In honor of the late producer and band leader of New Generation, Trinidadian-born Kathy-Ann Hernandez, the mas band is looking “Through Her Eyes” this Labor Day.
According to Patrice Hernandez-Simmons, Hernandez’s only daughter and the new producer and band leader of New Generation, the band thought it was fitting to pay tribute to Hernandez, who died last October after sustaining a stroke.
“This loss is still very difficult to deal with,” said Hernandez-Simmons in a Caribbean Life interview.
“We are just trying to continue the culture that was taught to us,” she added. “The love and passion from Kathy-Ann Hernandez will live on through me.”
Hernandez-Simmons said New Generation will this year portray designs in the Children’s Carnival from her mother’s productions over the years.
The six sections are: Hello Africa (2006); Welcome to Hawaii (2007); Royal Journey – India (2010); Glitz and Glamour – White Diamonds, designed by Desma Bidjou (2011); Carnival spirit, designed by Cheryl Martin (2012); and Wings of Aunty Kathy (2013).
“This is our first year bringing a band on our own without mom,” Hernandez-Simmons said. “It has been quite the learning experience.
“We hope for the kiddies to have fun and enjoy the Caribbean culture,” she added. “We want people to remember the creativity of Kathy-Ann Hernandez. She is greatly missed.”
Hernandez-Simmons, who was born in Brooklyn, said most of New Generation’s masqueraders are American-born, with Caribbean background.
Hernandez-Simmons herself was introduced in the culture from birth. She said her mom “had us (with an older brother) in the mas camp life early.
“Every summer, we looked forward to costume-making,” she said, adding that she was raised as a “Trini” – short for Trinidadian. “My mom began teaching me all about the Caribbean culture; it’s about love.”
Over the years, New Generation has won several awards, including first for large bands in the 2009 Children’s Carnival, with Fiesta.
“Our expectations for this year are to display beautiful costumes made by the New Generation family, taught by Kathy-Ann Hernandez,” Hernandez-Simmons said.
Masqueraders will sway to three DJs – Exclusive, Ace Da Boss and Kool Kidd.
Hernandez-Simmons’s husband, Dwayne Simmons, is New Generation’s co-producer.
The mas camp is located at 845 Albany Ave., corner of Linden Boulevard, in Brooklyn.
For more information, the band can be reached at [email protected], or on instagram: @newgeneration417. Hernandez-Simmons can also be reached at (347) 475-6023.