Steel Pan was the focus at an international event – Tropicalfete Countdown 2011 Top 100 International Caribbean Songs for the year. Ricardo Greenaway world-renowned steel pan percussionist was given the mountainous task of performing the top 5 songs for this year on steel drums; which he did to perfection. 1. Man Down by Rihanna, 2. On the Floor by Jennifer Lopez ft Pitbull, 3. Summer Time by Vybz Kartel, 4. Wotless by Kes Band and 5. Advantage by Machel Montano. Greenaway opened up his set with last year’s number one song, Gyptian’s “Hold You.”
According to Brittany Somerset, “his renditions of the songs were flawless.” Sallyann Lares stated that she was beaming with pride that the national instrument of her country Trinidad and Tobago was in the spotlight.” “I love the idea of having a music chart that unites all the Caribbean musical genres as well as the music in the Diaspora” said Rondel Joseph.
Saint Lucian artists, “Taj Weekes” with his popular tune “Janja Weed” was at number 87, while “Ricky T” was ranked number 70 with his huge hit entitled “India Girl.” Last year, two St. Lucians were also riding the charts – “Rain, Rain” by Taj Weekes and Adowa ranked at number 12 while Invader was at number 90 with “Stay in Your Section.”
An important component of Tropicalfete Countdown is presenting Tropicalfete’s Award of Excellence to a person and/or organization that have played a roll in the development of the Caribbean Community. The achievement of this year’s awardee, Journalist – Patricia Meschino, is significant on an international level. Her work has a positive impact to the Caribbean community, putting Caribbean culture on the pages of mainstream publications such as Billboard Magazine, SkyWritings – Air Jamaica’s In-flight magazine and Jamrock Magazine. Additionally, she contributes to Bobmarley.com, Riddim magazine, The Associated Press, The Village Voice, Vibe Magazine, The Source, The Miami New Times, Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine, Sandals Lifestyle Magazine, Red Bulletin (Holland) and Songlines (UK). In her acceptant speech Meschino said “that her work of twenty plus years is a “labor of love” and that it is imperative that Tropicalfete document the top 100 songs for the year.”
Master of ceremonies, Miss Caribbean U.S.A. Paula Leake and Omari Ozwald Peterson did a remarkable job of keeping the show flowing. The event got started with the hosts reading out the names of persons involved in the arts that passed away in 2011. Conqueror/Conquie (Leroy Paul) of TNT – 27th January, The Mighty Striker (Percival Oblington) of TNT – 05th February, Carolyn Forde (Tassa) of Barbados – 09th February, Thomas Peter (Chippy) of St Lucia – 07th March, Gregg Van Gurp (Mighty Gregg/Snoppy) of St Maarten – 04th June, Neville McIntosh (Jeweller) of TNT – 31st August, Jeff Elva (The Mighty Pelay) of St Lucia – 28th September and Joel Chin – VP Producer fatally shot in Jamaica on 16th August.
Comedian Sherwin XL opened up the performances, followed by Tayazawan. Both performances were received with thunderous applause. Veteran reggae artist Adie Cuban Wallace delivered a stellar performance. Soca artist, Trinity wowed the audience with his melodic vocals and dance moves. During their set, Traci Marie and Friends came on stage with one aim – to entertain the audience with their positive energy and they did not disappoint. They had the audience singing and dancing along.
Tropicalfete’s program Musicians Mentoring Musicians was introduced at the event. The program partners up talented and accomplished musicians with aspiring musicians to teach them to play various types of musical instruments, as well as providing these fledging musicians with a more in-depth and honest look at the industry, so they will gain deeper insight into who they are as artists. The program also seeks to collect donated instruments to be placed in public space and/or be given to individuals unable to afford an instrument.
The organizers and audience are already waiting with bated breath to hearing great music from the Caribbean which will culminate with another Tropicalfete Top 100 Songs for 2012. A preview of Tropicalfete Carnival Costumes for Labor Day 2012 was also showcased at the event.