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September 2011


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“The Bradley Years”

The Bradley Years represent the definitive collection of steelband music arrangements and performances for a large steel orchestra. This collection showcases seven classic arrangements from the master arranger Clive Bradley.  Bradley is considered to be the best steelband music arranger ever by many, including his peers.  In addition, the arrangements are performed by one of the finest steelbands in the world, New York’s Pantonic Steel Orchestra. Clive Bradley had a very special relationship with Pantonic.  This orchestra clinched the title of panorama champions five times in seven years - performing Bradley’s musical works.  The performances were captured by Basement Recordings days before, and in one instance, mere moments before they took the stage for the prestigious annual steelband music panorama competition. 

The recordings capture, reproduce and present an unrivalled clarity with sonic realism, of a large steel orchestra fielding between one hundred and one hundred twenty musicians - unlike any other steelband music recordings in its class.   

This body of musical work is a sterling addition for all fans, educators, players, historians and fine music collectors.
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“CD Samples”
 Pan in New York 2009

Global - Experience the beauty of the steelpan instrument through the two latest CD releases from Basement Recordings.  Three-minute samples from the Pan In New York 2009 CDs - of both regular and slow tempo performances - are being featured.  Content is being added, so keep checking regularly.   Both “Pan In New York 2009,” and “Pan In New York 2009 - The Cooldown Versions” are a continuation of the Pan-4-Life series from Basement Recordings.
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Simply one of the greatest steelband recordings to date! 
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Tunes for 2012
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Web Posted - Friday September 30, 2011
When Steel Talks

Meet Lennox “Bobby” Mohammed - Champion Arranger for Guinness Cavaliers Steel Orchestra - Up-close!

Lennox 'Bobby' Mohammed after his WST interviewNew York, USA - Often when we talk about the steelpan music movement we forget or take for granted - just how young many of these now well-known icons of Pan were. Case in point: Lennox “Bobby” Mohammed, arranger for the legendary Guinness Cavaliers Steel Orchestra from southern Trinidad. So distinct and powerful was the sound of the Cavaliers, that they became one of the most feared orchestras of their time. There are those who will still swear that there were over two hundred players “on the road” in the orchestra.

In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks (WST) champion steel orchestra panorama arranger Lennox “Bobby” Mohammed shares his memories and thoughts of Pan in that golden era, and the steelpan music moments of today...
click for interview

Web Posted - Friday September 30, 2011

Steeldrum Shortage looms in Trinidad

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Pan Trinbago has over the years managed to a great extent to impress upon the State the importance of new material in the production of steelband instruments. In order to assist in this regard the drum assembly plant at National Petroleum, Sea Lots, had an arrangement with the Steelband Association, whereby a sincere attempt at meeting the needs of the steelbands was demonstrated.

Apart of this, Pan Trinbago imported airtight drums from Venezuela and tops from Chicago, USA. The National Petroleum drum division assembled the drums utilizing the tops and this at a cost to the Association. The airtight drums and tops were of high quality.

Today we are being told that the drum assembly plant at N.P. Sea Lots is not in operation because the machinery requires parts that are necessary to the operation.

....It is the Association’s sincere desire that N.P. Sea Lots be encouraged to do right and resume the supply of this so very critical resource, the lack of which would seriously interrupt the manufacture of steelpans.
read more  - then:   click to comment in the WST forum

Web Posted - Thursday September 29, 2011
When Steel Talks

Champion Arranger (Exodus Steel Orchestra) Pelham Goddard Speaks - Up close!

Pelham Goddard after his WST interviewNew York, USA - He is one of the most celebrated musicians out of the Caribbean in this era, having composed, produced and/or arranged - some of the most respected music masterpieces that have become deeply and proudly associated with the Caribbean. “The Hammer, “Savannah Party,” “Happy Song,” “Panama,” “Dedication,” “Play My Music,” “The Unknown Band”....

