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Reliving the glory days of Calypso Spektakula

DURING the 1980s into the 1990s, upper Henry Street, Port of Spain came alive during the Carnival season from opening night of the Calypso Spektakula calypso tent at the Spektakula Forum. From the regular working man to the wealthiest personality flocked to the venue’s doors to catch the premiere of what was then the most exciting tent on the calypso circuit and they packed the Forum every night throughout the season.

For well over 25 years Calypso Spektakula presented the most sought after calypsonians and soca artistes of the day, and served as the nurturing ground for artistes that would eventually stand among the best of the best. Calypso Spektakula treated patrons not only to great performances by the top artistes delivering calypsoes that explored social and political issues through stinging lyrics and humour, but also to the hottest soca, chutney soca and ragga soca.

On January 25th, 2018 Spektakula Promotions will be re-igniting the flame of Calypso Spektakula at Centre of Excellence in Macoya; on the 26th at SAPA in San Fernando; on the 27th at NAPA in Port of Spain; and 28th at Clifton Hill Beach Club, Point Fortin.

It will be a nostalgic journey revisiting Great Nostalgic Calypsoes of yesteryear and the 25 plus glorious years of Calypso Spektakula.

Calypso Spektakula was the place where in 1986 David Rudder launched his campaign to compete in the National Calypso Monarch competition, which he won along with two other coveted titles–the National Road March and National Calypso Young King, making him the first ever triple crown winner. Rudder remained at these Calypso Spektakula shows even as his international career took off. Rudder will be performing at the show, delivering some of his hits through the years. Also on stage for ‘Calypso Spektakula Thru the Years’ will be nine-time National Calypso Monarch, Chalkdust, Trinidad Rio who built a fine career at Calypso Spektakula with his unique brand of humorous social and political commentary and storytelling through

comedic calypsoes. The king of humorous calypsoes, Funny, will also perform at these shows along with Luta and the world’s most proficient extempo calypsonian, Gypsy, 3Canal, Baron, Relator, Rikki Jai, Iwer, Ronnie Mc Intosh, Tony Prescott, and from Barbados Rupee and Edwin Yearwood. Spektakula Promotions will also pay tribute to some of icons of calypso.

Patrons will be mesmerised by Nailah Blackman paying tribute to her grandfather Ras Shorty I and Chuck Gordon paying tribute to the Mighty Sparrow.

These are only some of the artistes in the impressive line-up for these shows that will be hosted by Tommy Joseph who has kept audiences in stitches nightly for the quarter decade of Calypso Spektakula.

The artistes will all be backed by Vincent Rivers and his band The Soca Unit. Frank Martineau, Spektakula Promotions CEO, was quick to point out that because of the limited number of artistes that can be accommodated; it’s creating a nightmare to finalise a cast. ‘There have been so many artistes that stood behind Spektakula through the years, I am sincerely hoping that those who were not selected would not get vex with Lennox and myself’. Calypso Spektakula was the production that from its debut set new standards for calypso tents. The producers introduced the latest lighting and lighting effects technology of the day and also employed the most advanced sound system. They also incorporated professional dancers to accompany some of the calypsonians and featured the most popular acts from across the other Caribbean islands and the US including Arrow, Becket and Swallow.

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