Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

2015 Trinidad and Tobago Carnival dates: Monday, February 16, 2015 and Tuesday February 17, 2015.

Trinidad & Tobago carnival is the biggest carnival of its type in the world. Similar carnivals are held in many Caribbean islands including Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and Dominica, but T&T carnival is more elaborate by far. In fact most of the smaller islands are known to be followers of Trinidad and Tobago, borrowing ideas from TNT. The twin island republic has a strong influence on english speaking islands in the Caribbean region and many carnivals are patterned after Trinidad carnival.

Trinidad carnival revellers

2015 Trinidad Carnival Dates

The carnival season usually climaxes in the month of February. Trinidad & Tobago Carnival Festival dates for 2013 are Monday, February 16 and Tuesday, February 17. The season officially starts on Boxing Day, (December 26) and fetes (parties) go on non-stop until Carnival Sunday. Calypso tents open at this time.

Musicians/artists begin to release music as early as September or October of the previous year for Trinidad & Tobago carnival. Things get even more heated up in December and get increasingly intense in the following months. Early releases play a major role in getting people psyched up for carnival. As far as I'm concerned, once you begin to hear new calypso and soca music on the radio, it signals the beginning of carnival. Carnival is much more than the competitions, and the parading in the streets that take place on carnival Monday and Tuesday.

Calypso music was once the main genre of music for Trini carnival. But it is arguably dying a slow death and being largely replaced by its 'offspring', soca music. Without soca music, there is simply no carnival. The music benefits the country significantly. Soca music enables calypsonians and soca artists alike to have a greater impact on international markets. The music is distributed throughout the Caribbean and in Caribbean communities in North America and Europe. Sadly, soca is yet to make a considerable impact on non-Caribbean audiences.

Trinidad steel band

Leading soca artists in Trinidad and Tobago include Machel MontanoIwer George, Bunji Garlin, Fay Ann Lyons, Shurwayne Winchester, Destra Garcia, Maximus Dan, Denise 'Saucy Wow' Belfon, Patrice Roberts, Benjai, Kerwin Dubois, Farmer Nappy and Kes. Hats off to these artists because they're the ones who really make Trinidad and Tobago carnival what it is. Soca music is the very essence of carnival celebrations. While calypso, chutney soca, rapso and ragga soca all have their place, soca music is a leader by far.

Having mentioned soca, it would be remiss of me to leave out chutney music. Chutney and soca chutney has a strong connection to India and is very popular amongst Trindad and Tobago's Indian community. The genre makes use of indian instruments, the dholak, harmonium and dhantal, and is uptempo and very rhythmic in nature. Current chutney artists include Rikki Jai, Devanand Gattoo, Rakesh Yankaran, and Heeralal Rampartap. Leading soca artists like Machel Montano, Destra Garcia and Bunji Garlin are known to have collaborated with chutney artists for Trinidad carnival.

2013 Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Music
Trini Carnival Page One
Carnival In Trinidad and Tobago Page Two
Trinidad Carnival Page Three

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