Caribbean Beat Magazine

Maskerade | Make style

It’s one of the most visible aspects of the COVID-19 era: the new ubiquity of masks, worn to slow the spread of the virus. It began months ago with practical but unflattering surgical masks, but around the world, and here in the Caribbean, designers like Trinidadian James Hackett soon got to work on more spirited versions. Shelly-Ann Inniss learns more

Designer James Hackett. Photograph courtesy James Hackett

Time to Grow | Green

In recent years, a handful of NGOs in Trinidad and Tobago have worked to set up community-based agriculture initiatives, both to provide healthier food options and to make local communities more self-sufficient. It’s a movement that has become even more relevant in the time of COVID-19, writes Nazma Muller, as food security becomes crucial

Photograph courtesy The Alliance of Rural Communities

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

Phagwah: Rite of Spring | Album

Celebrated in Trinidad since the nineteenth century, Holi — also known as Phagwah — is the Hindu spring festival, and a time to enjoy the company of friends and neighbours. At the 2019 celebrations in Aranguez, photographer Ziad Joseph captured the joyful free-for-all of colour

Photo by Ziad Joseph

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