The New York Pan Season is much more than panorama. There was lots of love, hugs, kisses, warm embraces, greetings and war. The weapons of mass fun are out in full force.
Kudos to Crossfire Steel Orchestra, Inc. management led by Martin Douglas, who, along with band members and others, hosted a music-filled evening into early morning, kick-starting to the New York Pan season. Taking their cue from the premature end to their 2003 band launch/fund raising activities, brought about in part by the affair’s “residential” locale, Crossfire took their 2004 initiative to the industrially-zoned Glenwood Road, Brooklyn area, which worked superbly both in terms of location, and size. At this, their 3rd Annual Fundraiser/Barbecue, the steel orchestras were able to set up as they awaited their turn to captivate the steelpan lovers, who were anxiously present, intent on gorging themselves with their favorite genre of music, after a cold winter.
With an extremely large contingents crowding around the steel orchestra stage sides in anticipation, jockeying for positions as close as possible to the performers, Pan Phonic were first up, with their dedicated crew coming out for yet another season. Caribbean Youth Panoramics then set enthusiastically set about their own stint, during which they evoked memories of Shadow’s “Whup Cocoyea”, done by Trinidad’s Desperadoes for the 2004 Panorama, when they included that number in their own session.
Pan Sonatas sounded the warning that it was indeed “war in 2004”, as they unveiled a previously-unheard repertoire, sporting a brand new arranger – Yohan Popwell - the right-hand man to Leon “Smooth” Edwards, Trinidad All Stars’ resident arranger. The band played like they never had before, with additional skill, touch and dynamics, reflecting the regimentation and attention to detail that All Stars themselves are known for.
Reigning Panorama champions, Pantonic, let it be known that they would be again the force to be reckoned with as in the years past, as they moved through a few of their known numbers currently on their 2004 “Tonic For The Soul” CD, and new additions to their own expanded repertoire. The band closed out their time in the spotlight, with a resounding delivery of their winning 2004 Panorama selection “Trini To The Bone”.
Marsicans Steel Orchestra, who had apparently played much earlier in the afternoon (the scheduled start had been 12:00 noon, but many patrons had not yet arrived) – took centre stage this time with a fully appreciative crowd in attendance. They took pride in showcasing their own bag of musical delights, including a unique version of Kevin Little’s “Turn Me On” and a preview of “Look De Band Comin” put together earlier on for the band by returning arranger Pelham Goddard.
Around for yet another season, Dem Stars had their turn and delivered as expected, satisfying all who appreciated the band’s traditional performance and choice or music.
A scintillating performance in steel was the next display, which came from Utopia Pan Soul: The Next Generation. Always a class act and leading the way in the future of the steelpan genre – the combined arranging talents of bandleaders Sheldon Elcock and Curt Rogers demonstrated the future of pan, with daring interpretations of current musical numbers alongside classics like “Santimanitay” and original pieces penned by the duo.
Last to entertain, always satisfying their supporters, and making the band definitely worth the wait, CASYM - who have just recorded a CD to be released in the near future – served notice, and showed why they are one of the well-known bands in the tri-state area. They gave their customary rousing performance. Their repertoire which included a medley of known calypsos hit the right chords with the pan lovers, who danced right along with the invigorated youngsters.
Although pannists of hosts Crossfire steel orchestra did not themselves perform, they were kept busy ensuring that the event ran as logistically sound as possible, managing the performance schedule and maintaining a constant supply of victuals. They ensured that all their guests – the steel orchestras and pan community supporters – were taken care of. Hats off again to the entire CrossFire Steel Orchestra crew for hosting such a successful start to the New York pan season!
By CP - Basement Press Release Writers