Greetings to all of you My On-Line
First off, let me thank all of you
among our on-line family who responded to my last week's commentary
regarding the "Crazy Controversies that has been taken
place over the past few weeks." I received lots of
responses regarding the New York unjust killing of Groom to be Sean
Bell and the critically wounding of his friends Joseph Guzman and
Trent Benefield. Many shared their personal stories of
police brutality, and many forwarded incidents involving police
brutality that has taken
place in their town. What I must say to you is, it's clear
we have no rights or freedoms. I'm truly glad it's all
coming to light, and we have got to keep up the fight.
Remember together we can conquer some of these
injustices!!!! Thanks to all of you for taking the time to
share your experience with me!!! I'm just in amazement
about the number of you who has experienced such
injustices. You are not alone, we at Arious have
experienced it as well!!! Again Thanks for Sharing!!!!
I would like to congratulate
"Everybody's Magazine" www.everybodysmag.com
on a successful presentation of the "The Assistant
Thief" staring Oliver Samuels. This play was a comedy
laced with drama and timely issues that plague our community
today. Briefly, it was about 2 thieves who broke
into the same house while its occupants were away, but before
they could leave the occupants returned home and they were
trapped in the basement. Only the female occupant of the
house encountered the thieves. I don't want to say
anymore, because of the suspense of not knowing what's about to
happen is part of the fun. However, I know you will
"die with laughter", and it is also very thought
The event took place at the
University of Maryland College Park at Tawes Theatre, and it
turned out very nice, lots of folks from our community was in
attendance. For me it was a great experience, and this is
the first time we have had the opportunity to see a play
starting Mr. Samuels for many years. It's really amazing
how familiar I have become with Jamaican culture, because the
last time I saw one of these plays was about 15 years ago and I
was unable to understand the words or catch any of the jokes (so
I couldn't understand what everyone around me found
funny.) However, this time I understood every word
perfectly, and it was truly hilarious. I definitely will
not miss another one again. It was very nice to see so
many people I have not seen for a while. Special Thanks to
Mike Malcolm of Spice Island Records for his hospitality and
most importantly for using our service to expose this event year
after year. WE THANK YOU MIKE FOR YOUR BUSINESS!!!!
This have been a weekend filled with
theatrical performances. On Saturday in Roslyn, Virginia
we attended another great event produced by One Heart Charities
"The First Annual World Aids Day - Celebration of
Life" This was a gospel concert that featured several
gospel choirs from this area, plus a showcase of a number of
contestants from the Capital Star Competition (which is also
produced by "One Heart Charities). Hollis "Flash"
Lashley was the MC of this event, and he did an excellent job of
keeping the performances flowing. The highlight of this
event for me was having the opportunity to see a gospel artist
which I've heard a lot about over the last few years - Caribbean
Gospel Artist Mr. Sam Archer. He has had 3 critically
acclaimed albums and has recently released his latest called
"The Rebirth". I must say it's filled with 12
blazing gospels tracks that are all hits. It's not every
day I get a CD that I can't stop listening to. Hopefully,
we will be linking with Mr. Archer, so we can let you know how
to purchase copies of his CD and help spread the word about this
great talent. Look out for video clips of this event on
Arious TV in the near future.
This "World Aids Day"
Celebration was very informative...did you know that (1) AIDS
kills 1 child every minute; (2) There are more than 500,000
blacks living with HIV and AIDS in the US; (3) AIDS has killed
more than 25 million people making it one of the most
destructive epidemics in recorded history; (4) AIDS has claimed
an estimated 3.1 million lives in 2005 of which more than 1/2
were Children, and more that 200,000 are Latinos, and 5) there
are over 40 million people living with HIV throughout the world
today. So this is not just a "gay" disease
anymore, but it is an epidemic effecting everyone.
and prejudice are fueling the spread of this preventable
disease, so I suggest you go to Goggle and type in AIDS or HIV
and get educated!
This Sunday the fun
continues in Baltimore Maryland. Our friends at Ice
Entertainment are continuing to spread their vibes for the
holiday season. This time they are continuing their Reminisce
series-Part 2", which features Trinidadian Style
Parang. If you are from Trinidad or if you like to
experience and learn about new cultures, then this is an event
you need to check out. One thing about Trini's they know
how to party, so if you want to start your holiday season off
right, join us in Baltimore this Sunday. The event kicks
off at 6:00 pm at the Blue Caribbean in the Park Heights
area. The place is very easy to find...it's directly
across from Pimlico Race Track on Park Heights Avenue. The
price is $15.00 which includes authentic Trinidadian holiday
foods. I don't know the background or a whole lot about
Parang, so at this point I will turn it over to Susan so she can
tell you about her experience of Parang from her early years in
Trinidad! See you in Baltimore on Sunday!!!
Now that the Christmas season is here I am
beginning to get "homesick", as I always do year after
year, simply because Christmas in Trinidad is absolutely the
greatest! It is so filled with merriment (lots of fun) and
food. Coming from a family who didn't have much, I
remember how special the little things my brothers and I
received from our parents and how much it meant to us. Of course, when you
are a kid you want everything, and you hope and pray Santa
brings them for you. Yup, my brothers and I actually
believed in Santa for several years, as many kids do.
Anyway, as a kid even though we didn't have much nor received
much, what I fondly remember is the "Paranging".
Oh, how I loved it, and wished I was old enough back then to
drink and party as much as my parents and relatives did. I always loved
the singing, dancing and roving from relatives and friends home
eating all the special Christmas season foods such as Ham and
chow chow, as well as Pastels, and drinking everything including
our holiday drink "Ponche de Creme".
