St. Maarten’s 2023 Carnival season is in full gear, and this year’s flagship show, TelCell’s Night of the Hitmakers, slated for Saturday, April 29, will surely be one to remember. Taking the stage this year are international artistes VAYB, Buleria and Destra, and the number one dance band in St. Maarten, Control Band. So this promises to be a night of non-stop dancing and entertainment, with hits after hits.
Leading up to the much-anticipated event, we have been introducing each of the legendary Hitmakers gracing the stage this year. This week, we (re)introduce to you the legendary and local Control Band.
Four decades ago, some of St. Maarten’s finest musicians came together and formed Control Band. The group started playing at a local hotel resort, and within a short period became very popular for their perfect blend of voices, which soon led to them playing at different venues on the island, including on the French side.
With their musical breath, Control Band was the first group to bring life to the famous Cheri's Café. After playing at that venue for a few years, there was increasing demand for Control Band to perform. As a result, Control contributed to the success of many clubs, and dancing spots on St. Maarten, such as “La Belle Vie” Port de Plaisance; The Ranch, Grand Case; Coralita Hotel (Sundays); Booboo Jam Restaurant / Club), Lekkerbek Restaurant; Big Daddy’s night club; Wathey’s Estate; Caribbean Blend; and Sunset.
The success of Control Band can be attributed to the consistent, good-sounding, versatile music, with which band members have been able to attract fans from all walks of life. Control has been privileged to play with La perfecta, Orquestra de la Luz, Doble RR, Third World, Fuerza Dos, The Mighty Sparrow, Maxi Priest, Lucky Dube, Cache, T-Vice, Carimi, Claudius Philips & the Oreo Band, Impact Band (Aruba), Ban By’o, Typical Combo, Onion & Three Cylinder Band, 17 Plus Band, Arnell Y su Orquestra, ERA Band, Chispa Band, Gio Y su Orquestra, Axa Band, and many more international artistes. The band has also travelled to Aruba, Curaçao, St. Eustatius, Saba, Bonaire, Anguilla, St. Barths and Holland.
Last year, Control Band celebrated its 40th anniversary, and can boast that it is one of St. Maarten’s longest existing musical bands, and the second longest existing group in the former Netherlands Antilles. This is a band which is consistent, persistent, very active, disciplined and only interested in providing a collection of music to fans.
Tickets cost US $40 per person and are on sale at Van Dorp, Adolphus Office Supplies, Domino’s Pizza and Levi’s Boutique.