Great Expectations - WSMF
New Yorkers Expect The Best
New York's Steelpan community expresses
concern and outrage
over Trinidad's operation within their sphere...
In what has becoming a major public relations snafu - the behavior of the
World Steelband Music Festival (WSMF) organizers has rubbed many New York
steelpan community members the wrong way. And this, with little over a
month to go before the event, which has been the biggest "non-secret" of the
Many in the New York pan community feel
disrespected that Pan Trinbago initially lacked the courtesy or even
bothered to be in consultation with their representatives, until
arrangements were in place. New York pan people raised serious
concerns over the promoters employed by the Trinidad organizers.
Indeed, it seems that the organizers have chosen to empower many of the very
people the New York pan community itself has worked to avoid for years.
This - because of these people's alleged ill-feeling and sometimes openly
articulated opposition towards the artform, and also because they supposedly
proved themselves incompetent in the past. Many felt that through the
upcoming WSMF, the Trinidad government is openly financially rewarding
individuals who historically do not have the interest of the New York
steelpan artform and the community at heart.
Ultimately the Trinidad government is responsible for any
perceived discourtesy or miscommunication, as they are the financial backers
of the organizers of the World Steelband Music Festival.
Nonetheless, the New York pan community will be there to
welcome, and fully support the steelpan art form and the performances of
their fellow pan musicians at the WSMF. One thing is for sure:
the New York pan community will only get credit and praise for the success
of this show through their support of the WSMF - this in spite of the
behavior of the Trinidad government. On the other hand - no one will
fault the New York pan community should things go less than great.
The bar has been set. In New York great things have
happened at, and therefore are expected for - major steelpan shows.
Pan Trinbago and Trinidad have big shoes to fill. From the Rolling
Stones to Luther Vandross to Bob Marley to Tito Fuentes to the New York
Philharmonic to Winton Marsalis-- New York knows and expects nothing but
great musical events - regardless of the genre of music.
For the record, both Pan Trinbago's president - Patrick
Arnold, and secretary - Richard Forteau recently met with several
representatives of the New York steel orchestras where they were able to
openly voice their concerns. At this juncture, both Arnold and
Forteau have confirmed that the show is carded for June 19, at the theatre
in Madison Square Garden.
at Madison Square Garden seating from 2,000-5,600.