NY & PHILLY LABOR DAY WEEK END EVENT ALERT 2013: West Indian Day Parade & Tony Williams Jazz Festival

By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

If you are in a 500 mile radius of New York City, or at the epicenter of Brooklyn, NY, you know what time it is.  If it's Labor Day, it's the West Indian Day Parade on Eastern Parkway!  And every year the costumes - which are all hand made, original designs - are more breath taking than ever.  If you every want to see Black creativity and ingenuity at its finest, check out our Parade.  And, yes, though I'm not originally of Caribbean heritage, I am of African heritage, as are all ECLECTICALLY BLACK people, so I claim this parade as much as my Caribbean brothers and sisters do.  This is their 46th year of presenting the parade, which was started by the late, great Carlos Lazama (originally from Trinidad), carried forward by his daughter, Yolanda Lazama-Clark; and now in the capable hands of Thomas Bailey, newly elected president of WIADCA, the organization that puts this monumental undertaking together every year.

I hear so much griping about the crowds - but just think, where would we be without that wonderful parade?  Pretty damned bored, I think.  I'd rather be in the crowd of people who are happy and celebrating their heritage, than sitting at some dry picnic; or watching the boob tube on Labor Day.   

Lord knows I love our pans (steel drums to the uninitiated) - a symbol of total ingenuity if there ever was one.  They originated from abandoned oil drums that were left on the shores, and were transformed into the most amazing musical instruments.   So, if nothing else, you want to be there for the battle of the pans.  I could listen to them play forever. 

So, get up and jump up!  The parade is coming - and three nights leading into the parade at the Brooklyn Museum there will be festivities, commencing Thursday, August 29, through Monday, September 2. 

Wonderful Display of our African and Caribbean Heritage at the West Indian Day Parade

These celebrations, listed below, are for night owls like me and the rest of the Caribbean,  culminate with the largest Caribbean Carnival Parade in the US on Labor Day Monday, September 2nd .  There will be over "40 costumed bands, scores of colorful floats, millions of jubilant spectators and supporters from around the world converge on Eastern Parkway that is fully lined with hundreds of food stalls selling mouth watering cuisine from around the world to satisfy every taste (from Schenectady Ave to Grand Army Plaza) from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. 

At Brooklyn Museum grounds

Tickets available online at www.wiadcacarnival.org; WIADCA office 718-467-1797 or at Museum gate.
 Thursday, August 29th:  8:00pm – 1:00am – Caribbean Woodstock
This WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL boasts Caribbean entertainers in a wonderful mix of costume, competition, Steelpan, and musicians performing ZOUK, LATIN, HIP HOP, KOMPA, SOCA and REGGAE! Performers include Tallpree, Jeannie Sol, Adrian Dutchin, Statement, Trinity, Problem Child, Ricky T and many more!
 Friday, August 30th:  10:00am-2:00pm – Stay in School Youth Fest -FREE!
WIADCA presents this performance opportunity to encourage youth to pursue education and develop their talents. 8:00pm- 3:00am – Brass Fest: Featuring multi-award-winning Soca artist, Machel Montano HD along with Farmer Nappy and Patrice Roberts.  Also performing is Lyrikal, Brooklyn’s Willie Villegas Salsa Band, St. Lucia’s Teddyson John, & TJ Project, Pumpa, Boodoo Singh Tassa Drummers. Hosted by MC Wassy, Giselle “D” Wassi One, all guaranteed to electrify the audience with sizzling high energy performances.
 Saturday, Aug 31st: 8:00am- 3:00pm – Junior Carnival Parade & Competition
Thousands of children and families enjoy music and “jump-up” while competing in their own costume parade. Route begins at corner of Kingston Avenue & St. John’s Place continues to Franklin Avenue & President Street ending at the Brooklyn Museum grounds. $2 admission at Museum gate.
 8:00pm- 3:00amPanorama Steelband Competition: A night of PAN, PAN, PANORAMA! This year for pan lovers, WIADCA presents a special appearance by New York University’s NYU Steel Orchestra and competing will be Pan Sonatas, CASYM, Crossfire, Pantonics, Adlib, Metro, Pan Fantasy, D’ Radoes, Despers and Eastside Symphony Orchestra. Get ready to lock in your vote!
 Sunday, September 1st: 7:00pm- 1:00amDimanche Gras An encore presentation featuring Panorama and King & Queen costume winners, and live performances by King David Rudder singing Hammer, High Mas’ & Trini to de Bone, the legendary Calypso Rose performing Tempo & Fire Fire, Lil’ Devyn, Swallow singing Fire in de Backseat, Lima Calbio, and more! Highlights include three of the world’s top Steelpan virtuosos appearing for the first time in the US in an on-stage showdown – Robert Greenidge, Andy Narrell and Liam Teague will duel for the “BEST OF THE EAST” title.

