Damany James addresses the audience at his inaugural annual concert initiative
He a multi-talented musician. An awesome panist. He is the current defending champion New York Junior Panorama arranger. Moreover, he is a young man with a plan and he has hit the ground running. We are talking about Damany James, the CEO of Bob’s Music.
Although only 20, Damany has embarked on one of the great challenges within the Brooklyn artistic community. That is, in spite of an abundance of tremendous local talent and history, credible options and performance opportunities for performing arts practitioners within Brooklyn neighborhoods—at both the amateur and professional levels—are almost non-existent. And in this regard, recently Damany took on the role of concert organizer, promoter and difference-maker, as he held his first annual Anniversary Concert at Meyer Levin School for the Performing Arts.
And even though there were torrential rains on this day which continued into the evening, and a delayed start of more than one hour, folks came out in droves to show support for this young music promoter and visionary. And, of course, to enjoy the show filled with an abundance of local talent.
A virtual who’s who of New York Pan was present in the audience, or participating with the performing acts. Distinguished musicians Jahlani Roberts, Andre White and Khuent Rose were among the performers who lent their support to this concert.
Left to right: Khuent Rose, Andre White and Jahlani Roberts
In addition many of New York’s top arrangers, panists and members of the Pan community turned out. Noted arrangers and panists Odie Franklin, Marc Brooks and Wilfred Kieal Jr., among many others were spotted in the audience. There was no doubt that Mr. James has garnered the backing of the community. Among the musicians present were members of (but not limited to) - CASYM, CrossFire, Despers USA, and New York Pan Stars steel orchestras, all taking in the show.
Pan community out in support at the concert
The audience was thrilled as they were treated to elements of dance, rap, and music performances that covered a wide range of genres. Additionally, the show was very entertaining. Among those who provided assistance to the event by lending their talents, was recent NYU graduate and panist, and now-Brooklyn educator Sean Perham, in the capacity of Master of Ceremonies.
Higher Levin Steel Orchestra performs
And in this present climate of Fake News and Alternative Facts as the new normal, it is really refreshing to see a young brilliant, competent and genuinely good person step up and take the reins to make a positive difference.
Daughters of David perform
Damany is an entrepreneur with a New York state of mind. The prospect of a young honest promoter for the arts, particularly in the Caribbean sector - not as a side "hustle" and con-man - may be upon us. This alternative creative performance outlet is intriguing. Any progressive opportunities for the New York panist outside of the yearly Panorama competition, (which is nothing more than an abusive relationship for the steel orchestras, and what is tantamount to disrespect and child abuse for the young panists) - would be welcome growth.
It is indeed time for New York panists to take advantage of their NY location, and move on to bigger and better things than the Panorama overseen by the grumpy old men (and women) who have for decades lost their own youth, and who foster that abusive relationship under the guise of supporting culture.