‘Unspoilt’ is a word you’ll repeatedly hear if you ask visitors to describe Tobago — an island of roughly 60,000 people that sits near the southernmost end of the Caribbean archipelago, just north of its big sister, Trinidad. Connected millennia ago to the South American mainland, Tobago is gifted with a distinctive mix of continental and Caribbean island ecology. It’s now home to beautiful beaches, colourful coral reefs, 10,000 acres of protected rainforest — the oldest such reserve in the Western Hemisphere — and over 260 species of birds.
The island’s cultural character is similarly diverse. Originally settled by First Peoples tribes, Tobago changed hands some 33 times during the colonial era. Yet, through it all, the island has maintained its own distinctive identity. And Tobagonians know it. Celebrating the natural beauty and rich history of the island is key to Tobago’s communities and is often demonstrated through music, dance and theatrical performance.
Here, we talk to some of the island’s most well-known figures: award-winning, multi-disciplinary performers Lesley-Ann Ellis and Garvé Sandy; accomplished dancer and artist Shakeil Jones; and local musical legend Lawrence ‘Wax’ Crooks.
Lawrence ‘Wax’ Crooks: I started to play music at the age of eight. I love to play pan [drum], I could play every type of pan. And I transferred from pan to bass guitar, to keyboard, to guitar, to cuatro, to violin, to clarinet, percussion — like tumba [drums], triangle, cowbell… I’m well-rounded!
Lesley-Ann Ellis: As well as play steelpan, my father used to do stickfight — a type of duel with specially carved sticks, dance and drumming, which began in West Africa. But my daughter [Garvé] and I are the calypsonians in the family. I started singing back when I was pregnant with her, at the Heritage Festival competition. Then she entered the Heritage competition this year for the first time — and won!
Garvé Sandy: I started singing at the age of six and I've been doing it ever since — 21 years. It’s a tradition I intend to keep. I grew up in Mason Hall and Buccoo. A lot of great musicians came from Mason Hall. In our music, we use our unique Tobagonian dialect in the lyrics. It makes us understand how important it is to preserve our heritage — to stay true to the authenticity of the culture.
Shakeil Jones: I was born into a family of dancers. My mother, all my aunts, even some of my uncles danced. My mother's side were all practitioners of traditional folk arts. Coming out of the Pembroke community — we are known as the cultural capital of Tobago — we dance the Saraka, a thanksgiving ritual that allows us to celebrate the community’s African heritage, as well as dance forms such as the bongo, Tobago jig and
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The Cafe-Bar area features a beautiful internal atrium area with a sliding roof top. Guests can enjoy fresh, high-quality food from our food menu which includes a selection of our starters and salads, as well as our delicious Legendary burgers, steaks, fajitas and many more.
December is upon us and for folks in Miami— or in the art world— that means: Art Basel Miami Beach. From December 6 to 10 (by-invitation private viewings are on December 6 and 7), the Miami Beach Convention Center will be home to 277 galleries; 25 of which will be participating for the first time, with two-thirds hailing from North and Latin America. In mediums ranging from paintings and sculptures to photography and digital art, some of the resounding themes this year include works that speak to nature, as well as cultural and spiritual geographies.
I fell in love with Jeju Island without ever stepping foot on it. My Korean-American wife and I became addicted to a K-drama called Our Blues. Instead of the usual tales about the machinations of wealthy Seoul families or one particularly famous show about various deadly games with squids, Our Blues features decidedly working-class, semi-rural characters who spend half their time onscreen cursing each other out, if not outright resorting to fisticuffs. All this strife is set against a beguiling backdrop of an island brimming with abalone and dormant volcanoes. As someone who has visited Seoul on several occasions and who appreciates Korean food and culture more than almost any other in the world, I felt Jeju exercising a mysterious, nearly mythical pull on me. I had to go.
World-renowned international hotelier Kempinski Hotels has been named operator of a unique new luxury beachfront residences and resort, located on one of the last remaining pristine stretches of the award-winning Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. The project is being developed by JTRE, a leading European real estate developer and will be operated by Kempinski, Europe’s oldest hotelier – with more than 80 premium properties under management in 36 countries. The two companies signed an operating agreement and together will bring a new level of internationally renowned hospitality, contemporary design and elegant service to the Turks & Caicos Islands portfolio of vacation and ownership offerings.
Emerald Palace Group (EPG) is proud to announce a groundbreaking partnership with Raffles Branded Residences, heralding a new era of high-quality living with the unveiling of “The Contemporary Collection” of Raffles The Palm Residences & Penthouses, strategically situated on the prestigious West Crescent of The Palm Jumeirah Island in Dubai.
Amid the sandstone cliffs of Petra, a group of Bedouin gathers under a starlit sky to share stories passed down through generations. It's a scene that has been replayed in this ancient Nabatean city for centuries, but today a new medium is weaving its way into the narrative. As TikTok and Instagram gain traction across Jordan, Petra's Bedouin are using them to connect with global audiences, casting their tales across vast distances and cultural divides.
With just under 40 million inhabitants across more than nine million square kilometers of land, it’s no secret that Canada is one of the least-densely populated nations on the planet—yet it’s not just humans that call this vast expanse home. From the shores of Vancouver Island to the coast of Newfoundland, this sprawling country is absolutely brimming with birds, with no shortage of dazzling passerines, waterfowl, and raptors thriving across its borders. And for any seasoned birders hoping to add another species to their life list, the following Canadian birding festivals offer a truly unforgettable experience in the heart of one of North America’s most charming countries.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Kelsey Frampton, a 21-year-old business student from Fresno, California, who's studying in Barcelona. The following has been edited for length and clarity.
The Cycladic island of Ios is a rocky, mountainous environment of winding roads sometimes blocked by herds of bleating goats and sleepy villages hugging cerulean coastlines. In the 1960s, backpackers discovered the nearly untouched island and it became known as a hippie haven, hosting all-night beach parties, with a handful of cheap bars operating in the Chora (main town). A few decades later, nearby Santorini and Mykonos began to outshine their neighbor, attracting hordes of tourists each summer and investing in new developments. Meanwhile, Ios only got electricity across the entire island in the 1970s and most residents here are goat herders or farmers. Today, Mykonos has taken the nightlife crown and both it and Santorini have become severely over-touristed. Ios on the other hand, remains a quiet, mostly undeveloped paradise.
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