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Caribbean American Arts Review aka CAAR

Caribbean American Arts Review aka CAAR CAAR identifies, discusses, preserves & showcases the music, dance, theatre, poetry, fine arts, books, modeling, fashion and films of Caribbean Americans.

Caribbean American Arts Review (CAAR) is about identifying, objectively discussing & preserving the music, dance, theatre, poetry, fine arts, books, modeling, fashion and cinematography of the Americas. In every way possible, the management of CAAR will endeavour to:
1) scrutinizingly put the spotlight on the creators, movers and shakers behind the art products of the Americas;
2. appropriately sh

Caribbean American Arts Review (CAAR) is about identifying, objectively discussing & preserving the music, dance, theatre, poetry, fine arts, books, modeling, fashion and cinematography of the Americas. In every way possible, the management of CAAR will endeavour to:
1) scrutinizingly put the spotlight on the creators, movers and shakers behind the art products of the Americas;
2. appropriately sh

Operating as usual

04/25/2022
MANDELLA LINKZ BRINGS SERIOUS COMMENTARY TO GROOVY SOCAMandella Linkz is continuing to highlight the burning issues of t...
04/23/2022
Mandella Linkz - Visit {GENESIS RIDDIM} GRENADA SOCA 2022

MANDELLA LINKZ BRINGS SERIOUS COMMENTARY TO GROOVY SOCA

Mandella Linkz is continuing to highlight the burning issues of the day in his soca creations. In "Visit," he hits us with yet another powerful message in his music.

"Visit" is a song for today. It tells it as it is and appeals for divine intervention.

The talented songwriter, composer and recording artiste sings:
"Hear me out oh Lord, I know you see what I see.
Hear me out oh Father, is poor people that feel the pressure."

As we listen to and enjoy this music with a message that's needed, may we reflect on all that we have the power to do — to bring about the changes we need so badly.

The link: https://youtu.be/-y_eiTlQcss

Gerry Hopkins JD
Managing Editor & Consultant
Caribbean American Arts Review | CAAR

Written by: Mandella inkzProduced by: Back Ah Yard Records / PowA MusicMixed by: Can't Stop RecordsMastered by: PowA MasteringGraphics by: Logic X Design

GRENADA'S TALENTED SCORPION, HAS PASSED My condolences to Scorpion's family and close friends. I would never forget the ...
04/16/2022
G.B.T.V. CultureShare ARCHIVES 1994: SCORPION "Do it for carnival"

GRENADA'S TALENTED SCORPION, HAS PASSED

My condolences to Scorpion's family and close friends. I would never forget the many encounters in which I had the privilege of interacting with this uniquely talented and creatively flamboyant brother, in and around Don Charles' Recording Studio in La Baye.

Scorpi was never too busy to entertain the many questions I had as a curious and fascinated teenager, during those days.

May his soul rest in peace, as we celebrate his life and his cultural legacy, embodied in the many contributions he made through his melodic singing, his unique wardrobing, and his skillful playing of multiple instruments, especially the steel pan.🙏🏾

Gerry Hopkins JD
Managing Editor & Consultant
Caribbean American Arts Review| CAAR

Link to one of Scorpion's love performances, compliments of GBTV (Gentle Benjamin):
https://youtu.be/XFvxySkt9Tk

8-7-94 - DIMANCHE GRAS @ QUEENS PARK, ST.GEORGE'S GRENADA, WEST INDIES..National of GRENADA...

Excerpts from a 2016 Exclusive Interview with BLAXX, Conducted by Paradise PulseHow did you get the name Blaxx?My dark s...
03/29/2022

Excerpts from a 2016 Exclusive Interview with BLAXX, Conducted by Paradise Pulse

How did you get the name Blaxx?
My dark skin colour. A lot of people saw it as challenge for me professionally, but it’s always a part of me that I have embraced in the face of adversity. I love me! You have to love yourself to be truly happy and successful in anything in life!

At what age did you start singing soca?
I didn’t start singing soca until my adult years, but I started singing at a very young age – probably 8 years old!

