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 big way.

 
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.

 

Listen here (mp3 file approx 2mb)

 

                                            

  Veteran Calypsonian - Jeff 'De Admiral' Hinds                           

       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 Carnival.
 
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.
 
The 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.

 

2007 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.

 

 

It 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 act anniversary.

 

The 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'.

 

The Calypso Tent was held on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May 2007 and both days are available on DVD.

 

 

 

 

 

  Demo Videos.   [BroadBand]  [Narrowband]  The BroadBand file size is over 8mb and could take a while to download.  The Narrowband file is 1.2Mb Format is WMV