By Linda Straker
Evlyn “Zingo” Alexander is the winner of the 2015 Grenada–New York Independence Calypso competition which was held on Sunday night at the Tropical Reflections Banquet Hall in Brooklyn, New York.
Organised by GRENCAP United, ten calypsonians participated in the competition, which is one of the many events taking place in observance of Grenada’s 41st Anniversary of Independence. Second was Jermaine “Superstar” Simon; third was Harriet “Pet” Jeremiah and Burgess “Quako” McPhie
The other participants were: Norman “Relax” Lendore; David “Whistler” George; Theresa “Super Terry” Robinson; Johnson “Jay One” Henry; Samora “Samora” Adams; and Elwin “Ello” Mark.
Member of the organising Committee Michael Vincent said that Val Adams, who won the 2014 competition, did not defend his title. “But we had a great show, we had packed audience and they had a good time,” he said while explaining the songs had to focus on Grenada.
“The song did not have just focus on one area of Grenada — it just had to reflect something about Grenada, whether it’s historic, political, current affairs — the song just had to give a message about Grenada,” he said.
Zingo, who has been singing calypso for the past 15 years, said it was not an easy win for him. “Last night, the standard of the competition alone made it a challenge for me, so I had to put my best foot forward, and given the fact that I only finished writing the song on Tuesday and practice only once on Thursday, was a monumental challenge,” he said.
Other activities in the lead to the grand gala and awards ceremony which will be held on 7 February at the Grand Prospect Hall, is a Caribbean Solidarity Night on 30 January, the first ever Independence Pageant competition on 31 January, and the Senior tea party on 5 February.
The guest speaker at the gala and awards ceremony will be Elvin Nimrod — Member of Parliament for Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Legal Affairs.
Featured photo of Evlyn “Zingo” Alexander, courtesy of Ritchimage