The "Pan Diamond" is still in its "rough cut" stages. As people took up positions in anticipation of an evening of pan music, the unmistakable signs of ongoing construction in the form of a wooden framework loomed in the background; it was all that was completed, in what will finally sparkle as the "final cut" of Pantonic's Steel Orchestra's 2004 rehearsal space/pan yard. This of course in no way diminished the massive space immediately in front of that area which was the stage for Pantonic's 2004 band launch activities.
It was another weekend highlighting some of the best of the steelband world in New York. Pantonic Steel Orchestra organized their annual event which came off despite the earlier rain showers that threatened to cast a "damper" on the planned proceedings.
DJ Supreme Team initially entertained the pan patrons who were there early to enjoy the pan party. With an advertised start time of 6:00 PM - guest steel orchestra Marsicans Steel Orchestra were allowed to strike the first notes of steelband music at 11:00 PM. The band, whose pan yard is located just around the corner from Pantonic's "Pan Diamond", delivered a fiery and well-received repertoire for the crowd, who were pleased that the real "jewel" of the Band Launch - Pan music - was now finally in the spotlight. Even a very young would-be pan player got down to the ground with his pan sticks, in lieu of a pan!
A 45-minute break followed Marsicans' performance, then the well-established CASYM Steel Orchestra took over and continued to captivate the crowd with more pan music. Dressed in yellow T-shirts, the band's youthful exuberance was in full evidence despite the "after-midnight" performance time.
Despers USA followed CASYM, and played with the precision and touch to the instrument that the band is renowned for throughout the pan world. The older pan patrons/connoisseurs nodded and tapped both in time to the music, and in appreciation of the band's dexterity, as the stage side moved through its paces.
Closing things off for the event were the organizers, Pantonic Steel Orchestra. Their repertoire included a couple tracks from their 2004 CD release "Tonic For the Soul", and the selection that garnered them championship honors in the 2003 Panorama competition, "Trini To The Bone."
For the 2004 pan season,
Pantonic rehearses at 1021 East 48th Street, between Farragut Rd. and the
"Dead End", Brooklyn, New York. Marsicans Steel Orchestra is
one block away at 1488 Schenectady Ave., between Farragut Rd. and the
"Dead End." Entry to both pan yards is from Farragut Rd. only.
Listings for other steelbands
can be found here.
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By CP - Basement Press Release Writer