Sharissa Camejo

Sharissa Camejo

During October calypsonians the world over celebrate Calypso History Month (CHM) and the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCU) usually has a quite active calendar of events, beginning in September and running through to November. This year is, however, much different and for the first time since TUCO introduced CHM.

This year has been providing a lot of fodder allowing for calypsonians to produce bountiful crops of calypsoes for the CHM and the 2021 Carnival season, if there would have been one. But alas, Covid-19, itself a treasure trove for calypsonians, has forced the cancellation of C2K21, or at least the festival as we know it.

Although Carnival next year is now just a dream, TUCO has not allowed the virus to force the complete cancellation of the CHM celebrations. There may not be any of the celebratory events that help to put much-needed revenue into their coffers, as little as that may be.

The CHM is also the only opportunity most calypsonians have to showcase their works outside of the Carnival season, or even get a little bit of exposure on the majority of radio stations. I must mention that i95, WACK and Power 102 do feature calypso as the main item on their menus.

Calypso History Month has been TUCO’s platform to remind the nation and, in recent years, the world at large of the important roles calypso and calypsonians have played throughout history, from the 19th century to the present.

The commentary of calypsonians has informed, educated, entertained and influenced from the common man to leaders in the spheres of social, economic, political, current affairs, even the sciences and technology, over the past decades.

The calypsonian possesses the uncanny ability to see things from points of view that others don’t. The calypsonian is also many times a prophet, capable of seeing what people’s behaviour today can lead to in the future.

While TUCO will be unable to host events for this year’s CHM celebrations because of the Covid-19 restrictions, they have decided to salvage the celebrations by turning to technology.

There will be several events taking place online, on radio and on television over the coming weeks into November.

TUCO and the calypsonians are inviting the public to join them in celebration of the history, development and future of the calypso art form and the sub-genres that came out of it such as soca, rapso, gospelypso, jamoo and chutney.

Tonight at 8 p.m. TUCO will present Calypso Gems on Iwer TV on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=iwer+tv+youtube). This will feature performances by Typher, Kid Kalaloo, Lady Gypsy, Mighty Wanderer and Sexy Suzie, widow of Sprangalang. This show offers a mix of humorous calypsoes and social commentary.

Tomorrow on TTT at 8.30 p.m., TUCO will present a Youth Calypso Showcase featuring reigning Junior Calypso Monarch Sharissa Camejo and ten other developing young calypsonians. One can also experience an international element of CHM by checking out the Toronto Calypso Symposium in de Gayelle at 8 p.m. via Famalay net Facebook/twitch TV/famalay.

The final event of CHM 2020 will be Sans Humanite, which will be live-streamed on TUCO’s Facebook on November 7 at 8 p.m.

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