SIXTEEN-YEAR old Aaron Duncan may be making some calypso history when he takes the stage as one of the 40 Calypso Monarch semifinalists selected to participate in the Calypso Fiesta competition on Saturday.
Duncan, a member of the cast at Kaiso House where he has been performing his 2020 offering, Why are We Here and Caught Up, may be the second youngest calypsonian to perform at the premier show being held at the new Guaracara Park venue, Pointe-a-Pierre.
Singing since he was three years old, Duncan has copped numerous National Junior Calypso Monarch as well as Junior Chutney Soca titles. This award-winning singer also received a Youth Award for Excellence. He made a guest appearance on stage at the 2020 Schools Junior Panorama competition as Naps Combined Steel Orchestra performed his Back to Basics song which earned them third place.
The record holder is Machel Montano who made his debut on the Skinner Park stage in 1986 at age 11 with his then very popular Too Young To Soca, giving veterans like the Mighty Sparrow a run for his money.
Skinner Park is under renovation and will not be available for the next 18 months.
After listening to some 400 calypsonians over a four-day period, The Trinbago Unified Calypsonian’s Organisation (TUCO) on Monday released the names of 40 calypsonians who will vie for one of 11 spots to compete against reigning monarch Renaldo London at the Calypso Monarch finals.
Among those selected is Winston “Gypsy” Peters, chairman of the National Carnival Commission (NCC). Gypsy’s inclusion in the Fiesta was a contentious issue in 2019 but he persevered and was among the finalists in the Big Yard.
After being excluded from the semifinal line up in 2019, former monarch Weston “Cro Cro” Rawlins is also back in the race and along with him a member of his Icon’s Calypso Tent cast Heather Mc Intosh. Mc Intosh has been enjoying rave reviews for Claude, her take on the fashion show in the Anglican Church. Her other selection is The Flood.
Quite a number of former monarchs have also made the cut, including Karene Asche, Kurt Allen (The Last Badjohn), Duane O’Connor, Chuck Gordon and Devon Seales.
TUCO president Lutalo “Brother Resistance” Masimba said TUCO would do a site visit at Guaracara Park on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s competition.
“There was a show there last Saturday and from reports it went well, which means that the venue is in good shape,” he said in reference to last Saturday’s Chutney/Soca Monarch, the first competition to be held at the new venue.
Masimba said he was not certain if the same stage Southex used for that competition will be used for the Calypso Monarch semifinals saying that would be determined during the site visit.
“Saturday, calypso lovers can expect the most explosive, entertaining event in the Carnival 2020. This is a whole new venue, a whole new vibes and if Calypso Fiesta is your thing, you need to be there to experience it.”
He said gates would be opened at 9 am, for a pre-show at 11 am and competition at noon.
An aftershow with some of TT’s top artiste will follow the competition.