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Posted at 9:47 PM ET, 06/25/2009

Who's Who on Stage at the D.C. Caribbean Carnival

By Fritz Hahn

You know this weekend's D.C. Caribbean Carnival has a parade that can stop traffic (in more ways than one), but it also welcomes some of the biggest musical stars from the worlds of soca and calypso.

Alison Hinds, Iwer George, Caribbean Traffik Jam, Patch and Tizzy are some of the biggest stars in town for Carnival weekend. Here's a quick guide to the festival's live entertainment, with a little help from our friend YouTube.

Saturday Performers

Since forming in the early 1990s, Caribbean Traffik Jam has been one of Trinidad and Tobago's most popular bands, possibly because the 11-member ensemble doesn't limit itself to one style of music -- the horn-lead group plays energetic takes on soca, caylpso and reggae, spiced up with elements of salsa and zouk.

Trinidadian singer Iwer George is known for his energetic live shows. Just watch the flag-waving in this video of "Ready" from this year's International Soca Monarch Power Finals.

(more clips after the jump)

Tizzy is best known as the frontwoman for Antigua's prolific El-A-Kru soca group, which regularly appears at carnival celebrations throughout the Caribbean. (They're also pretty effective at luring people to the islands -- El-A-Kru's song "Antiqua Nice" features in Antigua's official tourism commericals.) But away from the group, Tizzy's becoming a star of her own, picking up "Best New Female Artist" and "Female Soca Performer of the Year" awards at the International Soca Awards. This clip for the recent single "Bounce" is probably less tourist-friendly, but the song will get any party started.

Singer Roger "Patch" Joseph and producer Shawn "Mastamind" Noel teamed up to create this tribute to Trinidad's national dish, and it's one of the most infectious soca songs of the last year. Try to get it out of your head. (And try to keep your stomach from growling.)

Sunday Performers

Barbadian singer Alison Hinds is known as "The Queen of Soca" -- which, coincidentally, is the title of her most recent CD. It's hard to argue: The single "Roll It Gal" -- the best of her many girl-power anthems -- hit the top of the charts in a number of countries throughout the Caribbean.

Trinidad has a variety of annual soca competitions. The Chutney Monarch award is given to the best song in the island's chutney style, which combines soca with Indian rhythms and influences. In February, Kenneth Salick took home the title in his debut appearance, thanks to this performance of "Radica."

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | June 25, 2009; 9:47 PM ET
Categories:  Events, Music  
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