As it participates for the 17th consecutive year in the West Indian American Day Carnival Parade on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway, Kaios International Mas Band is looking at “Time Machine, Then, Now and Future.”
“The concept is a tribute to ‘ole mas’ as we used to know it (‘Then’ segment); mas as we currently know it (‘Now’ segment); and the evolution of mas as we anticipate in years to come (‘Future’ segment),” said co-band leader Trinidadian Tamera Khalifa in a Caribbean Life interview.
She said “Time Machine, Then, Now and Future” comprises 13 Adult sections: Ole Mas; Obeah in We — designer Junior Elias Andrews of Cocorite House; Spydrasticka — designer Patterson Nelson; Now Mas; Supernova Sunset — designer Shakellia Augustine; Orion’s Treasure – designers Tamera Khalifa, Trini Toussaint and Yazmin Baptiste (Diamond Class Mas & Major Look Designs); Papillon — designers M&R Designs (Martin and Richard Andell Jack); Draco (male only) — designers M&R Designs (Martin and Richard Andell Jack); Soca Gladiators – designers Tramaine Aigle and Latoya; Y2K — designers Kenneth Johnson (The Promise); Nostalgia — designer Makesi Andrews; Ohemma/Midnight Fantasy/Cherchez La Femme — designer Errol; Future Mas; and Epoch – designer Patterson Nelson.
There are also four kids’ sections — Botanica Warrior (male only), Peoni Paradise, Botanica Lily and Royal Botanica — and one pre-teen section, Pretty Little Butterfly.
With 20-30 masqueraders in each section, Khalifa said 150-plus masqueraders altogether, of all nationalities — Trinidadians, Grenadians, St. Lucians, Vincentians, Jamaicans, Barbadians, Antiguans, Virgin Islanders, Haitians and Belizeans – will gyrate down the Parkway.
“Masqueraders can expect the best carnival experience they’ve had to date — good music, good vibes, food and drinks, complimentary breakfast, gives-away, security and the chance to jump with the number one band on the road for 2017,” she said.
Music will be supplied by DJs “Top Flight” (Sean Philips) from the Franchise Family; “Father Dread” (Barrington Coburn) from Pretty Posse; and “DJ Steph” (Stephanie Roberts) from The One Gyal Army.
“We expect to come home with nothing less than the first-place title,” said Khalifa confidently, disclosing that Kaios International has “placed a number of times” in competing in the carnival parade. Last year, the band collaborated with D’Midas.
She said Kaios International, over the years, has placed second and third in the large band category, first and second in small band and even second in medium band.
“Our masqueraders are die-hard Kaios supporters and come back year after year for a great experience,” said Khalifa, stating that the band was founded by band leader Trinidadian Mark McLean in 2000 “because we saw people who paid for costumes, with another band at the time, and on Labor Day morning, there were no costumes made for them.
“Mark saw the tears and hurt in their eyes, and his heart dropped,” she said. “He walked over to them and vowed that, if they came with him the following year, he would ensure they were compensated for this painful experience and be able to fulfill their mas experience,” she added.
Prior to founding Kaios International, Khalifa said McLean had helped other bands with costume production.
Khalifa said preparations for this year’s production are “going very well,” stating: “We have a group of wonderful section leaders who work very well together.
“We help each other to make sure the band on a whole succeeds,” she said. “We operate like a family, and we don’t compete with each other. Everyone helps out — down to the photographers, DJs, graphic designers and truck builders.”
Kaios International mas camp is located at 1523 St. John’s Place in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and the showroom is at 662 Blake Ave. in East New York, Brooklyn.
You can visit Kaios International Mas Band at www.kaios
Additionally, you can call Khalifa at (917) 202-2265, or McLean at (917) 327-0458.
“We want the Caribbean and the mas community to come together and make this parade a successful one,” Khalifa said. “Good luck to all and anticipating a safe, yet fun-filled, carnival this year.”