Sunday Night Dimanche Gras All White Affair featuring Calypso Rose, GBM Nutron, Lavaman

by Weldon Ryan

The historical characters of Trinidad Carnival with the king and queen march at Sunday Night Dimanche Gras was magnificent! The night featured the legendary Calypsonian and trail blazer Calypso Rose. I can leave it right there cause she wrote the book on being a Calypsonian. What makes her story even more special is that she kicked down the door and broke the ceiling on being female in the all male world of the Calypsian tradition. She started writing songs at the age of 15 and she’s been a force performing ever since.

I remember in the seventies singing “Fire fire in me wire wire” as my siblings and I pranced around our Faile street apartment in the Bronx. My mom had albums from all the main Calypsians. Calypso Rose was among them sporting her hot pants and boots on the lp cover. She’s been a main staple of my music carousel for as long as I can remember. Calypso has come a long way since the 70’s. A lot of the trailblazers are being forgotton and their glossory of topics and storylines have changed to a more topical expression of todays lifestyles. The double entendre’s and the stories told have been converted to streamlined hooks and energetic caribbean grooves. That doesn’t change the foundation that has been laid. I make it a point to play old school calypso everytime I have the opportunity and when I have my children cornered so they know all about their Caribbean culture and the genius of our Calypsonians. Although Soca is the now, our greots of our culture are the mothers and fathers of a musical genre that’s making a big splash. It has finally gone mainstream as a musical genre on the music charts alongside Reggae. I cannot dismiss the rest of the musical lineup. They were fantastic as well with the music of the incomparable GBM Nutron and Lavaman entertaining the crowd. Most important to me was seeing Calypso Rose. She took me back to Trinidad.

photo credit to Riva Ryan, Xavier Ryan, Richlin Ryan.

Miami Carnival Soiree: As Miami Launches Year 35

by Weldon Ryan

We were invited to display some of my carnival paintings in the Miami Carnival Soiree by Yvette N. Harris of Harris Public Relations on Saturday July 20th. This event was in celebration of the opening of the 35th annual Miami Carnival for 2019. My paintings added carnival ambiance to this already fabulous venue. No doubt I was very happy to be at this event cause Miami Carnival sponsors and the Miami Carnival committee was to be present.

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“Entwined”

Our 4th annual Art of Carnival Painting select for 2019.

We usually do not take originals out but we rented the car to fit my large 4x4 and 4x3 paintings and finalized the planning of getting us to what was one hell of an event. The venue was a spot used by professional photographers for photoshoots. It was picturest. We were also present during D-Junction as they did their shoot for this years carnival costumes they’d created. Dressed up for the shoot were some long legged Caribbean beauties who later modeled for the crowd. Talk about peltin bumpers.

 

for information about Miami Carnival go to https://miamicarnival.org/ or see below.

Family-ly-ly-ly-ly in Jacksonville, Fl.

by Weldon Ryan

It was a hot August day and despite the heat, carnivalist came out from all of Florida as well as elsewhere to enjoy this Jacksonville fete. Richlin and I got up early to come out and try something new with our tent set up. Since Richlin got into jewelry design she incorporated her jewelry with the art display this year (https://www.richlinryan.com/richlin-jewelry).

The vendors at the event came well equiped to satisfy everyones taste buds for Caribbean delights and flags, leather goods along with other souvenirs. As you had already suspected, the cold drinks hit the spot for many.

As I hobbled to the parade route I caught up with some photographers but I soon realized how hard that was so I eased myself to a less stress photo opportunity waiting for them to chip to my location on the route. There wasn’t as many Mas bands as with the last two years. But inspite of this the parade of players made much noise and fevour as they got in order for the judges.

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The venue performers featured as headliner Patrice Roberts but the old school Soca Manarch, Preacher, made his appearance. Preacher reminded us of what made Soca great. He moved the group with all time great “Jump up and Wave” and other famous soca hits that’s scorched in our memories. I really enjoyed all of the performers as we’re all family. What always makes a great party is audience participation and like last year with SuperBlue, Patrice made things exciting. She closed out the event with a bang as the drizzle turned to a rain. My guess is that mother nature had to get into the act too!

