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Still Missing Bradley
Pantonic Steel Orchestra
Honors ‘The Great One’

by AH


Glenda Gamory - President of Pantonic Steel Orchestra


Clive Bradley’s daughter Kelly-Ann addresses audience

New York - On November 26, 2006, on the anniversary of his death, Pantonic Steel Orchestra graciously hosted a tribute to the late great master, Clive Bradley, at Café Omar in Brooklyn. It hardly seems a year since we all heard the news of his passing, but Pantonic’s decision to celebrate his music was a great reminder of how time passes.

After an invocation by Oscar Sandiford, Les Slater, the MC introduced Kelly Bradley, who eloquently reminded all present that this was not a grieving affair, but a celebration of Clive Bradley’s music.  As she had indicated at the funeral, Bradley died on the day of her birthday, so we must all doubly sympathize with her loss. Pantonic Steel Orchestra, with the mood of what was to come, played sweet strains of a hymn: “A Mighty Fortress is our God”.

Councilman Kendall B. Stewart of the 45th City Council District which he represents, made opening remarks about pan in both Trinidad and Brooklyn, and the loss that the community feels now that Bradley is no longer with us.

And then came the music…

CASYM Steel Orchestra warmed us up with tunes like “Just the Two of Us” and “One Love” before turning to their panorama-winning selection “This One’s for You, Bradley”. Their performance made everyone recognize why this band is so well received by all audiences.

The Garvin Blake Ensemble, consisting of Garvin Blake on the Double Seconds pan, Frankie McIntosh on keyboards, Damon Duewhite on drums and Calvin Jones on bass soothed our souls with “Ah ‘Fraid Pussy Bite Me” and Kitchener’s “Pan in Harmony”, as well as jazz strains of “Caravan” and “Body and Soul”.

Politicians Jerry Hopkins and Anthony Alexis also offered words, both of comfort to the family and the Pan Community, and encouragement to keep the art form alive.

The Scipio Sargeant Group played pan favorites “Feelin’ Good” and “Pan in A Minor” for an ever-increasing audience. And by the time Pantonic came on, the place was packed.

Pantonic boasts some of the most vibrant players on the Brooklyn pan scene and can obviously be seen to miss Bradley. Their touching “Letter to the Brados” (reprinted below) expressed the void which his death has left in many of us, and they did him honor by playing “When Will I See You Again”, “Don’t Leave Me This Way”, “Disco Daddy”, “Rebecca” and “Action”. Glenda Gamory, upon introducing “Action” indicated that Bradley ‘put the message that he was leaving us’ in his arrangement.

We still miss him.



Bradley’s daughter and son:  Karen and Kerwin Bradley


Oscar Williams - former student of Clive Bradley


Pantonic Steel Orchestra


CASYM Steel Orchestra


Garvin Blake Quartet


Reverend Oscar Sandiford


Dane Gulston - Winston Theobald



Letter to the Brados
(from Pantonic Steel Orchestra)

Why are you making conversation with Beethoven and Bach?  Look at us: today, we sit with memory, and wish it wasn’t so, why is it always you, the great ones, that leave us in painful solitude?  The great and smart never seek pomp and flair, you are so unassuming, it is the same material from which God made you, our Clive Bradley. We in Pantonic say this in Reverence and respect to your family and blood kin. We, Pantonic, long for you, Oh Clive, Oh Brados, we never expected Auld Lang Syne would twilight so soon.  As we endear, we know you knew we loved you, we showed you respect, we showed you due honor, we showed you brotherhood, we showered you with sincere accolades, yet, you were never arrogant, always affable to big or small.

Brados, are you listening?  Are there anymore like you?  Is there anyone who can ‘nice up’ a melody as you?  Are there anymore amazing arrangers?  Who do they come to hear? We know many are up there, the Angels were expecting you and they told us nothing.  Be careful - this is a mighty throng - celestials; you were modest down here, they may ask you: why did you put such heavenly-oriented music in Margie, In My House, Pan in Harmony, Party, Sailing and Stranger, and you put triumphant euphoria in Rebecca, Dingolay, This Melody Sweet, Ben Lion, Say Say, Jenny, and Trini-to-the-Bone?  Heaven is a place that keeps good musicians for thousands of years, so the music can live on in the hearts of men.  Angels do not give up like we do; they have the power to keep you as long as they wish.

Where can we seek solace?  It is so difficult, but -  we are trying to keep up.  We will make merry of your brilliance, for a learned man you were, and ordinary and kind.  As a genius, you never wanted spotlight and fame. You were so much better than many, none has surpassed.  We down here thought it was an awful dream. And when the morrow came, we heard the same, we all said, Oh God, NO!

Pantonic writes your name with everlasting gratitude, we speak your name in honor, we remember you with the love, we stand predominate in your name.  Your music is renowned in our name.  We the people of Pantonic Steel Orchestra led by Glenda say somberly, with joy, with adoration, with reverence and with eternal praise to our Beloved and immortal Clive Bradley.

May you arrange for the Angels, we too will know your music when we come.

Peace in God

©2006 When Steel Talks - All Rights Reserved

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