Though Peter Durrant & Friends International has been formed since 1996 and first participated in carnival a year later, the band wants “Amazing Space” for this Labor Day.
“I choose amazing space because that is a topic I have not seen in mas for a while,” Trinidadian designer and co-producer Peter Durrant told Caribbean Life.
Durrant, who has been involved in carnival for over 25 years, said he is producing the band this year with his compatriots Cavarene Wilkinson and Shirley Ward, and Vincentian-born Gweneth Hancock.
The band, which will be competing in the Small Band category, comprises, Solar Warriors – boys six and under; Rings of Saturn – girls 6 and under; Water on the Moon – girls seven to nine; Star Gazing – girls nine to 11; Haley Comet – girls 10 and over; and Men in Black – boys seven and up.
“We are putting a creative spin on an established topic,” said Durrant, stating he expects at least 50 masqueraders from Caribbean, including Trinidadian, Panamanian, and Belizean nationals, among others, residing in the city.
“It takes the work of my friends and family to pull off this production, hence the name Peter Durrant & Friends,” he added.
Durrant said he anticipates “excellent” performance in the competition, noting that the band has done “fairly well” over the years.
In 2008, Peter Durrant & Friends International captured the Small Band of the Year Title.
Last year, it won the Junior King of the Band, and the band placed second for “King” on two previous occasions.
Durrant said he has the passion to compete annually, stating that he is “doing my part to keep my culture alive.
“Our costumes are improving yearly,” he said, adding that his goal is to “pass on the culture of the Caribbean to the next generation and to improve and build on the existing organization of carnival in New York.”
He said masqueraders and parade-goers can look forward to “quality costumes and a family atmosphere, where everyone looks out for each other and have an overall good time,” while reveling to the sounds of DJ Mackie.
Peter Durrant & Friends International is located at 606 E, 91st. St. in Brooklyn, between Church Avenue and Avenue A.
Peter can be reached at (347) 938-0265; Ward at (347) 898-2521; and Wilkinson at (704) 579-9274.