Where can you hear amazing sounds, find relaxing beaches and meet cool people? Look no further than the Tobago Jazz Experience. Running eight years strong, this year’s installment featured promising home grown talent and visiting musical legends performing on the beautiful stages of Pigeon Point Heritage Park.
The artists assembled for this event addressed all musical needs. Whether you wanted to hear the smooth sounds of Maxwell, the lyrical gems of J Cole, classic compositions of Third World or the unforgettable tunes of Lauryn Hill (and everything in between)…this was the place for you.
Maxwell ran down his impressive discography of love making tunes (to the ladies delight) and ingratiated himself to his fellow Caribbean brothers/sisters by letting them know that he too was from an island. The island of Manhattan (really from Brooklyn) that is…by way of Haiti and Puerto Rico.
J Cole seemed pretty shocked and pleased that the people of Trinidad and Tobago knew his songs as well as he did. Line for line and word for word they accompanied him throughout his lyrical wizardry. Despite some sound or soundman issues, Lauryn sounded like Lauryn. She delivered unique variations of some of her classics that were killing Tobago softly.
The Queen of Bacchanal “Destra” took time out of her busy schedule and graced us with her presence. She kept things interesting by demonstrating her vocal range covering a multitude of Alicia Keys chart toppers. From “Falling” to “Girl on Fire”, she didn’t miss a beat.
Equally impressive were the opening acts that respectably held their own. Clifford Charles and Band kept the vibes right with their soothing Caribbean expressions of Jazz, while Dil-E-Nadan hit us with an entertaining set including their spin on “Can’t Touch This” and “The Electric Slide”.
Newcomers Jay Nahge and Adana shined under the bright lights like seasoned pros. Jay displayed the universal impact of hip hop while Adan fused Soca and R&B seamlessly. Their command on stage and content didn’t go unnoticed. Let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised to see them headlining soon.
Besides the spectacular show, Tobago had much more to offer and see. Thanks to the guidance of Edwin Ottley of Paradise of Trinbago (Edwinottley69@gmail.com/868-799-2255/868-345-1939) I was able enjoy some of the other finer things Tobago has to offer. Such as the beautiful beaches and addictive Bake and Shark. Get yours at Kevin’s Gyro (across the street from Jenny’s) and mention who sent you there. You can’t go wrong!
Fortunately I was also able to experience the natural tranquility of Tobago. Located in the capital of Tobago “Scarborough”, I laid my head in the Villa Inn D’ Vale. It proved to be a nice change of pace and situated me closer to some of the other festivities taking place during this celebration of Jazz.
It would be safe to assume that I will return sooner than later to relive and create more memories. Thanks again to the courteous and helpful staff of the Division of Tourism and Transportation of Tobago. Your professionalism and assistance was truly appreciated.
As for everyone else…I expect to see you there next year. First drink is on you!
Rest Easy Eric Curran a.k.a M.C Krispy E
Almost every year for the past 6 years and on the same day, I’ve posted the same pic of me in the hospital during my temporary and untimely demise in 2015. A few weeks after I was back to “normal”, I asked Eric “Why’d you take the pics?” And he said, “I knew you would want to write about it if you lived.” Eric was right. Eric was often right and Eric always had my best interest at heart. I am going to miss my friend.
You ever meet someone and become friends immediately?! Well this was not the case with Eric. Before he was my manager at Morgan Stanley, I would often see this 6’4″, giant white guy walk up to the only black woman at work, say something then walk away without any hint of human emotion. Naturally I thought he was a jerk until I asked her “Yo, is that dude bothering you?” She laughed and proceeded to tell me he was a great person, which I ultimately got to experience first hand. Little did I know this Italian from Staten Island was more Brooklyn than most Brooklynites.
Eric was not with the shits!! If there were ever someone who lived their life in direct, honest and no uncertain terms, that would be Eric. He would ask me questions at work like “Why are the other consultants making more money than you?” I knew the answer to that question and so did he. Eric then proceeded to increase my salary by 15K. After arguing with all our managers that “You need to hire Alfred!”, they eventually did 1 year prior to the 2015 incident. In the hospital, one of my friends asked me, “What if you didn’t have health insurance when this happened?” I would be in debt for the rest of my life is the obvious answer. I still am in debt for the rest of my life but at least, it is to those who made sure I had a more enjoyable life and for that, I will gladly repay.
My mom loved to tell me the story of how she met Eric. After they told her I was going to be in the ICU for some time, she told the doctor “Well I’m not going anywhere.” She then hears a voice from that back of the room that says “Well I’m not going anywhere either!” That was Eric and in true form, he was at that hospital every single day until I was discharged.
Eric passed away in December 2021 of stage 4 cancer. After feeling faint on his way to my bbq, he went to get checked out and was diagnosed. During the past 5 years, Eric lost his mom, twin brother and dad. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must have felt like but I’m glad that pain he was feeling is no more.
From being my manager to my business partner, writer, book editor, artistic director, and most importantly, my friend, I am going to miss you MC Krispy E a.k.a “Enrique Pollazo!” And although you told me Enrique means Henry in Spanish and not Eric, it was too late!
Sidebar. The day I was discharged, while everyone was deciding what was best for me, no one had remembered that I would need clothes in order to leave the hospital. Eric shows up (unasked) with all the clothes I had on the day I coded, laundered and ready to go. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve friends like this but i need to keep doing it! Sidebar complete.
Rest in Peace Eric. “Be Good.”
Writing Your First Book / Should I Self Publish?
I had the distinct pleasure of participating in a panel discussion on writing your first book, presented by the Harlem chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Alongside Jim St. Germain, Author – A Stone of Hope: A Memoir and Dr. Keneshia Nicole Grant, Author – The Great Migration and the Democratic Party: Black Voters and the Realignment of American Politics in the 20th Century. We opined on pain points, benefits and strategies regarding our inaugural voyages into authorship. Feel free to watch for your self and I hope this provides some insight to all those looking to make the same voyage. Enjoy!
What the NFT is a BEEPLE?
On March 11 this year, the digital artist Beeple sold a collage of digital images from his “Everydays” series for nearly 70 million dollars as an NFT, or non-fungible token. And if that sentence confuses you, you’re not alone.
A non-fungible token is a unit of data on a digital ledger called a blockchain, where each NFT can represent a unique digital item, and thus they are not interchangeable. NFTs can represent digital files such as art, audio, video, and other forms of creative work. While the digital files themselves are infinitely reproducible, the NFTs representing them are tracked on their underlying blockchains and provide buyers with proof of ownership.” – Wikipedia
Still confused? Let the artist himself explain it, and learn how he went from NFT newbie to making the third most expensive artwork by a living artist in three months. Not to suggest Beeple is an overnight success. The “Everydays” series alone involved creating a piece of art every day since May 1, 2007 – and he hasn’t missed a day.
Check out some of Beeple’s amazing and controversial work below.