‘Aloha’ from Greenz United

Tijera Thomas portrays “Moana.”
Photo by Nelson A. King

After most masqueraders participate in the preceding Grenada Carnival, with “Spice and everything that’s nice,” Greenz United will be greeting them with “Aloha” on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway for this year’s West Indian American Day Carnival Parade.

“We want to put on a presentation that depicts a lot of colors, and, when you think of Hawaii, you get these nice flowers — a nice pallet of colors, something you portray to get that nice blend of colors,” said Greenz United’s Grenadian-born band leader Dave Louison in a Caribbean Life interview.

He said “Aloha” comprises five sections: Moana (blue and yellow combination — female and male); Lokahi (orange — female); Ahana (yellow — female), Te-fiti (tual/nude — female); and Victoria Vekou (a traditional mas — color combination uncertain — combination of male and women).

Louison, who hails from Gouyave, in the parish of St. John, said each section includes 50-75 masqueraders, for about 425.

“The bulk of registration comes after Grenada’s carnival (Aug. 14 and 15),” he said, adding, however, that masqueraders are “across the board.”

“As always, we put the best foot forward and give the best showing that we can,” Louison assured. “I can’t make any prediction, but I’m optimistic and will give the best presentation we can.

“In terms of placing, we have never placed,” he continued. “That does not bother us. It does not deter us from taking part in the competition. For us, it’s the fun aspect of the mas, not the competition aspect of the mas.”

Douglas said masqueraders can expect “the usual.”

“They can expect what they usually expect every year,” he said. “The fact that Grenada Soca has been dominating the airwaves, they can expect the experience of a life time from the pulsating beat of Grenada’s jab, jab soca music.”

For preparations, Louison said: “We have the team behind us, as every year. We have that faith in each other.

Damani Modeste portarys “Ohana.”
Photo by Nelson A. King

“Everybody feeds off each other,” he said. “Everybody knows their roles. It’s a small team, but they make it happen. I respect them a lot and for the effort they put into it also.”

Louison said he founded Greenz United Mas in 2011 after being disappointed with the sound system from the Grenadian float.

“Every year, Grenadians had a way to go on the Parkway and go behind the Grenadian truck, and the quality of the music from the sound system was very disappointing to me,” he said. “And watching the artists from the truck was very disappointing me.

“My mission was to put a system on the Parkway on par with the Haitian sound system,” he said. “Everybody was saying the Haitian Sound System was so loud, so I decided to put something together.

“So, that year, it started with T-shirts,” he added. “But for us to show our full participation in the West Indian American Day Carnival, we started with the costumes. Grenadians now realize that the level of mas we put out is on par with the Sesame’s and the Ramajay’s, and the other big bands.”

Louison said two of the main DJs will supply music to gyrating masqueraders — International DJ Little B, Black Storm direct from Grenada, and the Queen De-Fire.

“Just looking forward to another wonderful experience,” he said. “Every year, in terms of the sound system, we raise the bar, and this year is no different.

Greenz United is located at 308 Utica Ave. in Brooklyn, upstairs Ragtop Lounge.

Louison can be reached at (718) 781-1366 or 347-884-3832.

Giovany Laplante portrays “Lokahi.”
Photo by Nelson A. King

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