Throw The Bums Out!!
(Pan In New York)

Recently an obnoxious New York Councilman publicly lamented or should we say, gloated over the fact that so many steelbands wore T-Shirts he provided with his name on them...  It is time for the politicians to worry about which bands' T-shirts they are going to wear.  There are thousands of pan people in the city of New York who vote directly and indirectly.  Throw the bums out!!

The drums of steel are out in full force in the concrete jungle known as the Big Apple. It's 90 degrees in the shade and the rumbling of the basses are beginning to be felt throughout Brooklyn. Yet another generation of pan players have begun the trek down long road annual ritual we call Panorama... Indeed, they are the true keepers of the flame. Over the next four weeks the pan people will toil round the clock, shed much blood, sweat and tears as they perfect their craft until they are ready to deliver that momentous performance that summarizes all of their dedication, hard work and talent...

The New York Pan scene is different to any other. Because the New York pan man must for the most part, continue to conquer and operate within an hostile environment. Clash of cultures, inclement weather, housing instability and inadequate resources are a constant nemesis... 80% of participating panorama steelbands have a different location for their practice space this year, as a result of the difficulty in securing permanent adequate space for full panorama orchestras.   Nevertheless, the NY's pan scene is vibrant and alive... The NY scene is made up of thousands of young, gifted and motivated youth guided by mature crafty veterans...  Moreover, the NY's steelpan scene continues to represent the single greatest music movement in this country that popularizes instrumental music performance and musicianship...

Last year at the end of the NY's panorama we gave our assessment of the NY steelpan music landscape... We will begin this season from that point.

NY panorama is one the greatest musical and cultural expressions in this country.  However, every year many frustrated players hang up their sticks for good...  New York is littered with the ghosts of thousands of ex-pan men/women who are now retired at an early age or sidelined due to the "frustration" that comes with corrupt, incompetent and scandalous leadership and event promoters.

Will this be the season when NY panmen will not feel like Muhammad Ali after his "Thriller In Manila Fight" against Joe Frazier?   That was the fight that left both fighters close to death, and asking themselves "why do we do this again?"  Is this the season when steelpan management will feel that this year made financial sense?

As we get older, the reasons become unclear or un-motivating for participating in New York's panorama competition... Most New York steelbands are left "close to death" after panorama... The intake never matches the outlay in terms of economic, financial and human sacrifices... Yet we do it because "beating pan" is one of the noblest and highest forms of human cooperation, spiritual communication, and is intellectually stimulating...  It has been said that "he who plays pan walks, with the Gods..."  Those of you feel it, know it; and those of you who don't - well......

Indeed, it is far easier for NASA to calculate the mathematical algorithms necessary to put a man on the moon than calculate the movements of the pan man as he dances and performs his piece or that of the flag woman as she prances up and down the stage from one time signature to another seamlessly... Yet all this is quite elementary to the pan man...

Next a close look at the 2004 participants...


Share your opinions

New York 2003 Panorama Results In Review -

August 7th 2004

  • Pantonic Steel Orchestra performs in Baltimore, at the Trinidad and Tobago Association's presentation of "Steelband Musical Performance".  Time 2 - 8 PM.  Venue:  the Clifton Park Bandshell, St. Lo Drive, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • Pan Sonatas - Summer Heat Wave Street Fair  - Time: 10:00am - 9pm Sterling Place bet. Troy & Albany Avenues- Brooklyn, New York -- Featuring:  Steel Sensation, Krosfyah, Harmony, Brooklyn Steppers, Pan Ivory, Dem Stars, CASYM, Pan Ambassadors;  and Marsicans.
  • Grenada Carnival 2004 - National Panorama Competition.   7:00 PM.  Venue: Grenada National Stadium, Grenada W. I.
August 8th 2004
  • Marsicans Steel Orchestra, Inc.  presents their Gala Fund Raiser & Welcoming Bash for arranger - Pelham Goddard:   featuring Marsicans, and three Top Steel Bands, Calypsonians, DJ,  from 12 Noon - 10 PM, 1488 Schenectady Ave., (bet. Farragut Rd. & Dead end), Brooklyn, New York, USA.
    For info, call:  1 (718) 287-7495;  1 (917) 468-5575
  • Pan in Leicester Square. Croydon Steel Orchestra playing in Leicester Square.  2 PM – 5 PM.  ENGLAND
  • Doon at the Docks - A Street party - will be held in Aberdeen to celebrate the city's links with the sea, featuring various events, Toronto All Stars Steel Band and other musical entertainment.  For more info, contact email Dorothy Anderson at, Scotland, UNITED KINGDOM



Great Steelpan events coming soon...

Click on link for complete list...


Global SteelPan News


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