PHOENIX (Jan. 28, 2014) The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix invites the community to embrace the Carnival spirit on Saturday and Sunday, February 8 and 9, through music, dance, costumes and cuisine that highlight the cultures of Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries.
“Experience Carnival” is the latest installment in MIM’s “Unity Through Diversity” partnership with Phoenix based PetSmart®. The initiative brings the largest specialty pet retailer and the world’s only global musical instrument museum together to highlight musical traditions that celebrate cultural diversity, while reinforcing music as a unifying element of humanity around the world.
“Historically, Carnival has been a vibrant, energetic festival of life in preparation for a time of fasting and reflection,” said Celina Chiarello, public programs manager at MIM. “It is celebrated around the world in February and March with music, dancing and costumes. MIM’s ‘Experience Carnival’ program will explore the traditions from several Caribbean nations.”
The weekend event, which is supported by the Caribbean American Phoenix Carnival Cultural Association of Arizona, will feature performances in MIM’s main courtyard throughout the day. These will include a “bachata” performance by Bella Q Dance Studio; a “bomba” music and dance performance by Grupo Folklórico I’naru; steel-pan performances by Ansel Joseph and James “JT” Taylor; and reggae, soca, junkanoo and calypso music by Arizona’s own Caribbean Cruisers.
Costumed performers, a stilt walker and face painting will contribute to the Carnival atmosphere. Local artist James Taylor will teach guests how to play a steel pan during a drop-in workshop. Guests will also discover how steel pans are made and tuned during a presentation by Ansel Joseph, whose instruments are currently on display in the Latin America and the Caribbean Gallery. Carnival-goers will also see a dazzling “King Sailor” costume made for MIM by one of Trinidad’s most famous designers, Brian MacFarlane. The blue, white and green costume is decorated with feathers and colored glass “jewels,” as well as iridescent sequins and beads in patterns resembling crocheted lace. Accessories include an ornate staff, glass-jeweled gloves and a large crown commemorating the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The costume will be displayed for the first time at the weekend event.
Café Allegro will offer for purchase a Caribbean-inspired menu including potato, okra and kale soup; “arroz con pollo” (rice with chicken); Jamaican-style pork ribs with baked sweet potato and red peas; pork and mango empanada; and a sweet treat of “refresco de papaya” (papaya and milk smoothie).
“Experience Carnival” performances and activities are included with paid museum admission, and are free for Circle of Friends donors.
The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) enriches the world by collecting, preserving and making accessible a wide variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in the world. We offer our guests a welcoming and fun experience, incomparable interactive technology, dynamic programming and exceptional musical performances. MIM also fosters appreciation of diverse cultures around the globe by showing that we all innovate, adapt and learn from each other to create music—the universal language.
Rebecca Heller, Media Relations Associate, MIM