Jamaican masquerade ‘Jonkanoo’ coming to the streets of WeHo

International Eye LA will present Jonkanoo in the Streets of WeHo on Santa Monica Boulevard, between Robertson and San Vicente, on Saturday October 30, 2021 from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

First documented in Jamaica as early as the 1700’s, the art form is steeped in African traditions with strong influences from European masquerade traditions and the grand masquerade balls brought to the Caribbean by French planters.

Forbidden to engage in the elaborate holiday masked balls of slave owners, they created their own entertainment. Played by all men, they developed characters such as Queen, Devil, Pitchy-Patchy and Belly Woman travelled across many plantations with live music, dance and pantomime to parody European lifestyles, comment on their own condition, and generally mock the planter class.

‘Jonkanoo in the Streets of WeHo’ will present a roving band of masquerade characters in original costumes by award winning designer Marie Kellier accompanied by new music composed by Grammy Award winning musician, Doc Ric Wilson of the group Mandrill.

While maintaining the unmistakable sounds and unique characters that differentiate Jamaican Jonkanoo from other Jonkanoo traditions, the presentation will blend sound, movement and images to introduce the art form to the West Hollywood community. The larger project, ‘History, Artistry and Presentation of Jamaican Jonkanoo’ is being developed by artist Marie Kellier and is supported in part by an organizational grant from the City of West Hollywood Arts Division. Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA,) California Arts Council (CAC) and LA County Department of Arts and Culture. For sponsorship opportunities or other information call International Eye LA (213) 761- 4475 or email internationaleyela@gmail.com.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

16 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
1 month ago

No thanks. I’ll wait for the original Carnivale to return. That one used to be awesome. It was the one time where you really saw all people from all across the city come together and really have a fun time and everybody partied together until the next morning. I must have gone to every single one of them for 15 or 20 years and they were always great. To see Pink perform for free one year, and Jidy Watley, Jonas Brothers and Better Than Ezra and Robyn… now that was a party unlike any other on the planet. Please bring… Read more »

Marie Kellier
1 month ago

Thanks for sharing your concerns about the ‘Jamaican Jonkanoo in the Streets of WeHo’ project. I am the producer and just wanted to respond and assure the community that it is completely in keeping with the city’s safety mandates for activities during Covid. It is in no way a substitute or replacement for any suspended community programs. We have a grant from WeHo’s Arts Division but due to Covid we have not been able to really serve the community the way we intended. Because the Halloween Carnivale was cancelled, we thought it would be nice to provide a short, safe… Read more »

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  Marie Kellier

In keeping with our city’s tradition, I’d rather have a short pop-up Halloween event.

Last edited 1 month ago by JF1
Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
1 month ago
Reply to  JF1

Me too.

Granted
Granted
1 month ago
Reply to  Marie Kellier

Can you tell us the size of the grant?

Brian Casey
Brian Casey
1 month ago

Jonkanoo is a big part of the James Bond movie Thunderball.

WehoFan
WehoFan
1 month ago

Sounds interesting.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago

But we can’t have a Halloween Carnivale? No thanks.

Last edited 1 month ago by JF1
:dpb
:dpb
1 month ago

This sounds awesome and I’d be fully supportive, but the city shutdown Halloween Carnival for COVID safety reasons and yet is allowing the street shutdown and street performance of this. How much money is the city charging this production? Obliviously, there will be no COVID safety concerns with this versus Halloween Carnival? LMAO. What a hypocritical city I live in. The council is a joke and has no credence from decision to decision. Pathetic.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  :dpb

There seems to be some sort of internal inconsistency within City Hall. Clearly the Arts Division and Special Events are trying to keep busy. But there has been a conflict from the start of COVID as the City wants bars and night clubs open to generate revenue for the City but waiting months to have a very limited in person City Council meeting. So not everyone’s health and safety is being given the same consideration. Having said that I think this is a great way to promote diverse cultural expression.

Marie Kellier
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Dear Steve,
Please see my responses above. Thanks! mk

Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

You couldn’t get any more diverse than the original West Hollywood Carnavale, which drew a mix of every type of person on the planet all partying together in unity under the stars for years. That was the most multicultural event the City West Hollywood has ever hosted.

Andrew Campbell
Andrew Campbell
1 month ago
Reply to  :dpb

It is a pretty cool project especially since it is around Halloween – adds a little extra oomph to a year when we won’t be having the typical Carnaval experience on October 31. Just to provide some perspective, this isn’t a large-scale close-the-streets-down event. It is a small community pop-up activity with just a few costumed characters celebrating a Jamaican tradition. These are fun little engagements with the City and it would appear that the event is really for an “accidental audience” – people who happen upon a performance without intending to attend a performance. I’m sure you’ve seen some… Read more »

JF1
JF1
1 month ago

What about a small, community pop-up celebrating Halloween? After all, that is our tradition.

Marie Kellier
1 month ago
Reply to  :dpb

Dear dpb, I acknowledge your concern but just want to clarify, in fairness to the city. This small activity is not being presented by the any department of the city. We are a small organization with a mission to create opportunities for cross-cultural understanding and community healing by presenting arts and cultural events. We thought it would be nice to have a little harmless fun since the regular carnival was not happening this year. There will be approximately 10 people in this activity. (You are welcome to wear a costume with a mask and join us by the way). We… Read more »

Click to Hide Advanced Floating Content

0
0
votes
Article Rating
16
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x