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What's Going On? By Todd Mangatal
Carnival in Washington DC was
great! Carnival took place on
June 28th & 29th in its new location in downtown
Wash. DC directly in between the US Capital and the Washington Monument. What an amazing site, and accomplishment!
Many don’t realize what an achievement this is for the entire
Caribbean Community. Just
image over a million (in my opinion, but heard rumors that it was approx.
750,000 people), everyone jamming to the sounds of Soca and steel pan
music. All I heard playing
was “Trini to the Bone” throughout the route...What a sweet song!
The costumes were beautiful, and the mud band on the Capital, WOW
what a site. Having the mud
on the Mall was truly an accomplishment and statement.
The Caribbean is here to Stay!!!!
This was bigger than anyone could
have imagined. For the past
months there have been mixed feelings in the community about Carnival
leaving Georgia Avenue, I heard a lot of these feeling expressed by some
in attendance on Carnival Saturday and Sunday.
There was a group advocating that the move from GA Ave. was somehow
a racist move, spear-headed by the mayor, others have said that the
Carnival committee was trying to take the Carnival out of what we know it
as “Carnival”, and there were many other comments and feelings.
However, none of this is true, there was no way Georgia Avenue
could have accommodated the amount of people that attended this year, so
as an event grows and the interest in that event grows, the location may
change to accommodate the success and growth.
I have also heard the comment
“how could $5.00 be charged for food in the Carnival Plaza”, but that
makes no sense to me. Everyone
forgot that entertainment was supplied - a wonderful show was planned for
both Carnival Saturday and Sunday, so therefore it was not a fee
for food, it was a fee to enter the festival plaza, just like you
would pay at any festival, fair, or event.
Remember a $10.00 fee was charged to enter Miami Carnival Plaza the
night before their Carnival (Saturday), and a $20.00 fee to enter on
Sunday, and there was a fee in Orlando as well.
This comment would be warranted if it was made by someone who
didn’t understand the culture, or an American person who might not have
a clue about Carnival and what was going on, but I’m sure they would
understand that you would pay to go to most festival and events.
For example (1) a week earlier at the same Carnival location here
in DC there was a festival, and their fee was $7.00 to enter, which
featured only food, and many paid to buy the food; (2) When you go to a
nightclub, you pay to buy drinks; and (3) If you go to an expo (computer,
etc.), you pay to get in, and then you pay for the products, therefore
looking at all these facts, it is clear that people are complaining just
to complain. What’s amazing
is the majority of people making these comments are Caribbean people, and
again what are you doing? You
are again De-valuing your artist and entertainment, by saying there should
be no charge to come into a festival area that is showcasing the culture,
and entertainment from the Caribbean, especially since it is the Carnival.
Come on folks, Naya, Iwer, and Fayann was in the plaza on Saturday,
and put on “a hell of a show”, and on Sunday “Arrow” turned it
out. You can’t pay $5.00 to
see these major international artists?
If so, that’s absurd!
Arrow has the biggest selling Soca song of all times, and
his song “Hot, Hot, Hot” has done more for Soca music than any other
song to date, so again you can’t pay $5.00 to support the showcasing of
your culture? Fayann was Road
March Queen this year, and you can’t pay to see her?
here to voice your opinion about this important Carnival issue!
or e-mail me at email@example.com.
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or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments will be posted on Message Board.
While I 'm talking about Arrow,
I must commend the Carnival Committee for making a great choice to invite
and bring Arrow for the Sunday finale show, especially since Arrow first
tested the song “Hot, Hot, Hot” right here in DC 20 years ago at
“Summer In The Park in DC”, and the audience loved it.
From that point on the song had gotten hotter and hotter.
I believe with this Carnival move to the new location, it was only
logical to bring the biggest selling Soca artist of all times.
I also had an opportunity to meet “Arrow” on Sunday and that
was a pleasure. Big Up
“Arrow”, I enjoyed the show, it was really energetic. Remember our On-Line Community is always here for you, so hit
us up and let us know if we can help you in any way by getting info. out
to our Audience and Community.
