Are you ready for Caribbean Carnival?
On A Mission to Unite the World through the ministry of Rhythm and the life-giving force of community celebration,

Rise Up! for Celebration is the Answer

Caribbean Carnival Live News Feed
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African Influences
David Rudder
Caribbean Music
Alexander Hamilton
Music Styles

Caribbean Carnivals

Caribbean [get framed]Caribbean Carnivals Directory
2008 Awards
June: Caribbean Heritage Month
Representative Barbara Lee
Caribbean Island Carnivals
Canadian Caribbean Carivals
USA Caribbean Carnivals
Bluefields Nicaragua
Machel Montano-Xtatic 
Caribbean Festival Arts: Each and Every Bit of Difference (at amazon)
The authors, as they trace the roots and influences of the mas , also consider the present-day parades of London, Toronto and Brooklyn, now twice removed, they assert, from their African beginnings

--Anguilla (first week in August)
--Antigua and Barbuda (first week in August)
--Aruba (pre-Lenten )
--Barbados (first Monday in August)
--Bonaire (pre-Lenten )
-Havana (end of July)
-Santiago de Cuba (end of July)
-Varadero (end of July)
--Curaçao (pre-Lenten )
--Dominica (pre-Lenten)
--Dominican Republic (late February)
--Grenada (early August)
--Guadeloupe (pre-Lenten )
--Haiti (pre-Lenten )
--Jamaica, (late March, early April)
--Martinique pre-Lenten )
--Puerto Rico (pre-Lenten )
--Saba (early August)
--Saint-Barthélemy (pre-Lenten )
--Saint Croix (Three Kings Day)
--Saint John (July 4)
--Saint Lucia (July)
--Saint Kitts and Nevis (roughly New Year's Day)
--Saint-Martin (pre-Lenten )
--Saint Thomas (last Friday and Saturday in April)
--Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (July, August)
--Sint Eustatius (early August)
--Sint Maarten (roughly a month after Easter)
--Trinidad and Tobago (pre-Lenten between New Years & Ash Wednesday)
Caribbean Newspapers & Magazines
Antigua Sun
Barbados Nation News
Caribbean Beat
Caribbean Travel & Life
Cana News
Caribbean Daily
Grenada Voice
Guyana Chronicle
Jamaica Gleaner
Jamaica Observer
Jamaica Star
The Barbados Advocate
The Star (St. Lucia)
Trinidad Express
Trinidad Guardian
Trinidad & Tobago Newsday
Virgin Islands Daily News

Caribbean TV & Radio Stations
i95.5 Talk FM (TnT) (Atlanta) (Miami)
Island Vibes Show (C.K.U.W. 95.9FM Canada)
Mental Radio (UK) (Jamaica)
Red 96.7 FM (TnT)
Rhythm City 94.1 FM (TnT)
Synergy TV (TnT)
TEMPO (TEMPO Networks)
Trini Bashment 91.9 FM (TnT)
W.A.C.K 90.1 FM (TnT)

Caribbean Carnival News

 - via google news

June - December 2008 Carnaval Season
bullet June 14, 2008 West Palm Beach, FL
bullet June 14, 2008 Philadelphia, PA
bullet June 14-15, 2008 Tampa Bay, FL
bullet June 27-29, 2008 Washington DC
bullet June 27-July 8, 2008 St. Vincent & the Grenadines
bullet July 3-6, 2008 Houston, TX (Caribfest)
bullet July, 2008 St. John (VI)
bullet July 5, 2008 Montreal, Canada (Carifest)
bullet  July 18-19, 2008 Norfolk, Virginia
July 20, 2008 Jersey City, NJ
July 26, 2008 Rotterdam Carnival
Aug 1-4, 2008 Barbados (Crop Over)
Aug 4-5, 2008 Antigua
Aug 8-10, 2008 Hamilton, Canada
Aug 8-10, 2008 Edmonton (Cariwest)
Aug 8-10, 2008 Detroit, MI
Aug 11-12, 2008 Grenada (Spice Mas)
Aug 15-17, 2008  Chicago, IL (Carifete)
bullet Aug 18, 2008Ottawa (Caribe-Expo)
Aug 23, 2008 Boston, MA
Aug 23-24, 2008 Notting Hill (London, UK)
bullet Sep 1, 2008 New York (Labor Day)
bullet Sep 6-7, 2008 Baltimore, MD
bullet Oct 9-13, 2008Miami, FL
bullet Oct 24-26, 2008 Jacksonville, FL
Nov 6-17, 2008 Cayman Pirates Week
Dec 24, 08-Jan 2, 2009 St. Kitts
Dec 2008 Monserratt
Dec 24, 08-Jan 2, 2009 St.Croix (V.I)
African influences on carnival traditions
Important to Caribbean festival arts are the ancient African traditions of parading and moving in circles through villages in costumes and masks. Circling villages was believed to bring good fortune, to heal problems, and chill out angry relatives who had died and passed into the next world. Carnival traditions also borrow from the African tradition of putting together natural objects (bones, grasses, beads, shells, fabric) to create a piece of sculpture, a mask, or costume — with each object or combination of objects representing a certain idea or spiritual

