Caribbean Beat Magazine

Caribbean Datebook (July/August 2013)

Events around the Caribbean in July and August

  • Calabash Festival. Photograph courtesy Montserrat Tourist Board
  • Traditional stick-fighting at the Grenada Drum Festival. Photograph courtesy Tivoli Drummers
  • The Bliss Centre. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons
  • Carriacou Regatta Festival. Photograph by Grenada Board of Tourism
  • Tobago Heritage Festival. Photograph by Troy Andrews
  • Shostakovich 1st Quartet Opus 49 (1981), by Aubrey Williams; oil on canvas, 132.1 x 208.3 cm. Photograph courtesy Hales Gallery


See the colours of sound

The artist Aubrey Williams (1926–1990) was a teenager in Guyana when he first heard the music of Dmitri Shostakovich. “I was hearing for the first time a sort of total sound,” he later recalled. “I could feel colour.” Forty years later, now living in London, and considered one of the leading Caribbean artists of his generation, Williams created an extraordinary series of paintings inspired by the Russian composer. Shostakovich: Symphonies and Quartets, a new show at the Hales Gallery, brings together these works “characterised by the most extraordinary variety and complexity of formal device, colour, and spectacle,” in the words of critic Mel Gooding. “It is impossible not to feel an excitement that is both emotional and intellectual.”

When: 7 June to 27 July
Where: Hales Gallery, 7 Bethnal Green Road, London
For more info: visit




Calabash Festival
When: 14 to 21 July
Where: venues around Montserrat
What: Celebrating the many uses of the versatile gourd, from fashion to musical instruments, the Calabash Festival lets visitors experience Montserrat’s culture. The programme includes a food fair and gospel concert, as well as a Pan and Jazz by the Bay show.
For more info: contact +664 492 1743 or




Feel the beat

In most of the Caribbean, traditional drumming is a popular part of our cultural heritage, and in Grenada it’s no different. This year, the Grenada Drum Festival is experiencing some big changes, according to founder Livingston Krumah Nelson — not only is it moving to Grenville, after ten years in the village of Tivoli, but it’s also changing dates, to coincide with the 175th anniversary of Emancipation. The programme will feature the best of Grenada’s traditional drummers alongside visitors like the Country Boys Tassa Group out of Trinidad, the Israel Lovell Foundation from Barbados, the Drummers of Tomorrow from Tobago, as well as drummers from Brazil and Guadeloupe.

When: 4 to 5 August
Where: Grenville
For more info: contact Livingston Krumah Nelson at +473 4091057 or +473 442 8890




Enjoy the screen

Take It Easy, even if It’s About to Rain — after all, that’s the usual state of affairs this time of year in the Caribbean, and for many West Indians the weather can be Much Ado About Knotting. In case you haven’t caught on, those are just some of the films that will be screened during the 2013 Belize International Film Festival. At the festival’s eighth instalment, films from countries as far away as Poland, Thailand, and Australia will feature. Submissions will be judged by Sanford Lieberson, Erika Alexander, Rigoberto Lopez, and Denise Williams Watts, as filmmakers vie for Conchshell Awards for best narrative, documentary, film short, music video, short documentary, and short animation.

When: 11 to 15 July
Where: the Bliss Centre and other locations in Belize City
For more info: visit




Dominica Dive Fest
When: 5 to 14 July
Where: Roseau
What: With kayak races, treasure hunts, underwater photography, and sunset cruises — plus diving excursions, of course — you won’t want to miss helping the Dominica Watersports Association celebrate the twentieth anniversary of this aquatic event.
For more info: visit




Karate Daigaku/Caribbean Karate College Tournament
When: 10 to 14 July
Where: St Michael
What: Shotokan karatekas test their skills against competitors from across the Caribbean — Antigua, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent, and Trinidad.
For more info: contact Alison Mullin at or +246 836 7470




Carriacou Regatta Festival
When: 28 July to 5 August
Where: Hillsborough and Tyrell Bay
What: Traditional fishing workboats hold centre stage at this event, although there are other sailing classes, like yacht, sloop, and long open boat. Also on show: Miss Aquaval, donkey racing, and various sports events.
For more info: contact +473 443 7930




Travel to the past

On an idyllic island, where the fast-paced world slows almost to a stop and it seems like there’s a beach around every turn, the Tobago Heritage Festival puts numerous reminders of the island’s unique history on display. Running for over twenty-five years, the festival’s staple events in villages across the island include the Ole-time Tobago Wedding in Moriah, Miss Heritage Personality, a Drum Festival, and the finale — the Emancipation Day Celebration on 1 August at Pigeon Point Heritage Park. It’s free to everyone, and with the theme Community Treasures: Reflections, the first in a trilogy, you can compare Tobago today with snapshots of its past.

When: 12 July to 1 August
Where: venues around Tobago
For more info: contact the Tobago Festivals Committee at +868 639 4441




Aruba International ProAm Golf Tournament
When: 22 to 26 August
Where: Tierra del Sol Resort and Country Club
What: With easy access to the beach, the spa, shopping, and more, hitting thirty-six holes just got easier — especially when topped off with brunches and island tours.
For more info: contact Adam Williamson at +297 586 78200 or, or email the Aruba Tourism Authority at




Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival
When: 30 to 31 August
Where: World Trade Centre, Piscadera Bay
What: Fashioned after the North Sea Jazz Festival of Rotterdam, the fourth edition of the Caribbean version will pay tribute to jazz, soul, Latin, hip-hop, and R&B, with appearances by Sonny Rollins, Marc Anthony, Gladys Knight, Mud Morganfield, and Erykah Badu.
For more info: visit