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Virginia Getting a Taste of the Territory this Weekend

July 13, 2007 — V.I. musical artists are taking their talent to a mainland stage this weekend for the second annual CaribFest in Norfolk, Va.
On Saturday and Sunday, Norfolk will come alive with authentic Caribbean cuisine, arts and crafts, a parade and an eclectic blend of reggae, soca, calypso, salsa, kompa and reggaeton. Several V.I. performers are on the roster for the event, including St. Thomas native and official CaribFest DJ Allison Trotman, also known as Badjoe; St. Croix reggae singer Ras Attitude; and several other artists with a V.I. heritage, including Abbey Kyat, Cocoanut Lady, BQE Band and Soca Souljahs.
“When I was putting the entertainment together, I wanted to have something for everyone,” said Mauyan Skeete, the second vice president of the Virginia Caribbean-American Cultural Association (VCACA).
Badjoe won as official DJ for CaribFest in a competition called Socalicious held early this year in Virginia, where he defeated eight opponents. “I am a very creative person,” Badjoe said. He credits Nevin “Zeus” Phillips for teaching him how to use the turntable at the tender age of 11.
“I never, ever forget people who put me where I am today,” Badjoe said. “I remember he would always tell me make sure you blend the sounds well.”
With encouragement from Zeus, Badjoe’s career advanced quickly.
“At 16 years old I was playing at clubs,” he said.
Together with his two partners, Delwyn “Ace” Petersen and Edward “Kurtz” Cobey, both from St. Croix, their unique style has transformed the DJ game in Virginia, he said. After winning the Socalicious competition, all three took pictures holding the V.I. flag.
He graduated from Eudora Kean High School in 1988 before moving to Virginia and attending Norfolk State University. There he majored in electronics technology, encouraged by his mother because of his long-time interest in repairing electronic equipment.
Badjoe worked at the university’s radio station until graduating, when the program director at 103 Jamz (102.9 FM) offered him a position to play reggae at the station. Within three months he became an assistant engineer. Fourteen years later, Badjoe has the longest-running Caribbean show in his area.
Badjoe just experienced the passing of his mother, Faye Liburd, who died Thursday at Schneider Regional Medical Center. Liburd battled cancer for the past two years. Badjoe said he is taking it well, and knows she is in a better place.
“I know she is proud of everything I have done in my life,” he said. “I am going to still make her proud.” Even until her very last moments, Badjoe said, Liburd asked, “Who is going to be there for Badjito?” — her pet name for him.
“She worried about me a lot, and called me everyday when I first came to college,” Badjoe said.
Another artist performing at CaribFest, Ras Attitude from St. Croix, is a popular performer in Virginia. Some of his hit songs, “You’ve Got Me,” and “Faith in Jah,” share positive vibes and the message of Rastafari.
Proceeds from CaribFest go toward scholarships for students in Virginia and toward community-outreach programs in the area. CaribFest is an annual event produced by the VCACA. The non-profit organization aims to educate community youths living in Virginia on historical and traditional Caribbean perspectives.
For more information about CaribFest, visit virginiacaribfest.com.
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July 13, 2007 -- V.I. musical artists are taking their talent to a mainland stage this weekend for the second annual CaribFest in Norfolk, Va.
On Saturday and Sunday, Norfolk will come alive with authentic Caribbean cuisine, arts and crafts, a parade and an eclectic blend of reggae, soca, calypso, salsa, kompa and reggaeton. Several V.I. performers are on the roster for the event, including St. Thomas native and official CaribFest DJ Allison Trotman, also known as Badjoe; St. Croix reggae singer Ras Attitude; and several other artists with a V.I. heritage, including Abbey Kyat, Cocoanut Lady, BQE Band and Soca Souljahs.
“When I was putting the entertainment together, I wanted to have something for everyone,” said Mauyan Skeete, the second vice president of the Virginia Caribbean-American Cultural Association (VCACA).
Badjoe won as official DJ for CaribFest in a competition called Socalicious held early this year in Virginia, where he defeated eight opponents. “I am a very creative person,” Badjoe said. He credits Nevin “Zeus” Phillips for teaching him how to use the turntable at the tender age of 11.
“I never, ever forget people who put me where I am today,” Badjoe said. “I remember he would always tell me make sure you blend the sounds well.”
With encouragement from Zeus, Badjoe’s career advanced quickly.
“At 16 years old I was playing at clubs,” he said.
Together with his two partners, Delwyn “Ace” Petersen and Edward “Kurtz” Cobey, both from St. Croix, their unique style has transformed the DJ game in Virginia, he said. After winning the Socalicious competition, all three took pictures holding the V.I. flag.
He graduated from Eudora Kean High School in 1988 before moving to Virginia and attending Norfolk State University. There he majored in electronics technology, encouraged by his mother because of his long-time interest in repairing electronic equipment.
Badjoe worked at the university’s radio station until graduating, when the program director at 103 Jamz (102.9 FM) offered him a position to play reggae at the station. Within three months he became an assistant engineer. Fourteen years later, Badjoe has the longest-running Caribbean show in his area.
Badjoe just experienced the passing of his mother, Faye Liburd, who died Thursday at Schneider Regional Medical Center. Liburd battled cancer for the past two years. Badjoe said he is taking it well, and knows she is in a better place.
“I know she is proud of everything I have done in my life,” he said. “I am going to still make her proud.” Even until her very last moments, Badjoe said, Liburd asked, “Who is going to be there for Badjito?” -- her pet name for him.
“She worried about me a lot, and called me everyday when I first came to college,” Badjoe said.
Another artist performing at CaribFest, Ras Attitude from St. Croix, is a popular performer in Virginia. Some of his hit songs, “You’ve Got Me,” and “Faith in Jah,” share positive vibes and the message of Rastafari.
Proceeds from CaribFest go toward scholarships for students in Virginia and toward community-outreach programs in the area. CaribFest is an annual event produced by the VCACA. The non-profit organization aims to educate community youths living in Virginia on historical and traditional Caribbean perspectives.
For more information about CaribFest, visit virginiacaribfest.com.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.