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Updated: 1 hour 17 min ago

Miss World representative to be announced

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 23:18

The winner of the 2018 edition of the Miss TT World Beauty Pageant will be announced when the gala finals are held on Sunday, August 5 at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), Port-of-Spain.

The ten finalists have already participated in the Top Model leg of the competition, held at Gulf City shopping complex, La Romaine. Three finalists were chosen from the bevy of beauties and they were Britney Smith (Miss South Oropouche), Aliyah Fraiser (Miss Chaguanas) and Maya Cozier Brian (Miss St Anns).

The event was free to the public and was done in collaboration with Detour which also held a runway show featuring men’s fashion. This segment provided a glorious helping of eyecandy for the scores of women who attended the free event.

Brian Gopaul, national director of the pageant for Elite Planners Limited, the franchise-holder since May, said there are two more pre-finals events carded. Last night, Talent Night was held at the Cascadia Hotel Banquet & Conference Centre in St Ann’s and, on July 29, the Sports & Fitness segment would be held at the Fitness Centre, South Park, San Fernando.

Gopaul is hoping that the Government would step in and assist in sponsoring the eventual T&T representative for the finals of the 2018 Miss World Pageant, scheduled for December in China. He disclosed that sponsorship from corporate T&T was slow.

Stating that the present batch of delegates is “the best in the last decade,” Gopaul said: “We are very confident that with this set of delegates we can have a top five at Miss World this year because the strength of these girls.”

At the Top Model show, the young ladies faced a tough panel of judges that included Gabrielle Walcott-Pollonais, second runner up at Miss World 2008, designer Richard Young, Tenille Clarke and Sharon Imbert.

The delegates made their first appearance in resort wear designed by Vanessa Mohammed of Bikini Cabana of Carlos Street, Woodbrook; the second section consisted of casual clothing sponsored by Detour Stores; and, the final section consisted of elegant yet functional gowns created by Everlasting Vows of Price Plaza, Chaguanas.

Categories: Entertainment News

An immaculate view in PoS

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 23:16

The fifth installment of Architectural Delights, captured pictorially by Edison Boodoosingh, focuses on the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, located in east Port-of-Spain, on Independence Square.

Construction on the Cathedral began in 1816 and the edifice was constructed from limestone quarried from the Laventille Hills.

The seat of the Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain, this Gothic-styled Roman Catholic church was built in the shape of a Latin Cross with an underground crypt, the late Archbishop Anthony Pantin being the last to be interred in 2000.

There have been many significant moments in the history of this immaculately structured historic site.

The venue for the installing of successive archbishops, the last being Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon, the Cathedral was also a target during the 1970 Black Power disturbances when protestors stormed its interior and defaced statues of saints.

Legendary Laventille community leader and Desperadoes steel orchestra leader Rudolph Charles was also churched at the cathedral.

Having undergone recent intensive renovations the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception remains a standing monument and pillar to Roman Catholicism in T&T.

Categories: Entertainment News

Vacation fun at Flying Fish camp

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 23:15

It’s been fun and games at the Flying Fish Swim Club vacation camp, with children and teens experiencing some of the sights and sounds of T&T, over the two-week duration.

Activities have included hikes to Edith Falls and Fond Pois Doux, Amerindian culture and medicines, kendo martial arts, scuba diving, hip hop dancing, and water safety and lifesaving at Maracas Beach.

With camp one coming to an end, the next one is due to run from July 23–August 3, with the final camp from August 6-17.

Registration for the camps is ongoing at the Flying Fish Swim Club, 19 Jamaica Boulevard, Federation Park.

For more information or to register, please contact the club at 628-3337 or [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

Three Sisters After Chekhov comes to Napa

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:15

This weekend re-live T&T’s pre-Independence era with the hit production Three Sisters After Chekhov at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), Port-of-Spain today and tomorrow at 7.30 pm.

Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters chronicles the decline of the upper class Prozorov family in Russia during the 1900s, and Trinidadian award-winning playwright Mustapha Matura reinvents this plot in a Caribbean context. Matura has won numerous awards including the George Devine award and the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright.

Set in colonial Trinidad in the 1940s, the production explores the historical and social issues associated with this era interwoven with an element of masquerade.

It features three sisters living a privileged life in Port-of-Spain with their nalve brother and his domineering wife.

This funny, exciting and captivating play will leave the audience breathless with its many surprises, striking designs and riveting storytelling directed by Belinda Barnes and featuring a talented cast comprising of Chanel Glasgow, Patti Ann-Ali, Breige Wilson, Shivonne Church-Isaacs, Syntyche Bishop, Cherysh Latouche, Marvin Dowridge, Adam Pascall, Fabrice Barker, Nicholas Subero, Joseph Quesnel and Kearn Samuel.

According to Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly: "This production which is hosted by the Ministry and staged by the National Theatre Arts Company of T&T (NTAC), will provide an enriching experience for communities and is a continuation of a sustained programme of work by the Theatre Company aimed at the promotion, preservation and exploration of our theatrical heritage.”

Admission for Three Sisters After Chekhov is free but ticketed. Distribution of tickets was held daily at the Napa Box Office in Port-of-Spain since Monday, from 11 am to 6 pm. For more information call 271-2895; 271-2894; 225-4023.

Categories: Entertainment News

See We Music pleases at Kaiso Blues Cafe

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:11

It was a family affair at Kaiso Blues Cafe in Newtown on July 8 as Easy Listening Promotions presented Ménagerie—Si, Oui Music, or, in local parlance See We Music, a play on French, Spanish and English influences in the musical arts.

