Joey Rivers hosts 2nd Junior Calypso Festival

Joey Rivers, founder of the Calypso Art Specialists Trinidad and Tobago (CASTT) Junior Calypso Festival.
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Joey Rivers, founder of the Calypso Art Specialists Trinidad and Tobago (CASTT) Junior Calypso Festival. -

CASTT Junior Calypso Festival competition is registering participants for its festival hosted by musician and CASTT Music Centre founder Joey Rivers.

Deadline for registration is January 28 for youth competitors ages 7-12 and 13-17.

In its second year, the event will be featured on Gayelle Television. Last year, Tsaiann Burke won the 12 and under title with Cindy-Ann Bigford winning the 13-17 category. This year, there will be a slight change in format as it becomes more of a festival than a contest. Nevertheless, there will be prizes, said a media release.

“The main focus is to ensure we have a next generation of calypsonians. Some of our stalwarts have left us, so I believe we must continue to engage the next set of calypsonians, so that they truly understand the value of music, production, and presentation. If they are serious about honing this craft, this is the platform to start from,” Rivers said in the release.

Rivers, a foundation member of Machel Montano and Xtatik since age 12, is an accomplished music educator, musician, and producer. He has assisted and supported artistes, musicians, folk theatre groups, choirs, steelbands, parang bands, and conventional contemporary bands over the years, the release said.

He also developed and founded CASTT, an acronym for Calypso Art Specialists Trinidad and Tobago, in August 2016. It is a professional music facility focused on enabling the successful careers of upcoming as well as established musicians.

CASTT is the third generation of a family business, with Rivers succeeding his late father (Raymond "Cuzin" Rivers) who was a master musical instrument craftsman (luthier).

“In my professional capacity, I have travelled extensively throughout TT, the region and internationally from a very young age. This has afforded me the privilege of exploring our wealth of natural, cultural, and human assets as well as experience international best practices,” he said.

All calypso styles are welcomed for this festival – kaiso, soca, rapso, gospelypso. Entries from international participants are also welcomed. There will be a registration fee and demo tracks are available.

For more info: e-mail casttmusiccentre@gmail.com or call 708-1107.

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