Who introduced you to music?
My parents. My father, Jerry, was a very talented keyboardist and saxophonist and led his own band “Jerry and The New School”, and my mother was an excellent vocalist. I started singing in church, and progressed to different genres from there. But my parents really set the foundation.

Your first big soca hit was in 2007 when you sang “Dutty”. Did you ever imagine becoming the big star you are today?
I don’t think anyone could ever anticipate that level of success. What they can anticipate though, is that hard work pays off. And I worked very, very hard to be where I am in my career today. Also, “big” is defined differently by different people. I stay hungry for my career, and for me a true mark of success is to see other people in the industry close to you succeed too.

Who is your favourite soca performer?
I am my favourite soca performer! (Smiles) but seriously, as I said before, at this stage of my career, my goal is just to help other younger, up-and-coming artistes with their craft. I really can’t choose just one. Every artiste has that little something that defines them, a little spark that motivates them, and a little flair that sets them apart. We have to learn to celebrate it all.
....
Why do you think 2016 will be your year?
2016 has been a year of growth and appreciation for me for sure. Roy Cape All Stars stands out this year as a band of incredible talent, and people are appreciating the instrumental side of the artform now more than ever before. Brass is Mas! I also have a great, hard-working team around me that really put their focus on logistics for the season, so that I can strictly focus on creating good music and giving my all at event performances.

My stylist, Nikiesha John from Shhh Boutique, really took me to another level with my wardrobe this year, and fans have really been taking notice of the way I look now – especially because I lost a lot of weight too.

My Road Managers, Kevin Stephen (who is also my booking agent from New York) and Seon Isaacs from Isaacs Promotions (who has been with me for a long time) take care of everything where performing at events and (back)stage needs are concerned. Royee (Roy Cape Jr.), has been my manager for such a long time, and I really enjoy the familiarity of our relationship – he usually knows what I need without me even having to say it to him sometimes. Giselle Gellineau always handles the Roy Cape Family with care – 16 years in, she is so invaluable. And my Publicist, Tenille Clarke, is my PR guru – she is always on hand for everything to do with media and making sure that everyone is always in the loop with news updates, touring dates, etc.

But the little things count too as well. My son, Kello – he will come and knock down my door to wake me up every morning, just to make sure I exercise and eat properly.

[Special Big Up for Andrew "Hitz" Phillip Out of Grenada:]
My good friend from Grenada, Andrew “Hitz” Phillip – he’s more than just my producer, but he’s a good counsellor to talk to and bounce ideas off of in this fast-paced, crazy music industry of ours, and he gives great advice – brilliant young man.

[Ricardo] Drue, Darnella and Voice [Aaron St. Louis] set such a good example in Roy Cape rehearsals – they work really well with the musicians and really set the bar high with their raw, natural talent, but their level of discipline towards their musical craft is what really motivates me to always be on top of my game. They are educated in their field – for example Drue is a classically trained singer and Voice is pursuing a degree in Theatre Arts at UWI. They are changing the face of Soca in their own way and I love and support that 110 per cent. That is what I’m here for.

[Special Recognition for the Big Man Dr. Roy Cape:]
And of course, there is Pappy [Dr. Roy Cape]. I would really be nowhere near the level of success that I enjoy now in my career without his counsel and guidance over the last 3 decades. I owe him so much and still take every opportunity that I can to ask for advice from him. Never too old to learn, and Pappy has experienced it all!
....

Tell us about your songs for 2016:
“Persuasion”
“My woman gone, in de middle ah de dance floor and start to perform!” I generally don’t sing about women in the way that most artistes do – I prefer to uplift and highlight women instead of take a derogatory approach. This song is based on a true story, and you can look out for a serious powerhouse remix too!
Written by Emmanuel Rudder, Produced by Advokit Productions.
....
“Good Company”
This is a duo essentially with Ricardo Drue - my youth, my student, and my friend- my little brother from another mother with a different colour! He’s a very passionate Soca artiste – one of a kind! Patrice Roberts did the background vocals, and it’s genuinely a feel-good song, blending the old kaiso vibes with the new Soca feel-good music.
Written by Tailormade Music, Dexter Stewart Music, 7th Wing, GBM and Adrian Smalls, Produced by Shawn “Mr. Roots” Mitchell/Wiz Records

“Find It”
This is easily one of my favourites and I’m hoping it’s also one of the most popular this year. Voice (real name Aaron St. Louis who is now with Roy Cape All Stars) did the demo and really brought this to life for me. I fell in love with the song right away and then getting to work with some of the best in the business - the Hart brothers from Full Blown Entertainment - on this was even better. From MadMen to FBE, just pure talent!
Written by Full Blown Entertainment, Dwain "Dwaingerous" Antrobus & Dexter “BLAXX” Stewart
....

