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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mas Jumbies Jouvert 2010 Review

I signed up to play in Brian Won Wong's Mas Jumbies Jouvert Band.

Registration was as easy as breathing. Once I registered and pay-pal'ed my funds, I immediately got a confirmation email from Annette and a warm welcome to the band.

Once I reached Trinidad, and went to pick up my costume, I was warmly greeted by Lisa the contact person, Brian the owner of the band, and another artist friend who was there liming. They were very kind and welcoming. A lady who I assume to be Brian's mother was making accra in the kitchen. While Lisa went over the details of the band, and sorted out my costume and goodie bag, I munched on some delicious hot out of the oil accra. They even offered drinks! Belly full, I left happy and ready for jouvert.

Jouvert Morning.

The band was suppose to meet at 3am at Victoria Square, and move off at 4am. At 3:30am, my party arrived to a very quiet Victoria Square. Hearing no music, we thought the band has left us. But this was not the case. The music truck had apparently been tampered with by bandits and had been moved. The police were trying to locate our truck.

No worries. One of the committee members had their car parked there.

Music played from the car while we got slathered down in white paint and glitter and enjoyed bujol and bake, and coffee. It also gave us some time to see and chat with some old friends who were also in the band, and make a few new friends as well. The vibes were good, and no one was complaining.

Twenty minutes later, the word came. Our truck had been located, and we were going to walk from Victoria Square to Phillip Street to meet the truck. Even this part was fun. We were a band of colorful old time characters painted in white moving through town on a music truck finding mission. For me, it was all part of the jouvert adventure.

It took us about a five minute walk to meet our truck, and then it was on like boil corn!! We were on the move!!

When we first moved off, there was no drink truck, no security, or anything... just us, some good music, and great vibes... which I would have been quite content with. It seems as if the music truck escapade had thrown things off, but only for a little while, because once we were almost downtown near south quay, the security guys and the drinks truck found us, and they got organized. Things were falling into place, and an already good vibe had just gotten better.

I loved the costumes, and the feeling of old time market women, stick fighting men  really held the theme.

The band was small, but large enough for us to get on bad, and it had a good "family" vibe to it. I would feel absolutely confident in letting my children play jouvert with me in this band.

We even went downtown behind the bridge! I know some people would say that this was unsafe and the neighborhood is "bad", yadda, yadda, yadda.... But I felt in light of the theme we were portraying, Echoes from the Past,..... that nothing else could have been more appropriate than going to the place where the very spirit of carnival was born, and where the original market women and stick fighting men emanated from. That march behind the bridge took on a whole new spiritual feeling for me.. and what a great feeling it was.

Throughout the course of the morning, Brian, his family members, and friends, randomly walked through the band to ask if everyone was ok, and if we were having a good time. I assured him I was having a great time!

I am big fan of promoting Trinidad culture to non Trinidadians, and some members of Mas jumbies are worth a mention here.

There were three young ladies in the band that someone said were from Australia.

 From the time we located the music truck at 4am until I left the band at 9am, these young women jumped up, wined, jooked, and put a whole new spin on the song... " I winin on anything!".

 LOL. It was downright entertaining just watching them have a good time on their first trip to Trinidad carnival. They were grand, and I hope to see them back next year!

The size of the band of was perfect. We had a few stormers, but not overwhelmingly so, and I felt totally safe. The music was good, and the drinks truck ample. Customer service was top notch from beginning to end.

All I have to say is see you again next year Mas Jumbies!


Carnivalcocoa said...

Dear reviewer, I like your attitude. Roll with the punches and not get hung up on mess. Love it. That experience sounded like a real j'ourvert.

dougla_1 said...

Great j'ouvert vibes (as it should be), and watching out for each other's backs. I ended up rolling with 3Canal, and the vibes was not as together as this band (we had a couple of rowdy moments.)

Bigups for the band going behind the bridge. Indeed, for Brian and y'all to go the epicenter of the beginnings in Port of Spain is a wonderful acknowledge that this must always be the people's (the so-called "common" persons) art and expression. I sincerely hope, that those who live there feel that you brought some respect back to them, albeit the smallest of gestures. Hopefully, the moment was not fleeting.

Bless up, Mas Jumbies!

Island Soul said...

I strongly considered playing Jouvert with this you have me wishing I had followed thru!!! Well, there is always next year. :D

Trini Princesssa said...

Wow what a great reveiw. I played Yellow Devilz this year NEVER AGAIN! This band sounds like more of the vibes for Jourvet morning I like. And going behind the bridge I like them even more.

Curlylocz said...

My friend plays with Mas Jumbies every year and always has a good time. I played with Mudders International, a spinoff of Silver Mudders and had a blast. Last year they had a situation with the generator and we lost music for a while. But I decided to give them a try again and I'm SOOO glad I did. 21 of us played and it was one of my best Jouverts ever. They will see me again in 2011.

AYO said...

On the Yellow Devilz note, I didn't know we were doing jouvert reviews! Saucy I have a whopper of a review for you if you are interested. Please let me know if I should send it.

Springmoon said...

I love a good J'Ouvert band! I usually play with Rumco and have a fabulous time. The best part about these smaller bands really is the good vibes. Glad you had a great time too.

Socaholic said...

Great review!

Gosh words cannot describe the mess that was Yellow Devils from the music truck rolling in at 4:20 to the paint burning your skin to the stormers to the wrong turn in Federation Park (how do you go straight by CAREC and not make the right to Long Circular Rd???), to the numerous pleas by Hoppy to get stormers out the band and stopping the music in the process.

Never ever ever again!!! back to mud for me.

Fiona said...

I played with mas Jumbies and chose them because they were a small band. As four foreign women and one local man we felt this was the way to go.From registration to collection was a breeze. Even with our late arrival into POS lisa and annette were super helpful.We met the band at the bottom of Richmond and independence with music and drinks truck present so had no problems there. We were well looked after on the road and I we even had a little boy of about 9 in the band with his mum thats how close and family like this band was. I loved my costume and was surpised my straw hat lasted the whole way. My little crew had a blast and if poss will be back next year. I remember the aussie girls I wonder were they learnt to wine on a Thank you Brian and co for a good time. Jon well done

shells said...

Great review...makes me want to try it out.

-:¦:-•:*''''*:•.-:¦:-•* cb *•-:¦:-•:*''''*:•-:¦:- said...

Check this video: Mas Jumbies in South Quay

Nicky said...

true pure jouvert it!!!

jameschri93 said...

This is a very informative article, keep the great blogs coming!

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