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Trinidad & Tobago Panorama 2007 - HOME

The 2007 Panorama Championship Title is His
- and Trinidad All Stars
Arranger Leon 'Smooth' Edwards, One Day After
 Trinidad & Tobago Steelband Panorama 2007
 

Leon 'Smooth' Edwards Arranger, Trinidad All Stars

Trinidad - When Steel Talks spoke with a quietly delighted Leon 'Smooth' Edwards, winning arranger for the prestigious 2007 Trinidad and Tobago National Panorama Championship on the Sunday after the competition.  Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra's execution of his arrangement of De Fosto's Pan Lamentation earned the orchestra the ultimate title of panorama champions - in addition to a one-million dollar (TT) prize purse, simultaneously denying the defending champions Phase II Pan Groove their much-desired hat trick.

Smooth said he was very happy for the members of All Stars, because many of them had been striving for that championship title in recent years.   The glee of the band's youngest players was particularly warming to Smooth. The last time the band took home the top prize was in 2002, also with another De Fosto composition called Pandora.   The veteran musician says De Fosto (Winston Scarborough) "seems to be the 'present day Kitch;' he seems to have the material that is  conducive to winning a panorama.  I naturally gravitate toward that sort of music."  Smooth was referring to the late Lord Kitchener aka Aldwyn Roberts, whose music dominated the panorama scene during his lifetime.

Asked about any particular measures that were in place to ensure victory, Smooth summed it all up by aptly describing Trinidad All Stars as a 'final night band.'  "That's the time you win a panorama...with the available material to do the job."

When the results were announced, the arranger himself was not in the Skinner Park panorama venue, but was in fact just across the street with a group of the band's musicians, in the compound owned by Neal and Massy, the band's corporate sponsor.  The site had been the headquarters for the orchestra while they were in San Fernando for the competition. 

Describing the scene of jubilant chaos for When Steel Talks, Smooth especially remembers the immediate reaction of the orchestra's younger members, 'the kids,' as he fondly refers to them.  They were 'running all around, banging the covers of the stands [canopies], etc.  Then they 'spotted' the arranger and 'descended' on him with [hugs] kisses, lifting him up, and to hear him re-tell it: 'held him captive for five minutes.'  "It was a frenzy.  So as soon as they settled down, I slipped out, you know, before another bunch come!" said Smooth.  The expected onslaught was from the next wave that would arrive within seconds from Skinner Park across the street.

 

Live Exclusive post-panorama interview with Leon 'Smooth' Edwards - Champion arranger, Trinidad All Stars

Days prior to the competition, held for the first time in San Fernando, south Trinidad, Smooth had expressed fears about the logistics for the return of the band instruments'  30-mile plus trek back north to Port-of-Spain, in time for J'Ouvert preparation.  The obviously-relieved arranger reported that the return journey was fine and he was 'thankful that things worked out well.'

The long-time member of, and arranger for All Stars lives in the US, and will be returning home on Saturday, exactly one week after the euphoria of winning.  His regular professional commitments kick in almost immediately upon his return.

 


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