Caribbean Beat profiles rising jazz star Etienne Charles for latest issue

At the age of 33, Trinidadian musician and composer Etienne Charles is already considered a phenomenal talent, thanks to his gift for reinventing traditional forms and merging jazz into the bigger matrix of the creole imagination. He’s an exemplar in more ways than one, writes Nigel A. Campbell in his profile of the young jazzman, the cover story of the July/August 2017 Caribbean Beat (issue #146).

This issue highlights other forms of Caribbean creativity, from the Antigua Dance Academy, celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year, to debut Trinidadian poet Shivanee Ramlochan — familiar to Beat readers as the editor of the Bookshelf review column — who speaks in an Own Words interview about her new book Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting and why she’s so irresistibly drawn to difficult topics.

The latest Caribbean Beat features an excerpt from the classic Haitian novel Hadriana in All My Dreams, by René Depestre, finally translated into English nearly three decades after its first publication. The magazine also profiles Guyanese attorney and activist Arif Bulkan, whose “accidental” career in law has made him a quiet, passionate defender of some of the Caribbean’s most vulnerable — focusing on the right of the indigenous community in his native Guyana and the LGBT community across the Caribbean.

The July/August issue’s travel section is sure to inspire wanderlust, with a stunning photo feature on the lush interior of Jamaica, “land of wood and water” — plus Nazma Muller’s account of ascending Blue Mountain Peak twenty years after her first time. A second photo feature offers a “clockwise” tour round the island of Barbados, with an itinerary of gorgeous beaches, historic landmarks, and unforgettable views. The regular “Neighbourhood” column visits Santiago de Cuba, a cultural and musical epicentre, especially during Carnival in July. And the “Layover” column offers tips for making the most of a quick stop in Paramaribo, Suriname — one of the Caribbean region’s most charming cities.

Other highlights of the new Caribbean Beat include previews of the 2017 Caribbean Premier League T20 cricket tournament and Grenada’s 2017 Spicemas; a progress report on the movement to adopt renewable energy in the Caribbean, harnessing our ample sun, wind, and water; a roundup of regional events in July and August; and much more.

Trinidadian jazz musician and composer Etienne Charles. Photo by Maria Nunes

Trinidadian jazz musician and composer Etienne Charles. Photo by Maria Nunes

Anniversary throwback

Last year, a Trinidad Guardian article turned the spotlight on Caribbean Beat’s 24th anniversary, including thoughts from Nicholas Laughlin; Jeremy Taylor; and Caribbean Airlines’ Head of Corporate Communications Dionne Ligoure. Read more here, or see the article via the screenshots here.

An interview with Jeremy Taylor

When MEP turned 20 a few years ago, founding editor and Caribbean Beat publisher Jeremy Taylor shared his experience working on landmark pieces in and issues of Beat, and defying the odds by founding a publishing company which has now been running for 26 years.


The latest issue of Caribbean Beat is now on Caribbean Airlines planes (your take-home copy is free!); in the hands of our subscribers the world over; and on our website. You can also buy a digital edition or a digital subscription to read and save issues of Beat on your smartphone, tablet, computer, and favourite digital devices! And of course, if you haven’t already, make sure you’re connected to us on Facebook and Twitter to get all the latest Caribbean buzz.

Nicholas is the editor of Caribbean Beat and editor of The Caribbean Review of Books (CRB). He is also one of the administrators of the contemporary arts space Alice Yard and the Bocas Lit Fest (The Trinidad & Tobago Literary Festival). His reviews, essays, and poems have been published in various periodicals.