Bunji Garlin

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Bunji ready

By Nigel Telesford

“Differentology” singer, Bunji Garlin (Ian Alvarez) is thrilled to be performing at the Kings and Queens finale this evening at the Queen’s Park Savannah and described the feeling surrounding his and wife, Fay Ann Lyons’ decision not to compete in this year’s International Soca Monarch contest as “peace of mind”.

He said: “I appreciate the moment for what it is – it’s a fresh atmosphere and the producers are trying to do something different and bring the show up to the times. We enjoy doing things differently from the set pattern and the cast is lovely, so I know the show itself will be a complete showcase of what and who we are as a nation. We’re looking forward to it!”

Garlin referred to the controversial decision as “a fine tradeoff” and shared his picks for the Groovy and Power Soca Monarch.

“Not being in the competition has given us more peace in terms of our relationships with the other artistes and more peace of mind internally as well because we’re not even competing against each other either. If you remember, in previous years, we would have to hide certain ideas from each other – even as we also helped each other out, but it's less tension all around and it gives us more room and more time to do other things. I think it’s a fine tradeoff and I’m sure Fay agrees.

"Of course, we are supporting our father, Mr Austin Lyons - also known as “Superblue” for the Power Monarch and our good friend, Blaxx for the Groovy. We wish them all the best and much success.”

Alvarez, Lyons and the Asylum band will perform alongside Kes The Band, the Woodbrook Playboyz Steel Orchestra, as well as Calypso veterans, David Rudder and Denyse Plummer, even as the designs of 20 senior and 30 junior Kings and Queens all vie for top honors.

This ground-breaking event boast of being "the only competition that has all the elements of T&T culture" and is scheduled to commence at 7 pm sharp. Dubbed "Unleash The Masquerade", the 2013 Kings and Queens Final is being produced by the “Youngest King of Carnival” record holder, Geraldo Vieira Jr.

The son of multiple King-maker/designer, the late Geraldo Andrew Vieira, who died in September 2012, Vieira Jr said that “like mas, the event was evolving” and would be dedicated to his father’s memory and legacy.

He said: “This event and the way it’s being staged had been a long time dream of my father’s, so I’m happy to be involved and to see it realized and manifested at this time. He wanted to see the mas on its own stage, with its own date and time on the Carnival calendar and to integrate it with the other cultural expressions to make a grand showing that would completely illustrate the beauty of our culture.

Thanks to the folks at the NCBA, we're going to make this dream come true.”

Geraldo Andrew Vieira was a great mas innovator and designer, 9-time King of Carnival designer, multiple winner in the junior and senior King and Queen competitions and double record holder for the oldest and youngest Kings of Carnival.

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