Junkanoo Fever Hits The UK
The group participated in the Brouhaha International Festival, the Edinburgh Blues and Jazz Festival, Fife Carnival, Beautiful North Festival; The Commandos also be conducted other performances in various UK cities during the month of July.
Leader of The Commandos Junkanoo Group, Treilon Stuart said that this is the second year the group is participating in the Brouhaha International Festival and its first time for the other festivals and carnivals.
“We received a really warm welcome during our performances, it’s really good to see people interacting with the group and enjoy Junkanoo music and for most of them it’s the first time hearing this music. We also used this time to promote our Junkanoo Festival 2015, we really feel that 2015 is going to be an amazing time for people to come to The Bahamas and see our culture on display,” said Mr. Stuart.
There are 19 different countries from Africa, Latin America, South America, The Caribbean, Europe and The Middle East joining in the Brouhaha International Festival. The festival opening event entitled ‘Infecting the City’ where The Commandos was featured; was a large-scale carnival parade involving over 200 international costumes, dancers, musicians and acrobats.
“We are going to be doing various parades, collaborations, workshops and performances at other festivals. We are privileged to have The Commandos performing in England and Scotland. They always draw a lot of people and they have a special effect on the crowds wherever they perform. We want them to continue coming to England and we are looking forward to strengthening our relationship with The Bahamas especially seeing that this is The Year of Culture in your country,” said Executive Director of Brouhaha International, Giles Agis.
Members of The Commandos Junkanoo Group were enthusiastic about the positive feedback they received from their performances throughout the UK. For some, it was their first time performing in the various cities.
“It was a different experience for me as we met different people from around the world who participated, Africa, Ghana, and Brazil. I’m a bit biased but I believe we put on the best show in the festival with our Junkanoo”, chucked lead drummer, Kemuel Seymour.
The Commandos have been in the UK for almost two weeks now and group members say it has been an experience of a lifetime.
“I really think sometimes it’s easy to take our culture at home for granted. But when we visit places like these we get an understanding of how different and unique we are. Having the cultural workshops and getting to work with others and tell them about The Bahamas has been exciting for me,” said trumpet player, Kodie Cash.
In total there are 12 group members from The Commandos performing throughout the UK, the group will wrap up their tour at the Edinburgh Blues and Jazz Carnival parade in Edinburgh.
“This is a cultural exchange where we have many different nations representing their countries and we are really proud to represent The Bahamas. We know that we’re a wonderful country especially when we get to see ourselves on the international stage and how people are attracted to our music,” said beller and bass drummer, Omar Buchanan.
The Commandos Junkanoo Group tour ended on Monday, July 21, 2014.