The band Ménagerie features the musical talents of the Gabriel family comprising of vocalists Amirah Gabriel, Tharā Gabriel, Ayanna Gabriel, and Asha Gabriel-Lewis, as well as drummer Lenville Gabriel.

Bound both by family ties and friendship, the band also enjoys the accompaniment of Samuel Peter (guitar), Mark Peter (keyboard), and, bassist Kent Diaz.

The family band performed to a full venue of patrons of varying ages who followed the band on their musical journey through contemporary styled music like Ray Baretto’s Afro-Cuban Jazz version of the 1934’s song Summertime to present day gems such as Mark Anthony’s Vivir Mi Vida and No Te Pido Flores by Fanny Lu.

But it was when they turned on the Urban Swagger personas during the performance of their adapted piece Video by India Arie, that the uniqueness defining each vocalist’s individual style stood out; A truly refined display of how naturally their sounds coalesce and harmonise.

As they stated during an interlude, “One Bob Marley isn’t enough,” so a medley comprising of hits from the renowned Jamaican reggae icon’s Nine Mile album such as No Woman No Cry, Could You Be Loved and I Wanna Love You amongst others, were delivered.

During a 15-minute break, Lenville engaged patrons in a fun trivia game where he explained historical moments in the development of various instruments, their places of origin and the local rhythmic patterns/arrangements that define a genre.

Special tributes and recognition were also given to local artistes. Andre Tanker’s Sayamanda was performed in his honour. Calypso icons David Rudder and Carl Jacobs were also recognised as patrons were thrilled with a medley of extracts from Bahia Girl and Trini to De Bone.

The young blended voices backed by the expertise of the band’s instrumentalists made the evening quite a truly remarkable and enjoyable experience.

• For bookings of the band Ménagerie featuring the Gabriel family and friends, contact Easy Listening Promotions at [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

Island Hikers’ annual Paria Bay campout this weekend

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:10

During the summer vacation, an exciting destination for a family campout is at Paria Bay. For those not wishing to hike, the boat is available, and secure overnight parking is available at Marianne Beach Resort.

Today’s assembly point is at the Blanchisseuse Fishing Depot, at 1 pm and interested people should contact Jamal at 761-1889.

Tomorrow’s assembly is at the same venue at 9 am and to make the jaunt contact Mario at 749-2956.

All campers are allowed two-three bags; a tent, sleeping bag and personal backpack. Campers must bring their belongings labeled in garbage bags to the boat jetty for loading.

Paria Bay is the perfect place to unwind, forget ones busy schedule and enjoy nature to the fullest. The scenic coastline and the refreshing Caribbean breeze provide the perfect ambiance to relax and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit. The childhood memories to camp in the wilderness, sleep in a tent and admire the twinkling stars are everlasting. It is a time to be carefree just to sit on the sand, unconcern about time and blown away by the picturesque seascape. A time to reflect on the real meaning of life and how perfect a world we live.

Paria Bay has a little of everything, and apart from its fascinating beach and magnificent waterfall, there is the river mouth with its tranquilising waters. Another attraction is the giant leatherback turtles that frequent the beach at night and during the peak season from May to July over 30 come ashore to nest.

During the months of July and September another spectacle is to see the hatchling emerge from the sand.

On the western end of the beach, sea erosion formed a magnificently carved arch, which has a protruding fragment in its middle. Its grand appearance gives it the name Cathedral Rock, and because of its elegant grandeur, it is a lovely spot to take pictures. A nearby stream provides clean water for cooking and local fishermen supply freshly caught fish to campers.

A boat provides transportation of personal items and camping equipment to Paria Bay. To get to the beach campers have to walk the two-hour journey from the Blanchisseuse, Spring Bridge. Along the way, a place of interest is Turtle Rock where one can enjoy the spectacular coastal scenery.

Suggested Items for the camp-out: are a tent, sleeping bag, life jacket, medication, repellent, flashlight, extra change of clothing and footwear, cup, plate, knife, fork, garbage bag and a pen knife.

Suggested food items to bring along are Vienna sausages, sandwiches, tuna, sardines, baked potato, trail snacks, fruit juices, peanut butter, biscuits, boiled eggs, cooked chicken, milk, coffee or tea bags, drinking water.

Please note: dinner and breakfast supplied only tomorrow night and Sunday morning. However, campers are required to bring personal food items and eating utensils (cup, plate, knife, and fork not supplied).

Meals not provided today, so bring your own.

Categories: Entertainment News

WE Day in T&T

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:09

Last month, RBC Royal Bank and WE brought one of the world’s largest youth empowerment celebration, WE Day Community, to T&T. This is the second time WE Day has been held in Port-of-Spain.

The event attracted more than 1,100 students from across the country and was co-hosted by Ally Brooke from the multiple international award-winning band Fifth Harmony, and Lonnie Chavis, an actor currently starring on the Emmy Award-winning television series This Is Us. Musical performances were given by Karl Wolf, David Rudder, and Marge Blackman.

“WE Day Community is a celebration of young people recognised for completing local and global actions as part of a year-long service learning programme that impact their lives, their communities, and the world,” said Gretchen Camacho-Mohammed, Managing Director, Trinidad and Tobago, RBC.

“RBC is a proud supporter of this vision. Through our partnership with WE, where over 200 schools are members of the WE Schools programme, and programmes like RBC Future Launch, we firmly believe in the potential that youth have to make a difference, change the world and be successful.”

