Carnival, 101: Arubian Carnival


calypso and roadmarch

Of course, there is no Carnaval without the music.

Once again this year, local legend Claudius Philips aka Mighty Talent, of the beloved OREO crew, was crowned Aruba’s Soca King with his song “Carnaval Cheezy.” Keeping it in the family as well as the crew, Philips’ son Shawn (Mighty Talent Jr., of course) won the Caiso (Calypso) crown with “Palo.”

Soca runs the road during the Carnaval parades, but at the heart of Arubian music culture and a focal point of Arubian pride during the Carnaval season is Tumba, an afro-merengue style of music unique to the the ABC islands—Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao. (For more on Tumba, check out this classic all-vinyl Tumba set from my radio show Impulse Travels).

This year’s Rey di Tumba (Tumba King) title belongs to Jerrino Bass with “Aplauso Pe” (Applaud It), a song imploring Arubians, in papiamento, to show their cultural pride by clapping for the parade, the participants, and all things they cherish about Carnaval.

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