Music is one of the most important ingredients of Carnival. There is no denying that Calypso and Pan Music are as Caribbean as baseball is American. Calypso Competitions and Pan-o-Rama have long been Carnival favorites; and to the complete satisfaction of music and carnival lovers there are numerous wonderful musical venues during the Carnival festivities.
Calypso is a musical art form that has long been associated with the Caribbean. Calypso music is an important part of Caribbean culture and an essential element to Carnival. Talented calypsonians using wit and talent compete for titles like Calypso Monarch. The performers are judged on ability to sing, stage performance and on the lyrics of their calypso. Children also perform and compete for titles of best junior calypsonian.
In Calypso the sound of the words is as important as the words themselves. Often lyrics are saturated with double meanings and stories. Calypsonians use their music to make good and bad commentaries on social and political events both locally and nationally, people, relationships, everyday life and the Caribbean.
Performers in the Calypso Reviews include favorites from across the Caribbean. In the past some of the performers were T-Mo from St. Martin, King-Kan-fu-Plen-tae from St. Croix, Hunter from Dominica, Singing Sandra from Trinidad and Tobago, Sinclair ‘Whadablee’ DeSilva from the VI and Shallow from Antigua.
Denyse Plummer, a Calypsonian from Trinidad, is a favorite and a frequent performer at VI carnival shows. She gives outstanding performances and often has the audience out of their seats, clapping, singing and dancing as she sings.
Calypso shows are not the only music venue that are slated for Carnival. Other showcases of music include Latin night, performances of steel pan bands, concerts by local bands in the village, bands play throughout J’ouvert and there is always music during the parades.