The Trinbago contingent organized by ASK Promotions delivered “amazing and entertaining” performances in front of a sold out audience at the Karma Lounge venue on March 21st. On Saturday night, hundreds of Caribbean migrants and curious music lovers from around the globe crammed into the cozy venue on Fifth Street in downtown Austin, Texas to enjoy the first-ever Trinbago Showcase at the festival.
First up was spoken word artiste, Dennis Morgan who was followed after by the fusion sound of Mungal Patasar and Pantar. Los Alumnos de San Juan took the stage next and, complete with costume changes, choreographed dance routines, the group delivered parang music to the assembly like veteran pop stars and had the audience howling and purring for more.
The Codrington Pan Family came next and upped the ante with a series of diverse selections which appealed to the varied demographic in the house. Road March King Machel Montano then brought the energy of Trinidad Carnival to the city before The Calypso King of the World, The Mighty Sparrow, delivered a nostalgic sample of the Calypso art form.
Four-time Soca Monarch, Shurwayne Winchester followed The Mighty Sparrow and did not disappoint. The Tobago-born vocalist started slow with a tender patriotic ballad, but then erupted in a volcano of energy that swept through the venue and infected the entire crowd. Climbing atop the main bar, Winchester directed the masses to form a conga line and made circuits around the venue while performing his Soca Monarch winners, “Dead or Alive” and “Look The Band Coming”.
“I’ve done festivals by myself like this before,” said Winchester afterward, “but this is the first time we’re really presenting ourselves as a team and I felt really comfortable and confident because of that. It was a really great and diverse crowd and I felt like everything that came before was leading up to that Carnival-type explosion, so when it came to that point, I just felt the energy and … the rest is history.”
Atlanta-based rapper, Nicholas “Trinidad James” Williams attracted a late hip-hop loving audience and effectively brought the curtains down on the showcase.