As carnival season in Cayman approaches, so the mas bands begin to complete their preparations for the big parade along West Bay Road and the festival in George Town.

One such band, new to Batabano, is Mas Azúcar. The Latin carnival group promises an explosion of energy to the sweet sounds of salsa, reggaeton and merengue. With music in the parade usually predominantly soca-inspired, Mas Azúcar’s foray into Spanish tunes should mix things up nicely.

The world-famous Cabaret Tropicana show in Havana, Cuba is the inspiration for the new mas band. The show takes place in a lush, tropical garden. Visitors from all over the world attend to witness the distinctive costume displays and flawlessly choreographed dances. The guests are able to enjoy the show while surrounded by nature and the local cuisine. The energy from the dancers, the passion for art and entertainment, and the beauty of the surroundings is what Mas Azúcar is all about.

Behind the band

The family behind Mas Azúcar believes in embracing their Latin background and sharing it with others. Naidelys Eden Henry, former Miss Cayman Tourism World, has done it all when it comes to carnival. From entertaining the masses in unique cultural pieces to coordinating extravagant events, she boasts years of experience in the field.

Shemila Eden, marketing director of Mas Azúcar and Trifecta Films, is passionate about her upbringing and mixed cultures. She brings her vision and marketing expertise to the group.

Founders of the Mas Azúcar band, Naidelys Henry and Shemila Eden.

Costumes

The theme of Mas Azúcar’s costumes is closely aligned with the band’s Cabaret Tropicana inspiration. Ruffles, sleeves and feather headpieces are all commonly worn by dancers in the Tropicana shows. Mas Azúcar’s vision is to symbolise fluidity, elegance and confidence with a Latin flair. This year’s costume section is called ‘Zafiro’ – Spanish for sapphire.

Jewelled over different shades of aqua to royal blue, Zafiro resembles the sparkling gleam of the sapphire stone when touched by the sun. For both the frontline and backline, participants may choose to add on a headpiece to make a statement and/or a belt with a ruffle skirt for extra movement while they dance on the road. This year’s costumes were designed by Muna Shadeed.

Mas Azúcar’s T-shirt package is also available for purchase. All packages include Mas Azúcar branded items such as the T-shirt or tank top, a bottle, bag, free entry to Mas Azúcar’s after-parade events, discounts from participating vendors and more.

The costumes and T-shirts can be purchased on www.masazucar.com. Interested participants can call 324-9199 or email [email protected] There will be an in-person registration opportunity at the Roti Shop on Shedden Road at 8 p.m. this Saturday.