In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks (WST), champion steel orchestra panorama arranger, and prolific composer and producer Pelham Goddard - speaks on a host of issues confronting the steelpan music world.
click for interview

Web Posted - Wednesday September 28, 2011
When Steel Talks

Jonathan Scales Comes to Brooklyn for Pantonic Steelpan Music Fall Classic Concert
Pantonic Breaks The Mold - taking Chances - Making Change

Jonathan Scales

Brooklyn, NY - He sat there fixated on the artist’s performance on the stage. Deciphering every note, every nuance. Storing it away for safe-keeping for when it will reveal itself for further processing, influence or usage in the future. This young Tonic has that ‘look.’ You know the look - the one that makes you say - “This one has the potential to be something very, very special in Pan if only he or she stays focused.” It’s that look we (When Steel Talks - WST) have seen before in the likes of a young Sheldon Elcock years ago, an Iman Pascall, Jehlani Fernando, Khan Cordice, Sade Constantine and of course we saw it in a then-very young Andre White. More on this particular young Tonic prospect at another time. Today, however, the story is on this young artist that is having so much impact on this next generation of steelpan musicians. It is recording and performing artist Jonathan Scales.

He is, as most of us know by now, a steel panist who brings his very own special brand of music and thought-process to the steelpan music genre (check the WST review of Jonathan Scales).
click to read more

Web Posted - Wednesday September 28, 2011
When Steel Talks

Then & Now - Steelpan Mom and Daughter
Generations in Pan

Steelpan Mom and Daughter

Global - The steelpan music movement has connected whole generations of players and the community with love, passion and commitment. In fact, it is not uncommon to find grandma or granddad, child and grandchild playing together in one steel orchestra in New York. When Steel Talks Pan Photographers capture the essence of that reality from infant to young lady with mom and daughter who are both now veteran New York panorama players. By the way, Dad is an ace New York pan player himself, but that's another story for another day...
click to see them now

Web Posted - Monday September 26, 2011
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

Fatima student gets head-start for Pan tuning career

Rhonda Francis, second from left, manager, Corporate Responsibility, bpTT, presents the award for Most Outstanding Student in Basic Pan Tuning to Fatima College student, Brandon Francis. Sharing the special occasion are, from left, tutor Musa Muhammed; Betty Adams-Skeete, principal of Belmont Secondary School; and PDU founder and manager Barry Yeates

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Teenager Brandon Francis has been given the perfect head-start for a prospective career in the steel pan industry by emerging as the Most Outstanding Student in an intensive Basic Pan Tuning course sponsored by energy company, bpTT.  “Winning this award is really exciting, since I want to pursue a career in pan tuning. This course has opened my eyes to the opportunities in the world of pan. I am going to use this experience as a stepping stone to fulfill my objectives,” said an elated Francis, 14, a student of Fatima College, and a player with Valley Harps Steel Orchestra since the age of seven.
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Web Posted - Saturday September 24, 2011

Hiddenite festival an annual ‘labor of love’

Appalachian State University’s Steely Pan Steel Drum Band

North Carolina, USA - It’s not every day you can churn butter, hear Abraham Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address and listen to steel drum music from Trinidad and Tobago. On Saturday at the 30th Annual Hiddenite Celebration of the Arts, that was only the entertainment in the afternoon’s first hour.

“Our mission is to provide quality arts and cultural heritage opportunities for our region,” said Miranda Burgin, communications and publicity volunteer for the event. “We want to make art accessible to everyone in our community and provide opportunities for artists in our region to interact with the public and show their craft.”

