Curtis Edwards was born in the belly of Laventille and Desperadoes Steel Orchestra. Now aged 60, and considered an Elder, Edwards has been an exemplary son of both community and steelband. Having being a community activist and manager, captain and drill master of Desperadoes, he is about to push the envelope even further as he launches the Trini Riddims Tour Company.
Come Saturday, June 18, Edwards will launch Trini Riddims, a tour company, at Desperadoes panyard, Tragarete Road, Port-of-Spain, at 6 p.m. He explained: "Trini Riddims company was built on the foundation of our country's rich cultural diversity in dance, music, food and religion.
"We provide workshops in steelpan tuning and playing, cultural dances and singing of folk songs. Our initial highlight is exploring the panoramic views and compelling historical sites of Laventille.
"But, we also intend going rural, empowering communities in far reaching districts. In fact, we are at present completing an initiative in Debe based on East Indian arts, food and craft."
Edwards added: "After two years of critical assessment of cultural activities in the tourism sector in Trinidad, we have recognised that the penetration into the cultural tourism sector is limited and much needed."
Apart from tours and cultural events, Trini Riddims will also incorporate "The Culture Bus" into its operations. The Culture Bus is a year-round mode of transport that provides customers with a safe, well-appointed space to see, touch, taste and participate in "true Trini culture" of mas-making, pan-playing, traditional dances and making handicraft items of all cultures.
One of the first tourist outings Trini Riddims will embark on is Tour de Laventille, a cultural adventure and community experience that was crafted to extract and promote the historical treasures and cultural excellence of the community of Laventille. It is also Edwards' intention to have the landmarks of Laventille identified and recognised as possible tourist destinations.
The June 18 launch of Trini Riddims will feature live entertainment by a star-studded cast that includes Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, Road Block, Caribbean Steelpan Connextion, Laventille Rhythm Section, Shazzie, Nuts Landing and much more.