Brooklyn’s cultural group, Tropicalfete, recently blew the audience away with its final production for 2018 that featured the organization’s various groups.
According to Alton Aimable, the St. Lucian-born president and founder of the Caribbean group, Brooklyn Music School Playhouse Theater “came alive,” with the final cultural production for the year, dubbed “the Finale.”
“The audience was treated to steel pan music, stilts, dancing, costumery, a live band, artists, a mini exhibition, a fashion show, awards and good food,” Aimable told Caribbean Life over the weekend.
He said artist and educator Tanisha Burke served as mistress of ceremonies.
With Mesha Steele, of Genna Roots Band, opening the show, Aimable said a Madam Loraine carnival character and a traditional carnival costume, with feathers, produced by Tropicalfete Mas, “came dancing on stage during the band’s soca set.”
“Tropicalfete is committed to showcasing a different live band at its annual event,” he said. “Having a live band show is rare today, but Tropicalfete’s committed to giving bands a stage to showcase their craft.”
Aimable said local artists Ziah and Langi captivated the audience, with Ziah honoring recently prison-released, Jamaican reggae star, Buju Banton, with a stellar rendition.
Zeo Farrel played Beenthoven’s “Ode to Joy” on violin; Tropicalfete Voices, under Steele’s leadership, performed Trinidadian band Tes’ “Hello”, “with a touch of Haitian” creole; and Tropicalfete’s stilt dancing unit, under the leadership of Caitlyn Pierre and Roshamba Marcelle, performed a “hip hop dance battle, flowed by a Latin number and a high energy soca set,” Aimable said.
He also said Talia Fortune “blew the audience away with her vocals,” receiving a standing ovation by rendering “Clay” by Grace Vanderwaal.
Aimable said a major part of Tropicalfete’s “Finale” was “having the audience be part of the show,” adding that “this year was no expectation.”
He said young Donovan “sent the audience in a frenzy when he spun the TF (Tropicalfete) cultural wheel that landed on singing; and, boy, did he deliver a professional performance full of antics.”
Additionally, Aimable said there was a fashion show by Xavier Carter.
Citations from Council Member Alika Ampry-Samuel were given to Tropicalfete’s teaching artists Ashley Murray, Pierre, Marcelle and Steele, Aimable said.
He also said his group received “awards” from New York City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo.
Artist Watson Mere received the Tropicalfete Award of Excellence 2018, as well as a citation from Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, for his contribution to the art.
Mere’s artwork was also displayed at the event, including his famous painting “that took the Internet by storm,” “My Brothers Keepers”, featuring President Donald Trump and slain civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Aimable said.
He said TF Steel Pan Ensemble members were presented with awards before taking the stage to close the spectacular show, with “Sweet Fuh Days” and “Scars to Your Beautiful,” under Murray’s direction.
In addition, Aimable said Tropicalfete paid respect to several artists and cultural figures who transitioned in 2018.
He said Tropicalfete’s mission is to develop the community in “the areas of arts and social services, with the focus on educating the community on Caribbean culture.”
Aimable said the group serves all New Yorkers with programming and events in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Brownsville, Prospect Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Park Slope, Flatbush, East New York, Canarsie, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill; as well as Harlem Lower Manhattan.