The concert of the century, Tribute to 70 Years of Carnival Music

This is going to be a name dropping column.

Setar is organizing a concert to end all concerts, featuring our most loved Carnival songs, 33 unforgettable compositions, curated by Carlos Bislip – he is the musical director, with more than two dozen iconic local singers, performing their most-loved Carnival hits.

The concert will take place at the Renaissance Convention Center, January 5th, 8:30pm, and I am reserving a seat upfront to watch royalty play.

You must experience the concert, don’t just hear about it. Buy a ticket, and be there.

What to expect? Mighty Talent, Teddy, Tattoo, Inky, Lord Cachete, Lloyd Baptiste, Kevin James, Tony Mingo, Rusty, Valentino King, Mighty Reds, Mighty Cliffy, Casper, Buddy. Lloyd is singing a tribute to Lord Boxoe. And Chucho Hoek, King Computer and Young Quicksilver will be remembered, among other great ones.

Because most of Aruba’s musicians will be busy playing for late night New Year’s parties and preparing for the Torch Parade, they couldn’t dedicate time for rehearsal.

The concert says Carlos, will be accompanied by a Big Band, wall to wall sound, with a tropical twist, and some Jazz coloring.

Carlos recruited some of his friends from Venezuela to come play, to complement local talent. The orchestra that will be rehearsing next week is made up of 8  musicians in the rhythm section, 13 brass instruments, 6 keyboards including steel pans, 4 back up vocals and 23 singers, whose names I dropped above.

In order to play the music in a Big Band setting new arrangements were written by Franklyn Granadillo, Jamal Baptist, Ivan Quandus, Reno Steba, and Federico Martes. Imagine they wrote sheet music for every section of the orchestra, and Carlos reports the arrangements are beautiful.

A Big Band, he says, cannot just show up and sound divine, the musicians need to practice long hours until their sound gels, and syncs.

Roland Croes, Setar, hatched the idea at the beginning of the year, and by the time August came around, they were knee deep in planning.

Some songs will be played in their entirety some as a medley.

Carlos says his mother, 90+, will be dancing between the aisles. Me too.

Tickets for the gala affair, at the Setar teleshops, $100.- pp

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December 25, 2023
Rona Coster