As part of the celebration, several outstanding students were awarded with a trip to Canada to attend the world’s largest WE Day Event on September 20 in Toronto.

In addition, Gasparillo Secondary School student Destiny Prescott won a ME to WE trip. With this, she will be able to put her leadership into action on a volunteer-oriented trip to Ecuador.

In the past, the event in Toronto has drawn leading international figures such as former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex.

The event also has featured inspiring performances from stars like Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Nick Jonas, Zendaya, and many more.

“Together, RBC and WE are helping a generation of Trinidad and Tobago students realise their full potential and strive to achieve their dreams,” added Camacho-Mohammed. “In addition to serving our clients, we are fully committed to helping our communities prosper. This is why we are proud to have once again brought this inspiring event to Port-of-Spain.”

For more information on WE please visit:

The students from T&T attending the 2018 WE Day event in Toronto are:

• Quinn Bainn Black (Holy Faith Convent, Couva)

• Anjali Basdeo (Holy Faith Convent, Penal)

• Adrian Ragoo (Brazil Secondary School)

• Anilee Maharaj (Parvarti Girl’s Hindu College)

• Nathaneal Davis (St Mary’s College)

• Marcus Joseph (Palo Seco Secondary)

• Riana Lawrence (El Dorado West Secondary School)

• Kayla Stewart (Holy Name Convent, Port of Spain)

Categories: Entertainment News

Soca Brainwash soars beyond Toronto’s expectations

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:06

Against all odds, internationally renowned DJ Private Ryan—along with his diligent team—executed a truly successful and memorable first-time staging of the famed Soca Brainwash fete series in Toronto.

Appropriately titled Soca Brainwash in the 6ix, the Soca Picnic, the event that was originally set to take place at Toronto’s Bandshell Park, had to be relocated to the Woodbine Mall parking lot on Rexdale Boulevard due to unforeseen circumstances.

With only a couple of days of turnaround time to relocate, transform a new location and execute, the team pulled out of all the stops to recreate the unique essence of the famous fete for its first edition in Canada’s most exciting city and did so in fine style.

Despite the venue change, doubts and criticisms, Soca Brainwash in the 6ix was not only a well- organised event but also a well-attended event with patrons coming from all parts of the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Montreal and even various US states.

Upon entry attendees were greeted with a spacious, festive, superbly decorated ambiance complete with plants, trees, grassy areas, park benches and balloons (to complement the picnic theme) and were given signature Soca Brainwash branded mugs.

The event’s décor created a true Caribbean festival atmosphere and was strategically and effectively arranged in order to provide patrons with shade from the sun while they enjoyed the sweet beats of soca, dancehall and reggae music.

In keeping with the standards of the DJ Private Ryan party brand, the day fete featured well stocked bars around the venue which boasted a plethora of premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink offerings.

Although not advertised, the drinks-inclusive affair offered its local and foreign-based feters a mix of complimentary food items which included BBQ & jerk chicken, rice and peas, coleslaw, doubles, waffles and Canadian poutine.

Much like all other editions held in the Caribbean region and US, Soca Brainwash in the 6ix presented an all-star cast of energetic DJs and MCs which represented the local, regional and diaspora markets.

These included favourites such as Barrie Hype, Ryan Sayeed, Tony X, Jester, Young Chow, and of course DJ Private Ryan himself.

Soca Brainwash was well received by those attending for the first time and by those hoping to recapture the vibes of previous Carnivals.

Up next on the Soca Brainwash global tour is the event Soca Brainwash is Cooler in Bim for Barbados’ Cropover next month. Keep informed on upcoming events by following

Categories: Entertainment News

Bro Valentino soars high at 77

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:02

I am placed in a zone every time I attend a Brother Valentino (Anthony Emerold Phillip) performance and this has been happening for almost half a century. Emotions were about the same, though somewhat more poignant, when I attended Valentino at 77, held at Kaiso Blues Cafe, on Woodford Street, Newtown, last Saturday.

Celebrating his three-score and ten plus seven birthday, the People’s Calypsonian was joined in performance by his children, all displaying proof of that old adage, “de fruit doh fall from de tree.”

Valentino’s other half, Peggy Castanada, relatives and friends in calypso Shortpants, Gary Cordner and Roderick “Chucky” Gordon, were in attendance as well. The night was quite reminiscent, not unlike the feeling of family I used to get back in the 70s when Valentino would perform at the Belle Smythe Street residence of Rosie and Boboy Adams in Woodbrook on a Sunday evening, at NJAC’s Black Traditions in Art concerts. Back then, Vallie would regale us faithful, seated on crocus bags on the floor, to classics like Life is a Stage, Trinidad is Nice and Barking Dogs.

Saturday also made me remember 1979, when Valentino and Black Stalin staged Blood Brothers at Queen’s Hall, a show produced by the late Astor Johnson and at which I had the unforgettable honour of having my poetry dramatised by the late Errol “Stork” St Hill. Admission to that, then deemed exorbitant, was $4. Back then, fellow calypsonian Funny prophetically told Valentino, “boy, one day people will be paying a hundred dollars to hear you sing calypso.” Saturday’s admission to Kaiso Blues Cafe was $100 The loud voice of cartoonist Keith “Culture Man” Anderson awakened me from my nostalgia on Saturday though, just in time to take in Valentino’s son Jasane introduce the evening’s first act, his brother Joel, a vocalist as well as a competent keyboardist.