I really enjoy Jacksonville Carnival. Every year they put on great musicians and although it’s small compared to Miami, New York and even Orlando, there is a sense of family. That feeling in itself brings a feeling of comfort and I look forward to the growth and the excitement it brings to North Florida every year. Big Ups to COOJI!

Unity at Orlando Downtown Carnival 2019

by Weldon Ryan

Carnivalist came out in droves to see the Mas Players and to enjoy a day of soca music along with West Indian delicacies. The heat was intense but so was the bands. The key emphasis on this Memorial day however was Unity! Last year there was two Orlando Carnivals. GGR Marketing and PR made this event a phenominal success uniting the two Caribbean factions. From my vantage the park was full and after the Carnival Mas parade there was a massive crowd enjoying not one but two of the performance stages. The food lines were long and everyone wanted to emerce themselves with caribbean goodies since the parade had ended. I enjoyed the musical lineup especially with the headliner being Bunji Garland. To cap the night Faye Ann Lyons made her cameo teaming with her hubbie making there performance another smash as my night cap. I left exhausted but very very satisfied.

 

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Miami Carnival 2018

by Weldon Ryan

The Miami Carnival came around quickly this year. I guess that was because I was so busy trying to do some change up in my style of work. Aside from that I also had to change my work area to permit a level on comfort dealing with the Florida heat especially since I’ve been working in my garage. One thing I’ve discovered since last year. Preparation is important. Last year I had to rap up early and didn’t stay the entire Carnival Festival because of a bout with heat exhaustion. This year I decided that the best coarse of action was to go the Air B&B way. Richlin, the kids and I started months early renting a space which made the rental much cheaper and affordable. We got there the day day before, although we missed the Jouvert. We took our time and got to the media tent to pick up our credentials and off we were.

With a large contingency of Mas bands The Art of Carnival had a tremendous amount of work to do to capture the essence of Miami/Broward Carnival. Our biggest task was to snap the GenX Massive. They were number 7 on the line-up and I thought heat would be a factor like last year. Fact is the weather was great. Whether it was because of the storm churning in the gulf of because of the change of season I was happy.

Preparation came apparent to the Miami Carnival Committee as well. There seemed to be some changes to media procedures as well as the parade route and the stage. All in all it was for the better.

The bands we astounding. Creativity of the costumes had us in awe. If I had to choose which Mas band was the most spectacular I couldn’t. I favor GenX the most because it seems like I paint there Mas player the most. But Ramajay, DJunction and One Island also stood out. As and artist and photographer I also believe that the engagement of the players from the bands cloud my judgement in favor. This year I ran in to some faces I have envisioned in paintings and have selected them. The picture files are out but not transferred to the canvas. I also had the pleasure of running into an acquaintance from our first Art of Carnival NYC which was at Clover Fine Art Gallery on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, New York.

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I can tell you that I love shooting Miami Carnival. Special thanks to my family crew( Richlin,Savannah and Riva) who took great shots in my endeavor to create art. Enjoy the selection of pictures selected for you to view.

Visit my website www.weldonryancarnivalpix.shootproof.com for picture downloads. Please ignore the watermarks on the pictures. It won’t be there on your downloads. Your first image is complementary. Each additional helps to pay for my sites. Instagram @weldony8903

Thanks!

MiamiBroward Carnival

Celebrate 34 years of Miami Carnival and experience the vibrancy of Caribbean culture, creative self-expression, entrepreneurialism

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The annual Caribbean Carnival season culminates with one of the largest cultural spectacles in North America, on Sunday, October 7th from 11am-11pm at the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds (10901 SW 24th St, Miami, FL 33165). Miami Carnival, celebrating 34 years, continues to be a feather in the cultural diversity cap of Miami and the South Florida region. The Miami Carnival Parade of Bands and Concert is presented by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB). The festival is also made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Tickets can be purchased at www.miamibrowardcarnival.com. Over 17 masquerade bands will compete for prizes, pageantry and bragging rights. 



