As the “jazz month” of April has ended, the lockdown continues to dampen the spirits of fun-loving people who would dress up for entertainment activities across TT.
The first entertainment casualty of the covid19 virus was the annual Jazz Artiste on the Greens (JAOTG) put on by Production One. According to Nigel Campbell, a member of the organising team, “This would have been the 18th year of JAOTG and we were all prepared for it but unfortunately had to postpone the event.
“We are still hopeful that it would come off this year. Having already acquired both sponsorship and artistes it took quite an effort to undo everything.”
People normally turn the occasion into a fashion parade of local designers.
The second event to disappear from the calender was the Tobago Jazz Experience, although there was some uncertainty about this one, everything was put on hold. I am Jazz, followed after its debut last year and the final jazz event for April that simply disappeared was Jazz Under the Stars.
With the government announcing another two weeks of the lockdown the casualties continue into May with another big one in Point Fortin Borough Day celebrations. This is usually a week of celebrations when Trinis living in New York and Miami come home to be part of a queen show, calypso, jazz, health fair and the massive pan on the move. The now popular North Coast Jazz and Heritage Festival in Blanchisseuse has also been put on hold just as it was beginning to make a name for itself, this being its fourth year. Hundreds take the long journey to the North Coast for this one.
The biggest event to be hit by the lockdown is the popular Redemption Concert which features top-of-the-line reggae singers. The headline act for this year, Redemption seven, was Buju Banton.
Another major event to slide is the annual week-long We Beat put on by the St James CIC which usually comes off in June.
Kafe Blue, the home of live entertainment in Port of Spain, is also taking a beating with the closure of this type of business.
With all the postponements and cancellation of events for three months, the local music industry, its entertainers and performers have been hit very hard financially.