Kes the Band

KES THE BAND (KTB) will launch their “IzWe” event series with five nights of live, socially distanced concerts celebrating soca and calypso music and Trinbagonian culture during the traditional runup to Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival.

The series, which will feature surprise special guests each night, takes place from Tuesday February 9th to Saturday February 13th, 2021 at the spacious, open-air venue theatre Sound Forge, located in Port-of-Spain. Each night of KTB’s performance will be open to 300 patrons, strictly in compliance with The Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Theatre Guidelines (50% capacity).

The culminating performance on February 13 will air live on CNC3 in Trinidad & Tobago and on affiliates across the Caribbean. Local fans can also view a livestream on Guardian Media’s platforms as part of our virtual Carnival 2021 series, ‘We inside!’

Fans outside the region can livestream the concert at KES’ website, www.kestheband.com, by purchasing tickets for $10. The live stream is available at no cost within the Caribbean.

This year, with Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival festivities on pause, the band decided to re-brand and extend it’s Carnival season event to multiple nights of live music in order to accommodate more fans while keeping within the maximum gathering size, strictly in compliance with the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Regulations.

“IzWE is a presentation of WE culture in all its different aspects,” says Kees Dieffenthaller aka KES, frontman for KES THE BAND. “We’ll be celebrating the essence of who we all are as Caribbean people. It all began with drums and fire and, out of the revolution of our ancestors, Carnival which came to be the sweetest revolution. As such, we are celebrating our light in these dark times.”

The cancellation of Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival this year along with Carnival celebrations across the Caribbean this past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted Caribbean Entertainment and by extension, our culture.

KES has sought to fill this void as best he can with a series of live specials, aired on TV locally in Trinidad and Tobago and across the Caribbean and live streamed worldwide, under the banner We Home.

The inaugural We Home livestream event was held on Trinidad and Tobago’s Independence Day in August, with We Home: Under One Roof following on Boxing Day, December 26th. Collectively the performances raised $15,000 US in charitable funds, which were donated to Trinidad and Tobago-based charities Touching Hands Project and The Shelter.

Kes says: “We are rallying together with the best of the best in the artform currently and celebrating the works of past greats, and bringing it into one place, one event, one moment where we all celebrate our culture together and in unity.”

“We will celebrate the why – why we do this, the joy of it, in hope of a brighter future, in hope of a different time. In this time, we want to hold the torch, we want to light the flambeau and keep that Caribbean and Carnival flambeau lit.”

In spite of the pandemic, 2020 proved to be a landmark year for KES as he and his band recently celebrated the release of the live album We Home, his first new full-length project in eight years. Just days, rather weeks before the world came to a halt in March 2020, the band wrapped a massively successful campaign at last year’s Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival, where it not only won the annual International Soca Monarch competition with “Stage Gone Bad” (a collaboration with Iwer George) but also captured the Road March title, given to the song played the most during the Carnival parade. On January 26th, KES released his first single of the 2021 soca season, “Keep Jammin’ On,” a collaboration with world-renowned Trinidad and Tobago’s very own DJ/Producer, DJ Private Ryan.

KES as a proud national of Trinidad and Tobago has partnered with The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture on this IZ WE initiative, as the long-term goal is to forge industry to make Trinidad and Tobago, and by extension Caribbean entertainment an extremely viable and sustainable product. In pushing a 360 unity, KES has partnered with major stakeholders who have supported WE Culture and WE Carnival especially in a time when it matters most.