Valentino’s daughter Jiselle was late in arriving but son Ade and daughter Jandell were present, up front and centre, seemingly basking with pride of their celebrated father.

After Joel, Noel “Informer” James performed a mix of calypso and comedy, an act which whetted the audience’s appetite for Valentino’s eagerly awaited appearance.

Valentino opened with Glory Days, a ditty from the 80s, one with a distinctly different rhyme and metre from many of his well known acidic political and social commentaries. He followed with his 1975 Dis Place Nice and Kaiso in Trouble.

Next up, Valentino sang what I consider to be one of his best compositions, Pan From the West. This song I rank alongside another of his gems, Where Calypso Reach.

Birds that fly high, a song that most of today’s politicians and corporate jefes would do well to consider, preceded Valentino’s biggest hit Life is a Stage, first recorded 47 years ago.

At the ripe age of 77, patrons seemed to understand that Valentino couldn’t occupy the stage for much longer so he rounded off his contribution with his 1979 classic Stay Up Zimbabwe.

Bringing the curtain down on Valentino at 77 was his long time calypso brother Soft Touch.

Valentino was backed by Joel on keyboards, guitarist Keston Agard and drummer Kester Benjamin. During the programme, Anderson also gifted Valentino with a portrait he drew of the iconic calypsonian.

Categories: Entertainment News

Calypsoes to the max

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 01:02

The question—what really is leadership Ms Blood—was posed by a group of 15-25-year-olds.

My response: there is leadership and leadership of excellence…there’s a difference.

Touching on what they believe caused them to make choices that didn’t serve well, they lay blame on “the nation’s leadership,” “following’ friends,” and a range of other beaten issues.

Loving to listen to diverse genres of music, calypso wasn’t one.

“Ms Blood, calypso is for serious people and nerds.

“It ent have no set ah money boy.”

I smiled and asked if they seriously want to learn the cold facts about leadership, and of excellence, how it can make life reputable, and if they believe calypso is a powerful educational tool to help.

Advising that we must first learn of leader and leadership, affirmative nods gave way to deeper discussions.

Calypsoes referred to were: Changes, sung by youth and first-time National Calypso Monarch, 2018’s Helon Francis, National Unity, by undisputed chief monarch, Dr Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool and Education a Must, by Calypso King of the World, Dr Slinger Francisco, “Mighty Sparrow.”

With all three eloquently-penned, National Unity, eulogising the late President Maxwell Richards, asserts that leaders of yesteryear had sense, Changes, beseeches the nation to change, and Education…, edifies on the benefits of being educated and the drawbacks of not being.

What is a leader, and leadership? In its simplest form: a leader is a person—the ethos —that gets others to do, while leadership is the ‘thing’ which the leader uses.

The outcome can be good or bad, and signalises the quality of the leader and leadership, but with excellence at the fore or core, immorality is never close-by.

In National Unity, reference is also drawn to the late president in his time of leadership, having encountered “the good, the bad, the ugly and the horrible.”

The youths learned that these are all experiences in the path of a leader when trying to drive leadership, but again, when excellence is at the fore or core, morality triumphs immorality.

The youths bellowed, “Buh miss, you doh see like everything going wrong?”

In response, I referenced a particular editorial captioned “Government must do more to restore peace of mind,” cited in a July 6, 2018 local newspaper.

Ideal for explaining leader and leadership of excellence, two questions were posed relating to if the statement is fair, and who should truly create peace of mind.

Uncertainty met the first but, after lengthy deliberation to the second, was “we.”

I told them “yes” self is responsible for ensuring peace, by firstly, mastering our personal leadership-of-excellence abilities.

Each individual is a leader in his/her own right, and displays leadership skills, but to what quality is the concern.

Everyone is automatically taught from childhood how to lead, ultimately being equipped with leadership abilities, whether intrinsically or extrinsically, which are strengthened as we age and evolve.

Learning that a leader could be a follower also, and vice-versa, mystified the group.

To lead self to follow good and, encourage others to learn and do better things and do things better, are what is meant by leaders with sense and leadership of excellence.

If we are following or are leading, our leadership capabilities must indicate to us if what’s being done is good or bad.

This is what the Mighty Sparrow means by “knowledge is the key to success, and “education is the foundation.”

Francis asks: “Who set the standards in my T&T?”

“I find it’s so strange the way we arrange, still, this nation don’t know how to change,” alluding to not changing people but instead, changing what is being taught.

Ideally, it’s up to you and me, at all echelons, to improve our self, master the art of leadership of excellence this, to create peace.

And as the three icons vocalised, “Don’t cry!” “Don’t allow idle companion to lead you astray, you will get burnt.”

Let’s “change the change as “real change start with you”—self.

Categories: Entertainment News

A night of superb music Under the Trees

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 00:56

Patrons who attended Ramajay, the 2nd Edition, last Saturday evening are clamouring for a repeat, so good was the production.

Held Under the Trees at The Normandie in St Ann’s, the show began with opening remarks by former National Calypso Monarch Willard “Relator” Harris.

He performed the classic Matilda as a crowdwarmer and Skye Harper rendered the National Anthem to get proceedings rolling to an audience which seemed to be chomping at the bit for a night of excellent music. They were not to be disappointed.

Relator introduced reigning Extempore Monarch The IncredibleMyron B (Myron Bruce) who performed a lively set.

