For the first time since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, calypso was back onstage at the old Latvian Centre in Toronto on Saturday.
But the hall was less than half full at the show put on by the Organization for Calypso Performing Arts in Canada (OCPA).
And absent aficionados of the art form missed some first class performances by some of the local artistes.
While some artistes did return to numbers which were heard before and were well received, there were some outstanding new tunes as well.
One of the big musical surprises of the evening was King Cosmos’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah sung, of course, to a vibrant calypso beat.
King Cosmos had many in the audience jumping to the rhythms.
A favourite among the new tunes was a calypso about the truckers’ strike in Ottawa earlier this year, delivered by Panman Pat.
This song entitled “Them Other Truckers” was a gutsy double entendre calypso that could have been a worthy contender for kaiso competition.
Two other two new calypsos were delivered by Connector and King Cosmos respectively, both songs celebrating the 55th anniversary of Caribana, the annual Toronto Caribbean carnival launched in1967.
Another big performance came from Macomere Fifi who started off with “Your turn to die” a song that deals with the crime situation in Toronto and beyond and topped it off with the song from the late Mystic Prowler called “Below the surface.”
Calypsonians were backed by Ossie Guirley and the truth
Many calypso fans were disappointed that the out-of -town performers did not make an appearance at the show on Saturday.
And they are hoping that kaiso competition would soon return to the Latvian centre.
OCPA has not organized a calypso competition since 2016.
King Cosmos, president of OCPA, said he was disappointed with the turnout on Saturday night.
However, he told The Caribbean Camera that he believes that a competition will be “one of the events for next year.”