Here is a link to the full article found in Paradise Pulse:
https://www.paradisepulse.com/pages/article.php?aid=65

In case you missed it or didn't realize it, there's a new director, Arley Gill, and a new board in charge of Grenada's S...
11/26/2021

In case you missed it or didn't realize it, there's a new director, Arley Gill, and a new board in charge of Grenada's SpiceMas Corporation. As such, also join me in congratulating the new director and the new board members, if you are yet to do so.

Spicemas Corporation welcomes new Board of Directors

On August 26th, 2021, the Board of Spicemas Corporation (SMC) was dissolved to give way to a new Board effective October 1st, 2021, headed by Caricom Ambassador, Cultural Expert, Attorney at Law, and former Culture Minister Mr. Arley Gill.

Mr. Gill is no stranger to the SMC. He was very instrumental in transitioning the operations of Grenada’s largest cultural festival carnival from an Ad Hoc Committee Structure to a Corporation in July 2011.

Mr. Gill brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Board which will provide strategic direction and leadership to the SMC for the next three years in the first instance.

Working along with Mr. Gill in providing this leadership and strategic direction are industry professionals with various skill set and expertise: Mr. Kelvin Jacob (CEO), Ms. Petra Roach, ACP John Mitchell, Ms. Dennies Burris, Mr. Michael Stephen, Ms. Chevanne Britton, Ms. Sherene Thomas, and Ms. Oslyn Crosby. Representing the stakeholders of Carnival: Mas, Steelpan, and Calypso are Mr. Chris Edwards, Mr. Victor Ashby, and Mr. Silvan Chan respectively.

SMC welcomes the new Board and looks forward to working with this great team of professionals to make SMC and Spicemas a world class product.

Appreciating Caribbean culture... Kes the Band Live in NYC
10/24/2021
Kes The Band Live in New York | IzWE Concert 2021

Appreciating Caribbean culture...
Kes the Band Live in NYC

Watch soca stars Kes the Band perform live for 9,500 fans in Coney Island, Brooklyn, NYC on Labor Day Monday 2021! Featuring special guests Iwer George, Voic...

Not to be missed...
10/14/2021

Not to be missed...

WE DID 'PLAY AH SAFE MAS': despite the restrictions Labor Day Celebrations happenedBrooklyn, NYC; Sept. 2021 — In case y...
09/24/2021

WE DID 'PLAY AH SAFE MAS': despite the restrictions Labor Day Celebrations happened

Brooklyn, NYC; Sept. 2021 — In case you missed it, despite the existing COVID-19 restrictions/concerns and the official NYC decision to not have regular Labor Day festivities this year, the West Indian American Day Carnival Association did plan and have permitted activities to mark our annual Labor Day Carnival in Brooklyn, a tradition of 55 years.

Attached are a few photos and notes about the toned-down, but well-attended Caribbean cultural heritage activities that were held over Labor Day weekend.

Gerry Hopkins, the managing editor of Caribbean American Arts Review (CAAR), salutes the leaders of WIADCA and all of our mas band and steel band leaders and players, along with our community leaders — who year-after-year do their part in ensuring the preservation and development of Caribbean-American heritage in the Diaspora.

To view a full report with more photos of this year's Labor Day activities, you may check out this link:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/wiadcacarnival/albums/with/72157719893355658

Rain or Shine, COVID-19 or 20 — the culture must be kept alive, and WIADCA is doing so! Major Drum Salute to WIADCA: 54 ...
09/05/2021

Rain or Shine, COVID-19 or 20 — the culture must be kept alive, and WIADCA is doing so!
Major Drum Salute to WIADCA: 54 Years of Fostering Caribbean Culture

I, Gerry Hopkins, Candidate for NYC Council in the 40th District, hereby says THANK YOU TO WIADCA for its continued efforts in planning and ensuring the celebration and preservation of Caribbean culture here in the Diaspora.