“One race / From the same place / That make the same trip / On the same ship.” 
Caribbean Man -Black Stalin

Kid's drum sessions teach the following:
  • Group cohesion & Harmony
  • The power of Listening
  • Team-building and Synergy
  • Individual and Group Achievement


Feathers were frequently used by Africans in their motherland on masks and headdresses as a symbol of our ability as humans to rise above problems, pains, heartbreaks, illness — to travel to another world to be reborn and to grow spiritually. Today, we see feathers used in many, many forms in creating carnival costumes.

African dance and music traditions transformed the early carnival celebrations in the Americas, as African drum rhythms, large puppets, stick fighters, and stilt dancers began to make their appearances in the carnival festivities.

In many parts of the world, where Catholic Europeans set up colonies and entered into the slave trade, carnival took root. Brazil, once a Portuguese colony, is famous for its carnival, as is Mardi Gras in Louisiana (where African-Americans mixed with French settlers and Native Americans). Carnival celebrations are now found throughout the Caribbean in Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada, Dominica, Haiti, Cuba, St. Thomas, St. Marten; in Central and South America in Belize, Panama, Brazil; and in large cities in Canada and the U.S. where Caribbean people have settled, including Brooklyn, Miami, and Toronto. Even San Francisco has a carnival! [ more at ]


David Rudder: Lyrics man
“Lyrics to make a politician cringe / Or turn a woman’s body into jelly”

Now's the time/In this blessed life/When our bodies show/How we feel inside/You will know It will roar inside you/It comes to you/Like a raging tide

 "Music is liberation/ Come make a joyful sound/ This life is a celebration... Comes the time, and the street is now a sacred place...Early morning calls for early wine. This communion makes you feel so fine.."

"Will you remember me when you wake up Ash Wednesday morning? You know, Ash Wednesday is always a different story." Rudder sings in "J'ouvert"

High Mas I © David Michael Rudder
Our Father who has given us this art
So that we can all feel a part
Of this earthly (lesser) heaven....amen
Forgive us this day our daily weaknesses
As we seek to cast our mortal burdens on this city...amen
Oh merciful Father, in this bacchanal season
Where some men will lose their reason
But most of us just want to wine and have a good time
"The Hammer was a victory song. Just like the Bahia Girl . . . Bahia Girl was saying -- it had a higher murder here -- a higher murderous act was being perpetrated here in the sense that people were taken from their homeland, brought here, separate -- which was like some sent to South America, some sent to the States, some sent all through the Caribbean, some sent all over the place -- and the whole -- not only a physical shooting down but a cultural, spiritual: the soul and all was shot down -- was supposed to be shot down. And what this girl coming back and saying, is that 'they lie, we didn't lose nothing, we still have it, the vibrations still here, because the same thing I seeing here I seeing in Brazil' . . .
The drum that was taken away revealed itself...The drum just take on a different face and the drum come back."

---David Rudder

In Ramabai Espinet, "From the Belly of the Bamboo: Interview with David Rudder, Part 1," Trinidad and Tobago Review, Christmas 1987, 12.


Brooklyn J'Ouvert:  
The most important part of this parade, for insiders, is now the J'Ouvert, which occurs on Labor Day in the hours before dawn, ending at daylight before the Parade officially starts. As Earl King, one of the first J'Ouvert organizers explains, the J'Ouvert began in the late 1980's in order to put pan in the spotlight as the "engine room" of Carnival:
You see, pan got lost on the parkway when the big sound systems and deejays took over. So we were determined to do something to preserve pan, to let our children know where Carnival really comes from. So in J'Ouvert its just pan and mas bands, no deejays invited. Now people are remembering the joy you can get by taking your time and playing mas with a steelband, just inching up the road, pushing pan.

Washington D.C.
The Washington D.C. Institute for Caribbean Studies has been an early supporting organization among over 40 groups who have been campaigning for this Caribbean recognition since 1999. The group is best known for its Annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards and June Caribbean Film Festival.

Of course the month of June harbors Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, which is an annual holiday, celebrated on June 19 in the United States commemorating the end of slavery

Let's all celebrate and have a good time
We gonna celebrate and have a good time

It's time to come together
It's up to you, what's your pleasure

Everyone around the world
Come on!

