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Buju Cleared for T&T Entry. Private Jet Arrives on Friday. Watson Speaks Out.

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Trinidad and Tobago is bursting at the seams with excitement as the I Am Legend Festival headlined by Buju Banton, is just days away. An official advisory from the Ministry of National Security today highlighted that Buju, along with Luciano and Wayne Wonder had all been cleared for entry into Trinidad and Tobago by the Chief Immigration Officer.

Buju Banton is free to enter Trinidad and Tobago on Friday.

There was some concern last week after an announcement was made by the Minister of National Security, Stuart Young, indicating that he had not seen documents related to any request for Buju to be allowed entry into Trinidad and Tobago. It was subsequently reported that High Frequency Entertainment- the promotional outfit that will host Buju and his friends at the I Am Legend Festival on Sunday, had in fact submitted documents to the Ministry of National Security since November 2018. They re-submitted the request and received notice of authorization on Wednesday.

Ebuzztt.com understands that Buju will arrive in T&T via private jet on Friday. The artiste’s last visit to Trinidad was in 2009 when he performed at that year’s I Am Legend concert at the very same venue, the concert capital- Queen’s Park Savannah. “There is something mystical and magical about this occasion. It’s been exactly 10 years since Buju last performed here. He’s received so much support from the people of Trinidad and Tobago over the years and there is no doubt that he is grateful for all the love that’s been shown, over the years,” said High Frequency Entertainment CEO, Glenroy Watson.

Buju Banton was last experienced in concert, in Trinidad, in 2009.

The stage is set for what Watson assures, will be a memorable show of love and unity at the Savannah on Easter Sunday. Tourist arrivals to T&T, according to Watson, has soared in the past few days and is expected to increase further, in the next day or two. “There’s no doubt in our minds that this festival is an attraction to Trinidad at this time. It’s an economic booster and I’m happy to deliver this to my country,” he said. He however expressed disappointment in the corporate sector, explaining that most of his expenses have been satisfied out of pocket. “It’s not an easy road as Buju said, but with God at the helm, I’m guaranteeing everyone that this festival will continue annually- corporate sponsorship or not,” said Watson, highlighting that despite all that this event has done and will do, to boost local employment for the period, increase tourist arrivals, earn foreign exchange for the country and so much else, he has received no major sponsorship or government support for the benefits T&T will essentially reap.

Koffee makes her T&T debut on Sunday at the Queen’s Park Savannah for the I Am Legend Festival. The youths are anxious to catch her live.

The I Am Legend Festival is the biggest event of its kind to hit T&T, in recent years. Buju Banton’s name wields tremendous weight in these parts with even youths below 18 years of age, eager to experience the reggae hit maker, live. Banton, best known to many as simply, Gargamel, will be joined on stage by young star on the rise, Koffee, veteran reggae stalwart, Luciano, melody maker, Wayne Wonder and of course, Singing Melody, Tony Curtis and LUST.

Caribbean Buzz

Soca Industry Called to Activate As Bahamas Reels From Hurricane Dorian.

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“I need 5 mins of your time. Been having sleepless days since Sunday, trying to figure out how are we going to do this now! It‘s time for the Whole Soca Industry to Give to what gives to us. Give back the support that is given to us. Show that you have the heart, show that we care about the recent disasters brought upon The Bahamas.”Kewin DuBois

Kerwin Dubois is calling on the Soca fraternity to help the Bahamas.

The devastation in the Bahamas is gut wrenching to say the least. Over 40 people have died and over 70,000 are homeless in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian’s passage last week. An all hands on board approach has been repeated by Caribbean governments and international agencies and amid that, one soca artiste has broken his silence and is calling on the soca fraternity to give back what the Bahamas has given to them, over the years.

‘Bacchanalist’ singer, Kerwin Dubois, ached by the videos and images of the Hurricane’s devastation, took to social media on Thursday. He’d created a video- some five minutes long, detailing the emotions of those who are now faced with the clean up and restoration of the tourism destination. “So what we going and do now? Every year we’re faced with this disaster. These people lost everything. You know what it is to lose everything?,” says DuBois. He says he is going to the Bahamas, expressing that he feels the need to be there to help in anyway that he can. Now, with a challenge thrown out, the artist is waiting for feedback from the stakeholders of soca- artistes, promoters and even fans, on what they propose to do, to help the people of the Bahamas.

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Caribbean Buzz

Trinidad and Tobago’s National Instrument Undeserving of Carifesta Main Stage?

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The Carifesta XIV experience being hosted in Trinidad and Tobago this year may have a bit of upheaval, this as Pantrinbago says the national instrument isn’t being treated with the respect it deserves.

Ace pannist Dane Gulston has spoken out on the matter of the steelpan not being included in the main concert event, “Island Beats”, which is carded for August 24th.

The Isand Beats event being hosted at the Queen’s Park Savannah, will be headlined by Machel Montano, Grammy Award winner, Shaggy and Guadeloupe’s Kassav, with other performances by young entertainers like Nailah Blackman and Voice. Gulston argues it’s outrageous that no thought was given to including the host country’s national instrument in the main stage lineup, further stating that the use of steel pan only at the opening and closing of events, is essentially a slap in the face.

Speaking on television on Friday morning, Pantrinbago President, Beverly Ramsey-Moore said while the organization, under her stewardship, has enjoyed a very good relationship with Culture and Arts Minister Nyan Gadsby Dolly, her response to the request from Pantrinbago to be included in the main stage dynamic, was unappreciated. She relayed how Gadsby Dolly seemed to have been taken aback by the request, in essence squealing, “Pan on stage with Machel and Shaggy?!”

Jamaican reggae artistes, Maxi Priest and Tarrus Riley were treated to the sweet steel pan music by Dane Gulston in May this year.

The Minister is yet to comment on the issue, this as social media is now abuzz with online commentators arguing that Trinidad and Tobago’s renowned national instrument- the only major musical instrument invented in the 20th century, should be loved by its people and shared with the world, at any opportunity given.

In May this year, Jamaican reggae sensation Tarrus Riley was greeted by Gulston to the sound of the steelpan, which he enjoyed tremendously.

Jamaican reggae hit maker @tarrusrileyja is certainly a fan of the steel pan. He’s in #TrinidadandTobago ahead of Saturday’s #Redemption6 concert being held at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain. He met up with ace pannist, #DaneGulston who showed him a thing or two. The culture of the Caribbean, while sometimes vastly different, is always wholeheartedly embraced by all Caribbean people. What a beautiful thing. #caribbean #entertainment #music #steelpan #trinidadandtobago #tarrusriley #ebuzztt

Posted by Etceterabuzz Trinidad on Thursday, May 30, 2019

Reporting by: Melissa Stanisclaus.

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