....Demonstrators taught pottery, sewing and cooking, among other traditional folk activities. A Scottish band played and two clogging groups performed. Bluegrass and rock music was heard, along with Appalachian State University’s Steely Pan Steel Drum Band.
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Web Posted - Saturday September 24, 2011
When Steel Talks

Song for Panorama 2012
“Pan Pan!”
sung & composed by Harry Best

Harry BestGlobal - “Pan Pan!” is the product of the collaborative efforts of panist-singer-composer Harry Best of St. Lucia and music producer Roland Richards of Montserrat, featuring Pan phenom Duvone Stewart of Trinidad and Tobago. The tune represents Harry’s third contribution in as many years to the ‘Panorama Tunes’ smorgasbord. Last year Harry was touted for his crafty composition “Pan is de Ting,” his first effort at writing a complete tune for Panorama. Two years earlier he collaborated with calypsonian Crazy and music producer Phil Hawkins on the Panorama tune “Pan Wisdom.’ Harry was the lyricist.
click to hear song

Web Posted - Friday September 23, 2011
When Steel Talks

Latavia Deane - A Profile in Courage
Steelpan Player Battles Cancer

Latavia Deane, Despers USA steelpan musician on Tenor BassNew York, USA - When Steel Talks joins Despers USA and the global steelpan community in sending prayers and love to Despers USA Steel Orchestra’s member, 18 year-old Latavia Deane who has been valiantly battling cancer for most of her life. She is now in a coma. Latavia is a courageous human being with an indomitable spirit. She represents the best in all of us.
click for original post

Web Posted - Friday September 23, 2011
When Steel Talks

Pan United part of 64th Annual BGCA National Youth Dinner Gala

PUYM’s Khadim Mbake gives Ashanti a quick lesson on the double second steelpan instrument; PUYM Director Shawn Thwaites looks on in background

Washington, D.C., USA - On September 20, Pan United Youth Movement (PUYM) out of Maryland performed for the Boys & Girls Club of America’s (BGCA) 64th National Youth of The Year Dinner at Hyatt Regency Washington, Washington, D.C. In attendance was the national spokesman for the Boys & Girls Club of America, Denzel Washington, who - for their contributions to and support of the organization - honored basketball star LeBron James, fellow BGCA alum and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Ashanti, and former Happy Days’ star and Academy Award-winning director and producer Ron Howard.
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Web Posted - Wednesday September 21, 2011
When Steel Talks

Song for Panorama 2012
“Trials of A Pan Woman”
sung by “Alexander D Great”
composed by Edwin Ayoung & “Alexander D Great”


Debra 'Pan Diva' RomainGlobal - Debra ‘PanDiva’ Romain is a Steel pan Vocalist from the UK.
Debra is of Trinidadian descent and, along with being a classically-trained singer, has played Pan for thirty years, and taught Pan for twenty. Debra arranges for several UK Bands including Mangrove Steel Band and Stardust Steel Orchestra.  She is the Musical director of Cambridge University Steel Orchestra and the All Female Ladies of Steel.

....She has combined the love for both Pan and singing to become one of the UK’s most unique solo artists.  “Trials of A Pan Woman” is her first “Pan song” of which she is very proud.
click to hear song

Web Posted - Wednesday September 21, 2011
When Steel Talks

Song for Panorama 2012
“Kamla the Greatest”
sung by “Crazy”
composed by Edwin Ayoung


Edwin 'Crazy' AyoungGlobal - “This is the age – of Woman power; Women rising – and taking over; We must be proud – three cheers for Kamla!” proclaims Edwin “Crazy” Ayoung, or the “Lovable Lunatic” as the veteran singer is also known.  Kamla Persad-Bissessar is his country’s (Trinidad & Tobago) first-ever female Prime Minister,  and for his first release for the 2012 Panorama season, Ayoung chose to release this track which he hopes will be a source of pride for many of his countrymen.

