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What's Happening  by Todd Mangatal


Greetings All:

Labor Day (Monday, September 1st) is here, and for many of you in the Caribbean Community (on the East Coast), this is an event we all look forward to...The New York West Indian/American Carnival!  This is probably the longest running celebration of Caribbean Culture in the United States.  It was started in Harlem in 1947, and was later moved in the mid 60's to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.  Finally in 1970 it moved to it's current home on Eastern Parkway, which is 2 miles of food, craft, revelers, music, fun, and 3.5 million spectators viewing and taking part in the festivities from 10am-6pm.

For a number of years we at Arious for some reason or another never had the opportunity to attend the NY Carnival, but for the past 2 years we have attended and it has been a joy for us.  What was amazing, was the amount of spirit that is shown.  It seems everywhere you drive or walk in Brooklyn and even in Manhattan you see cars covered with flags representing many Caribbean Islands...the show of unity is great!  The most enjoyable for me especially being in the entertainment business with a goal of exposing Caribbean music to a mainstream market, is to hear and feel the love from the mainstream radio stations such as HOT 97, WBLS, etc.   

Last year we arrived in NY late Sunday evening after spending many hours in traffic.  After checking into our hotel and settling down, we decided to head out to find something to eat (keep in mind this was close to midnight), and if you have never been to NY you know it's known as the city that never sleeps.  I don't know how it is on a normal weekend, but on this Labor Day weekend I saw the true meaning of a city that never sleeps.  Finding something to eat was really a challenge because there were so much to choose from...did we want Trini food, Jamaican food, Chinese food, Italian food, Jewish food, etc., and all of these restaurants and carry-outs were open all night long.  Since we were staying in Long Island (Hempstead) I had no idea how to get to Brooklyn (since there was a major back-up on the Expressway), but I picked a street that looked like it was going in the direction of the city and followed the vibes.  This took us about an hour and a half to arrive in the heart of all of the action, but it really didn't matter because it was Carnival in New York and the music on the radio was very exciting.  On our way to Brooklyn we were listening to HOT 97 and it seemed every Reggae artist that you could image was in the studio and doing it live on the air.  At some point I know we were listening to Bobby Konders and Jabba, and you could feel the excitement building through the radio... it was close to 2 am, and they were announcing where all the Hot parties were taking place.  Of course we wanted to go to all of them, but it was pouring down raining, so we decided to stick to our initial plan and continue to find something to eat.  After passing many restaurants, and since it was carnival we decided to have Trini food (which pleased my wife greatly, actually she was extremely excited to be able to get any type of her (home...Trini) food at such a late hour).  As we crept down Flatbush Avenue the streets were filled with excited people who were just liming (keep in mind it's pouring down raining), but as they say rain can't stop carnival.  Since we have never experienced the Sunday night before Carnival, we had no clue why there was so much traffic at 2am, but eventually we heard on the radio that the Jouvert was taking place on Flatbush.  We finally found a place to pull off which happened to be right in front of a Roti shop and got some "buss-up-shut" Chicken and Goat, and sat in the car and watched all the festivities taking place around us.  On a number of occasions, we witnessed groups of people waving flags from their country, and dressed in colors to represent their countries' flag, running by chanting and singing.  This was truly a great experience, and very tempting to join,  but not being in the Caribbean and in NY with tons of rain coming down, and the temperature being approx. 50 degrees, all we could imagine was us ending up getting sick and missing the carnival.  Since we had been up all day driving we wanted to get in a little rest, so we dragged ourselves back to the hotel for a little "shut eye".  

