The January/February issue of Caribbean Beat focuses on Carnival season in Trinidad and Tobago—where thousands of masqueraders will take to the streets of Port of Spain in February—giving the readers a close-up look at the annual festival, starting with a striking photograph of a traditional masquerade blue devil on the cover (Maria Nunes’photo of Steffano Marcano of the 2001 Jab Molassie band). Here are excerpts of the press release:
Inside this issue of Caribbean Beat, writer Laura Dowrich-Phillips goes “Behind the music” to meet four creative powerhouses helping to craft Carnival’s soundtrack. Soca artistes are the festival’s biggest stars, but songwriters like Kerwin DuBois, producers like 1st Klase, backup singers like Terri Lyons, and DJs like Private Ryan make the music possible. We also meet artist Marlon Griffith, profiled by Beat editor Nicholas Laughlin. Trained in the “school” of mas, Griffith’s work crosses Trinidad’s masquerade traditions with cutting-edge contemporary art practice, creating spectacles that arrest audiences around the world. Continuing our Carnival coverage, writer Attillah Springer gives us a very personal introduction to J’Ouvert, the two-day festival’s opening act; we catch a glimpse of Karen and Kathy Norman’s “Mas couture”, blurring the line between street costumes and high fashion; and music columnist Garry Steckles talks to four experts about how Trinidad calypso has been adopted and adapted across the Caribbean, including some unexpected locations.
Of course, Trinidad’s isn’t the only Carnival happening in the Caribbean in February. This issue’s Datebook section rounds up other Carnival celebrations in Aruba, Haiti, Curaçao, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guiana, telling our readers where they can join a Parada di Flambeau, party to zouk, or dance with a touloulou. Meanwhile, writer Vidyaratha Kissoon gives us an insider’s perspective on Guyana’s annual Mashramani, explaining that a dash of controversy only helps to “spice up the festivities.”
[. . .] In “Carnival hideouts”, photographer Chris Anderson takes a road trip to Trinidad’s south-western peninsula, and writer Desiree Seebaran recommends idyllic Castara, on Tobago’s leeward coast. Further afield, Janelle Chanona explores breathtaking Xunantunich, a Mayan site in Belize, and discovers that the country’s Mayan remains still offer more questions than answers. And writer Sharon Millar meets the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, visits the grave of Marie Laveau, and finds that the creole city has more in common with the Caribbean than just Mardi Gras.
This issue’s “Engage” section offers readers food for thought, and an introduction to people and projects making a difference across the Caribbean. Our “Inspire” column talks to cricketer Daren Ganga about the importance of mentoring for talented youngsters — the main goal of his eponymous foundation. Our “Green” column, “A tale of two ducklings”, is a heartwarming story about bird rehabilitation in Antigua, and how small actions can sometimes have big consequences. And our “Plugin” column describes how social media tools come into their own in emergency situations (like the disastrous floods in Trinidad last August), keeping crucial communications channels open.
The January/February Caribbean Beat also previews a new exhibition by Trinidadian artist Christopher Cozier; profiles the Bahamian writer and book artist Sonia Farmer, founder of Poinciana Paper Press; talks to Appleton Rum’s Joy Spence, the first female master blender in the global spirits industry; and remembers the story of the notorious Jamaican bobsled team that took the Winter Olympics by storm twenty-five years ago. [. . .]
Caribbean Beat is the Caribbean’s leading arts and travel magazine, published since 1992 (distributed via Caribbean Airlines and through subscriptions).
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