Rolando Jarvis Rolando Jarvis, President of Big and Strong Promotions was born in Venezuela and was raised Trinidad & Tobago. He previously ran a security company in Trinidad, before migrating to the United States to pursue other career opportunities. It is in New York City that he started out his career in the entertainment industry and excelled. He has successfully incorporated his culture and knowledge of the industry into a position where he can spread music and unity by becoming an active member of the recently formed Caribbean Promoters Alliance of which he is now president.
Interview by Rob Schwartz
WHO?MAG: How did you get to be president of CPA? Rolando Jarvis: I started out as just a member then volunteered to join the executive committee as a trustee. A couple of months later there was a reorganization of the committee heads and I was elected to be the vice president based upon my leadership qualities and strong opinions. I was elected to replace our out going president.
WHO?MAG: Explain the readers a little bout soca/calypso. Rolando: It is a tool to respond to social issues, mainly politics and anything that was of concern to the general public. It was the voice of the people. It was also used as a representation of the calypsonians personal agenda, because in the early days the political parties utilized various calypsonians for campaigns and to spread their agenda to the public too. Calypso is much slower than soca. Even though you can still dance to Calypso music, you can’t dance as you would to soca. Today Calypso is still a representation of the people’s voice. Also with Calypso the whole double entendre phenomenon is manifested to a great extent. It seems a better medium in which to deliver these phenomena. Calypso was also used as a form of media, in lieu of newspapers and news and stuff like that. The people relied on the Calypsonians to report corruption and news worthy tidbits. Soca did originate from Calypso in that it can be described as a faster version of Calypso. Although the content is not as deep, it is still rooted in Calypso. Soca is a response to the changing taste of the audience, even though there are many who enjoy and appreciate Calypso. The younger audience seems to prefer Soca and as such there seemed to have been an evolution of the Calypso tradition into a new art form called Soca. Soca is similar to Calypso today in that we see many forms of Soca emerging from this art form… Reggae Soca, Chutney Soca and so on. Even today the evolution continues.
WHO?MAG: How long have you been promoting concerts? Rolando: Big & Strong came on the forefront at the end of 2000 promoting some of the most unique and exciting events in the promotions industry. However, members of Big & Strong have been promoting for several years under different associations & promotion names, therefore gaining vast knowledge on promoting.
WHO?MAG: Explain Big & Strong. Rolando: Big & Strong Promotions are a group of professional business associates who have united together to form the ultimate promotions company. Developing throughout the West Indian & non West Indian cultural experiences, Big & Strong acknowledge the need for sophisticated cultural affairs throughout the United States and abroad, but especially within the New York tri-state area.