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Undeniable Fire Downtown. Port-of-Spain Will Blaze With This One.

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Soca music ignites the soul.

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Like clockwork, the music’s on time. There will be no holding back this carnival 2023 in Trinidad and Tobago. Shurwayne Winchester, one of the Carnival mecca’s foremost entertainers, has unleashed a song that’s guaranteed to bring heat to the revelry that is Carnival. 

Shurwayne says he wanted to deliver something to remind true revelers of their duty, while at the same time, introducing the energy of Trini carnival to newcomers. ‘Fire Down Town’ is that track. Perfect for the panmen and equally provoking for the fete lovers, Shurwayne’s latest release is a reminder to all and sundry that a true Trini fete, a true Trini carnival pays homage to a cultural embodiment that can never be replicated. “There is something innate and powerful in what we give to the world- what we have given to the world, that no matter how others may try to replicate it, it could never be anything like ours,” said the Signal Hill, Tobago born entertainer. He knows! After all, Shurwayne has repeatedly proven that he knows what it takes to return to stages and venues, and tear it down with sheer presence and performance. “I will show everybody what this song can do. Trust me when I say, this song is fire!” he attested. 

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Ebuzz News

A Powerful Journey. Calypso Rose Fought All Odds. Queen of the Road Musical, A Necessary Reminder.

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Technology, social media and the ease of life we’ve all become so used to in this 21st century, is a far cry from the odds faced and overcome by so many who paved the way. This past weekend in Trinidad and Tobago, the delivery of ‘The Queen of The Road’ musical reminded patrons of this fact, and much more in its walk down memory lane which highlighted the life and times of the incomparable, Calypso Rose.

Queen of the Road, written and directed by Rhoma Spencer, was presented by Yes Productions on both Saturday and Sunday in Trinidad. It was first presented as a workshop in Canada in 2019 before premiering in Tobago in October 2023. The musical begins with Rose’s acceptance of the The Victoire de la Musiq Award- the French equivalent of the Grammy. She won the award in 2017 after releasing the album, ‘Far From Home.’ In her production, Spencer rewinds the life of the 84-year-old, taking the audience on a whirlwind- sometimes harsh, often humor filled, consistently thought-provoking adventure through the childhood, adolescence and adulthood of Calypso Rose.

Thara Howe (centre) plays young Calypso Rose.
Photo: Carlyle Morris

Her story, a remarkable testament of each human being’s purpose from birth, is unraveled bit by bit in the musical, with a young Rose played by 11-year-old, Thara Howe- a student of St.Patricks Newtown Girls Primary School. Throughout her on-stage performance, members of the audience could be heard gushing at the effortless ease by which Howe executed her part of the matriarch calypsonian, in her childhood years. “She has a big future ahead,” said one person in the audience.

The adult Rose, played by 2018 Calypso Queen, Stacey Sobers was undeniably the perfect casting. An almost too-close- to- understand re-enactment of the Bethel, Tobago entertainer hears Sobers deliver with ease, songs like, ‘Tempo’, ‘Fire in Me Wire’, ‘Her Majesty’, ‘Leh We Punta, ‘ Young Boy’, and many of the artistes other memorable hit singles. Supporting cast members included, Kearn Samuel as The Mighty Sparrow, Karen Francisco as Rose’s aunt Edith, Theresa Hope who played the very important role of Calypso Rose’s grandmother and Fabrice Barker who played the role of her father – a preacher who went on to leave Rose’s mother and their family for another woman.

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Mother’s Day In Focus: Women Encouraged to Realize Their Divine Role.

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There is a divine feminine energy that resides in every woman on the planet. This spiritual energy, while sometimes hidden, is powerful beyond measure, and as Mother’s Day comes into focus, Trinidad and Tobago’s Empress Aje says the time has come, once again, to encourage the country’s women to stand in the beauty and strength of their being. 

Her effort to highlight this innate strength is seen in the annual production of her event, ‘The Iba Music Festival.’ Now in its fourth year, the creative showcase returns with love and empowerment at its core. “I don’t think women truly understand what they possess. My effort is to remind women of who they are, the contributions they can make. They must understand that they have a lot of power in their hands- power that can ultimately reach out to change the direction of both men, and children.”

Naomi Sinette

Empress Aje is a woman of impeccable standard who holds fast to the Yoruba tradition. Strengthened by the African teachings of this tradition, she operates solely by spiritual guidance from ‘my ancestors,’ as she explains. Her assignment this Mother’s Day weekend brings the likes of illustrious entertainers, Nisa, Jaron Nurse, Farmer Nappy, Collis Duranty, Stephanie Joseph, Naomi Sinette and Darren Sheppard with NLCB Fonclaire, into focus. Aje will also be a part of the musical lineup, serenading all women on Saturday. 

Expanding on her belief in the importance of promoting the divine feminine power in Trinidad and Tobago, Empress Aje says, “More women should be placed in strategic areas of our country’s political landscape.” She believes these women must however understand who they are and add value to the positions they attain. 

Farmer Nappy will perform at the Iba Music Festival on May 11th.

A prompt 6:30pm commencement carded for Saturday, May 11th’s, Iba Music Festival, Empress Aje assures that variety is at the core of the show. “The event offers great musical variety. As the creative director, I’ve carefully chosen each element of the showcase to deliver positive vibrations on who we are celebrating this weekend.” Added to the live entertainment, the Festival, which is being hosted in the Amphitheatre area, also hosts a number of creative vendors who are being given the opportunity to share their work with patrons. “Initially, I did have second thoughts about hosting the event this year, however I was encouraged to deliver, and I am happy that I listened. Everything has fallen into place,”she said. 

Over the past four years, the Iba Music Festival moved from the Little Carib Theatre to the Naparima Bowl. The event was also hosted virtually during the pandemic and even amid that challenge, Empress Aje, a former corporate employee, explained that she was propelled by a higher power, to keep promoting this positive celebration of feminine energy. “In 2022, I was guided to move the show to South. We had artistes like Freetown Collective and Queen Omega, and the event made an enormous impact. We’ve remained in South since that time,” she explained, noting that patrons can expect nothing but good energy, love and enjoyment ahead of Mother’s Day. 

For further information on the Iba Music Festival, those interested can call 868-770-1241. 

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