Platinum Kids ‘Take Flight’

Kajmair Henry, 11, portrays "Wings of Pyro."
Kajmair Henry, 11, portrays “Wings of Pyro.”
Photo by Nelson A. King

After a two-year hiatus for the West Indian American in-person carnival, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brooklyn-based Platinum Kids Mas band is ready to “Take Flight.”

“We’re ready for Labor Day,” band leader Leesa Thornhill, who resides in Jamaica, Queens, told Caribbean Life in an interview at the mas camp on East 48th Street in Brooklyn.

“We don’t have a choice,” added Grenadian-born Thornhill. “We’re going to mash it (carnival) up.

“It’s rough; we’re getting back from COVID,” she continued, stating, however, that “the momentum is still there.”

Thornhill said the Junior Mas Band – sponsored by The Promise, a mas band produced by Trinidadian Monica Carrington – will portray three sections.

They are: Wings of Joy, Wings of Flora and Wings of Pyro.

Thornhill – who has been producing mas for nine years, placing first in 2019 with Kaios Kids, before branching out to form Platinum Kids – said she has a five-member team preparing costumes for Labor Day.

She said her daughter, Phoenix, 11, is “the reason” why she got involved in carnival.

“There’s no funding, but we do it from our heart because we love culture,” Thornhill said.

“The city needs to help us keep our culture alive,” she added. “We’re trying to pull together and make sure the kids understand where they come from.”

Thornhill said the kids in her mas band also practice steel band playing, Monday through Friday, at the mas camp, which is located at the Metro Steel Orchestra Pan Yard, 1020 East, 48th St., off Farragut Road, in Brooklyn. Metro Steel Orchestra is owned by Trinidadian Tony Joseph.

Kajmair Henry, 11, will be playing mas with Thornhill for the very first time, portraying “Wings of Pyro.”

“I like the colors,” a shy Henry told Caribbean Life. “I like the Diamonds.”

Thornhill said masqueraders will sway to DJ Jamasta and Top Flight.

She can be reached at [email protected], or call (347) 440-8210.

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