Issue 96
(March/April 2009)

In this Issue:

Musician Andy Narell playing Trinidad and Tobago`s national instrument -- the steelpan. Photograph courtesy Andy Narell

Happenings (March/April 2009)

A round-up of current events on the Caribbean calendar

Waterfront view of the Hyatt Regency hotel, Trinidad, where two major international conferences are scheduled to be held. Photograph by Edison Boodoosingh

Port of Spain rises to the summit

Gail Alexander reports on how Trinidad and Tobago’s capital is preparing for the next Summit of the Americas and a US President Barack Obama

Students at Speyside Primary Anglican Church School tend their vegetable and herb beds. Photograph by James Fuller

Tobago: saving money, saving the earth

Tobago is showing hotel owners ways to cut costs – while keeping their island clean and conserving resources

Breadfruit illustration by Nikolai Noel

Breadfruit: superfood of St Vincent

Often thought of as stodgy and dull, the humble breadfruit has an exciting history that’s part of one of the most famous seafaring stories

Brownman Electryc Trio, 2007 Canadian National Electric Jazz Group of the Year. Photograph courtesy Brownman Music Inc/Jason Hendrik

Brownman blows up a storm

This young jazz trumpeter, based in Toronto, leads no fewer than seven bands, and can switch styles as easily as he changes his socks.

Ian McDonald. Photograph courtesy Macmillan Caribbean

Ian McDonald: evening in the garden

Poet and novelist Ian McDonald shares his memories of a rich and happy life with Nicholas Laughlin

Theron Shaw. Photograph by Mark Lyndersay

Theron Shaw: the art of the matter

A brush with death showed guitarist Theron Shaw what was really important in life. In his latest recordings and performances, he’s changed focus...

Chris Gayle celebrates his 50-run mark during the ICC Cricket World Cup match vs England at Kensington Oval, Barbados in April 2. Photograph by Iossjr

Chris Gayle force wins

When Caribbean Beat went to press, the West Indies were celebrating a stunning first-Test victory in Jamaica over the touring English team...

Caribbean icons in the entertainment industry calypsonian Brother Valentino (left) and Byron Lee with the awards they received from the mayor of Port of Spain, Trinidad. Photograph by Iossjr

Byron Lee: from Ska to Soca

The half-century career of Byron Lee, Jamaican bandleader and businessman, stretched the length of the region and covered many genres of its music too

Engraving after a portrait of Maria Sibylla Merian by her son-in-law, Georg Gsell. Photograph courtesy History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries

Maria Merian: the Caterpillar lover

Nicholas Laughlin tells the curious tale of how a middle-aged 17th-century German housewife and mother travelled to the tropics...

Ray Funk at the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago, surrounded by examples of traditional wild Indian mas. Photograph by Andrea De Silva

Ray Funk: bringing the culture home

Ray Funk is part Sherlock Holmes and part Santa Claus. An expert on pan and calypso, this Alaskan judge combs the Internet in search of valuable info

The Shady Squad shows them how it`s done in Danny Champagne`s music video shoot. Photograph by

Jamaican dance: riding the riddim

Bogle, butterfly, pepperseed, gully creeper, nah linger, passa passa…there’s no end to the amazing variety and gymnastic agility of Jamaican dance...

The heat of battle. Palm Tree Cricket Ground, Queen`s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, Trinidad. Photograph by James Fuller

Game, fete and match

Somewhere between silly point and cow corner, James Fuller is bowled over by a great West Indian cricketing tradition, the fete match

The entry and exit tunnel to Space La Nouba Nightclub. The colours on the walls change as you enter. Photograph courtesy Ronald Tiah

Starship enterprise: Space La Nouba

South Trinidad’s Space La Nouba nightclub has an intergalactic design that can make patrons feel carried away

Models at Colin Williams` Studio in NYC, at an Earthmember4life photo shoot. They are wearing cotton cap-sleeved tees. Photograph courtesy Earthmember4life

Ashley Christmas: designer with down-to earth dreams

Ashley Christmas knows where he belongs, and he wants everyone else to feel the same way – thanks to his new line of leisure wear

Editor of Trinidad Noir: Jeanne Mason. Photograph courtesy Jeanne Mason

Reviews (March/April 2009)

The new music and books that are reflecting the region right now

Byron Lee tweaking his mobile mixing console at a rehearsal at his Dynamics Sound Recording studio home in Kingston, Jamaica. Photograph by

Exit the dragon: remembering Byron Lee

Garry Steckles shares his personal memories of the late musical maestro Byron Lee

Former Grenadian premier Eric Gairy. Photograph courtesy The Trinidad Express

The end of Eric Gairy

Thirty years ago, Grenada was led by Eric Gairy, champion of the poor, a political despot and a firm believer in UFOs...

Dan and Franka prepping the chocolate cassava cake. Photograph by Franka Philip

Dan is the man

Caribbean Beat cookery writer Franka Philip gets to meet one of her culinary heroes, Dan Lepard of the London Guardian

Morris Aberdeen styling a client at his Morris Roots Salon in Tooting, south London. Photograph by Franka Philip

Morris Aberdeen: keeping London locked down

Morris Aberdeen is a locktician. That is, he’s a master of the art of making dreadlocks look elegant. Celebrity locks-wearers beat a path to him.

Issue 96