“After 34 years, Miami Carnival is an institutional mainstay of Miami’s cultural tourism economy. With the generations of persons of Caribbean descent from the region and other corners of America who have made Miami home, their music, culture, and artistic energy are helping to book out the availability of hotel rooms, special event venues, rent-a-cars, and shopping centers over the Columbus Day Weekend.  This event transforms Miami into an economically vibrant culture wonderland”, states Marlon Hill, attorney for Miami Carnival.

Fete on The Parkway

by Weldon Ryan

As a famous Tobago Calypsonian had sung… “Fire fire in meh wire Papa” ay ya yeye it was hot on the parkway! Not only was it hot with the temperature of the day, the heat was high with the degree of sexy hot costumes. From Dingolay to Ramajay every one looked great. The major concern at this years carnival was that it wouldn’t run as smooth because of Mr.Howard’s passing. That fear was lifted by the precision of the mas bands moving at a fast pace to fit every band in before the cut off period. This speed march made it a challenge for the media. But with the off the hook creativity this year there was much to marvel over.

WIADCA Junior Carnival:2018

by Weldon Ryan

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve shot the WIADCA Junior Carnival. So Saturday I convinced Richlin to join the team and work on the Junior Carnival shoot. We stayed for a short time cause of my knee dilemma. The parents were enthusiastic to bestow Caribbean culture upon their kids. Their children spent the energy marching with excitement and vigor. In this short time we shot over 2000 pictures which enables me the resource of great pictures for next years paintings.

Painting Mas 2018

by Weldon Ryan

For the last 3 years the Art Of Carnival Exhibit has exhibited in Brooklyn, New York as an additional feature to coincide with WIADCA and its Labor Day Carnival on Eastern Parkway. As an addition to the art, which is created from past West Indian Carnival events throughout the US, we provides a cultural connection with the communities that celebrate carnival with an artist talk from a historical perspective about carnival characters.

My perspective on Carnival is that of a two dimensional artist with an emphasis on documenting the Carnival through my paintings. This is different than the emphasis of a Soca Artist or a designer of costumes. Musical creations provide an acoustic rendition of art and as African Griots and the statements of the season are what the costume designers bring.

But I feel my emphasis brings the event of Carnival full circle through paint and canvas. Naturally one may argue that photographers document each event. The difference in my form of documenting employ an interpretation which cannot be mechanically created because of my humanistic interpretation. Once we exhibit Brooklyn and shoot the Labor Day Carnival our attention is directed to the Carnival in Miami broward which will take place October 7, 2018.(https://miamibrowardcarnival.com/).Then we prepare for the following year.




EVENT HORIZON:WEST INDIAN AMERICAN PARADE IN BROOKLYN

by Weldon Ryan

My Parents Four siblings and I came to the US from Trinidad and Tobago 50 years ago.  I was only six.  We settled in the Bronx on Faile Street near Simpson street with the IRT 2 &5.  I have vivid memories of the Bronx.  I also have held fond memories of Trinidad and my brief years spent in the Caribbean.  One of my most vivid memories was Jouvert and people drenched in black as JabJabs scarring us as we watched the procession of revelers.  That was it!  For a while I had no knowledge as to the history of Carnival or the activities surrounding it.  It was on occasion that magazines brought over from my Uncle Leslie I was able to get a glimpse of Trinidad Carnival.  Of course, certain songs of Calypsonians popped through my head and out my lips.  But it wasn't until moving to Brooklyn on Herkimer and Jordine Place that I got a good idea of what it is being from the Caribbean.  My mother's best friend who was Guyanese: god bless her soul, lived around the corner.  Boy did she throw good parties.  It wasn't just the parties that I remember but also the feeling of belonging to a culture.  Fortunately for my siblings and I my mothers friend had much older children and thus a more Caribbean vibe to flow.  Unfortunately we it was short lived and we moved back to the Bronx in my fifth year of public school. Thus, my longing for my Caribbean roots was placed purgatory for a long while. 

The pull for my cultures was too strong.  What I'm getting to is that the longing in my heart for a cultural reawakening led me to this moment in my life. I'm totally loving my Caribbean food, Caribbean music and most of all my Caribbean people with their own take of the world, their beauty and their pride.  I paint Carnival and the many diasporas of Caribbean people and I love it.

