Tobago's Extempo Champ Keeps Culture Alive On Trinidad's Sister Isle

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad – While soca music and the young entertainers who push the genre seem to be the main focus when Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival comes around, it must not be forgotten that Calypso music is an integral part of the festival. And while the events that take place throughout the season in Trinidad receive most of the attention, sister isle Tobago also enjoys its fair share of Carnival excitement.

D’ Entertainers Tent is one such place where the carnival merriment can be experienced. This year, the calypso showcase will be launched on February 2nd at Docksite Entertainment Bar from 8pm. Tent owner and reigning Tobago Extempo Champion, Lady IB is calling on calypso lovers to be a part of it all, promising that the 15 calypsonians aligned to the tent will even be performing in Trinidad before the end of the season. Having started the calypso tent in 2006 after recognizing the need to provide a platform for calypsonians who found it difficult to get their music heard, Ingrid Brathwaite or Lady IB as she’s popularly known, decided that the only solution would be to create a home for these undiscovered entertainers. Since the launch of D’ Entertainers Tent eight years ago, Brathwaite has seen growth. In fact, the tent is recognized island wide as one of the popular spots when carnival comes around, this despite there being a couple other tents, including the TUCO tent in Tobago.

Brathwaite has a few accomplishments to her name. In addition to being the reigning Extempo Queen of Tobago, she has also won the Tobago Calypso Queen competition and she has even represented T&T at the Dominica World Calypso Queen competition. Her passion for the art form has propelled her to give back in this small way and with her focus on sharing these 15 members of her tent with all of Trinidad and Tobago and essentially, the world, Brathwaite remains motivated.

This carnival, D’ Entertainers Tent will be rolling into several hotspots in Trinidad. Among them are, Trevo’s in St. Augustine, La Rez at Morvant Junction and Fordie’s in Carenage. This year also makes it six years since Brathwaite began taking her Tobago born tent over to the mainstream Trinidad carnival market, something she believes adds credibility to her brand while helping the artistes with exposure. The tent will offer patrons eight shows for the season between both islands and with anticipation, both Brathwaite and the members of her entertainment team are rearing to go. Some of the names in the lineup are, Sando- described as a featured act, Culture B, Brathwaite herself and Cabbasi. The tent is hosted by Tobagonian MC Cudjoe.

Ready to deliver a good show to patrons, D’ Entertainment Tent is making it known that they are standing firmly among the heavyweights of the calypso arena, on sister isle Tobago. Brathwaite, a big believer in her mission, says there’s no stopping and annually, the tent gets bigger and better.

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