The 2014 carnival season could see an improved calypso tent structure in the big parish of St. Andrew’s.
Veteran calypsonian, Elwin “Black Wizard” McQuilkin has announced that he would be teaming up with Mr. X to revive the tent structure in St. Andrew’s as part of an overall plan to help improve the artform.
In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper, Wizard said the idea is to provide much more attraction to lovers of the artform in the season.
“We’re starting very early this year, we’re going to be having some preliminary shows before the real season starts. Apart from that, we’re going to have auditions for Calypsonians who want to take part in the tent,” he said.
The auditions will be held on April 19 at 3.00 p.m. at Bain’s Hall in Grenville, St Andrew.
Wizard said that approximately 10 singers will be auditioned to join the core cast of himself along with Mr. X, and former monarchs Beast, Scholar, Bico and Darius.
He stated that as part of the effort to raise awareness of the tent structure, a number of preliminary shows will be held in different villages in St Andrew’s as a build up to the carnival.
“We’ll be singing maybe a little piece of the new songs and some past songs to get people acquainted. In some of the villages in Grenada, people might have heard you on the radio or seen you on the television but they have not really seen you in person so we decided to take it to the villages,” he remarked.
Wizard disclosed that the calypso tent will officially open the week after the launch of carnival and will most likely be held at the Grenville basketball court and that a number of shows would be held as opposed to just one.
“People have been complaining that there are not enough shows for instance but you would realise that the tent opens and closes on the same night (in recent years) – you only have one show and then the judging show and that don’t really make sense…”, he said.
“…You want to have a number of shows and we want to have a higher standard than the last couple of years. We want to go around the island with the tent, on a Sunday afternoon we’re going to have a cultural extravaganza in Grenville. We’ll get together with Rainbow City All Stars and Rainbow City mas band, you’ll see some mas, some parade of the ole time carnival and every Sunday we’ll have different features”, he added.
Wizard also indicated that a the end of the season he would like people to feel satisfied with what was provided to them in terms of entertainment.
“At the end of the season people must say for once, yes, kaiso has rebounded, not just kaiso band but kaiso in general because we find the product itself was left wanting over the years,” he said.
Wizard is optimistic that with such a mindset and drive, the Dimanche Gras show, which has been on an all-time low in recent years, will be redeemed with a high standard of calypsoes.