In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Soca, the Trinidad birthed soundtrack to Caribbean carnivals held throughout the world, Brooklyn Public Library and Brooklyn-based Caribbean cultural organization Tropicalfete Inc. present the Soca Conversation Series. The series will shine a spotlight on soca and provide a platform where the music’s practitioners can discuss their artistry, live, in front of an audience.
The second installment of the Soca 50 Conversation series Hello: A Conversation with Kees Dieffenthaller (a.k.a. Kes) lead singer of Kes The Band, will take place on Thursday, September 7, at 6 pm at the Dweck Auditorium, Brooklyn Public Library, Grand Army Plaza.
Hello: A Conversation with Kees Dieffenthaller will be moderated by vocalist and popular event host Keran Deterville and veteran journalist Patricia Meschino who specializes in writing about Caribbean music and culture.
Kes The Band was formed in Trinidad in 2005 by three Dieffenthaller brothers, Kes (vocals), Jon (guitar), Hans (drums), and close friend Riad Boochoon (bass); Hans has since left the band, replaced by Dean James; supporting members are keyboardist Mario Callender and DJ Robbie Persaud. Kes The Band’s captivating pop, rock, soul, and reggae-infused soca blend consistently impacts the heart of carnival activities yet has widespread appeal beyond those celebrations.
Kes The Band’s breakthrough arrived with the 2011 Trinidad carnival hit, “Wotless,” an irresistible anthem of carefree abandonment at carnival time. “Wotless” earned the band Trinidad Carnival’s prestigious Soca Monarch crown in the Groovy (slower) category and a Soul Train Music Award nomination for Best Caribbean Performance. Their dynamic repertoire also includes the year-round favorite “Endless Summer,” the gorgeous, Afrobeats-tinged “Hello” (the most streamed soca song released in the last decade surpassing 70 million plays), and 2019’s joyous “Savannah Grass,” a heartfelt tribute to the culture of Trinidad and its smaller sister island, Tobago. Earlier this year Kes collaborated with dancehall luminary Shaggy on the soca hit “Mood.”
At Carnival 2023, Kes The Band presented their Iz We Festival showcasing the diversity of Trinidad and Tobago’s music and culture. “As a band, we have always been a bridge between genres, and we wanted to create a festival to represent that,” explains Kes. The popular Soca outfit’s extensive touring and scorching performances at carnivals and music festivals across the world have earned them a large, loyal international fan base.
“For Soca music to continue to grow artists must focus on delivering spectacular shows while implementing strategic business moves that will bring their performance product into new markets. Kes The Band (and their management) do a great job balancing the band’s first-rate performances with smart business moves, taking Soca to the world. We’re excited to co-present what is sure to be an enlightening conversation with Kees Dieffenthaller,” says Tropicalfete Founder and President Alton Aimable.
“Welcoming Kes to our stage as part of our collaboration on Soca amplifies the resonance of the genre worldwide. Known for traveling the globe and spreading the blends of Soca for over two decades, the pioneering Kes the Band group has positioned its unique sounds and mashups as a bridge from Trinidad to the world. Brooklyn Public Library stands at the crossroads of the Caribbean Diaspora, and we are delighted to be in the company of one of its most beloved and unifying ambassadors,” adds Kerwin Pilgrim, Director of Adult Learning, at Brooklyn Public Library.
Hello: A Conversation with Kees Dieffenthaller will take place on the eve of the opening date (in Baltimore) of Kes The Band’s Man With No Door tour, named for their forthcoming album. The album’s first single “Banga” will also be released on September 8th.
Tickets to Hello: A Conversation with Kees Dieffenthaller are free but you must RSVP at Eventbrite Click Here
For further information contact Tropicalfete at 646-504-3383 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library is one of the nation’s largest library systems and among New York City’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st-century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the fabric of community among the more than 2.6 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. We provide nearly 65,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators—from around the corner and around the world. And we give patrons millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book.
About Tropicalfete Inc.
Tropicalfete Inc. was established as a not-for-profit organization in 2011. Our diverse activities highlight Caribbean traditions and artistic expressions while providing culturally enriching events for the youth, the elderly, and the entire community. Tropicalfete offers numerous programs in music, voice, dance, masquerade, and other artistic disciplines. We’ve curated pop-up carnival events at the Brooklyn Public Library and in Manhattan’s Times Square. We have partnered with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and each June, designated as Caribbean Heritage Month in the US, we present a Caribbean Authors Connecting reading program. Our work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including the New York Daily News, Billboard, New York Times, PBS, and NY1.