3canal is a performing and visual arts collaborative, based in Trinidad.
Their work spans the media of Music [Rapso], Mas [Jouvay] and Theatre. The
members, Wendell Manwarren, Roger Roberts and Stanton Kewley each had their
foundation in the Theatre and Mas, and later the Music found them in their
mission to "make a statement".
In their early years in 1994, their focus was on the Carnival -specifically
the 'Jouvay'- as their platform to make their statement.
Jouvay -from the French jour ouvert- is the pre-dawn ritual where revelers
mask themselves usually with mud and pigment and take to the streets until
sunrise, a journey from darkness to light. 3canal's emphasis in the Jouvay
is on the metaphor it represents for redemption, renewal and rebirth, the
signaling of a brand new day. They produce of one of the largest 'Jouvay
bands' in Trinidad's Carnival and have also taken their Jouvay statement to
London's Nottinghill Carnival, 2000 and 2001, New York's Labor Day Parade,
1998, 1997 and Jamaica Carnival, 1997.
In 1997 they recorded their first song "Blue" which was the theme song for
their Jouvay Band that year. Blue was a revolution, the band's following
crossed 10,000 revelers and left a indelible mark on the music and Jouvay
landscape. This signaled their foray into the music business, they later
went on to record such hits as Talk yuh Talk, 1999; Salt, 2000 inspired by
Earl Lovelace's novel of the same name, and Ben Lion, 2002 a parody on the
events of Sept 11th, penned by one of Trinidad's great Icons of music, the
Late Andre Tanker.
Their music is called Rapso, a hybrid of Spoken Word and Calypso. Rapso is a
new genre which evolved in Trinidad in the early seventies and represents
the voice of the people, the voice of the voiceless. 3canal describe
themselves as being on a musical adventure. They have recorded five albums
and have participated in numerous festivals including, Reggae on the River
[San Francisco '02], The 7th Bienal [Cuba '00], El Primer Festival de las
Artes de Valencia [Venezuela '00], Montreux Jazz Festival [Switzerland '99],
Antillian Feesten [Belgium '99].
Their theatrical experience was gained under some of Trinidad's finest
artists, such as Helen Camps of The Trinidad Tent Theatre, Derek Walcott and
The Trinidad Theatre Workshop, Peter Minshall and the Callaloo Co and Noble
Douglas, Lilliput Theatre. It was in the Theatre that they "cut their teeth"
and so it comes as no surprise that they have now come full circle to use
this forum to best present their work.
Their latest work The 3canal Show, Feb 2004 combined the elements of Mas
Music and Theatre, in a collaborative workshop setting, to create a radical
departure from mainstream entertainment. The show was a critical as well box
office success, but more importantly provided a platform for passing on of
Trinidad's rich cultural legacy to the upcoming generation of young
In their own words, 3canal say, "To educate and entertain is Rapsoman vibes,
we're on a mission of Peace, Love and endless Possibilities.