Grand Bahama Brought The Energy!
This past weekend, Nik was in her hometown for the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Kickoff. Check out her 'All Access" recap of the event.
Grand Bahama is home for me. I haven't lived there for a few years, but the Magic City still has my heart. My entire family still lives there. This is the island where I went to school and grew up. I graduated from Eight Mile Rock High, and can honestly shout a hearty 'rocks or shots' when I see young Grand Bahamians, like Buddy Hield, doing big things over yonder.
Even the view flying into Grand Bahama is gorgeous!
Needless to say, I am proud of my beautiful island in the sun. Yes, Freeport has been called a number of names over the years, and many have claimed that its slower pace and subtle charm add up to a boring existence. This couldn't be further from the truth. And, as I found out, many of the island's detractors hadn't even visited before.
As one first time Bahamian visitor excitedly exclaimed, "Freeport nice y'know!" I couldn't agree more.
Freeport has some good food. I started out my day with breakfast from Nae's Pancake House.
In addition to being home to one of the top restaurants in the entire Caribbean, Flying Fish, Grand Bahama was also the site of the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Kickoff, this past weekend. Over the past few months, I was impressed by the exciting and energetic social presence of the Grand Life squad, and they undoubtedly contributed to the tone for the entire event.
I met these gents at the Grand Life offices, last week. They were a friendly bunch.
Last year, I attended all of the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival events, in Nassau. Each one was lively, fun, extremely well attended and had a really good vibe. Everyone who attended seemed to have one purpose for coming out, and that was to have a good time. Check out my throwback video, below.
This was the first time that I attended the event's Freeport counterpart. I didn't really know what to expect, but as soon as I got to the Cultural Village grounds, I was impressed. The rain was an unwelcome addition, but it didn't really dampen the flow of the night. There were lots of vendors with good food, including my beloved Gully Wash and the conch salad of Purple, who is just a really personable and charismatic guy.
There were lots of food stands at the event. You certainly had options.
As for the show itself....it was nice! This was one of the first times, in perhaps ever, that I went to a concert that featured mainly Bahamian artists that had so much energy. The crowd was really into it.
Music Masters contestant, Fanshawn, surprised many of the concert goers with her electric performance.
When the Music Masters competition started, there were a few surprises. Some of my favorite songs didn't translate to the stage as well as I thought they would. And, some songs and performers that I hadn't really paid that much attention to, completely blew me away! Sammi Star, Colyn McDonald, Lady E, Jive, Ebony Gibson, Fanshawn Taylor, Terence Tynes-Wilson and Avvy all made the cut and will compete in the Music Masters Finals on May 6th.
The Music Masters finalists.
There were some hurt feelings at the end of the semi-finals round, as there always are, and one or two unexpected contenders, but I mostly agreed with the judges. Music is very subjective, so it is always hard to predict who will come out on top. I considered posting my predictions for who will take home top honors based on the song recordings and the performances, but I think it's best to let you all see for yourself.
GB hometown girl, Georgina.
Other performances included legend, Ronnie Butler who performed a really adorable rendition or "Oh, Look What You Do To Me" with Lady E, as well as a very unexpected "Boungie On Fire." Ronnie was, and is, a wild dude.
Ronnie Butler and Lady E performing.
Visage had their whole squad out for their performance and, as always, they gave an amazing performance.
Wendi & Dyson Knight
Stileet just mashed up the stage. That man is a performer! The man and his dancers had energy for days and didn't keep still.
Stileet and his crew
Bahamian performers D-Mac, Geno D, Jay Mitchell, Jack Nasty, Julien Believe, Raquel Oliver, Jah Hem, Jah Troy, Papa Smurf, and Wilfred Solomon & The Magnetics also performed. Caribbean musicians Shurwain Winchester, Olatunji, Ricardo Drue, King Bubba and Fadda Fox also took to the stage.
Bahamian, Benje, performing his hit La Bam Bam.
Saturday's Air Show and Beach Olympics were a nice touch, and the Grand Life Junkanoo dancers added alot to the event.
The air show was nice, especially for families.
All in all, it was an impressive concert. It paid homage to our Bahamian music, and I appreciated that. The Caribbean acts did a fantastic job, but it was all about our home grown talent.
As with any event, there was some controversy, but the hushed musings and gossip played no role in the event.
I was proud of my hometown!
I rushed for the first time in last years New Providence Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade. It was an amazing experience and you can read all about it here.
I had the time of my LIFE during my first time on Bay Street. But, I was inspired by a very unlikely source to finally RUSH! Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival’s Road Fever, ironically, made me feel more confident to start my road to Bay. ….The rest is history, but I thought it only fitting, as it’s almost that time of year again, that I post a little Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival and Boxing Day Junkanoo throwback video featuring Roots.
Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Finalists Videos
Sammi Star - Second Time Around
Colyn McDonald - Turn It Up
Lady E - Feel That Rhythm
Lady E - Live For The Road
Jive - Rhythm
Jive - Carnival Time
Ebony Gibson - Block Da Road
Fanshawn Taylor - Dig Up The Road
Terence Tynes-Wilson - Rake & Scrape Junkie
Avvy - Party Nonstop