The fun started on Saturday the 21st with the Pan Jam, even though the turn out was small, it was nice, and those who attended really enjoyed themselves. I particularly enjoyed the rendition of “JaHeem’s hit song “We’re fabulous” played by “St Veronica’s Youth Steel Pan Orchestra. Big Up to Emlyn Harewood…He did a great job organizing this event. All the other steel pan groups were wonderful as well. The next day (Sunday 22nd) had a wonderful turnout; it was the judging of the costumes. There were not many costumes, but what was there was really nice. The fun continued on Thursday, June 26th, with the DC Carnival Committee’s 3rd Annual Calypso “Champs in Concert Show”. It featured Sugar Aloes and Shadow, from what I heard the people really enjoyed themselves. I myself was blessed by witnessing the best (in my opinion) reggae event that Washington DC has seen in the last 10 years.
Let me shift gears for a moment
and talk about this Thursday Night Reggae Show.
This out-door show at “The X-Roads”, on the same Thursday night
(June 26th) featuring the Abyssinians, Sister Nancy and
Brigadier Jerry. The night started off slow with the DJs just being themselves
“boring” me with their same (set of songs in a row). This lasted for 4 hours, but it didn’t matter, because the
outdoor vibes were nice, and it was one of the first nights we did not
have rain. Around 11pm Tony
Carr took the stage and asked, “are you ready for the Abyssinians?”
and of course we were. The
Abyssinians were great, you could immediately feel the vibe change, the
people started to relax and the place was truly Irie with the different
smells around you…just image the smells…um they were good!
In addition to the great smells, to satisfy your munchies the fish
and jerk was on the grill. I
have never experienced this vibe in Washington DC, it felt like being by
the beach in Jamaica. The
Abyssinians performed all their hits for 1 and ½ hours, which was a
treat. It was truly an
“Irie Thursday”! At
this point, I was fulfilled and I thought the show was over, I thought
maybe I had missed the other artists that was schedule to perform, but
Tony Carr came back to the stage and thanked the Abyssinians and announced
that some real dancehall music will be coming up next.
After sometime he introduced us to the famous “Downbeat
International”, who in my opinion is the foundation of dancehall
music, and this is where the night became even more perfect. Image “Downbeat with his smooth Irie style, and numerous
amounts of “Dub plates”. What
a treat! He started off
playing in the same vibe as the Abyssinians, and continued to build the
vibe. Sister Nancy (a true dancehall diva) joined Downbeat in the
booth, and rocked it “in a dancehall style” with 2 turntables and 1
mike. Actually that night I
was chilling with EZ Street from WPGC 95.5, and he asked why was
Sister Nancy not performing on stage, I explained that what he is
experiencing is truly dancehall, and this is the way dancehall began -
with the DJ and the artist vibing together.
It wasn’t all about the “star thing”, the stage, or lights,
it was just about vibing with each other and setting the pace and the vibe
for the dance. I emphasized
to him that we all must realize dancehall is more than a Sean Paul Video.
Sometimes when the music gets to popular it looses its true
identity, and I don’t want to see that happen with dancehall. Getting
back to the show, Briggy Jerry came on and really turned things out, with
all his tunes in a true spirit of the dancehall.
Boy, it was really, really nice.
If you missed this one, you really missed a show.
Well, The DJ (Downbeat), Sister Nancy and Briggy all kept playing
until 2:30 am…until the security finally pulled the plug, and of course
no dancehall would be complete without a round of name calling between the
DJs and the Security. What a treat and what a Night!
It was fabulous…Magnum, you finally brought us the true
dancehall, I’m proud that you are able to see what I have been asking
for all these years. After
all the fights and explanations about what I expected the dancehall to be,
it’s good it was finally achieved.
Big Up and Maximum Respect!!!
Since my wife is a part of the
Carnival board, there wasn’t much time for parties the rest of the
weekend, but somehow between helping her prepare for the big event the
next day, Friday, June 27th we did get the opportunity to briefly stop by
the Camouflage/Insomnia Fete. This
event was impressive…the support was great!
Most in attendance was attired in Camouflage gear.
We were able to receive the VIP treatment that night, so this gave
us the opportunity to avoid the long line that stretched down the block.
