Now Things: Tobago’s After Jazz Fringe Festival

Words by Tishanna Williams, Photo by Scott Homer—
Kin-Sound-System

Picture yourself under the Tobago moonlight grooving to melodic guitar strums from some of the most creative bands in T&T, dancing yourself to a frenzy as the vibe switches up with each performance. This is a pretty good idea of what you will get at the After Jazz Fringe Festival happening in Tobago from April 25-27.

Started three years ago by 12TheBand leader Sheldon Holder and Kiwan Landreth of KIN Sound System, the concept behind AJFF is simple: To supplement the annual Tobago Jazz Festival, currently running through April 27, by exposing the nation to another side of the Trinbagonian music-scape. (The Easter period is filled with numerous events which draw tourists and Trinis from across the water to Tobago)

Performers on this year’s lineup include top Trini rapper Chromatics, fresh off his recent local performance with French Montana and his annual Carnival “Rap Up”; model turned singer Vanna Vee; and reggae band Buzzrock, as well as W.I.R.K., Solman, Uku and John John. (Fest staples KIN Sound System and Gyazette will not be appearing, though their name appears on the schedule).

This year’s schedule is as follows:

Friday April 25 – Acoustic Jam/Cooler Party Lime on Mt. Irvine Beach.

Saturday April 26 – Bar Hop-In, off Shirvan Road. Featuring Jeff Wight, Solman, Chromatics; Admission $85.00TT

Sunday April 27 – The Shade Nightclub. Featuring Vanna Vee, WIRK, John John, & BuzzRock; Admission $85.00TT

So hurry up and get yourself down to the Fringe for some serious, 100-percent local music. Two-night special tickets can also be had for $145.00TT. Tickets are available online from O2Ticket.

Here’s some info on the featured acts:

BUZZROCK

This 10-member crew are, as they put it on “Dubwise Riddim,” carrying the torch for “proper reggae inna Trinidad.” Their debut album, Universal Blacks, was recorded at Tuff Gong Studios in Jamaica.

WIRK

A vehicle to express the band members’ views on local and world issues using indigenous West Indian musical genres such as kaiso, reggae, rapso and soca, West Indian Rhythm Konnection, or WIRK, count Bob Marley, David Rudder, Brother Resistance and The Mighty Shadow among their influences.

SOLMAN

Solman’s writing is essentially what sets him apart. This artist has not only melodies that you can groove to but lyrics to settle your spirit and calm your senses. Good vibe music all around!

VANNA VEE

Trinidadian actress, model and singer Vanna Vee has worked with producer and frequent duet partner LAZABeam over the last several years, releasing pop house with a Trini feel. More recently, she teamed with LAZABeam’s production unit Jus Now and Beenie Man for the 2014 Carnival tune “D Way Yuh Wine.”

UKU

This Tobago based group’s brand of reggae, soul, jazz is infused with something else that we can’t put our finger on…

CHROMATICS

Known for his annual “Carnival Rap up” freestyles, Chromatics is Trinidad’s most prolific rapper, and the only locally-based MC noted on our list of the top Trini rappers besides Nicki Minaj. (Foxy Brown, A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg and KRS-One were among the others).  Lyrically, he intertwines local Trini jargon with an international style, leading to a recent performance alongside French Montana. Also performing is Chromatics collaborator and R&B singer John John.