Seventh Annual Tampa Caribbean Festival
Florida State Fairgrounds
4800 US Hwy.301North
Tampa, Fl 33610
Dates: Saturday, June 9 to Sunday, June 10, 2012
Price: Tickets $15 at the door, Children 10 and under are free
Hours: Doors open at 3 p.m.
Anyone who has ever witnessed a James Bond movie should remember those elaborate Carnival celebrations that featured lively dancing through a Caribbean street. Now you can celebrate the Carnival experience, James Bond style, right here in Tampa Bay. The Annual Tampa Caribbean Festival, now in its seventh year, began as a way to educate, promote and empower Caribbean culture and its community spirit. It has grown into a two-day party that celebrates the Caribbean culture with music, dancing, food and fun.
This year’s two-day extravaganza promises an array of exciting festivities, complete with steel bands, a parade of bands, Tassa bands, the Moko Jumbie Parade, African dance groups, reggae performances, a Soca band, live DJs, and two full days of fun for the entire family. You’ll also enjoy authentic Caribbean food and drink while being dazzled by spirited Island cultures.
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Here’s a look at some of the many headliners set to appear at this year’s Caribbean Festival:
Soca musician and songwriter Iwer George, is one of the many headliners to appear at this year’s Caribbean Festival. Soca music, like Neil Iwer George, was born in Port Fortin, Trinidad and Tobago and is an upbeat style of Caribbean music. Referred to as the “Big Man in the Business,” George has contributed many hits to the Soca genre including “Ah Home”, “On ah Bam Bam,” ”Jump and Wine Up”, “Iwer Dance” and “Yes Iwer,” to name just a few.
Terry Gajraj hails from Berbice, Guyana and is affectionately referred to as the “Guyana Baboo,” after his 1992 hit song that brought him international acclaim. His very first release was “Soca Lambada” in 1989. Since then, Gajraj has released over 25 albums, including many #1 Hits on the Chutney charts in the Caribbean, North America and Europe. Terry is considered Guyana’s most charismatic and admired performers, and will be a must-see at this year’s Caribbean Festival.
Tallpree is from the Spice Island of Grenada. His real name is Wilt Cambridge, and he’s been on the music scene since 1989. Tallpree began a Soca career in 1997 with the popular tune “Ram-e-Deh.” His 1998 release”Pound-a-Rice” laid the foundation for his international hit “Old Woman Alone.” Some of his best known tunes include the smash hit,”Carnival Madness,” “Jennifer”, “Invasion on the Rags”, “From de Heart” and “Miss Antisocial.” Cambridge opened for many of the big name artists that visited Grenada such as renowned Jamaican reggae artist Barrington Levy, Grammy-award winning performer, Beenie Man, Maxi Priest, Bounty Killer and Buju Banton.
Serani is a member of the popular trio Daseca, and has been churning out hit songs for a number of years. Craig “Serani” Marsh is best known for his collaboration on Sean Paul’s album ‘The Trinity,’ and his 2008 single “No Games.” Serani also released the singles “Doh” and “She Loves Me.” Marsh was instrumental in the careers of Mavado, Alaine and Bugle. He’s also responsible for rhythms such as Dreaming, Anger Management, Chaka Chaka, Gully Creature, Build Back and Fire Links’ Gullyside rhythm, to name a few.
Red Hot Flames
Red Hot Flames hails from Antigua and Barbuda. This high-energy soca band was influenced by so many genre’s, especially calypso, reggae, funk and zouk music. The band’s first album, “I Man Haffu Nyam” featured the popular songs “Raw Sole” and “Green Bush.” Red Hot Flames is also still doing well from the single “Papi, which was featured on the band’s 2007 album, De Real Fyah.
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Ray Shasho is a freelance writer living in Bradenton, Florida. Shasho was labeled ‘Rock Raymond’ in high school after demonstrating his obsession for rock music. Hes attended hundreds of rock concerts and has rubbed elbows with rocks legends. His work can be found at Examiner.com.