The writer of this year’s Culturama Slogan (“History, Culture, Music Combined, Nevis Culturama 39”), Nicole Liburd, was presented with a plaque and two Culturama season passes for her trouble, and a presentation was also made to the Patron of Culturama 2013, Basil Manners.
Brief remarks were also delivered by Culturama 2013 chairman, Dr. Patricia Martin, Nevis Cultural Development Foundation chairman, Janet Nisbett, and Minister responsible for Culturama, Mark Brantley. Premier Vance Amory declared the festival open.
Various performances and a fireworks display set the stage for the night’s marquee event and the days of festivities to come. Launch night’s marquee event was the Culturama Junior Calypso Show, which featured 12 young calypsonians. Accompaniment for the 12 was provided by Jazzique’s Green House. First-timer Mighty Sookie of St. Thomas Primary was eventually adjudged winner, with Prince Akedo (son of former King, Hollywood) coming in second; in third place was Invincible. According to Culturama Executive Officer, Antonio “Abonaty” Liburd, all 3 calypsonians are rookies to the artform.
Following the Junior Calypso Monarch competition, popular bands Kore and Xzibit performed into the wee hours.
After what he described as an “impressive launch ceremony”, Liburd declared that “we are in a state of readiness” for Culturama 39. He said Friday night’s Calypso Semi-finals competitors were “rearing and ready to go” and professed them “well-rehearsed with the Kasanova Band with brass.”
“The Culturama Committee has worked overtime over the past couple of months to ensure that the festival this year is of a very high standard,” Liburd said.
In response to a question concerning the prohibition of Kittitian participation in the two main Culturama events (Senior Calypso Competition, Miss Culture Queen Pageant), Abo explained that the policy laid down earlier this year would only allow Nevisians and persons resident in Nevis for more than 12 months to participate in those events.
“Those persons should be the persons to represent Nevis should they be invited to represent Nevis in a regional or international competition. Barring that, we have allowed competitors from St. Kitts in the other shows. In fact Thursday’s junior calypso competition saw some 5 of the junior calypsonians coming from St. Kitts. The Mr. Kool competition also has one competitor from St. Kitts…The swimwear competition has a contestant from St. Kitts as well.”
The popular International Night will be hosted by an organization called Tender Care International, Liburd announced. This year’s event (Freedom Concert 2013) will feature dancehall/reggae stars I Octane, Droop Lion and Duane Stephenson. The night’s opening act will be Green House. All proceeds from Freedom Concert 2013 will be used to fund the purchase of much-needed equipment for the Alexandria Hospital. Concert date is 2nd August.
On the parade front, Liburd said that the Junior Cultural Street Parade and the adult street parade would be merged. He said that six junior parade contestants (schools) had been registered in addition to two private junior troupes. In total, he was expecting about a dozen troupes on the road for Culturama.
Miyvue.com asked Abonaty to comment on the lateness of radio singles and albums from the Nevisian bands. To date, no bands have serviced music to radio outlets.
“I would have thought that seeing that all the local bands now have their own recording studios, they would have been out a lot earlier,” he said. Odisi, UltraSonic, The Kore and Ultimate were groups listed as self-sufficient in studio facilities.
“I would have thought that having the facility at their disposal, that they would have made an extra effort to come out a little earlier, but we are seeing the same thing continue to happen where the bands come out late.” Abonaty said the bands were cheating the fans, as they were not getting the opportunity to hear the songs early enough, allowing them to become familiar with the music.
“It takes away from the whole atmosphere of jouvert and the whole hype that the bands usually bring to a festival,” said Liburd.
Perhaps the bands can pull off a miracle and live up to the “Music” in Nicole Liburd’s slogan. As the saying goes, better late than never.