The Brooklyn-based Dynamites Calypso Tent on Sept. 4 hosted what it described as its inaugural, electrifying “Big Labor Day Jam” at 42 Malta St. in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
According to calypsonian Carlos “Rejector” Providence, a former Vincentian calypso monarch and the tent’s president, the event served as a fundraising BBQ and concert.
“Things got started at 6.30 pm, with DJ Dennis Bowman (also a veteran Vincentian calypsonian and soca monarch) pumping some heavy Vincy classics, calypso and soca,” Providence told Caribbean Life over the weekend.
“The menu comprised barbecue chicken and pork, Escovich fish, codfish with steamed green bananas, yams and dumplings, and a number of side dishes,” he added. “The bar was of a wide variety, which included the Vincy Sunset Rum.”
Providence said the performances kicked off at 9.30 pm, with the national anthem of St. Vincent and the Grenadines played by 18-year-old Jensen Bowman on tenor pan.
“From here on, the packed venue was transformed into a jubilant calypso tent atmosphere, with calypsonian I Mad immediately whipping the audience into party mood. with two lyrically-strong and melodic up-tempo songs, ‘I love this land SGV’ and ‘Hold Somebody and Wine’”,” Providence said.
“Jose Juan, with his very powerful 2021 release, ‘Never Give Up’, kept the very appreciative audience spellbound,” he added. “By then, it was quite clear that this was going to be a show of an extremely high quality; and so, it was.”
Providence said the versatile Oscar James followed with powerful renditions of three “well written and melodic songs.”
“He began with a social commentary entitled ‘Commissioner You Blind’, then an up-tempo calypso called ‘Playing with Me Head’ and finished with a reggae entitled ‘Jah Jah Guide My life,’” he said.
The usually well-dressed Jakie had everyone partying and singing along to his ragga soca, “Come on over Here,” and a hard-hitting commentary, “Dem Judges,” Providence said.
He said Curtis “Courtesy” performed Dalpin’s “Behind a Bumper” on which he was featured; St. Lucian Fireman Mitch, who had previously performed with the Dynamites, the lone Vincy calypso tent in North America, “was outstanding with ‘The Horns”.
Former Vincentian calypso monarch D Man Age belched out “Happily Married,” and Rejector forced the crowd to request an encore of “Unethical Doctor.” Rejector also performed “Hairouna.”
Providence said Bowman offered three “very powerful social commentaries,” which “had the crowd dancing and singing along.”
“But it was his final song that really showed the very high caliber of entertainer Dennis (Bowman) is, rendering one of his most powerful commentaries, ‘To Build Airport’, (which) set the mood of a nail-biting calypso finals at Victoria Park (in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines) back in the 1980s and 90s,” he said.
“And when he ended, the applause could be heard from a great distance away,” he added.
Providence said a debutante, whose chosen sobriquet is “Persono 007,” “never looked anything like a first-timer, with a catchy hook line.
“His humorous commentary, ‘Sarah’, along with his quite unique dance moves had the crowd dancing and laughing throughout his performance,” Providence said.
He said Tricia Reddock “added some variety with a couple of poems, and was well received by the audience.”
Providence said the legendary Scorcher “came to ‘Wake up the Party,’” adding that Scorcher’s 20-minute medley performance of his classics “turned into the real party time, which had the audience calling him back on stage, and he obliged.”
Another Vincy calypso legend, Ron Pompey, brought the curtains down with “another astounding performance, with a medley of his classics,” Providence said.
As a result, he said “the partying kicked into a frenzy, with the audience requesting song after song, and Pompey granting their requests,” he said. “By then, it was after 2:00 am Sunday, and he ended by begging them to let him go now, saying ‘I have to travel all the way to New Jersey’.
“Everyone left asking the Dynamites to do a repeat soon before the warm weather changes,” Providence added.