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Apparently 2011 is the year of the Carnivals. From Trinidad and Tobago Carnival…considered one of the best in years... to Atlanta Carnival... easily their best parade of the bands in their 23 years of existence... and now Houston, TX. And if the Ultra GLO featuring KES the Band, is any indication of what’s to come over the next few days, then Houston Carnival and their Caribfest committee has absolutely done something right! Who would think to place three generations of singers on one stage…well…Houston did! Who would think to bring an 80 year old Calypso/soca singer (who could wine down to the ground, by the way) to grace the stage? Well…Houston Caribfest did! Who would think to bring the 2011 Groovy Soca Monarch to their Carnival? Well…Houston Caribfest did! Who would think to bring the Chutney Soca King for years to their Carnival? Again…Houston Caribfest did! And if you guys don’t believe me…Who would think to bring the #1 Live Band out of NY, with two sexy and beautiful female singers and a front-man who could jump six feet in the air, to their Carnival? Well…allyuh want to guess? Yuh right….Houston Caribfest did!  Well I can’t wait till tonight! As a matter of fact, I can’t wait till next year!

And if you are wondering who is this 80 year old veteran that gave a stunning performance in his customary body suit, managed to grab a wine from one of the dancers and even showed KES how to buss ah wine or two…then read on!

The tough part about capturing a large beautiful crowd in a best party, is that as a photographer, you want to get your shots before the sweat comes pouring down their faces, because people are so busy wining to the side, or getting on Wotless…that they don’t have time to pose for the camera! From the looks of the crowd, they had great appeal…there’s no dispute! As far as quantity…you couldn’t stop seeing people….From outside to inside….the place ram! And by the way, the only way we were able to capture the sexy photos that we did, was simple. We showed them our badge! Or our business card! ☺ “Ohhh…TrinijungleJuice.com?...ok hol on…let me wipe my face..” Then they put on their best smile... if yuh see teeth! Another one was… “Ohhh…TJJ?.. hold that wine meh boy... let me take this picture!” Nuff said?

The location of the event was not a bad choice. The size accommodated everyone in TX! And allyuh know Texas rel big! However, considering the heat that let’s off in Houston as well, this does not really help the thousands of patrons that were present as the body heat that was generated, certainly did not help the situation. In other words…the place was HOT! Very HOT! But you know what…when alcohol in the blood, sweet Soca music playing and sexy women wining…who needs AC right? Lol….Either way, I think the stage was a bit small and needed some extra lighting on it. However, the artists managed to pull it off regardless!  

If you guys have not heard him play as yet, then you guys are missing out on something. DJ Stephen is becoming a stable fixture at many Caribbean events. Not because he like to smile…but because he could rel play music. If you guys remember, he literally tore up the place in Atlanta! Now it’s Houston’s turn! Stephen started of the show with a bang. The Request Band from New York, took the baton and ran with it. They gave a fantastic performance. Their lead singers were exciting and energetic and kept the crowd moving. The Request Band….kept the ball rolling for that 80 year old man we previously talked about. Can you believe the Lord Nelson performed…..yes…I did say the Lord Nelson! For almost 30 minutes…this Soca phenom…dressed in his bright yellow body suit from head to toe….managed to elevate the intensity of the crowd with La La, Disco Daddy and Meh Lover (My mother’s favorite.) And when the songs were not enough for the engaged patrons, the Lord Nelson, (who asked the crowd to now call him Papa Bull) put down some serious wining skills. Ah rel serious!!! And if you don’t believe me, look at the photos! The third leg was ran by the famed Chutney King…Rikki Jai! That Guinness and Puncheon song…my lawwddd…nice!!! After Rikki….the 2011 Groovy Soca Monarch KES was really WOTLESS!!! Just ask the Birthday girl! You had to be there to see it! KES gave a great performance to say the least.  And just when we thought he went home to get some sleep….LOL…the Lord Nelson came back on stage for another rounds. As a matter of fact…he came up with Rikki Jai as well. In essence, he performed three times to the delight of the crowd!  And he did get ah final wine from one of the KES dancers. And for those of you who don’t know….the Lord Nelson is a fantastic man who absolutely loves his culture. This could be seen in his face when talking about the art form. Needless to say, the vibes for the night was never ending! Endless energy and fun!  

As for food, just take a look at the long lines outside after the event...Caribbean food is a best seller after events. Who would you find eating macaroni pie 3 am in the morning. Only Caribbean people. As for the bar inside, tops drinks were available.It was a bit small for all those people but the service was fast. Considering the heat, there could have been more cold water for the exasperated patrons…but they managed. Allyuh know Iwer would have a problem if he doesn’t have his water! DE PEOPLE WANT ‘WATER’….DE PEOPLE WANT WATER…!!! Other than that, a chit system was in place...wasn't too bad!

As far as service from the promoters....unmatched!!!!! Allyuh hear me....LET ME PUT THIS IN ALL CAPS.....THE PROMOTERS SERVICE IS UNMATCHED TO DATE!!!!!! Exceptional! The venue's service was not too bad either. The bartenders were fast and efficient and the auxiliary staff (security, police etc) were are in sync with each other which made things flow smoothly. Security was tight and there was sufficient parking for all in attendance! The service from the external vendors.....well all I can say is that it was Caribbean people serving you. Even if someone wanted to act the fool....allyuh know moms who serving yuh wouldn't hesitate to hit yuh with a pot spoon if yuh step out of line!!!

For $25.00 to see the Request Band, the Groovy Soca Monarch KES, Lord Nelson and Rikki Jai? This was a steal of a deal. I think Lord Nelson alone was worth the price of admission. But that’s just me.

TJJ had a great time at this first major event for the Carnival. We enjoyed the live performances, the crowd was friendly and easy to cover. And even though we didn't get much time to party, we still ended up soaking wet! To Rea & Sharon...you girls are hard workers. We appreciate you a lot. Thanks for all you do. To Patrick and Nadine, thank you for the love...great job so far. To the Grenada Posse...Moida and Asia...we have yuh back! Lord Nelson and Mark, thanks for your humility. Much love. And to our fans who showed TJJ much love and respect....Thank You....Next event....we dey....we hear the Jouvert...rel bad!!!!

Joy Juice... Out and About

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>> View Ultra GLO 2011 Gallery

>> View Houston Carnival 2011 Coverage