Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Explained


On Tuesday February 10th, 2015 some of the local Bahamian headline entertainers for the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival were announced. These include: Jay Mitchell, Theophilus Coakley (T. Connection), Obie Pindling (Visage) and Isaiah Taylor (BahaMen).

Scheduled for the Cultural Villages on stages in Freeport, April 17-18th in Freeport, Grand Bahama and May 7-9th in Nassau, the top 19 semi-finalists of the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Song Competition will be featured. The top 10 finalists, will share the stage with a Grammy-Award winning artist and gain international exposure through their music on May 8th, 2015.

Roscoe Dames, CEO, Bahamas National Festival Commission shared how the Cultural Village will showcase the best in Bahamian music, art and entertainment. He emphasized the fact that the Commission is sourcing all local musical groups to perform throughout the season of festivities.

Co-Chair, Music, Fred Munnings Jr. said, "This is an historic day for The Bahamas. We have been advocating for a major investment in our music and now it is happening. Munnings added, "The Bahamas has always led the way in arts and will continue to do so."

Theophilus Coakley of T-Connection, expressed his enthusiasm with the upcoming festival and his participation in the Music Masters concert. "This is going to be great. I have been hoping that the Bahamas would do something like this to bring attention to the talent within The Bahamas." He further added that he is about to launch a new album and plans to release one of the songs during his performance in Grand Bahama at Music Masters in the Cultural Village.

Obie Pinding noted, "When I first heard Trinidad's soca, it reminded me so much of Junkanoo with the high energy and African influence. The music of Trinidad is so similar to ours, he said. This will be a great opportunity for us to invite the world to The Bahamas. We've taken the Bahamas to them now it's time to invite the world to see what we have. The world is in for a treat, they will see what the 242 really has to offer," said Pindling.

Jay Mitchell added, "This is big for The Bahamas." Excited about the idea of sharing the stage with T-Connection and others, he said that Bahamian music will bring the magic back to Freeport, and will also cultivate a spirit of unity among the people of The Bahamas.

The title sponsor of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, BTC was also represented at the press conference. Carol Barnett, BTC Senior Manager AP, Brand, Events and Sponsorship, expressed BTC's commitment to the success of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. She said that BTC continues to support local cultural initiatives that showcase Bahamian talent, and they are excited about being an integral part of this premiere event.

Bahamas Carnival: The Intent:

The conscience intent of the carnival is to stimulate economic growth in diverse sectors of our country, especially the cultural industry.

What is Bahamas Carnival?

Bahamas Carnival is a collage of Bahamian culture. It is a festive weeklong celebration where Bahamians and guests from around the world will be immersed in all things Bahamian. The carnival events will showcase Junkanoo, Rake -n- Scrape, arts and crafts, Bahamian cuisine, visual art, music, dance and more.

Experience The Cultural Village:

The Cultural Village will be the center of activity, populated with local food/beverage vendors and stages for non-stop entertainment. It will also be the staging ground for groups participating in JunkaMania and other events. The Junkanoo Pavilion will encourage live demonstrations, rush out and opportunities for participants to learn how to create Junkanoo art and more. Additionally, local visual and craft artists will be featured in the Artist Pavilion while a taste of each Family Island will be available at the Family Island Pavilion within the Cultural Village.

Five Main Events:

1. Junior Road Fever - A celebration of the youth of The Bahamas. Schools, youth groups and marching bands will participate in Junior Road Fever, the main children's event of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. Junior Road Fever will showcase the talent of our youth in a cultural display of costumes inspired by the islands of the Bahamas and music inspired by the rhythms of Junkanoo. Youth groups will parade along the Western Esplenade and perform to a combination of live and recorded Bahamian music. Come Celebrate Bahamas!

2. Music Masters - An all-star Bahamian concert featuring international recording artists. The Music Masters concert is a stage for top contemporary artists of the Bahamas to perform in competition in front of a global audience. This concert will ultimately determine who is crowned, Master of the Bahamian Sound. This is the Mega concert that will showcase our 10 song competition finalists who will share the stage with a Grammy award winning artist.

3. JunkaMania - The Biggest "Junka Stage" in the World
JunkaMania is a grand explosion of Junkanoo Orchestras. It is a unique musical event showcasing Junkanoo music and other Junkanoo inspired folk forms such as drumming and dance fused with non-traditional instruments on the biggest Junka stage in the world. Performing originally composed music in concert-style, will be Junkanoo groups and other JunkaMania bands and musicians. It will be held on May 7 from 8pm-12am.

4. Midnight Rush - Midnight Rush is the Friday Frenzy after-party for the Music Masters concert. No costumes and no organized lines. "Don't Spectate. Join the Rush". It is a massive street rush aimed at drawing thousands of loyal Junkanoo spectators on the streets to participate in Junkanoo without the confines of competition. At this event, the world is invited to feel the "rush" and participate in sweet Junkanoo. On May 9, 2015, 12am-6am, a Junkanoo rush out will be held at the carnival village following the mega concert.

5. Road Fever - "Jump Up and Shake"
Road Fever is the original Bahamian masquerade street party that closes out the annual Bahamas Carnival. It is a costumed parade incorporating a unique mix of live and recorded music with masses of people 'Shaking up the Streets'.

Competitive party groups of varying sizes dance through the streets in a processional, ending at the most iconic grandstand crossing of any carnival.
Road Fever is the main masquerade that will evoke you to let loose in the streets of Nassau on May 9, 2015 from 11am-8pm. It will be an epic collage of costumes, color and culture on parade. Costumes/packages can be purchased at www.bahamasjunkanoocarnival.com.

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