Crazy - born Edwin Ayoung in 1944, on Maraval Road in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad of a Venezuelan mother and Trinidadian father of Chinese descent, was - in his youth - as skilled and competitive in his country’s national pastime of cricket, as he has been now for years as a world-travelled musician, performing artiste and composer.
click to hear song

Web Posted - Tuesday September 20, 2011
When Steel Talks

Song for Panorama 2012
“An Intervention of Hope
(Lives Have Been Saved)”
sung by “The Original DeFosto Himself”
composed by Winston Scarborough


The Original DeFosto Himself, aka Winston ScarboroughGlobal - There is no shortage of social commentary by The Original DeFosto Himself for the 2012 Panorama.  He is out with his first track for the upcoming season:  “An Intervention of Hope (Lives Have Been Saved),” which he has both written and performed.

DeFosto, also known as Winston Scarborough, is considered by many to be one of the all-time great composers of steelband ‘panorama tunes.’
click to hear song

Web Posted - Tuesday September 20, 2011
Finale Blog

Meet Finale Composition Contest Finalist Andy Akiho

Andy Akiho

USA - Last February, MakeMusic, the American Composer’s Forum, and the Grammy-winning ensemble eighth blackbird announced three finalists in the Finale National Composition Contest. All three were asked to submit final scores by October 1, 2011, and will workshop their pieces with eighth blackbird in Chicago on December 7 and 8. After a concert of all three works on December 8, the judges will select the recipient of the final prize, who will receive an additional cash award and a future public performance by eighth blackbird.

...this week we’ll feature finalist Andy Akiho. Andy is an award-winning composer whose interests run from steel pan to traditional classical music.

Scott Yoho: How did you initially discover the steel pan?

Andy Akiho:  I didn’t actually know what one was until I was about 18. When I was at the University of South Carolina I did everything I could do as a percussionist. I really tried to learn about everything that was available to me at the time. In addition to playing in orchestra, concert band, and percussion ensemble as a classical percussionist, I joined the local West African percussion ensembles, Brazilian drumming ensembles, and the steel bands. By the time I finished at South Carolina I felt that playing pans was what I loved to do the most, and I subsequently traveled to Trinidad several times. My first visit, I stayed for five weeks and played with a big band called the PCS Starlift Steel Orchestra, led by Ray Holman (a legend in the steel pan community). The following year, I played with another steel orchestra called Phase II, led by Len “Boogsie” Sharpe.

Scott Yoho:  How did you make that connection?

Andy Akiho: I went to Trinidad without knowing anybody. The first day I got there I immediately began telling the locals I met that I really wanted to play. The place I was staying happened to be a block from where Ray Holman lives, and within a few hours I was knocking on his door. He led me to the Starlift Orchestra pan yard, and I got to play with the band that night. I played and performed with them for the next few weeks.
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Web Posted - Monday September 19, 2011
When Steel Talks

Song for Panorama 2012
“Million Dollar Music”
sung by “Car Wash” 
composed by Dunstan Lawrence 


Carwash, aka Dunstan LawrenceGlobal - To get both his 2012 track and latest contender for the upcoming Panorama season “Million Dollar Music” out of the studio, Dunstan Lawrence aka “Carwash” has again placed his music in the capable hands of veteran ace musician Pelham Goddard. 

Dunstan Lawrence made his calypso tent debut in 1999. Though probably not a very familiar face to many on the steelpan music scene, Dunstan, who performs under the sobriquet “Carwash,” saw his music work recognized and performed by one of Trinidad’s powerhouse steel orchestras - world-renowned Trinidad All Stars - back in 1998.’
click to hear song

Web Posted - Sunday September 18, 2011
Trinidad & Tobago Express

All 84 G-pans accounted for
Copeland on AG's charge

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Two months after Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and the Government took legal action against him for the Genesis Pan (G-Pan) and the Percussive Harmonic Instrument (PHI) pan, Prof Brian Copeland has defended himself and the two organisations he heads.

In a three-page letter, Copeland, chairman of the Steelpan Initiative Committee (SIC) and Steelpan Initiative Project (SIP), said on Friday the Government failed to engage in meaningful dialogue and "chose instead to take action that would hinder one of the most advanced knowledge-based/ manufacturing initiatives ever undertaken to improve the nation's development status through innovative activity".

