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Saturday, July 2, 2022
CAMF Band Launch 2019, Gemz Mas International. Photo Credit. Robin Mark

CAMF Band Launch and Showcase


The Carnival Arts and Masquerade Foundation (CAMF) held its second annual band launch at Second Home, London Fields, Hackney, on Sunday 12 May. Entitled ‘Rekindle De Legacy’, the Carnival culture evening featured a parade of 16 bands due on the road at Notting Hill Carnival 2019, accompanied by live music and Caribbean food.

The mas bands included in the launch were: Jamboulay, South Connections, Ashantix Kweyole, Gemz Mas, MaKING Carnival, Catona’s Gods & Goddesses, Rumshop Raw Licquer, Tropical Isles, Hotwax, Mas Africa, Fanatix, Exotic Mas, Glorious Backstage Arts, Xtreme Carnival Band, Mardi Gras Arts, DUKA Mas Domnik UK  and Cocoyea.

A musical welcome from the famous Nostalgia Steel Band greeted spectators entering the event, which began with Vincent John, one of the show’s producers, leading the audience in a prayer/meditation on the sacrifices of those who went before – those who made carnival, “The world-renowned cultural artform it is today”.

MC Coco P, commonly associated with the London Calypso Tent, hosted the festivities, and leading the live music section was veteran calypsonian Alexander De Great. He paid tribute to the great Lord Kitchener, and explained the roots of calypso. Next up was UK Calypso Monarch 2018, De Admiral, quoting Duke: “We have to give up that old slave mentality”. He then devoted a song to the Windrush Generation, in recognition of their continuing successful dedication to social and cultural excellence in the UK.

DJ Mike Forbes played the latest soca songs during the interval, followed by a special treat from the event’s choreographer, Reuben Joseph. His Miss World Carnival Queens presentation was an introduction to the official show in August. Miss United Kingdom, Miss Brasil, Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Miss India, Miss Jamaica, Miss Bahamas, Miss St. Lucia, Miss Barbados, Miss Montserrat, Miss Canada, Miss Dominican Republic, Miss St. Vincent and Miss United States all represented in great costumes.

Coco P rounded off the exciting show with a preview of his upcoming EUK Soca Monarch competition, during which top UK soca artist Triniboi Joocie sang his latest song, Obeyah, while the grand costume finale took place.

Acknowledgements go to the Creator, the Ancestors and CAMF’s Events Production Team, who are: A. Duncan-Thompson, V. John, B. Nyarko, D. Gonzales, DRM Jones, M. Antoine, C. Rock and O. Joseph.