Jacksonville Carnival 2018 Highlites

by Weldon Ryan

Jacksonville Carnival 2018 was a cauldron of hot,hot fun.   The mas bands were committed to give us the spirit of carnival despite the humidity and heat.  The water and juices poured from the lead trucks keeping the players flowing with energy and vigor whilst staying hydrated to endure the simmering  heat of the sun. They marched the road to the park and performed for the judges in eloquent fashion.  

The one issue that  Jax has is the heat which was resolved with the many vendors providing iced cold drinks and icies that was at the park.  I didn't seem to matter for the manny spectators enjoying the rhythm of the musical acts on stage.  This was an enjoyable event for family and carnivalist alike.  With each year Jacksonville Carnival grow bigger and bigger providing a remedy for home sick West Indians and all others.  I look forward to next years Jax Carnival Fete 2019.  I hope to see you there as you may be a subject of mine as I paint Carnival.

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Orlando Carnival Downtown 2018

By Weldon Ryan

Orlando Carnival Downtown was an event that fulfilled everyone's expectation.  Despite a tumultuous week of thunderstorms and rain showers Orlando came out to celebrate another year of festivities and reverie.  Machel Montano was the headliner and the Mas bands was

nothing but sinful.  Unfortunately  this year there was two carnivals in Orlando on the same day.  Last year was such  successful because of the effort of GGR Marketing  resulting in a "Free" quality event, Why would you not want a better local than Downtown Orlando instead of a dusty fairground. The musical lineup was phenomenal.  Naturally I stayed with the the original Orlando Carnival Association and organizers GGR Marketing because they organize very well.  There were three mas bands at the carnival for the road march which was plenty.  Lead by Krazy Andy's Krazy Krew they owned the road. As always the food vendor delighted spectators and participants with delicious Caribbean cuisine.  But the best part of the day was the performance of Machel Montano.

FCSA Vibes Florida

by Weldon Ryan

Caribbean Students Play Mas.  The vibe was hot and the Soca music was happenin! 

Having the privilege to display my paintings at the FSCAVibes which was held at Embry Riddle Aeronautic University April 15th 2018 I met the most wonderful bunch a young people at this annual meet-up conference for Caribbean Students from the State of Florida   They were from colleges all over Florida.  The majority  of them are from the Caribbean Diaspora.  "The Art of Carnival " was invited by Guenet and Sam Roberts of Caribbean American Passport News Magazine to display our series of paintings displaying an artistic backdrop as masqueraders played in costume for the students previewing costumed from a couple of the Mas Bands that will march in the Orlando Carnival Downtown May 27th, 2018 at McCracken Field (Camping World Stadium).  The two Mas bands that previewed mas costumes were Andy's Krazy Krew and GenX.  Andy's Krazy Krew and GenX has been playing with Orlando for a few years.  Also at the event were Soiree Events promoting FlagFete which is May 26th http://centralfloridafair.com/events/flag-fete-2018/,  4603 W COLONIAL DR • ORLANDO, FL,https://www.orlandocarnivaldowntown.com/ Contact: GGR Marketing & PR for your custom package 407-427-1800 and https://cynfullycreative.wordpress.com/tag/andys-krazy-krew/

I my prepared state my biggest goof of the day was to not have a fast enough SD card in my camera to capture the action fast enough but I hope that you readers aren't too disappointed in the pix that I took in the slideshow.

https://weldonryancarnivalpix.shootproof.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miami Broward Carnival is Fete Central

by Weldon Ryan

As always, Miami Mas bands brought it!  The driving energy of Fete Central was in full effect.  Through the heat and humidity of Miami's october extremes all of the Mas Players partied to the max enjoying what Miami carnival is best known for.   I must say that the Mas Bands took care as of their players as best as they could with food, drink and the right party atmosphere to keep the party going even through the delay of Caribbean time.  Media had it much harder this year with a later than usual start of the Carnival Parade.  The heat limited my creative effort to a conservative effort and formulating plans for the shoot was hampered.  But I came away with great images of these beautiful costumes and the spirit of MIami filtrating through my lense.  There are key images that will be translated to canvas as soon as I recoup from this fete. Get pix at this link: https://Weldonryancarnivalpix.shootproof.com/MiamiCarnival2017