In this issue:

Carnival Countdown (Part 2)

Your complete guide to this year's Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, the first of the new millennium. What happens, what to do, how to join in; costumes, fetes, mas' bands, steel orchestras, Panorama, calypso tents, soca and chutney, Kiddies' Carnival, Calypso Monarch, J' Ouvert...It's all here, together with the story of how it all came about and glorious pictures of last year's festival
Children’s carnival now rivals the adult mas’ for most imaginative costumes. Photograph by Sean Drakes

Johnson’s Gentleman — Francis Barber

Dr. Samuel Johnson: poet, critic, wit, essayist, playwright, author of the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language — here was one of the towering figures of 18th-century English life and literature, immortalised by his biographer Boswell. But but behind Dr. Johnson, serving and supporting the great man in his endless projects, was a little-remembered figure from the Caribbean: Francis Barber, of Jamaica. Barber's extraordinary role in Johnson's life is recalled by Frances Parkes
A Young Black by Sir Joshua Reynolds — a portrait of Francis Barber. Painting by Tate Gallery Publications

Jamaica: the Romancing Rock

Everyone knows about Jamaica, right? The gorgeous north-coast beaches, Montego Bay and Negril, wonderful resorts, the rhythm of reggae and the visions of the Rastafari, James Bond and Noel Coward, rafting down the Rio Grande... But hold on - how much of this touches real Jamaican life? Journalist Nazma Muller, who has lived and worked in Jamaica, probes beneath the familiar stereotypes, and recalls times and places which brought her face to face with a different reality
Trident Castle. Photograph by Roy O’brien/Jamaica Tourist Board

Carnival Countdown (Part 1)

Your complete guide to this year's Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, the first of the new millennium. What happens, what to do, how to join in; costumes, fetes, mas' bands, steel orchestras, Panorama, calypso tents, soca and chutney, Kiddies' Carnival, Calypso Monarch, J' Ouvert...It's all here, together with the story of how it all came about and glorious pictures of last year's festival
Kizzie Gift, Junior Queen of Carnival 1999, in her winning portrayal Carmen Miranda — Toast to the Century. Photograph by Sean Drakes

Holding pattern — Jamaica’s Michael Holding

It’s been 12 years since Michael Holding’s retirement from Test cricket. A key member of Clive Lloyd’s feared pace quartet and the legendary West Indies team which dominated world cricket for over a decade, Holding has since forged for himself a successful career as an international commentator. But, like so many other things, that was never really in his plans: Mikey never meant to lead such a charmed life. Georgia Popplewell reports
Who the Cup Fits: celebrating Jamaica’s victory in the 1989 Red Stripe Cup. Photograph by Dellmar Photos

Singing Sandra: One Voice from the Ghetto

Woman power of calypso? Even though Calypso Rose once won the calypso crown in Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival– the first woman ever to manage it, 22 years ago in 1978– the men usually rule the stage. But last year Singing Sandra won the Calypso Monarch competition, singing song for Healing and Voices from the Ghetto. The men had to take a back seat. Michael Goodwin explains how the tables were turned
Sandra de Vignes — Singing Sandra. Photograph by Horace Ové