He said he could account for all 84 G-pans manufactured as he defended allegations that he and his team had "hijacked" the instrument for commercial gain as Ramlogan alleged in July.
read more

Web Posted - Sunday September 18, 2011
When Steel Talks

Winners for New York J’Ouvert 2011
Complete results for Mas and Steelpan competitions

New York, USA - Get results for the 2011 New York J’Ouvert hosted by J’Ouvert City International.  Fancy Ole Mas, Traditional Ole Mas, Sailor Mas, Jab Jab, Individuals and King and Queen placings are all available.  Details on how the steelbands playing on the road in the following categories fared are also documented:  Bomb  Tune, Best Playing Band and Small Band.
click for results

Web Posted - Saturday September 17, 2011
When Steel Talks

Vanessa ‘Pans’ her way to the top at Berklee College of Music
- gains full scholarship

Vanessa at BerkleeSan Fernando, Trinidad, W.I. - Vanessa Headley continues her high-profile rise to music fame with the steelpan instrument as her 'vehicle' of choice.  A few weeks ago Headley completed the Five-Week Summer Performance Programme at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and also won a full-term music scholarship due to her outstanding all-round showing in the programme.  In a WST exclusive, Pan Visionary Hollis Clifton caught up with Headley recently for a chat.
read more

Web Posted - Thursday September 15, 2011
The Observer

Hells Gate confident of holding on to pan title

St. John’s, Antigua, W.I.  - St. John’s Antigua Representative of LIME Hell’s Gate Steel Orchestra Stafford Joseph expects the band to hold onto the 2011 Panorama championship title after, he said, internal investigation showed that the method used to select this year’s winner has been utilised by judges for the past four years.

It is not clear whether the Steel Band Association has concluded its own probe, which was prompted by objection from Victor “Babu” Samuel, the arranger of the Hadeed Group of Companies AMP Halcyon.

Samuel threatened legal action if an “adequate explanation” was not given for the band’s second place finish despite scoring the highest overall points.

However, Joseph told The Daily OBSERVER his investigations indicate that the ranking system, which was used to choose this year’s winner, has been in place since 2007.
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Web Posted - Wednesday September 14, 2011
When Steel Talks

New York 2011 Steel Orchestra Panorama in REVIEW

Panorama Champs ADLIB Steel Orchestra

New York, USA - The good, the bad, the ugly and things that leave me SMH & LMAO about 2011 New York Panorama. When Steel Talks reviews the 2011 New York panorama season in total.
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Web Posted - Monday September 12, 2011
When Steel Talks

It’s congrats to former Pan Trinbago head - Louis Patrick Arnold

Louis Patrick ArnoldTrinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The Tobago Region, Northern Region, Eastern Region and South Central Region of Pan Trinbago, wish to express congratulations to Mr. Louis Patrick Arnold on receiving The Chaconia Medal (Gold) at the National Awards Ceremony on August 31, Independence Day 2011. The Chaconia Medal is Trinidad & Tobago’s second highest national award and is bestowed for long and meritorious service to the country.
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Web Posted - Monday September 12, 2011

Steel Orchestra forced to leave Arima mall

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The Arima Golden Symphony Steel Orchestra says its steel pans have been badly treated during refurbishment works at the Priority Mall in Arima.

The band has been given eviction notice by the managers of the mall, the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC).  PTSC says the space occupied by the band for the past three years is now needed. Chairman of Pan Trinbago’s Eastern Region, Vernon Morancie says the band needs more time to find a new location.  Mr. Morancie said over the weekend, the instruments were poorly handled.  Mr. Morancie is also saying the pans could be carted away today, based on information he has received.  He believes better respect is needed.
read more

Web Posted - Saturday September 10, 2011
When Steel Talks

Meet Andre White - Arranger for ADLIB Steel Orchestra - Up close!

