Tassabration: Tassa Shoot-out 2007
St Augustine Young Strikers
Event Date: June 17, 2007
Posted: June 21, 2007
The Dinsley Community Residents Association (DCRA) in collaboration with the Tassa Association of Trinidad and Tobago held its 2nd Annual Tassa competition titled Tassabration 2007 at the Dinsley Community Park in Tacarigua. Billed as the "ultimate in Tassa Competition", Tassabration 2007 pitted 12 Tassa groups, some hailing from as far as Princes Town, against each other for over $11,000 in prize money. Tassa players and their supporters, as well as residents of the Dinsley community, gathered to witness the competition.
MC Ramchand Rajbal highlighted the significance of the event in that it commemorated Indian Arrival Day. He briefly spoke of the struggles of the East Indian indentured workers who brought their religions and culture to Trinidad.
Ray Brathwaite, President of the DCRA, welcomed everyone to the event and highlighted the different activities of the Dinsley Community Residents Association, including Divali light-ups, Emancipation Village, Carnival river limes and Christmas treats for kids. He then thanked the Tassa Assocation of Trinidad and Tobago for their role in the Tassa Competition.
Dr. Vijay Ramlal, President of the Tassa Association of Trinidad and Tobago, addressed the audience next. He emphasized the importance of Tassa to the Indian Diaspora and said that he looked forward to the competition.
As the sun set gloriously in the west, the event flowed from the opening remarks into several entertainment acts. The Caribbean Vibes Engine Room gave spectators a taste of what their rhythm section had to offer. Following this performance, Sammy Toorcana showed his versatility by sharing several jokes with the audience and then returning to the stage to perform a Chutney number. The Malick Indian Dancers with their stylish wear and dynamic dance moves also entertained the audience.
After this opening, it was Tassa time. Each Tassa group was required to play five hands (rhythms) for ten minutes. The seven hands for the competition were the Tekoraa, Bhajan Chowbhola, Naagorra, Steelpan, Wedding, Dingolay and Chutney Hands.
The competing Tassa Groups were:
1. Tropical Power Country Boys' Tassa Group
2. Fantastic Four Tassa Group
3. Caribell Fun Lovers Tassa Group
4. Malick All Stars
5. Higher Level Tassa Drummers
6. St. Augustine Young Stars
7. El Dorado Young Stars
8. Tacarigua Tassa Group
9. D Untouchables Tassa Group
10. St. Augustine Young Strikers
11. E & I Tassa Boys
12. Harlem Warriors Tassa Group
While a couple of the Tassa groups were clad in simple polo jerseys, most of the groups wore fancy East Indian outfits with intricate designs. The quartet groups gave their all in the competition, treating spectators to scintillating rhythms, to which spectators danced. Special mention must be made of Sunil of Tacarigua Tassa Group, who thrilled the crowd with his antics on the cutter drum. D Untouchables Tassa Group hailing from Princes Town, comprising four boys around the age of 7 years, also impressed the audience.
Marva McKenzie sang "Gayawela" as well as a poignant social commentary titled "We to Blame". Chutney champion, Heeralal 'Hero from Rio' Rampartap, also thrilled the audience with his offerings, inspiring a dance-off between three girls.
The prized son of the Dinsley community, Chutney Singer Adesh Samaroo, sang a couple of his hit songs including "Rajin Jheem Jheem Joom", to the delight of the audience who drew closer to the stage.
Towards the end of his performance, there was a dance competition which excited the audience. Contestants displayed their dancing skills to the sound of Adesh Samaroo and the Tacarigua Tassa Group. The competition was keen and at the end, no clear winner could be decided between two contestants, who were then announced as joint winners.
Following this, the Caribbean Vibes Engine Room returned and they drew a crowd around them as they treated patrons to energetic rhythms.
When the prizes where announced, it was Tropical Power Country Boys Tassa Group who received the judges nod to become the champions of the 2007 Tassabration Tassa Shoot Out. First runners up were the Fantastic Four Tassa Group, while Caribell Fun Lovers and Malick All Stars grabbed 3rd and 4th place respectively. D Untouchables Tassa Group was awarded a special prize for their participation as the youngest group. Shivanna Sookoo, the only female Tassa player of the competition also received a special prize.
Tassabration: Tassa Shoot-out 2007 in pictures: