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Junkanoo Soul
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
A Ticket to Rush!

Well, I'm just sitting here Junkanoo dreaming.  Missed the Fox Hill Day rush for the first time in a couple of years, and my husband (senior Valley performer, Steve "Papa" Newton) tells me it was the biggest and best ones he's seen in Fox Hill--that most of the groups were out and in full costume.  Man, I can't believe I missed that!  But as you can see from this graphic, I've got not one, but two sets of "rushin' shoes" and as often as I can, "a ticket to rush."  Thanks to my Bahamian sisters and brothers who asked my husband, "Where's that Junkanoo woman?"  I soon reach, chile!

Seems, though, that I've been on a Junkanoo missing streak.  Missed the Roots and Music Maker practices the last time I was Nassau way, but after catching Junkanoo Talks on ZNS with Arlene Nash Ferguson and Jackson Burnside (ZNS-AM, every Saturday 10-11:30 a.m.), we heard about the Roots cookout down on Nassau Street, went down, and enjoyed spending most of the evening there.  God was tres good to me that day.  Got to rush with Roots and some of their guest Junkanooers.  Had a fantastic cultural time, even though as Papa said the rushing space there at Christie Park was a tad "jammed up".  Was also a tad disappointed that the second planned rush to close the evening didn't manifest, but hey, that's okay.  Glad to hear Roots will be back at the Fish Fry for their practice sessions, as there's plenty of space there to rush hard and wide.  Definitely want to catch that one on my next Brooklyn to Bahamas ticket to ride.

Posted by amasewa at 2:02 PM EDT
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
A Well-Deserved Junkanoo Rest

Congratulations to the vibrant, enthusiastic, and highly talented Junkanoo people of all categories who rushed hard in Junkanoo-immersed events from Labour Day and the Joe Billy/Blind Blake Festival to Boxing Day 2008 and New Year's Day 2009.  Special congratulations to the Boxing Day 2008 winners, The Valley Boys (A category) and Clico Colours (B Category) and New Year's Day victors (The Shell Saxon Superstars) (A Category) and the One Love Junkanoo Group (B Category), ironically the latter are headed by two powerful Junkanoo brothers, actually blood kin, Percy "Vola" Francis of the Saxons and Dr. Manny Francis of One Love. 

Although I didn't make it to Bay Street for New Year's as planned, it was great to be able to enjoy both mighty rushouts from the comfort of both my home office and bedroom, thanks to the live webcast on ZNS, which could be caught on both and one of my favorite Bahamian website,  Congratulations to ZNS on their renovated website where we can not only tune into Bahamian tv programming throughout the day but are also able to hear fabulous cultural programs like Junkanoo Talks and These Are Bahamians on Saturday mornings.  (JT begins at 10:00 a.m. EST and ...Bahamians is the show which directly precedes JT.)   I truly missed these two informative shows during their long absence from Internet media broadcasts, and as my grandmama Anna Pearl would've said, "I'm mighty, mighty glad" to find that they are part of our tech world again.

Hope Brother Kermit Rahming's Junkanoo show, From Da Shack, will continue to be broadcast throughout the year because have truly enjoyed listening to it on Friday evenings--7:00-9:00 p.m. EST on Island 102.9 FM.  Wish I had heard about it earlier in the year but it was good to catch the Barabbas (Quinton Barabbas, former leader of Barabbas and the Tribe) interview on it.  God bless you,  Barabbas for your ongoing service to the kids up at the Fort on Saturdays and to the Junkanoo community in general.  The children, particularly the young men, need this type of attention and role model.

Also quite nice hearing the broadcast about the Joe Billy/Blind Blake Festival.  Thankfully, I was able to make it to Nassau for that one and to rush with my husband, Papa,  and the Valleys all up Market Street.  A cultural hello to the anonymous Junkanoo lover, the l'il teenaged girl who danced next to me as I played my percussion instruments, continually yelling, "Play it, mama!!"  I'm givin' it all I got, sweetie-pie 'cause I am definitely a Brooklyn Junkanoo woman. Wink (Here, btw, is "Play It, Mama's" Papa (Steve Newton) pasting for Junkanoo.
Junkanoo time

I call the photo that introduces this blog entry, "Junkanoo at Rest".  As the Junkanoos shed the headpieces, should pieces, and skirts to take a well-deserved rest after "comin' with blood in their eyes" in Junkanoo rushes throughout 2008, may Junkanoo in 2009 carry you even higher in cultural and spiritual expression.  (And speaking of Junkanoo at rest, prayers and deep condolences to the family and friends of Saxon drummer, Brother Adwin Moss, who passed away on Boxing Day preparing to do what he evidently loved greatly--rush with his beloved group.) 

 I know that he will get a great and loving cultural sendoff by not only the Saxons but other Junkanoos throughout New Providence.   As the Saxons rushed to victory on New Year's Day, lifting one of our great heroes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the incoming first African-American President, Barack Obama, many claimed the historic win in your honor, Br. Moss.  What a way to celebrate a dedicated Junkanoo man and what a way for a dedicated Junkanoo to leave this world.













Posted by amasewa at 3:30 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 7 January 2009 4:53 PM EST

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