Founded by veteran Reading Calypsonian Jeffrey (The Admiral)
Hinds in 2002, AJ's Calypso Tent has succeeded in bringing the
Calypso art form to the Reading Community Carnival Season in a
Having been one of the main Carnival organisers on the Reading
Community Carnival Committee for well over a decade, the idea of
a Calypso Tent in Reading was first introduced by Jeff in the
Carnival Season of 2000. The event was an instant hit and played
to a sell out audience at the first showing which was held at
the Reading Boxing Club in May of that year.
(mp3 file approx 2mb)
Jeff 'De Admiral' Hinds -
Founder of AJ's Calypso Tent in 2002
In 2002 the event moved to The Arts Centre 21 South Street and
has gone from strength to strength with sell out audiences on each
of the subsequent years thus far. In 2004 the Tent was able to play
host to reigning Calypso Monarchs of the UK in Sister Sandra (adult)
and Latifah (junior) and gained rave reviews for the variety and
entertainment on show on the night.
Calypso is truly the first music of Carnival - Caribbean Style and
along with Steel Band music has traditionally been the main music
forms at Carnival Time. In modern times Carnival in the UK has
become a stage for various different music forms and with media
interest the way it is, it is quite certain that many people are un
aware of the role of Calypso and indeed the significance that the
art form has played in the development and promotion of the Art of
AJ's Calypso Tent gives you an insight into the art form of
authentic Calypso performing. It is also worth noting that each
Calypso Season insures a crop of news songs for the Calypsonians
(singers) to present to their audiences. Calypso
compositions can be humorous, serious, satirical, philosophical,
political, mythological, etc. and there are no boundaries that
the Calypsonian will not seek to erase in song.
Calypsonians are well backed by the AJ's All Stars with musical
arrangements by Dave Wallace and Jeff Hinds insuring you a musical,
cultural, and totally enjoyable occasion.
saw AJ's Calypso Tent extended to a weekend of Calypso to mark the
30th Reading Community Carnival and the 200th Anniversary of the
Government Act to abolish the Slave Trade of Africans.
prove to be a memorable weekend of which included a Junior Calypso
Showcase that went down particularly on this the first time that it
has been included in the Reading Carnival Calypso Season.
There was also a ground breaking Emancipation Calypso Competition
which was in special recognition of the before mentioned abolition
competition was the first ever Calypso Contest to be held outside
London in Europe and was won by regular AJ's Calypso Tent cast
member - Brown Sugar with her wonderful rendition of a song entitled
'Free Yourself Mr. African'.
Calypso Tent was held on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May 2007 and
both days are available on DVD.