York - And why not?
When Steel Talks
previously called for that first prize and much
more for New York's pannists in competition.
New York is, after all, the entertainment, media
and financial capital of the world. The
Big Apple always sees itself as a global
artistic and cultural leader. And as
quietly as it's kept, the steel orchestras of
New York have been spear-heading and carrying
the flame for the most vibrant, inventive,
creative and socially significant music
performing arts-based movement in the USA.
The challenge in 2007 is for the managements of
the New York steel orchestras to get their act
together, and secure not only competent
leadership, but also an able and progressive
producer/promoter who can deliver the goods and
take advantage of the vast talent the young
people possess, in a time when NY is culturally
and financially flourishing.
Globally speaking, In
Trinidad & Tobago's case, we saw some movement
this year in the right direction, as Panorama
winners were awarded $1,000,000 (TT) [equal to
USD $159,000]. While this award was
clearly insufficient, it is a step in the right
direction. Steelpan music is Trinidad and
Tobago's only native musical art form and must
be viewed in a similar manner to Jazz, America's
only unique and original musical art form.
Time for NY steelband music
leaders, business, government. arts benefactors
and entertainment producers to step up to the
plate. Too much talent, too much music,
too much goodwill/people's efforts are being
politicians, developers, etc.) have been moving
into and are now positioned, to claim their
stake in regards to the new stadium (a Bruce
Ratner initiative) slated to go up in downtown
Brooklyn, which will not only be a sporting
arena, but is also being touted as a 'cultural
arts mecca.' It must be noted that
Brooklyn's Borough President Marty Markowitz is
on record that the cultural celebrations, i.e.
Panorama, will be moved there.
What is really needed, is a
musical complex that has been specifically and
solely designed to showcase the steel
orchestra. That is an entirely different
matter, and the only acceptable solution for New
York's pan fraternity. Again,