New York - May 2004
The dictionary got it right Sunday evening when Utopia Pan Soul held their band launching. Yes, the event didn’t start on time, but all good things are worth waiting for.
In a departure from the norm, the launching also showcased different jazz pieces with the pan as the main supporting instrument. Treated to a rendition of Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” played on tenor pan by Jalani Fernando, trumpet vibes, a jazz, ensemble and a medley of standards like “Autumn Leaves with Jason “Peanuts” Isaac. The music CD “Evolution” on which Utopia is featured was also available for sale.
For a community which has been looking forward to pan, not only since this year’s T & T Panorama, but in fact since last year’s Labor Day competition which left supporters of Pantonic, D’Radoes, and Marsicans hungry for the next meeting at the museum, the launching was the ideal first gathering for the season.
Utopia has always tried to maintain a different approach to pan. The band comes out for J’Ouvert, not Panorama. This enables them to focus on other aspects of the progress of the instrument. Classes in music theory and pan have been offered there in the past, and the management of the band has a firm commitment to teaching the youth. The band has played out in many different venues, and has been featured on the television show “Food Nation with Bobby Flay” on their Brooklyn special.
The jazz format itself lends itself as the perfect segue to the upcoming Father’s Day event at Lincoln Center. Pan Jazz will be showcased on June 20th with the likes of AdLib Steel Orchestra, Garvin Blake, Andy Narell, Arturo Tappin, and Liam Teague.
Utopia looks forward to producing more of these events throughout the summer, so stay tuned…
©2004 Basement Recordings, Inc. All rights reserved.
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