As an adult I grew up loving it more and more
each year. One of the first trips Todd and I took to visit
my home was during the Christmas season, and Todd absolutely
fell in love with my country. From the time we touched down
at Piarco Airport and
made it to my mom's home, we were "Paranging"
constantly, only getting a few hours of sleep each night.
The eating and drinking was out of this world, morning, noon and
night! If you are from Trinidad then you know exactly what
I am talking about and is smiling about the special feeling we
have during this joyous Christmas season "Paranging"!
If not, then please read (below) what a very good friend of ours
Mr. Hollis "Flash" Lashley sent to us so, that you our on-line family
would get a better understanding of what we call "Parang"
What is "Parang"
by Hollis Lashley
is some information I came across, which I thought should be
shared with “Arious” readers at this time of the year. I am
excited about "Parang" as I am sure many of you are, and I look
forward to enjoying the X-mas Spirit now, with all.
Blessings always, from Hollis ’Flash’ Lashley, for Arious
is a musical style which fuses together Venezuelan
influences to create up beat tempos with a Spanish
style and is popular in Trinidad
& Tobago and various areas of Venezuela.
is derived from the Spanish
word parranda which means "the action of merry
making, group of serenaders." Parang is usually associated
festivities. Traditionally the parrandero, which refers
to the singers and the instrumentalists, traveled from
house-to-house in the community and was often joined by friends
and neighbors using whatever instruments at hand (usually string
instruments), including violin,
(locally known as toc-toc), box
bass (an indigenous instrument), flute,
bandolin, caja (a percussive box instrument), and marimbola
(an Afro-Venezuelan influence). In exchange for the
entertainment, traditional parranderos would be given food and
or ponche de creme (an alcoholic eggnog).
It is typically played with cuatro
(a four-string small guitar), maracas
(locally known as shak-shaks), and is often sung in
it is much less common in modern times, musicians called Parranderos
still roam the streets playing this music and serenading people
with both sacred and non-sacred repertoire. Song types include
the aguinaldo (relating to the stories of the Nativity or
birth of Christ), guarapo
(more secular and the content/length of the song varies
according to the preference of the lead singer and his skill of
developing rhyming verses), estribillo (a sing along song which
is very lively and is sang in a call and answer fashion), manzanares
(a Venezuelan waltz
which celebrates the different aspects of the Manzanare
river of Cumana,
Venezuela), joropo (a song whose style is
similar to the Spanish waltz), galerón,
serenal (a song in which the parranderos state their
arrival and seek to enter one's house), and despedida (usually
the last or farewell song which is sang by the panderros when
they are about to leave one's home or when they are about to
pause). Although the repertoire is influenced by nearby
Venezuela's traditions, it has largely developed into an
indigenous performance genre in Trinidad. While the traditional
tradition is still practiced by small groups and larger
organized groups, the music has also developed into a season of
staged performances called "parang fiestas," held from
October through January each year, culminating in a final
national parang competition.
origins of the presence of parang music in Trinidad and Tobago
is controversial. There are two theories which describe how
parang music may have came about in Trinidad and Tobago. The
first theory is that Spanish monks
who were present in Trinidad to lecture people about Catholicism
were the first individuals to introduce the music which is now
known as parang. The second theory is that Venezuelans brought
the first elements of parang with them when they migrated to
Trinidad to escape the Bolivian
parang 'bands' and artists include Daisy
Brothers, Los Tocadores, Los Parranderos de UWI, Los
Alumnos de San Juan and Del Caribe.
the genre popularized since the 1950s, parang has evolved and
music artists have generated a cross-over music called
"soca parang" which is a fusion of calypso and soca
whose lyrics are sang in English
and are inspired by the "Americanized" Christmas often
referring to such symbols as Santa
Claus. Noted parang-soca artists include Scrunter,
B. Chutney (a singing artform of the indigenous people of
Trinidad which have influences from Indian
rhythms and are sometimes sung in Hindi)
melodies have also been fused in with Parang and there are even
parang versions of Latin
hit songs which have been created in recent years.
practice of paranging remains an important element of not
only the Trinidadian rituals during the Christmas season but
also in the rituals of other islands such as Grenada
and the Dominican
Republic and other countries such as Venezuela. Parang is
especially vibrant in Trinidad & Tobago communities such as Paramin,
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parang"
of Capital Star Competition
was the 8th week for The Capital Star Competition, which is now
on hiatus until after the holidays. One
Heart Charities has decided to take a small break during this
holiday season, and will resume in 2007 with its Capital Star
Competitions. In 2007, they will go into
the semi finals and finals to crown the next Capital Star.
past week's show was overwhelming, we had lots of contestants who
entered the competition and who displayed all types of great talent.
Myself, and my wonderful fellow judges Mr. Robert Bates, and for the first time Mr.
Earl Carter had a very difficult time judging the
performers. As usual though, we had lots of fun.
This week Mrs. Samuel decided to add a 4th winning category
because of the large number of contestants who entered this
week. Next week we will feature the winners.
Unfortunately in last weeks e-mail commentary about the Capital
Star Competition, Mr. Sidrach Franklin's name (of WPFW
89.3) was inadvertently listed as Sarah Franklin.
Mr. Franklin was the host of week 7 of the Competition. We hope
Mr. Franklin accepts our
apology for this error.
for the Support and
being a part of our on-line family!!!!