Sherzel wants hattrick with ‘Jewels of an Empire’

Damani Lewis portrays “Fire Opal.”
By Nelson A. King

Having won the large band category in the Junior Carnival for the past two years, the Brooklyn-based Sherzel Productions is aiming for the hattrick this year with “Jewels of an Empire.”

“We would like to take first place for the hattrick; but, then again, as our moto says, ‘it’s all about seeing the kids enjoy themselves,’” band leader Trinidadian Sherzel Snell told Caribbean Life.

Snell, who grew up in Picton Road, Laventille, then “Never Dirty Morvant” in Trinidad and Tobago, said, “Jewels of an Empire” comprises nine sections, with 34 children in each section.

She estimated a total of about 300 boys and girls of Caribbean and American backgrounds.

The sections are: “Silver Paves,” “Fire Opal,” “Peruvian Opal,” “Mystic Topaz,” “Labradorite,” “Azotic,” “Rainbow Pyrite,” “Crystal Amethyst” and “Peridots of the Night.”

“Masqueraders can expect to have an unforgettable experience in an ultra exclusive band,” said Snell, who has been participating in costume production for the past seven years.

“Preparations so far are great,” she added. “We are 50 percent ready, thanks to family and friends who are the driving-help towards it all.”

In 2010, Sherzel Productions placed first for medium band in the Junior Carnival; third in the medium band category in 2011; second for large band in 2012; and first for large band in 2013 and 2014.

Snell, however, said: “I do this for fun and the love I have for kids; and, once my kids are happy, it does not matter what we place.”

Adajah Bethea portrays “Paradise of the Night.”
Photo by Nelson A. King

She said she had produced a section for former perennial Band of the Year champs Hawks International in 2008 before starting her own band a year later.

Snell said she was first inspired when her daughter played mas one year and felt “improvements to this culture were needed.”

With her “spunk and jazz and colorful creative mind,” Snell said she felt she “could make this happen.”

She said a full staff of volunteers is assisting with costume preparation, working long hours, seven days a week.

Four of Brooklyn’s “top DJ’s” — Natural Freaks, DJ Haze, Elegance Sounds and Pantrin Vybez — will supply soca music for masqueraders, Snell said.

She can be reached at (718) 607-7712, (347) 365-3478, or email at sherzelproducti[email protected]

“Or, come by the camp; we are open every day, from 5 pm – 11 pm,” Snell said.

The mas camp is located at 625 Rogers Ave., between Winthrop and Parkside avenues in Brooklyn.

Azarah Bethea portrays “Fire Opel.”
Photo by Nelson A. King

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