Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

 

Tribute To Women In Pan

 

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Meet Zaria Neckles - Brooklyn, New York

“Well my Mom doesn’t like the sound of it but she likes the fact that I actually found something that I’m really into, and that it is something that I actually stuck to for this long...  Panorama is an excitement to me every year because it’s crunch time for your band, but it’s also everybody coming together to listen to the sweet sound of pan and enjoying themselves.”

She has Black and Gold in her veins. The mighty Sonatas is her band.  In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - panist and performing artist Zaria Neckles shares her reflections, experiences and views on Pan, and the steelpan art form overall.

A When Steel Talks Exclusive


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WST - “Tell us about Zaria Neckles?”

Zaria N. - “Zaria Neckles is an outgoing, loving, and fun person. I’m 19 years old; I’m a current dancer of Strut N Strive Dance Team.  I was born and raised in Brooklyn. My mom is American and my Dad is from Grenada. Currently I work at the Brooklyn Public Library.”


WST - “When and how did you first become aware of the steelpan instrument?”

Zaria N. “To be honest I’ve been around Pan my entire life. I was introduced to it by my Dad but I didn’t start playing pan until 2007 with Pan Sonatas.”


WST - “What keeps your passion for the instrument and music going?”

Zaria N. - “My passion for the instrument and music is by the way how the song is arranged.”


WST - “What does your family think about your involvement in Pan?”

Zaria N. - “Well my Mom doesn’t like the sound of it but she likes the fact that I actually found something that I’m really into, and that it is something that I actually stuck to for this long and that I got something that’s keeping me out of trouble. For my Dad - out of all his kids I’m the only one that actually stuck with playing steelpan.”


Zaria Neckles and her Dad
Zaria Neckles and her Dad

WST - “What is the greatest challenge facing this current generation of steelpan musicians in Pan?”


Zaria N. - “Finding a place to practice for Panorama season and finding a way to get the racks to the museum.”


WST - “What have you been most proud about as it relates to Pan?”

Zaria N. - “I’m proud and happy to be a member of Pan Sonatas til this day.”


WST - “If you had the power to change something in Pan immediately what would that be?”

Zaria N. - “To be honest I really don’t know - Lots.”


WST - “What is Panorama to you?

Zaria N. - “Panorama is an excitement to me every year because it’s crunch time for your band, but it’s also everybody coming together to listen to the sweet sound of pan and enjoying themselves.”


WST - “Is Panorama a curse or blessing from your perspective?”

Zaria N. - “I would say a blessing because of the fact that whether we win or lose, in the end we enjoyed ourselves and worked really hard together as a band.”


WST - “What type of music do you listen to outside of Pan?”

Zaria N. - “I listen to Soca, Hip-Hop, R&B, Reggae and Rap.”


WST - “Where do you see yourself five years from now?”

Zaria N. - “Five years from now hopefully I’m still playing pan & graduating from college with a Bachelors in Child Services.”


WST - “What is your vision for the steelpan instrument?”

Zaria N. - “For it to become a major instrument in mostly schools. I feel it would be interesting to the new generation of students.”

 

Zaria Neckles with Sonatas Steel Orchestra
Zaria Neckles with Sonatas Steel Orchestra

 

Zaria Neckles performing with Sonatas Steel Orchestra




Their Story, Their Voice, Their Life, Their Dreams - click for more stories

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