Monday, September 2nd
Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY
11:00am-6:00pm – West Indian Carnival Day Parade 2013 – Caribbean Pride & Culture
This multi-cultural, Caribbean Carnival extravaganza led by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and other Grand Marshals, is the ultimate expression of Caribbean Pride and Culture .  Known as NYC’s “Greatest Show on Earth”, this colorful Parade of costumed revelers and millions of spectators enjoy music, camaraderie, fun, food and family as they “JUMP-UP” to the scintillating sounds of Soca, Reggae, Salsa, Zouk, Kompa and Calypso!  We invite you to come on down, enjoy, dance or take a “wine”.

For those of you who are in the Philadelphia, there is an equally auspicious event taking place over the next four (4) days:  THE TONY WILLIAMS SCHOLARSHIP JAZZ FESTIVAL, which kicks off Friday, August 30 and goes through Monday, September 2 (Labor Day).  

This is jazz Saxophonist, Tony Williams 20+ year of presenting this wonderful event, which features the great, and near great in Jazz and is held at the Embassy Suites Hotel, near the Philadelphia Airport,   9000 Bartram Ave. in Philly (215) 365-4500. 

TONY WILLIAMS Jazz Saxophonist


"The Tony Williams Scholarship Jazz Festival is endorsed, supported and promoted by the
Council Of Jazz Advocates and BDG Enterprises. This 23rd annual Tony Williams Scholarship Jazz Festival is sponsored and coodinated to provide college scholarships to selected students that have studied music and particpated in programs through the Mount Airy Cultural Center, Inc.in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Mount Airy Cultural Center, Inc. is a progam and agency that evolved from other programsTony Williams spearheaded, founded and led.This program is grounded from a 50 year grass root initiative to use the music genre of jazz to build esteem and provide extended outlets to youth to enrich their inner soul, intellect and creativity through music. "The Tony Williams Scholarship Jazz Festival is all about the young people." -Tony Williams Scholarship Jazz Festival Committee. 

You can also call (302) 562-3706 to get
Tony Williams Scholarship Jazz Festival information (or see preliminary schedule below.
You can catch the individual sets each evening for$20.00 each; Sunday will be a special presentation of Bill Cosby and the Reunion Band ($40.00) or you can opt to go for the whole package, which is $125.00.  There is even a package deal if you decide you want to hang at the Embassy Suites for the four days, which will include all the before and after parties and receptions.   www.tonywilliamsjazzfestival.org to see the line-up, schedule of activities and information.

Either way, not only are you getting the finest in original Black music, but you're helping to underwrite scholarships for African American students who want to pursue a career in Jazz.  Now it doesn't get any better than that.   

Finish it up on Labor Day at  LaRose Jazz Club 5531 Germantown Ave. for a Blue Monday Jam. (215) 844-5818.

For reservations and additional information, call (215) 248-4415 (Verna); (302) 562-3706 (Greg); or (215) 753-0232 (Thelma). 
The 2013 Tony Williams Scholarship Jazz Festival is ready to roll!!

Schedule of Events and Artists at Tony Williams Jazz Festival for Scholarships(1)
Schedule of Events and Artists at Tony Williams Jazz Festival for Scholarships (2)

Actually, since Philly and Brooklyn are right down the road, you can check on the jazz on one night, and get back to New York in time to jump up on the Parkway as well.  And since both cultures originate from our own ECLECTICALLY BLACK genius, you'll be having the best of both worlds! So Stay Blessed & ECLECTICALLY BLACK
Gloria Dulan-Wilson


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