Former Extempore Monarch Winston “Gypsy” Peters, seated in the audience, was baited by Myron B to come on stage for a “shoot out,” much to the enjoyment of patrons.

Also raising the bar were crackshot pannist Natasha Joseph and former Charlie’s Roots songstress Juliet Robin who performed Lord Kitchener’s Pan In A Minor.

After a 15-minute intermission, it was the turn of veteran Caribbean Kaiso Jazz icon Clive “Zanda” Alexander to mesmerise the audience.

Rounding off the night were Northern Illinois University professor, Nutrien Silver Stars arranger Professor Liam Teague, joined by Michael Low Chu Tung and elan parle, featuring saxophonist Tony Paul.

Aside from the performances the other aspect of Ramajay patrons were in praise of was the beautiful stage set done by David Dyer Production’s Q Life, in collaboration with The Normandie.

Categories: Entertainment News

Motivating Mayaro students to succeed

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 01:03

Primary and secondary school students from across Mayaro have been stimulated to succeed in life as part of an ongoing series of motivational and support lectures sponsored by bpTT

Targeting all seven schools in the Mayaro district, the programme entitled Achieving Success in Life is facilitated by motivational speaker Dexter Simon. Simon is an architect and is well known in his capacity as an international bodybuilder, having won among other accolades, a gold medal in the Men’s Physique Masters Division of the Arnold Classic in Barcelona Spain in 2017.

As Simon explained: “I want to be an agent who brings a difference in the lives of young people. Through this motivational series, I am equipping them with tools to become better overall individuals. I am also inspiring them to dream big dreams and then work hard to make them become reality. The response from the students is overwhelming and I really have to thank bpTT for believing in and supporting my vision.”

Using the closing weeks of the last school term as an introduction to students and staff of various schools, Simon will have frequent meetings with students following the opening of the new academic year in September. He will also liaise with teachers toward helping students who are facing challenges such as discipline or academics.

Explaining the vision behind this initiative was bpTT, corporate responsibility manager Ronda Francis said: “We have invested in a number of youth and education initiatives in Mayaro spanning pre-school to post-graduate studies. However, with the social and associated problems such as discipline we are seeing today, we felt that motivating students to succeed is a critical factor in their overall development.

“We are using motivation to energise, direct and sustain positive behaviour and also encourage students to set goals and achieve them through persistence and focused activity.

“At bpTT, we fell that investing in young people to enhance them as students and citizens is laying the foundations for the future of our nation.”

The motivational sessions will focus on key objectives such as managing a more productive and purposeful day and life, setting goals, being positive through hard work, sacrifice and self-belief, valuing and respecting themselves and others and instilling a general sense of empowerment and ability to accomplish any task or goal.

Following the introductory session at Ortoire RC Primary School, eight-year old Dylon Mohammed was already inspired to achieve.

He said: “Mr Simon is really fun and interesting. He worked hard to achieve so many things in his life and if we do the same we can succeed with our dreams as well.

“He showed us how discipline can make our lives better and the way he believes in us makes me feel very special. I got three medals in zonal sports and I feel that if I work hard and have discipline, I can be the number one runner in the world and inspire young people like me.”

While at Ortoire RC, Simon also facilitated a session with the graduating Standard Five students, giving them advice at this juncture of transition from primary to secondary level.

Categories: Entertainment News

Celebrating success at Charford Court

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 01:01

In recognition of the achievement of 2018 SEA students, come Saturday, July 28, Charford Court Community Association is hosting an awards ceremony to assist eight successful children with back to school supplies.

The function begins at 3 pm at Charford Court, Charlotte Street but it will not be just about rewarding young academics as its programme also includes live performances by some popular performers.

Billed to perform are calypsonians All Rounder, Bro Mudada and Bunny Bynoe, Massy Trinidad All Stars young pannist Daniel Gulston, Single Pan steelbands Sapophonics and Gonzales Sheikers, Marlcol Boisie, Rance Johnson and the Gonzales Community Council Dance Group.

Keeping the fun evening stitched together is number one Belmont disc jockey DJ Cutting Crew.

More info

Landon Smith—
Trinity College
Gibril Graves—
Fatima College
Avionne Dalisia-Moore and
Nathania Peters—
Bishop Anstey High School
Tahlia Crawford—
South East Port-of-Spain
Haleema Cupid, Mark Carrabayo,
and Jadon Collis—
Morvant and Tranquillity
Secondary Schools and St Mary’s
College, respectively.

Categories: Entertainment News

Suicide—one death every 40 seconds

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:56

Suicide always grabs our attention. And when it is a celebrity who has suicided, the outpouring is unusually intimate as many people express condolences to and about these stars as though they grew up in the same village.

Yet, when people closer to us, of less significant ilk have suicided we barely pay attention to them or their families. One would think that the depth of expressions on the celebrity incident could move a person in T&T to find the home of relatives of one who has died by suicide here and offer support.

Rather, unless it is a disreputable situation, there is hardly a social media share or a repost. And, when we speak, we are mostly judgmental and prejudiced. Often we take to bashing people who have died by suicide, subjecting their friends and family to all kinds of uninformed and archaic thoughts and opinions.

Once again, the appeal is for us to become more educated, more compassionate and empathetic and to practise suspending judgment. The following paragraphs are an edited excerpt from a previously published column (2013) on suiciding, which I believe could be invaluable to our response to those who die by suicide and to the community impacted by such deaths.

According to the World Health Organisation statistics, every year, almost one million people die from suicide, a global mortality rate of 16 per 100,000, or one death every 40 seconds.

