian countryside. This fund raising event will be attended by Hollywood stars with his fans and colleagues.

December 6 : 8 PM-10 PM CARIBBEAN LITERARY ART: LECTURE & BOOK SIGNING Caribbean Spaces: Escape from the Twilight Zones by Carole Boyce-Davies

Persuasive and comprehensive, Caribbean Spaces achieves an intriguing sequence of intricate journeys through Caribbean and African diasporic cultural spaces, political landscapes, historiographies, and literary-artistic terrains, each keenly observed.

 

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Ted Lucas

Ted Lucas

Ted Lucas Foundation Honors Pioneering Individuals At Holiday Reception

Miami, Fl- Music Philanthropist and Hip-Hop Success story, Ted Lucas and the Ted Lucas Foundation launched the Don’t Stop The Music Campaign and will honor individuals who have successfully created platforms to foster instrumental music education at his fourth annual holiday party on Thursday, December 5, 2013 in the Fusion Mia tent during Art Basel. Red carpet arrivals will take place at 5:45pm-6:30pm. Music will be powered by Lucas’ label Slip-N-Slide Records, new classically trained R&B singer and songwriter Sebastian Mikael who will perform at 8pm. Walmart will make a check presentation the honorees that include: Amy Rosenberg, Founder Overtown Music Project; Abebe Lewis-Circle House Studios and Maestro Edward Marturet- Miami Symphony.

Music has always been a passion of Lucas and is the catalyst of his successful career in the music industry at the helm of his independently-owned Slip-N-Slide Records. A South Florida native, Lucas has been responsible for selling over 16 million albums. However he credits his greatest achievements to his involvement with charitable organizations focusing on children and his community.

Music builds character and confidence for our young people, expands their outlook and helps them to navigate a path to success in life. I am proud to provide support and celebrate the work of these individuals and their organizations who are leading the efforts to fill the gap of music instruments that have been taking out of schools”, states Lucas.

Lucas will focus the  Don’t Stop the Music campaign on lending support to organizations in addition to spearheading initiatives to providing access to instruments for young people in South Florida.

For more information on the Ted Lucas Foundation, please contact visit www.tedlucasfoundation.com. Media inquiries: Harris Public Relations at 786.897.8854 or publicity@harrispublicrelations.com

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