Following a new three-year major sponsorship agreement with Cable & Wireless bMobile, organisers of Cayman Carnival Batabano are excited to announce that soca-legends Byron Lee and the Dragonaires will once again be the special guest artist for Batabano 2006, a press release said.
Donna Myrie-Stephen, chair of the Batabano Committee, said: ‘Soca lovers and carnival fans know and love the work of Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, the Caribbean’s number one band. The group gave outstanding performances at last year’s carnival and we are absolutely thrilled to be able to welcome them back this year. It is indeed an honour to have the legendary Byron Lee at Batabano.’
Recognising the mass appeal of the group, the organisers of Batabano have once again arranged for Byron Lee and the Dragonaires to play at two fetes during carnival week.
On Thursday, 11 May, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires will play at the Masquerade Fete at Pedro St. James. This corporate event allows members of the business community to enjoy dinner, dancing and carnival atmosphere under the stars with a champagne reception, Caribbean buffet, silent auction and headline performance by the Caribbean’s number one soca band.
On Friday 12 May, fans are promised one of Cayman’s premiere parties this year as Byron Lee plays to a sell-out crowd at Safe Haven at the Friday Night Fete.
Although both these events will feature Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, each will have a different headline singer and separate repertoires.
Formed in 1956, no other soca band has performed together as long as the Dragonaires. The band has become a household name to West Indian communities around the world with their international success rivalling many major bands internationally.
The band first performed at the Trinidad Carnival in 1974, going on to become a regular part of the carnival and the first non-Trinidadian band to win the Downtown Carnival Committee Award in Port-of-Spain for Best Playing Band in 1989
With over 105 awards to its credit, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires continue to take the sound of Soca music all over the world, performing in 36 cities annually.
The band has evolved over the years, however with the exception of a few, most members have been with the band 25 to 30 years.
Byron Lee recently received an honorary award at the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues awards ceremony for his 50 year tenure in the music industry.
‘Cayman Carnival has now come of age,’ said Ms Myrie-Stephen. ‘Here is the Godfather of the soca music industry who has also successfully introduced a carnival in Jamaica and has made it and international calendar event.’
Masquerade Fete, Thursday, 11 May. Corporate tables and tickets are available by calling Lana Cayasso, 916 4331, Julie Hutton, 926 1598 or Camille Short, 926 2065.
Friday Night Fete, Friday, 12 May. Tickets start at $20 and are available from all C&W stores, Le Classique, Funky Tang’s and Reflections. VIP tickets are available for the Friday Fete at $50 each in advance, or $60 per ticket at the gate.
Log on to www.caymancarnival.com for further information and event details.