"Mindblowing!" was the word used by Bajan superstar and global Soca icon, Rupert "Rupee" Clarke to describe his experience performing alongside his countrymen and woman, at the recently held Miami Carnival Day Concert in Florida. This description was given to Overtime Media even as the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) presented a live medley of Bajan hits featuring different generations of entertainers on two stages throughout the afternoon and into the evening at the Miami Dade County & Exposition Center in Kendall, Florida.
Chairman of the Barbados National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Dr. Jasmine Babb, said:
"The visit to New York and Miami were intended to jump start the marketing for Crop Over 2024 which is setting up to be even bigger than Crop Over 2023."
Artist Coordinator for the "Meet Me @ Cropover" campaign, Brian Corbin explained to Overtime Media that the campaign actually began in September in New York City:
"The initiative you saw at Miami Carnival is part of an ongoing campaign where we're inviting everyone to "Meet me at Crop Over" from July 6 - Aug 5, 2024. It really started with Labor Day in NY in September and then came to Miami and is designed to really give you a good taste of Crop Over and remind carnival lovers of all the great music and cultural experiences to be enjoyed at Crop Over 2024."
Upon entry into the park on Miami Carnival Sunday, patrons were greeted immediately by a contingent performing live on the special Welcome Stage and featuring Bajan acts such as: King Bubba, Quan The Artist, the current Crop Over Road March King; Marzville, Peter Ram, Fadda Fox, Hypasounds and backing DJ, Jamarr The Star.
Later on that evening, the action shifted to the main stage where legendary acts such as Lead Pipe & Saddis, Rupee, Soca Queen Alison Hinds, Edwin Yearwood and Lil Rick all performed in turn and in time with a backing band lead by ace producer and frequent Machel Montano-collaborator, Dwain Antrobus alongside the Tuk/Percussion band, Euphony Steel Orchestra.
Rupee awed w/ crowd's response
"The impact of the performance of the Barbados contingent at Miami Carnival even now leaves me in awe," Rupee admitted. "When you think of it, it literally is most of the biggest names to ever come out of Barbados sharing one stage in a magical moment. Collectively, we have impacted the lives of millions across the globe through our music as an immense force! For us all to be there together away from home, put that into perspective and it was special, especially for the concert goers… the response was mind blowing!"
Complete with dancers and choreography by Keisha Dowridge, the Bajan contingent created quite a stir at Miami Carnival and will next head to Trinidad Carnival come February 2024.
Strategic planning meetings were also held with industry practitioners, discussing a variety of avenues to promote and showcase Barbadian artistes. This initiative is the brainchild of the National Cultural Foundation, in collaboration with the BTMI, so T&T can definitely expect to see a star-studded Bajan contingent coming to Trinidad Carnival 2024.