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New York J'Ouvert is it!

Steelbands, Rhythm Sections and Ole Mas Rule the Big Apple

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New York - The Big Apple has one of the best J'Ouvert celebrations in the world.  Sandwiched between lots of powder, mud, social commentary and music it is second to none.  And this year's 2007 version was particularly vibrant and joyful.  There was something special in the air as folks were engaged in mass fun.  The happy index soared beyond belief.  The steelbands and Ole Mas were in rare form.  The  thousands of revelers were up from the wee hours of the morning and did not stop singing, dancing and jumping until they were pulled of the road at 10:00 am.

 

There are few instances where you can go and everyone is genuinely blissful.  J'Ouvert in New York is truly a cultural experience rooted deep in Caribbean and African tradition and history.  In addition to the immense carnival and music components there is the storytelling, political satire and current news and events aspects that are immersed in humor.

New York J'Ouvert has really grown in stature and attendance.  For many, J'Ouvert is the highlight of the New York Labor Day carnival weekend activities.  It is all natural.  No blaring DJ music systems.  No massive trucks.  Nothing but acoustical instruments - drums, pan and iron.  It brings people back to a much earlier and freer time with less movement restrictions, and everyone is a participant. 

 

This year as in the past, the steelbands came from all over the East coast to participate.  Bands from Maryland, D.C and Philadelphia were there among many others.  A lot of the bands never crossed judging stations this year - but no one seem to care as they were having too much fun.

If you have never experienced J'Ouvert make sure you are in New York next year.  It is always the early morning of Labor Day.

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