Trinidad & Tobago soca stars Kes The Band kicked off its US tour in Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday (August 28).
This is the group’s first tour dates in two years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The ‘IzWe’ tour has 10 stops and will see the group performing in Orlando, New York, Washington, D.C, Atlanta, Houston and Miami.
Kes The Ban is also to headline the North Beach Bandshell on Sept. 4 in Miami as well as perform a special set at Miami Carnival, the first major-city Caribbean carnival celebration since February 2020.
According to the band’s frontman Kees Dieffenthaller being able to perform in New York City is of particular importance because of the cancellation of New York’s annual West Indian American Day Carnival — which typically brings 2 million revelers to Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway on Labor Day Monday.
Dieffenthaller is hopeful that the performance by his band will help to fill the void , boasting a night of performances by some of soca music’s biggest names.
“This show has a lot of meaning for us,” said Dieffenthaller.
“New York has always been like a second home, and throughout our career we’ve never missed a chance to play the city on Labor Day Weekend. Coming here has extra importance this time, especially because we’re getting to bring out so many of our favorite artists from back home,” added Dieffenthaller.
For their performance in New York, the group has handpicked a roster of top performers from their native Trinidad & Tobago including Iwer George, Nailah Blackman, Patrice Roberts, Nadia Batson, Farmer Nappy, Ravi B and Etienne Charles.
In addition to Bajan soca icon Alison Hinds, St. Lucia’s Teddyson John and Nomcebo from South Africa.
Despite the pandemic, recent times have brought a string of highlights for Kes The Band.
During the traditional Trinidad Carnival season this February, the group filled the void for live music by launching its IzWe event series with five nights of socially-distanced concerts.
Open to just 300 patrons each night, the events were live streamed worldwide.
In August 2020 the group an album, their first new full-length project in eight years.