In the last 45 years, suicide rates have increased by 60 per cent worldwide. Suicide is among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 in some countries, and the second leading cause of death in the 10-24 years age group. These figures do not include suicide attempts, which are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicide. (

The site also says, “Although traditionally suicide rates have been highest among the male elderly, rates among young people have been increasing to such an extent that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of countries, in both developed and developing countries.”

Caroline C Ravello is a strategic communications and media professional and a public health practitioner. She holds an MA with Merit in Mass Communications (University of Leicester) and is a Master of Public Health With Distinction (UWI). Write to:

[email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

Women’s global rise to power

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:55

G ender-equal governments, which include the same number of men and women as ministry heads and in other cabinet posts, used to be the purview of woman-friendly Nordic countries and highly progressive societies like Canada and Costa Rica.

No longer.

Mexico’s president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who takes office in December, has announced that women will hold eight posts in his 16-member cabinet, including the powerful secretary of the interior position.

And Spain’s new prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, recently became the first world leader to appoint women to almost two-thirds of cabinet positions. No country in the world has a higher proportion of female-led ministries. Thirty years ago, Spain had no female cabinet members.

Women hold just 20 per cent of cabinet positions in the United States and 28 per cent in the United Kingdom. Worldwide, the average is 18.3 per cent.

As political scientists who study women’s inclusion in cabinets, we believe the quick, steady rise of women to power in Spain embodies a trend we have observed worldwide: Once more women get into the highest levels of government, their numbers tend only to rise.

We call this the “concrete floor” for women’s political representation. For a democratic government to have legitimacy these days, that is, for the general public to have faith in its decisions, it must include women.

Gains beget gains

Women’s representation doesn’t necessarily go up with each new administration.

But in studying the composition of initial governing cabinets—those formed right after an election—in Spain, France, Australia, the United States, Canada, Chile and the United Kingdom from 1929 to 2016, we found that women’s presence did rise cumulatively, over time and across party lines, in these countries.

After a 40-year dictatorship led by General Francisco Franco, democracy returned to Spain in 1977. But it would take more than a decade for women to be included in Spain’s newly democratic government.

Socialist Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez didn’t appoint women to an initial cabinet until his third electoral win in 1989, when he appointed two female ministers.

The next administration, led by conservative prime minister José María Aznar, raised the total with four female ministers in his 14-member cabinet.

Spain’s historic breakthrough came in 2004, when Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, a selfdescribed feminist, named the country’s first gender-equal cabinet: eight women and eight men.

Now 11 of Spain’s 17 ministers are women, including—for the first time in Spain’s history—the position of finance minister.

France’s recent history looks similar.

President Nicolas Sarkozy appointed seven women to his 15-member cabinet in 2007. His successor, Socialist François Hollande, had 17 women in his 34-member cabinet.

Cabinet size in most countries varies from administration to administration.

On the campaign trail in 2016, President Emmanuel Macron promised to have equal representation. Today, his cabinet contains 11 women and 11 men.

Voters like gender-inclusive governments

Our research shows that when leaders use their powers of appointment to increase the number of women in cabinet, they are never punished electorally and are often applauded globally for doing so.

Just a few years ago Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was celebrated around the world for assembling a gender-equal cabinet. His reasoning? “Because it’s 2015,” he told reporters.

Leaders who appoint significantly fewer women than their predecessors, on the other hand, risk heavy criticism from the media and political opponents. That can weaken their support among voters.

When Australian prime minister Tony Abbott appointed just one woman to his cabinet in 2013, he had to justify his “embarrassing” decision to voters, the opposition party and the press. His predecessor’s government had included three female cabinet members.

Malcolm Turnbull replaced Abbott two years later and quickly appointed five women to his governing team.

Each gender-equal cabinet appears to create expectations of similar or greater women’s inclusion in the next.

The ‘concrete floor’

We did find several instances where leaders appointed fewer women than their predecessors. However, the decline is generally minimal.

In Chile’s first post-dictatorship government, elected in 1990, President Patricio Aylwin appointed women to just five per cent of cabinet posts.

Chile’s first female president, Socialist Michelle Bachelet, had a gender-equal government in 2006. Four years later, her conservative successor, Sebastián Piñera, appointed seven women to his 23-member cabinet. While his government was not gender-equal, women were significantly better represented than they had been before Bachelet’s administration.

We call this phenomenon the “concrete floor.” It is the minimal threshold of women’s inclusion for people to see a leader’s cabinet as democratically legitimate.

And unlike the “glass ceiling,” that subtle, invisible barrier that has kept women out of powerful positions, the concrete floor ensuring their inclusion in government is visible to—and recognised by—all the leaders we studied.

Gender diversity is the only guarantee

A similar standard applies to certain other kinds of political representation in the some, but not all, of the countries we studied.

In Canada, Germany and Spain, for example, cabinets must be geographically representative. Like those countries, the United States also has a federal system of government, but American presidents are not expected to ensure that cabinet posts go to people from different states or regions.

In Canada and the United States, all-white cabinets are now virtually unthinkable. President Lyndon Johnson appointed United States’ first African-American cabinet member – Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Robert C Weaver—in 1966. Lincoln McCauley Alexander became Canada’s first-ever black minister in 1979.

Meanwhile, cabinets in Germany and Spain—both increasingly diverse countries—remain entirely white. The lone black parliamentarian in Spain, Rita Bosaho, wasn’t elected until 2015. No racial minority has ever held a Spanish cabinet position.