Andre White after his WST interviewNew York, USA - He is immensely talented, intelligent, unpretentious, thankful, hard-working and focused. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks (WST) - champion steelband panorama arranger Andre White - fresh from his victories in the UK Panorama and the New York Panorama - speaks about his accomplishments, school, his future and position as arranger for New York’s ADLIB Steel Orchestra.
click for interview

Web Posted - Friday September 9, 2011
When Steel Talks

Festival International de Steelpan de Montreal 2011
Week-Ends du MONDE au parc Jean-Drapeau -- Au Rythme de ma Culture! provides an exceptional cultural backdrop for F.I.S.M.

Publicity poster for F.I.S.M. - Festival International de Steelpan de MontrealMontreal, Canada - There are times in history when certain moments and/or events are so pivotal to the future developments and accom-plishments of a movement and culture, that they can actually dwarf the moment. Liken this instant to a star that has gone supernova a million years ago, and is only now visible in our solar system to us. The fortuitous coming together of the Festival International de Steelpan de Montreal (F.I.S.M.) and Week-Ends du MONDE is such an occurrence. What took place at this 2011 festival will have major implications that will be felt globally for generations to come.

Like a scene out of the Pied Piper calling and leading his enchanted flock through the hypnotic sound of his musical instrument - similarly the sweet sounds of the steelpan from three orchestras descended over the twin islands of Parc Jean-Drapeau. With no less effect than a mystical mist like that from a magical Aladdin lamp - thousands of people with faces of wonderment followed the sound emanating from the steelpan instruments.
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Web Posted - Thursday September 8, 2011
When Steel Talks

Pan Trinbago cancels Pan Is Beautiful XII

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Pan Trinbago has announced its decision to indefinitely postpone the Trinidad & Tobago National Steelband Music Festival (Pan Is Beautiful XII).

While agonizing over the inconvenience, emotional distress and financial loss to the membership, Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C. does not have the necessary sponsorship to support such an initiative.
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Web Posted - Thursday September 8, 2011
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

Thomas to play pan in Washington

Jazz drummer Sean Thomas on double seconds

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - President of the Jazz Alliance of Trinidad and Tobago (JATT), Sean Thomas, has been invited to play T&T’s national musical instrument, the steelpan, at one of the most prestigious jazz events in the world. It will be the first time pans are used in the ceremony of its kind. The Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition and 25th anniversary gala concert is scheduled to take place on September 12 at The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC. The event will be hosted by Herbie Hancock, Phylicia Rashad, and Billy Dee Williams, and the ceremony will honour Aretha Franklin with the institute’s 2011 Maria Fisher Founder’s Award.

The line-up of performers on the night is a veritable who’s who of the greatest living jazz artistes. They include: Ellis Marsalis; TS Monk Jr; Dianne Reeves; Marcus Roberts; Wayne Shorter; Ron Carter; Jimmy Heath; Terence Blanchard; Dee Dee Bridgewater; Terri Lyne Carrington; John Patitucci; Joey DeFrancesco; Ambrose Akinmusire; John Beasley; ELEW; Kurt Elling; Kevin Eubanks; Roberta Gambarini; Lionel Loueke; Joe Lovano; Christian McBride; Jason Moran; Gretchen Parlato; Danilo Perez; Ben Williams; all past competition winners, and many more. Thomas will be amongst illustrious company.
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Web Posted - Tuesday September 6, 2011
When Steel Talks

We have Steelpan, We have Art, We have Music, We have High Culture - We Exist!

