Friday, January 24, 2014

Bringing the Passion back to mas

“Nomads with a passion”: Band leader Gerard Weekes,
 right, with a model and costumes from his 2014 Carnival presentation,
Tabanca. From left, the sections Nomad and Persian Wanderer. —
Reigning King of Carnival Gerard Weekes is the man behind the newest mas band for Carnival.
Weekes launched Mas Passion on Wednesday afternoon to members of the media and close friends at the band’s headquarters, 89 Tragarete Road, Port of Spain.
Weekes said the band came about because he was literally “hounded” by people who were associated with acclaimed mas design­er Brian Mac Farlane.
“Because Brian is not bringing a band this year, loyal masqueraders, staff members and fans kept calling me, asking what we doing,” Weekes said.
Weekes continued, “There was a void and I felt to keep the thing alive, I should bring a band. And because all the people who were calling had no place to go, I got the feeling that we were like nomads, with a passion for mas.
“That is how Mas Passion came about and because of the serious taban­ca for mas, the debut presentation is called Tabanca.”
Weekes is still shocked at the over­whel­ming response he has received from people and is overjoyed. Because of the late start, he feels he will go on the streets with a medium band.
Weekes truly has a tabanca as he says he will not produce a king of the band and give up his title as King of Carnival without defending.
“This is a baby step and I did it all by myself; I want people to go on the road and enjoy themselves in a band with a difference,” he said.
Tabanca is made up of ten sections, which came out of a concept Weekes had and took to another mas great, Stephen Derek. Derek designed the costumes and put them on paper for Weekes.
“I must say a heartfelt thank you to Stephen; he understood my idea and brought it to life,” Weekes said.
The sections include Passion Dream­­er, Desert Queen, Nomad, Persian Wanderer, Gypsy, Warrior, Warrior Princess, African Wanderer and Pierrot.

By Gary Cardinez
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