Let's celebrate and keep our culture alive!

Happy & Safe Labor Day Weekend to Everyone!💥

– Gerry Hopkins JD
Community Organizer & Supporter of Culture
Candidate for NYC Council 40th District
Brooklyn, NYC

with
・・・
Our culture could never be cancelled....
Come experience a CARNIVAL themed event that's JUS LIKE MAS
.
Home of BROOKLYN'S CARNIVAL :
200 Eastern Parkway
Behind the BROOKLYN MUSEUM on Labor Day Monday morning ‼️
.
TICKETS : www.IslandETicket.com
.
JUST LIKE MAS
Monday Wear or Costumes
.
MAS will never Die

.
The Ultimate Labor Day Monday ‼️
.
🚚🔊Road Experience🔊🚚
.
Presented by

WIADCA X SCORCH X THC X Sunny Side Up X CareFreeNation X Blackstar Denzil
.
Date: Labor Day Monday
Time: 11am - 6pm

You come dressed in:
Costumes & Monday wear
👙💃🎭

We provide:
The Road 🛣
Music Trucks 🚚
International Djs 🎧
Live Performances 🎤

So, it can be JUS’ LIKE MAS 🎭

Powered by:






Rain or Shine, COVID-19 or 20 — the culture must be kept alive, and WIADCA is doing so! Major Drum Salute to WIADCA: 54 ...
09/05/2021

Rain or Shine, COVID-19 or 20 — the culture must be kept alive, and WIADCA is doing so! Major Drum Salute to WIADCA: 54 Years of Fostering Caribbean Culture

I, Gerry Hopkins, Candidate for NYC Council in the 40th District, hereby says THANK YOU TO WIADCA for its continued efforts in planning and ensuring the celebration and preservation of Caribbean culture here in the Diaspora.

Let's celebrate and keep our culture alive!

Happy & Safe Labor Day Weekend to Everyone!💥

– Gerry Hopkins JD
Community Organizer & Supporter of Culture
Candidate for NYC Council 40th District
Brooklyn, NYC

THANK YOU NY CARNIVAL 2021 SPONSORS AND PARTNERS! Without all of you we would not be able to offer these programs and events year round. Much love and let’s celebrate together.


"The Origins of La Diablesse", a Moon Peak Production,  a mimi film written, produced, edited, by my daughter, Cherayna ...
09/01/2021
The Origins of La Diablesse

"The Origins of La Diablesse", a Moon Peak Production, a mimi film written, produced, edited, by my daughter, Cherayna Rullow, aka Chey Buttah" for her college senior project. This was orinigally meant to be a stage play, but due to the COVID pandemic, when schools were suddenly shut down, she had to come up with an alternative way to present her project. Words cannot express her disappointment, after spending the last year and a half working on this play, including casting, stage design, lighting costuming etc. Now she could not do the stage play as she had planned. She could have taken the easy route, as most of her classmates did, doing a condensed presentation of their project on zoom, and be done with it, but not my child. She felt it would have done an injustice to her script. So, just like her mom, she chose the hard way, and decided to do a film, which is something she's never done before. She spent weeks adapting the play to film, which presented one challenge after another, from auditioning the cast virtually, to rehearsing, trying to find a hoof 😊, to painting half of her face, to her first director quiting on her and hsvibg to find another one, to scheduling filming time on campus with the cast with strict COVID protocols in place, to getting the props to and from campus, to learning to edit the film herself and put in all the credits and sound, to many sleepless nights......Whew!!! All of this in the height of the pandemic, and also trying to complete her other finals. At one point she broke down crying in my arms, feeling so overwhelmed, that she had taken on too much. I lovingly reassured her that she could do this, and that she would be so proud of herself when it was all done. It was truly a labor of love, and she couldn't be more proud of herself right now. Her faculty was completely blown away and gave raving reviews, earning her one of the coveted awards at graduation. I am so proud her hard work, and the fact that she wanted to pay homage to our Grenadian culture, as well as the details she incorporated. For instance, using Gouyave as the location and using her grandfather "Florry Duncan" songs "Morning Time"as background music, as well as excerpts from Richardo Keens Douglas storytelling about La Diablesse in the end. I know more now about the La Diablesse story than I did before because of her. This was very low budget, and the audio could have been a little clearer in some areas, which could have been fixed if she had more time. But all I can say is watch what she does in the future when she has real funding and the right kind of resources and support. You go Cherayna Rullow!! The sky is the limit and your mom is always here to support and cheer you on 🎉🎊❤🥰

