BRINGING UNITY: Joy C gave a good performance of "Caribbean Unity". —Photos: Gary Cardinez

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Divas tent gets going

By Gary Cardinez

"Historians and scholars have found clever ways to write "woman" out of the script where Carnival is concerned," said Lutalo Masumba (Brother Resistance) President of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO).

Resistance was addressing the audience at the opening of the Divas Calypso Cabaret International at Mas Camp Pub, Woodbrook, on Wednesday evening.

He went on, "I am talking about the days of the Camboulay, the Gayelle; they have painted woman in pan as the wining Flag Woman, so many names are not called.

"Rudy Ottley has given the woman in calypso a voice in his house of music and has proven that this business of Carnival is not just a food for him. Ten years ago when he went Hilton Poolside and was rained out people were glad.

"They asked who is Ottley and what he playing? Taking a band of women in Hilton to sing calypso. Ten years later he is here with the Divas. He has stood up to his responsibility."

Tent manager Rudolph Ottley recalled the headline in the newspapers after the rained out night at Hilton 10 years ago.

He also reminded the audience that this year is 75 years since the recording of the smash hit "Rum and Coca Cola" proving the international importance of our calypso music.

The historian (Ottley) said that this year is 175 years of Carnival after Emancipation, and feels that the media is not spreading this message, He said the powers that be should pump more funding into the Carnival 2013 as we celebrate this milestone.

Sixteen singers performed for the sold out Mas Camp audience but there was not much variety — several being 50th anniversary songs and too many "lamentations" for an opening night.

One high point of the night was Lisa 'Diva" John's invitation to reigning Calypso Monarch Duane O'Connor to join her on stage to take a wine during her performance of "Limited Access", a song which had the audience in stitches.

The band's rendition of "Rum and Coca Cola" throughout the night was very interesting. My guess is Ottley will rearrange the order of appearance and present a tight package as the season progresses.

Stacy Sobers and Lisa "Diva" John were thrown into the role of Master of Ceremonies and they performed fairly well. They do need to understand when a song deserves an encore and how to control time, something they will learn as they go along.

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