Ole Mas, Oil, Paint, Powder and PAN - again King in Brooklyn for J’Ouvert

J’Ouvert 2011 revelry on Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

New York, USA - This was indeed a very special J’Ouvert morning in New York as I was rudely awakened by NYPD (New York Pan Department) helicopters heavily rumbling in the skies above the neighborhood in the wee hours of the night. These menacing “Ghetto Birds” or gunships as they are commonly called in the hood were flying so low and were so loud the glass started to rattle. Half-asleep, I wondered “Where am I - Mogadishu, Afghanistan, Gaza - or Hell?” And almost simultaneously - amazingly - I heard the distinct sound of iron and drum beating the rhythm of the Jab Jab, the Pan Man and ole mas - mixed with the hum of thousands of humans dancing, chipping and reveling in the street.
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Web Posted - Monday September 5, 2011

Extreme importance of parents to steelbands

Grenada, W.I. - They are seen night and day in and around the steel orchestras of Grenada; and, for the most part, they do not and cannot play any instrument – even the most basic two-note “doo-doop.’’

However, steelband leaders admit that their orchestras will be unable to function without them.

“They are extremely important. They are equally important as any pan player,’’ Brian Sylvester says in reference to parents who are the virtual backbone of his steelband, Republic Bank Angel Harps, and other steel orchestras.

Lime Commancheros of St. Paul’s has formalized the support of its parents. They are known as the Parent Association of Commancheros.

“They play a critical role,’’ says Stephen Greenidge, an arranger and senior panist with Commancheros. He’s the only male member of the Parent Association.

“The parents come together as one big family. They raise funds, they cook and give general support and provide whatever help they could,’’ Greenidge explains.
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Web Posted - Monday September 5, 2011

A total of 44 children received certificates at Sunday’s graduation ceremony

St. Vincent, W.I. - The Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra is the three time reigning panorama champions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The program which began on July 18 was geared at teaching children between the ages of eight to sixteen how to play the pan and how to identify musical notes.

A total of 44 children received certificates at Sunday’s graduation ceremony. Addresses also came from representative from the Youlou Pan Movement.

This is the 16th year that the Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra has been offering the summer program to kids.
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Web Posted - Monday September 5, 2011
When Steel Talks

September 5 - The ‘Pan Buzz’ to date:  Independence Time

Pan Buzz iconGlobal - This Independence Pan Buzz was filled with a bit of nostalgia. You see, I love my country, not my ex-wife. However I don’t like how it is descending into mayhem, so spending Independence away from my native land was indeed sad.

Every Independence, I like nothing better than to go dong (my word), melt in the crowd, buss dong a bad pelau, burp, and listen to sweet Pan music at the Woodbrook Playboyz Pan Theatre. This year I missed the shebang. Every year these Independence Day brunches are growing in popularity. The one put on by Starlift is a blast.
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Web Posted - September 4, 2011
When Steel Talks


ADLIB Steel Orchestra on stage for the 2011 Panorama

New York Panorama 2011 - Arrangers & Tunes

New York, USA - New York Panorama 2011 - RESULTS! Arrangers, order of appearance, Tunes and information.
click for more info

Web Posted
When Steel Talks

New York Pan Yards for 2011
Click here

Web Posted - Friday September 2, 2011

In Brooklyn, Steel Drum Orchestras Gear Up for Carnival Competition

A young member of the CASYM steel drum orchestraNew York, USA -
Summer evenings in East Flatbush, Brooklyn are filled with the tinkling sounds of steel. Each year from June through September, the CASYM Steel Orchestra sets up its “pan yard” on Church Avenue between E. 37th and 38th Streets, turning an empty lot into a bustling hub of activity.

“There are section leaders teaching players the notes," said Michele Williams, a long-time band member. "The guys are working together to tie things up. We’re here all day painting and drilling holes and tuning.”

On Saturday, Williams and the other 99 players in CASYM will go up against ten of New York’s best steel drum orchestras in the annual Panorama competition that takes place every year during Brooklyn’s West Indian American Day Carnival. The weekend-long festival is New York’s biggest celebration of Caribbean culture. It culminates on Labor Day with a parade along Eastern Parkway in which some 2 million revelers attend.
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Web Posted - Friday September 2, 2011
When Steel Talks

Panorama - A New York Tradition

A WST Special to the NY Daily News Caribbeat Magazine Steelpan Music

Soantas performing at band launch

New York, USA - It’s that special time of the year when the drums of Summer in New York come out in full force and radiate in all their magnificence for the highly competitive and prestigious annual steelband music panorama competition. After all...“Panorama” is the ultimate in high performing arts and culture as practiced by community-based institutions for their own edification, entertainment, education with affirmation and historical context, and showcasing and reinforcement of their traditions and customs.

