DJ Master Rich is bringing Jouvert, a Caribbean tradition, to Philly this weekend on a large scale.
The first rendition of "COLORS: The Ultimate Jouvert Jam," featuring DJ Private Ryan, will be Sunday in Fairmount Park by the Mann Center.
Jouvert (jou-vay) is a Caribbean paint-and-powder, pre-Carnival party, to which attendees come prepared to dance to carefree soca music — and to get a little messy. In Fairmount Park, there will be 300 bottles and 20 buckets filled with paint. Attendees also will get packages of colored powder to throw on one another.
Rich is bringing with him not only megapopular Private Ryan, who is from Trinidad, but also a surprise special guest. Ensuring these guests' attendance wasn't easy. Rich has been trying to get Ryan here since 2013. Philadelphia isn't known as a premier destination for Caribbean events, conceded Rich, who is also Trinidadian and has been spinning for 15 years at spots like Riverdeck, Trilogy, Reef, and Reserve. He is looking to change that. "There's a huge Caribbean population in the tri-state," he said, "and people are looking for stuff to go to."
Last year, he brought the Pon De Rooftop Caribbean party to TGI Fridays on the Parkway. Owners were afraid it wouldn't be a big-enough crowd, he said, but it has proved popular. That weekly Wednesday night event has returned this summer.
Jouvert, which has African and French roots, should prove to be a wilder party. (By tradition, it's a precursor to Carnival, ushering in Lent; in Philadelphia, people in colorful and bejeweled costumes will parade June 17 down Chamounix Drive in Fairmount Park.) "Expect to be covered in paint and powder," Rich said. "It's a big party."
C O L O R S: The Ultimate Jouvert Jam