Gender was the only required representational criterion that appeared across all seven countries we studied, where all-male cabinets have been universally extinct for a quarter-century.

Women make up half the world’s population. Now, increasingly and evidently irreversibly, democratic governments are starting to show it. (AP)

Categories: Entertainment News

Holistic Music School celebrates its sweet 16

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:40

Holistic Music School (founded in 2002) celebrated its sweet 16th anniversary with the Rhythms of Love—Reading In Key Concert Series at the Trinidad Country Club, Maraval, on July 7-8.

Patrons enjoyed a relaxing weekend of live jazz and various musical twists from a star studded cast of international and local musicians, preschool to professional.

On the weekend’s cast were well known acclaimed stars of music as well as aspiring Holistic students.

In the mix were La Brea diva Vaughnette Bigford, Rapso griot/ chantwell Brother Resistance, instrumentalist Rellon Brown, Omari Ashby, master drummer Everald “Redman” Watson, Rahel Moore, Yevgeny Dokshansky, Noelle Archer, The Flick, Jaizo, Lujoe & the Gifted. They were joined by Holistic vocalists, choirs, steel, Music Festival champions and the Holistic X Big Band, all delivering cutting edge entertainment during this first edition of Rhythms of Love 2018.

In a world of negative news, Holistic Music and Primary School remains committed to the holistic development of students with emphasis on literacy, growth and enjoyment of visual and performing arts in T&T.

The students won 20 awards at the 2018 edition of the T&T Music Festival with the Holistic Big Band claiming championship trophies both in the Junior (19 years and under) and Open (Adult) Classes.

The Holistic Big Band (Holistic X) has held national championship status from 2008 to 2018 and now includes scholarship musicians from First Citizens Asset Management & Caribbean Networks Arts & Education Foundation.

Celebrations will continue with the upcoming Holistic Market Atelier (Arts Workshop) August 6-17, designed to explore Secondary Entrance Assessment’s 2019-2023 Mathematics and English Language Arts Curriculum through fashion, film, stilt walking, agricultural science and market development.

(Reporting by Peter Ray Blood — [email protected]. 


Categories: Entertainment News

Highlights from 2018 Best Village Competition

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:35

Eliminations in the 2018 Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition continued last weekend at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), Port-of-Spain.

Hundreds of performers graced the stage of the Lord Kitchener Auditorium from Thursday, July 12 to Sunday night.

Thursday night saw the adjudication of East Indian Dance, followed by Folk Music on Friday, Folk Dance & Drumology on Saturday, and two rounds of judging of Folk Dance & Music on Sunday. 

T&T Guardian photographer EDISON BOODOOSINGH has been covering this year’s Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition and captured these moments at the East Indian Dance competition.

Categories: Entertainment News

A night of classical Indian music on the bansuri

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:34

Chinmaya Mission T&T (CMTT), in collaboration with the Sadhana School of Music, Chicago, is staging what promises to be a spectacular stage production on Friday, July 27. Headlining the event is Pandit Ronu Majumdar, one of India’s classical music, internationally acclaimed flute maestros.

Majumdar, also referred to as RonuJi, is a master of the bansuri (flute) instrument, with the clearly discernable ability to adapt his presentations to absorb the techniques and patterns across all the musical genres of the flute. He will perform alongside Pandit Gouri Shankar, an equally renowned percussionist, popular for his musical magic on the Tabla and versatility on the Ghatam (clay pot percussions).

The concert will be held at the Chinmaya Ashram, located at Calcutta No 1, Mc Bean, Couva, at 7 pm.

This show promises to be an exquisite evening of Indian Classical Music, taking patrons across different eras, time zones and genres, underlined by the confluence of spirituality with music.

Contribution is only $50, with all profits from this event going to the construction of Chinmaya Mission’s Vidyalaya New School Campus.

About the star act

Majumdar, known in the Bollywood and Hollywood music circuit as India’s flute wizard, is also an acclaimed music composer and lyricist. The flautist maestro is best known for his work in the Hindustani classical space for more than 30 years and more recently, spearheading work as a Indo – world fusion music pioneer.

One of the most unusual circumstances is how he describes his introduction to the venu (flute), a situation where he says he just surrendered to destiny, realising that he did not choose the flute but the flute chose him.

Majumdar began playing at age six, under the guidance of his father, Dr Bhanu Majumdar, but not as an obedient child. In his early lessons, he would break several of the flutes, and punishment by his father was mandatory seven-eight-hour practice sessions. He describes this is when he fell in love with the instrument.

Following these early years of training with his father, Majumdar continued under the guidance of some of India’s greatest Indian musicians of that era, among them Pandit Panna Lal Ghosh, Pandit Vijay Raghav Rao, who groomed him into a concert flautist and, his later years, he was trained by and performed with the world renowned Grammy Winner Pandit Ravi Shankar.

Subsequent to his years of training, one of Majumdar’s first major wins—the All India Radio Competition 1981, was the platform from which he catapulted from concert performances into the Bollywood musical arena, collaborating with one of Bollywood’s grandest maestros RD Burman, very early is his career. Since the early 90s, his music has been a near constant in Bollywood soundtracks, with one if his most popular pieces, featured on 1942 —A Love Story.