Kool & The Gang
Got Move to the Groove to catch all the vibes

Parties start to build up to the big day as mas bands launch their presentations and music written for the season is heard on the air

  • beauty and excitement
  • a reverence for improvisation, spontaneous creativity

You know, Ramajay!- get carried away in the spirit of free expression

Engine Room
It could go on forever
See dem jump and prance
Give deyself a chance in de heat
Engine Room
It could never die, never
. . .We're gonna let them know
They could never stop the drum . . .

When the iron fall
It humble the band
. . . Engine room
Is down whey does cause the bacchanal
The pan is de body
But the rhythm is heart ah the thing
. . . Engine room
That is the soul of Carnival . . .

--David Rudder, Engine Room

The victory song of Carnival: Let the rhythm take you to a different world;  a different tomorrow

Joy A. I. Mahabir
SUNY at StonyBrook, New York

more on David Rudder & rhythm by Joy A.I.M.

Like Chutney musicians, Rudder sees the relationship of rhythm to history and ideology as immediate and central to his music. He says in an interview with Ramabai Espinet:
Trinidad's period [of slavery] was short, so you find that our interpretation of pain is different. This is why I feel Reggae have to be a Jamaican experience, because the music down in the ground and it painful. A Jamaican will say 'This life hard, you know man;' and a Trinidadian go say 'This life real hard, yeah boy.' Is the same thing we saying, except that we laugh. We laugh at the pain and this is how Calypso is like 'Pardner, what we go do, take a drink and leh we go up the road.' And is like -- this is why the drum -- the laughter of the melody. Our music laughs -- a cutting kind of laugh.[9]

In Ramabai Espinet, "From the Belly of the Bamboo: Interview with David Rudder, Part 2," Trinidad and Tobago Review, Carnival February, 1988, 12.

Connecting the Americas to Africa through the Caribbean
San Francisco - Oakland- SJ
In the USA Memorial Weekend as defined by the 4th Monday in May marks the beginning of summer. There are 4 North American Caribbean Carnivals this weekend including the greatest multicultural Carnaval ever celebrated in San Francisco, since 1996 has been the internet's best web source to these affirmations of joyous living in the present. While we make all Carnivals our business,  we make a special place for 9 cities including Toronto and its Carnival countdown season of June & July. Here, check out the history of Caribana in images dating from 1996.



The music of the Caribbean — from calypso to reggae, soca to dancehall — has had an impact on the rest of the world all out of proportion to the size of the region,
Caribbean Music Styles

It's the rhythm
Caribbean music, like all Black music in the Americas, displays a reverence for improvisation. This can be understood partly as a type of musical historicizing, since the music appears in a certain spatial and temporal moment that, like the music itself, cannot be replicated. With improvisation, other basic tenets of Caribbean music, include call-and-response (antiphony), energetic percussion, cross-cultural rhythms and asymmetrical harmonies, all of which lead to considerations on rhythm, for it is rhythm that holds a place of privilege in Caribbean music and culture.

Joy A. I. Mahabir

The Museum of the African Diaspora or MArchitecture ExteriorOAD connects all people through the Art and culture of the African Diaspora. Indeed the museum greets you with its now well established claim to being the Mother Of All Diasporas since this is the home of Eve

Exhibitions reflect and tell stories of Black lives that have colored the evolution of many New World cultures. With its global focus, MoAD is positioned to serve as a major voice in the conversation about artists of the African Diaspora. 

more @

Four Island groupings:  
---the Hispanic Caribbean (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico);
--the French Caribbean (Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana);
---the Dutch Antilles present-day Netherlands Antilles and Aruba  (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaço, Saba, St Eustatius, St Maarten);
 ----British Caribbean (British West Indies / Anglophone Caribbean - Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica (also French Creole speaking), Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia (also French Creole speaking),, At one time, there was a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories. The federation continues as West Indian cricket team includes the South American nation of Guyana, the only former British colony on that continent.

There are also commonly referred to geographic groupings the Antilles, which together with the Bahamas form the West Indies. West Indies consist of the Antilles, divided into the larger Greater Antilles which bound the sea on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the east, and the Bahamas which are northeast of the sea. Bermuda lies much further to the north in the Atlantic Ocean and is sometimes included in the West Indies. Geopolitically, the West Indies are organized into 28 territories Lesser Antilles are made up of the -Leeward Islands[wiki], the southern islands of  Windward Islands, [wiki] Virgin Islands).

The analogous "West Indies" originates from Christopher Columbus' idea that he had landed in the Indies (then meaning all of south and east Asia) when he had actually reached the Americas.