The next day we woke up about 1pm, got dressed and headed out to Carnival (late as usual), we decided to listen to the foundation radio station WLIB, who was stationed at the Carnival broadcasting live, they announced that the Carnival was well on the way.   We were disappointed that we overslept, because we wanted to see the parade from the beginning and get a nice parking, like we did the year before.  Well, we arrived on Eastern Parkway and after driving around for some time we found a nice parking space at the end of the parade, which turned out to be a perfect place because the first band  was crossing the stage.  We proceeded to walk down Eastern Parkway, in order to check out the entire parade and the various amounts of food and craft vendors.  To be honest, in my opinion the parade was not very impressive.  I think DC has got NY beat when it comes to mas.  There were not many costumes, but a lot of T-shirts and nothing really creative.  I thought this could have been because of the rain, but I remembered the year before there were not that many costumes also.  This was recently confirmed by the Carnival organizers in an article in this months' Ebony Magazine.  So don't get upset with me for being observant.  For me the high point of the parade again (for the 2nd year) was the HOT 97 Truck, and the VP Truck, because reggae music is my true love, and to see artist such as Beenie Man, Elephant Man, Spragga Benz, Foxy Brown, Sean Paul, Wayne Wonder, Allison Hines, and a host of other famous Reggae and Soca artist singing and performing live on these 2 trucks were wonderful.  What was most important was seeing the thousands of people following these trucks and jamming to reggae music.  

There is absolutely a major market for this music, and I feel just as hip hop was not accepted in it's beginning stage and was labeled as an under ground - niche market, the same is happening to Reggae, but just look at hip hop now.  I know and believe in my heart the same thing will happen to reggae with the proper guidance.  Anyway, if you are not doing anything this weekend and you can make it to New York, this is something you must experience.  You might have heard rumors that it's too many people, too much crime, and this and that, but like I always say don't follow rumors, because all we felt was love and unity, which is exactly what Carnival is all about!  

DC will be represented at the Jouvert Celebration In New York

Trini Pan America will be representing DC at the Jouvert Celebrations in New York this weekend, please join them and show them much love!

I wish I had some more information to give you about the Carnival such as website, upcoming events, etc. but obviously the organizers and promoters have more people than they know what to do with, and didn't find it necessary to contact Arious to share it with our 30,000 plus weekly on-line community, which I'm sure will be heading to New York.  Hopefully, next year some of the promoters and organizers will link up and recognize the power of the internet.  Just a message to all of you in Miami, a lot of people in our community are coming down for your Carnival on Columbus day and we need to know what events to attend, or web sites to check for info., so please contact us so we can help spread the word about what's happening.  

Folks, Please enjoy your holiday weekend and have a Happy Labor Day!  

Unfortunately, we will not be able to make it up to New York this year because we have an exciting weekend planned in DC.  Our associates from Los Angeles is coming to town for the Annual BRE Convention, which promises to be a star studded weekend.  Just got word that on Friday night (8/29) Dream Nightclub will be hosting one of the many events, which will feature Impromptu doing their hit single "Mocha Soul", they are managed by our friends at "Southpaw Entertainment" Qadree and Shana.  Also, I believe Shawn Paul and Beyonce will be performing at Dream as well.  You should call the club or check their website to confirm those 2 artists.  We would also like to welcome the "Lions Roar" crew from Bermuda to DC, who will be taking part in the BRE Convention as well.

Don't forget we will be launching our modeling division very soon, so if you are a model and would like exposure on the web and in our upcoming magazine, please e-mail 4 clear photos and a bio to us for review at  We will also be offering training and development.  Additionally, we will be launching our distribution division which will create opportunities for artists and bands to gain exposure in order to enhance CD sales.  This will also create income opportunities for many members of our on-line community.  If you have ever thought about being a part of the music industry, and would like to become involved with a ground floor opportunity, please contact me at  

"Peace Out" to all of you!



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Thursday August 28th 2003


Everton Blender


Irie Thursday





Upcoming Events

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SEPTEMBER 19th, 20th, & 21st

















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 Saturday, September 20 2003


The Metropolitan DC Chapter of Trans Africa

 Presents its Young Professionals Event





Mango's Fusion Cuisine 

2017 14th Street, NW (U Street Corridor)

Washington, DC

Admission: $5.00


For more information, call Changamire at (202) 210-2427


Bill Fletcher, President of TransAfrica Forum; Danny Glover, Actor and

Chairman of TransAfrica Forum; and Jeannie Jones, WKYS Radio Personality

will make a special guest appearance.

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