A senior project final by Cherayna Rullow on a well known Caribbean folklore/myth of La Diablesse (The Devil Woman). It is an homage to the storytelling prac...

A CAAR REVIEW NOTE Regarding Asheida Charles' New Book: The Cookie Jar: Power. Pain. PleasureBy Gerry Hopkins, JDThe Coo...
08/31/2021
The Cookie Jar: Power. Pain. Pleasure.

A CAAR REVIEW NOTE

Regarding Asheida Charles' New Book: The Cookie Jar: Power. Pain. Pleasure

By Gerry Hopkins, JD

The Cookie Jar: Power. Pain. Pleasure, has all of the trappings and elements of a best seller. I have already purchased and read my copy. Having done so, I am only going to now simply say this: folks, go get your own copy because I ain’t revealing any of the details here at this point in time. In a month or two, I will really unpack and share a whole lot of details after most folks would have had an opportunity to read the book as well.

However, may it be sufficient for now to say that Asheida Charles' book reveals a whole lot about life's realities through the lenses of the characters we encounter, as we experience their aspirations, explorations, joys, sadness, humour, disappointments and achievements in a world that's fraught with hypocrisy, injustice and some blessings here and there.

This book is loaded with heavy thoughts, real experiences, a plethora of teaching moments and scenarios that allow for useful, insightful reflections.

While a good deal of the details in the book are raw and not about happy moments in the lives of the characters we get to meet, the entire book is so beautifully written that many readers like myself, may simply not want to put it down until it’s all read — from the "Introduction" to the "About the Author" piece at the end.

My take: this is a very satisfying read for anyone with an appetite for intellectual honesty, who can appreciate someone who is obviously an attentive student of intellectual pursuits and of the experiences of ordinary folks, who live real, not fake lives.

Charles is equally substantive and articulate in her also published research-based scholarly writings (a relevant master’s thesis and four very telling papers), as she is in her prose which paints a picture of sorts — never abstract, always real. Certainly, she is the kind of author that would have readers asking for more of her written work.

BOOK LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Cookie-Jar-Power-Pain-Pleasure-ebook/dp/B09D1D39J2/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1630361645&refinements=p_27%3AAsheida&s=books&sr=1-1

###

GERRY HOPKINS, inter alia, is the Managing Editor of Caribbean American Arts Review (CAAR) — a platform which identifies, discusses, preserves and showcases the music, dance, theatre, poetry, fine arts, books, modeling, fashion and films of Caribbean Americans.
LINK to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caribbeanamericanartsreview/

The Cookie Jar: Power. Pain. Pleasure.

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Iconic Stars of Caribbean Music - Reggae Footage
Buju Banton & Beres Hammond Live
CULTURE -- Peace & Love
Congratulating & Saluting an Icon of Caribbean Music:
Now, Honorary Doctor MACHEL MONTANO

Congratulations to Dr. Rachel Montano. If there is anyone deserving of an Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree for contributions made toward the development of an art form and Caribbean culture in general, that person is MACHEL MONTANO -- a true Caribbean man of Trinbagonian origin with a Grenadian connection.
Recognizing a legacy of high quality in creative choreography, presentation and performance.

Be sure to patronize this institutional dance company during the upcoming 60th Anniversary season of dance -- NOV. 28 to DEC. 30, 2018.

I will be in attendance on as many dates as possible.

- Gerry Hopkin, JD
Consultant & Community Organizer
40th Councilmanic District
Brooklyn, NYC
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