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Caribbean Beat Magazine

All that jazz | Closeup

Musically, Trinidad and Tobago are best known for calypso and soca, but a thriving jazz scene proves there’s an avid audience for other genres. Nigel A. Campbell profiles Charmaine Forde, Vaughnette Bigford, and LeAndra — three jazz vocalists of different generations whose separate stories make a bigger narrative about paths to musical success

Vaugnette Bigford. Photo by Maria Nunes, courtesy Vaugnette Bigford

As far as it goes | Snapshot

When Grenadian Anderson Peters won javelin gold at the 2019 World Championships, it took observers by surprise. This was no overnight success, says Sheldon Waithe — but the product of steady hard work and staunch confidence. Now the young athlete is preparing for his biggest challenge yet at the 2020 Summer Olympics

Peters won gold at the 2019 World Championships with a throw of 86.89 metres. Photo by DPA/Alamy Stock Photo

Carnival backstage | Closeup

Carnival is a time to shine: from performers on the soca and calypso stage to costumed masqueraders in the street and fete-goers showing off their most acrobatic dance moves. But “the greatest show on earth” wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of the many thousands who work behind the scenes — year-round or seasonally — on the organisation and logistics of the festival. Laura Dowrich-Phillips and Georgia Popplewell meet four of the people whose backstage efforts make Carnival happen

Photo by Kibwe Brathwaite

Kambule: on morning ground | Snapshot

Early each Carnival Friday morning, before dawn breaks, crowds assemble at Piccadilly Greens in east Port of Spain for a re-enactment of a key event in the history of Trinidad — and of Carnival itself. Attillah Springer gives an intimate account of Kambule, when the spirits of the ancestors are invoked in a ritual of memory, story, song, and resistance

Kambule performers re-enact the beginning of the 1881 Canboulay Riots. Photo by Maria Nunes

The return of the baby doll | Backstory

With a frilly dress and bonnet, carrying a replica of an infant, the traditional Baby Doll is a playful Carnival character with a serious message about the social roles of women and men. A new generation of activists have adopted the Baby Doll as form of feminist intervention, write Amanda T. McIntyre and Jarula M.I. Wegner — like the masqueraders behind the Belmont Baby Dolls band

The Belmont Baby Dolls band made their debut at Carnival 2019. Patrick Rasoanaivo/Culturego Magazine

Letitia Wright | Backstory

Growing up in Guyana, Letitia Wright never imagined a Hollywood career. But after a string of stage and TV roles and early recognition of her talent, her casting in the blockbuster movie Black Panther was the break every actor hopes for, says Caroline Taylor

Letitia Wright’s Hollywood career has taken her far from her birthplace in Guyana — but the actress is proud of her roots. Photo by Picture Capital/Alamy Stock Photo