When we stepped in the crowded club 2K9, it was hard to walk.
What sticks out in my mind is the smells…wow what great smells
(and it wasn’t perfume or cologne…laugh)!
To my surprise I ran into many of my reggae crew, who I would have
never expect to see jamming in a corner at a Soca Show.
The nice thing about this event was the in-door/out-door
atmosphere. The tent outside
was great, and a good relief from the crowd on the inside.
Let me now talk about the DJs, I can’t tell you who was playing
when we walked in, because there were so many people, I couldn’t even
see the DJs, and the vibes was so nice that it didn’t matter who was
playing. Just before we
were about to leave, which was about 3am, the DJ switched to reggae, it
was a treat the way the switch was made.
He didn’t loose his crowd, no one complained as they normally do,
but just kept dancing and vibing. His
mix was really good! Good Job
ICE Promotions & Army Boys. This
was a very nice and successful event.
Big Up Brian Jordan, you had a success!
This past weekend we were still
recovering from Carnival and were unable to make it to DJ Smalley’s and
Ja Ja Creations Boat Ride in Baltimore, but many of you turned out and
made it a success. We heard from our friends that it was the best boat ride
EVER, and they can’t wait for the next one.
We are so sorry that we were too tired to make it, but next time.
DJ Smalley “Big Up”, and thanks for
the wonderful thank you e-mail you sent us.
It was a pleasure reading your nice words. We are very happy to see that our on-line service
is appreciated, working and clearly reaching people.
Everyone is really looking forward to the next boat ride, so
let us know when it will take place.
We will definitely get the word out, and most importantly we will
be there! “Big Up Lloyd –
Ja Ja Creations”. Thanks for
the gift you gave my wife on Carnival Sunday!
We also missed Debbie’s Birthday Lingerie Bash! I heard it was the “bomb”, and the models were wonderful. Happy Belated Birthday Debbie, sorry we missed your big event. Carnival got the best of us!
This Friday - July 11th, Zanzibar on the Waterfront Kicks Off their Caribbean Professionals Networking Happy Hour Series. This event’s mission is to provide a forum for Caribbean Professionals to network and connect with fellow Caribbean nationals and friends. It starts at 6pm and it will take place upstairs on the out-door patio. Bring you business cards, and network with other professionals in the area. Big up to the planners Lesia H. Quamina & Finiana S. Joseph. We will see you there! For more info. log on to www.zanzibar-otw.com.
Next week everyone is looking forward to Baltimore
Carnival. I hear it will
be a 3 day event starting on Friday July 18th with the DiManche
Gras show, the parade will take place on Saturday along with entertainment
and vending in Druid Hill park. The
liming continues in the park on Sunday with entertainment from Caribbean
artists, and vending of food and crafts.
Baltimore organizers kindly hit us back
with some more detailed information about your Carnival, or post it on our
We will see you at this event!
Look out in the next week or so for an interesting inside look at DC Carnival, from the beginning to the end, it should be very exciting! Look out for pictures too.
Remember to Support all the Events, without your support, the quality of entertainment will diminish!
Log on to our message board and let us know what happened in your town/area over the weekend.
Scroll down to view all the upcoming events!
Friday - July 11th, 2003
Zanzibar on the Waterfront's Caribbean Professionals Networking Happy Hour Series.
This event’s mission is to provide a forum for Caribbean Professionals to network and connect with fellow Caribbean nationals and friends.
6pm and it will take place upstairs on the out-door patio.
Bring you business cards, and network with other professionals in the area.
For more info. log on to www.zanzibar-otw.com
July 18, 19, 20, 2003
DiManche Gras Show (Druid Hil Park) - 7/18/03
Parade - Park Heights Avenue - 7/19/03
Caribbean Food, Entertainment, Crafts, etc. at Druid Hill Park - 7/20/03
Come out and Support!
The 9th Annual Peoples Festival
A Tribute To The King Of Reggae
Positive Fun, Great Live Entertainment, Food And Craft Vendors, Children's Village, Beautiful Festival Site, Plenty of Parking, Irie Vibes All Day
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