It’s that time of the year when jerseys with names of Yankees and Knicks are replaced with T-Shirts proclaiming names like Sonatas, Despers USA, Pantonic, ADLIB, CASYM, CrossFire, D’Radoes, Harmony and the like. Of course - the ‘New York’ baseball caps remain!
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Web Posted - Thursday September 1, 2011
When Steel Talks

Ten years ago, You stood up!

Image of the cover of the 2001 USSA Panorama double CD

New York, USA - Ten years ago, Basement Recordings took on an assignment to produce a multimedia package for the United States Steelband Association (USSA), on their first ever Panorama, produced entirely on their own. The New York Pan community it seemed, was taking the initiative and attempted to finally assert themselves as self-reliant. In 2001 they made the bold step to produce their own showcase, and while all the steelbands weren’t on board, the USSA had 12 bands vying for the title with at least 4 powerhouses in the New York pan scene included.  I remember in our first production meeting when we were given our assignments for that night, I felt like I pulled the short stick in what could be a suicide mission.
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Web Posted - Thursday September 1, 2011
The Aucklander

Opening doors to diversity

AUT lecturer Camille Nakhid is the Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel chair. In her spare time, she manages a Caribbean steel band.

Auckland, New Zealand - The door of Camille Nakhid's office at the AUT Tower on Wakefield St is ajar. Students who want to have a chat or ask the social science lecturer questions feel free to just barge in.

....Dr Nakhid, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, was recently elected chair of Auckland Council Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel.

Dr Nakhid says migrants miss things from home that make them who they are. For her, that is Trinidadian food and music. "I really miss the steel band and calypso music," she says.

Six years ago, she decided it was time Caribbean music joined the New Zealand music scene. She brought the steel pans in and started the Caribbeanz Southern Stars Steelband. The band are also a curious mix of different nationalities brought together by their love of the music.
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Web Posted - Thursday September 1, 2011
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

School’s pan fund-raiser concert a great ‘success’

Dancing to the sweet sounds of Success Stars Pan Sounds at Queen’s Hall are, from left, Success Laventille Secondary School principal Hamida Baksh, Member of Parliament for Laventille West Nileung Hypolite, band drill master Gerelle Forbes and arranger Mickiel Gabriel.

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Success Laventille Secondary School, formerly Success Laventille Composite School, presented its pan fund-raising concert in aid of the purchasing of instruments on August 21, at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s. The school’s steel orchestra, Success Stars Pan Sounds, has been in existence for the past 27 years during which time it has been successful at various competitions including the Junior Panorama competition and Schools’ Music Festival.

Each item on the concert’s programme was enthusiastically received by a most appreciative audience. In fact, patrons rose to their feet to give a standing ovation for the band’s performance of Hallelujah Chorus, conducted by Marcus Ash, who is the UWI Percussion Ensemble captain and a member of the National Steel Symphony Orchestra. Toto’s Africa, arranged by Mickiel Gabriel, accompanied by Prizgar Land Folk Performers, and the band’s 2011 winning Panorama selection—De Fosto’s A Raging Storm—received similar gestures.
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When Steel Talks

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Some of the most important, controversial, thought-provoking and enlightening discussions on the steelpan instrument, music and culture worldwide, have taken place over the years on the When Steel Talks “Message board.”  Considered by many to be a lightening-rod for change in the steelpan music community, the WST message board  has provided a means unlike any for steelpan enthusiasts to share information and communicate ideas.

Windows MSN Groups has informed us that they are shutting down their groups service as of February 21, 2009.  You can now find the When Steel Talks Group at 
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