Bandleader Darryl Durham, popularly known as Double D, is planning "a genuine Carnival cultural exchange" between Trinidad and Tobago and at least five other carnival destinations in North America and England.
Founder and leader of the band De Nu Image Kallaloo, which is turning out its second costumed band this year, Durham intends to take his masqueraders to popular carnivals in Miami, Atlanta, Brooklyn (Labour Day), Toronto (Caribana) and London (Notthing Hill). To complete the cultural exchange, he is planning to bring down bands from the "foreign" carnivals to Trinidad and Tobago's event in 2013.
"You always hear of local bandleaders taking their mas to Carnivals abroad. Kallaloo is taking this exchange to its natural conclusion. In addition to taking our band abroad, we also intend to bring down bands to our own Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago. This approach will broaden the dimensions of T&T Carnival and, just as important, create employment and income-generation for the local industry," explained the New York-based Durham.
Like many of today's bandleaders, Durham, a former show promoter and impresario, cut his teeth in the mas business by bringing out sections for several years for popular bands such as Trini Revellers and Legacy. Two years ago, he took the bold step to go on his own.
"I realised that I was filling a niche where the players in my section were really enjoying themselves to the hilt. They encouraged me to go solo and bring out my own band which I did last year. We play in the medium band category and expect around 500 masqueraders for the band Bacchanal," he pointed out. Durham explained that Bacchanal reflected the true characteristics of T&T carnival, with designer capturing the free-spiritedness and excitement of the festival. The band launched two of its six sections at its mas camp at Emoticons Bar, – Maraval Road, Port of Spain, last Friday.
According to Durham, Kallaloo is a true "all-inclusive" experience, also turning out a Jouvert band called Kullar Meh. "Masqueraders can party with Kallaloo from Jouvert on Monday morning right up to las' lap on Carnival Tuesday. We have the best music on the road and our prices are the most affordable. For $1,500, you have the choice of our costumed mas with food and premium drinks. For Jouvert, it is $300," Durham noted.
Road music will be supplied by Rain, ten top radio DJs and a top soca artiste. If you want to play mas and enjoy a "bacchanalian experience" on Carnival Monday and Tuesday, Durham can be contacted at 489-5238 or 370-6089.