Being open minded about collaborations has allowed Majumdar to work alongside esteemed artistes in the Bollywood and Hollywood music industry, composing, producing and directing pieces for esteemed vocal legends names such as: Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, former Beatle George Harrison, Bela Fleck, Ry Cooder, Jon Hassel and is ubiquitously known for his accompaniment alongside Jagjit Singh for almost 15 years of his career.

The maestro who practices and performs to show people the miracles and magic that the flute can create, Majumdar holds to his name, a speciality instrument, and the “shank bansuri,” conceptualised and created by himself.

Also, to his credit, among his many awards and accolades, are India’s prestigious President’s Gold Medal Award of India in 1981 to a Grammy Award nomination, to Guinness World Record.

Most recently, in 2017, Majumdar was honoured by the Films Division of India by having a full length documentary film produced on his life and his work. Aptly titiled, Bansuriwala (Carrier of the Flute), it captures his work, the exploration of and journey with the flute and also includes opinions of great Indian musical legends.

This concert is an opportunity to experience Majumdar’s exquisite music, alongside Pt Gouri Shankar on Tabla and Ghatam (clay pot percussion), a tabla maestro with more than 30 years’ experience. The show promises to be a great night of Indo classical music with India’s modern day Mozart.

For more information on the July 27 concert, contact the Chinmaya Ashram (679 – 3652) or email [email protected]


Awards won by Pandit Ronu Majumdar:
1996 – Grammy Award Nomination for collaboration on album Raga Aberi – with Sri Ravi Shankar and Ustad Zakkair Hussain.
2014 – Sangeet Natak Academi Award for contribution to Hindustan Instrumental Music
2015 – Guinness Book of World Records – Historic Symphony Flautist concert – 5378 flute players at Venu Naad – hosted by the Art of Living Organization.
Composed music for India’s first IMAX film – Mystic India
Ongoing as a mentor on the popular music talent series – Sa Re Ga Ma Pa.
Over 50 albums released under Eastern and Western music labels.

Categories: Entertainment News

Musical family brings urban swagger

Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:30

It was a family affair at Kaiso Blues Cafe in Newtown on June 8 as Easy Listening Promotions presented Ménagerie—Si, Oui Music, or, in local parlance “See We Music,” a play on French, Spanish and English influences in the musical arts.

The band Ménagerie features the musical talents of the Gabriel family comprising of vocalists Asha, Thará, Ayanna Gabriel, and Asha Gabriel-LewisSamuel Peter (guitar), Mark Peter (keyboard), violinist Saná Gabriel, drummer Lenville Gabriel and, bassist Kent Gabriel.

The family band performed to a full venue of patrons of varying ages who followed the band on their musical journey through 1970’s contemporary styled music like Sting’s Summertime to present day gems such as Mark Anthony’s Vivir Mi Vida and No te pido by Fanny Lu. But, it was when they turned on the “Urban Swagger” persona during the performance of their original piece Video, the uniqueness defines each member individual style stood out while simultaneously displaying how refined and natural their sounds coalesce and harmonise.

As they stated during an interlude, “One Bob Marley isn’t enough,” so a medley comprising of hits from the renowned Jamaican reggae icon’s Nine Mile album such as No Woman No Cry, Could You Be Loved and I Wanna Love You amongst others, were delivered.

During a 15-minute break, Lenville engaged patrons in a fun trivia game where he explained historical moments in musical history of the development of instruments, sound patterns/arrangements that defines a genre, and places of origin.

Special tributes and recognition were also given to locals artistes as well. Andre Tanker’s Sayamanda was performed in his honour, a tune Lenville Gabriel assisted in producing. Calypso icons David Rudder and Carl Jacobs were also recognised and mentioned as well, acknowledging Lenville Gabriel’s contribution to their respective productions.

The young blended voices backed by the expertise of the band’s instrumentalists made the evening quite a truly remarkable and enjoyable experience.

• For bookings of the Gabriel family, contact Easy Listening Promotions at [email protected].

Categories: Entertainment News

Major Lazer’s Walshy fires up music students at UTT

Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:28

Students of the University of T&T (UTT) benefited from a three-hour interactive discussion with Leighton “Walshy Fire” Walsh. Walsh, a member of the popular award-winning group Major Lazer, was in Trinidad over the holiday weekend to stage the first instalment of his popular event Rum & Bass.

The event, promoted by 432 Live, featured several distinguished and talented MCs and Sound Systems including Travis World Music, Taurus Movement, Viking Sounds, featuring Bunji Garlin, Ding Dong and Jaiga.

Also joining him was fellow member of Major Lazer and Trinidad-born Chris “Jillionaire” Leacock who joined Walsh at the turntables to keep the crowd highly entertained.

Walsh spoke to the students at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa) on topics related to his journey in the entertainment industry. The students of UTT are all enrolled in the Certificate in Music technology programme and welcomed the insight from the record winning producer. He encouraged his captive audience to stay true to their journey even though challenges may arise, “Give yourself ten years of failing with a smile on your face. If after ten years, you still have the passion, you’re heading to success!”

Referencing several of his personal experiences to strengthen his points, he urged the students to not be swayed or dismayed by the efforts of those who may not like them or their contributions to the industry.

Walshy noted, “A hater is actually an employee to your progress.”

Walshy has worked with international and regional recording artistes and produced hits such as Lean On and Light It Up and is always on the lookout for new talent.

He has also expressed his desire to return annually with the Rum & Bass event to Trinidad around the Labour Day holiday period.

Walshy Fire is working on his latest album which promises a fusion of Afrobeats and Caribbean sounds set to be released in the near future.

Categories: Entertainment News


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