The Brooklyn-based Vibez International Mas is embracing the Jamaican motto “Out of Many One People” as its portrayal for this year’s West Indian American Day Carnival Parade.
“It is time we Jamaicans abroad embrace our motto ‘Out of Many One People’,” said band leader Andrew Lowers in a Caribbean Life interview, who has been participating in the parade for the second consecutive year. “We are here to represent the unity of those multiracial roots of our nation.
“The Jamaican coat of arms emblem has the motto ‘Out of Many One People’, and the symbols are cherished proudly by Jamaicans, as they speak to the character and strength of the people and nation,” added the Jamaican-born mas man, who prefers to be referred to as “a musician who is passionate about my craft.”
“Music is the conduit to living, and carnival embodies that ‘vibez’”, Lowers continued. “We work closely with professional carnival costume makers. We are embracing the indigenous people of the Caribbean starting with the indigenous Arawak people of Jamaica.”
He said “Out of Many One People” comprises two female sections: “Taino Nation of the Caribbean: Indigenous Arawak people, meaning relatives of the Caribbean group; and Lokono Nation of South America: Indigenous Arawak people of the mainland.”
Lowers said, while he is yet to determine the number of masqueraders in each section, their nationalities comprise, among others, Jamaicans, Costa Ricans, Trinidadians and Americans.
“We have expanded from last year,” he said. “Last year, we were overwhelmed with people’s support, starting all the way from the truck-build to the museum (Brooklyn) and beyond.
“Knowing that I can be that person that help bring my people together for good ‘vibez’, (it) is such a humbling feeling,” Lowers continued.
He said the biggest supporters of the “grass roots” mas camp are “our neighbors and community members who have been supporting our radio station, Yard Vibez Radio 98.5 for years.”
“Our YVR team of DJs, talk show hosts and management are the driving force behind Vibez International Mas,” he said. “Our supporters are interested in seeing Jamaicans come out for a cultural uplifting cause and fully embrace the carnival ‘vibez’. Carnival is a ‘vibez’ like no other that I have fallen in love with.”
Lowers said masqueraders will sway to all music from Yard Vibez Radio 98.5, with DJs: ZJ Cutta, Short Temper, DJ Fletcher, King Shane, DJ Nutzy, DJ Realz, DJ SQ and DJ Will Star.
Vibez International Mas camp is located at 663 East, 92nd St., Brooklyn.
Masqueraders can register on site with Empress T or call (347) 413-9902; and email: Vibez