WST Global News Division


Arlene Takes Pan to the Circus

Arlene and Hollis Clifton

Arlene and Hollis Clifton


Trinidad - On Sunday 20th January, 2008 the PAN DIASPORA guest on WACK 90.1fm Radio was pannist Arlene Webb who had just jetted in to Trinidad & Tobago to recharge following a ten (10) month tour of some thirty five (35) cities in the USA with the Universal Soul Circus.


Arlene, who is also a professional designer of men’s attire, honed those skills during her student tenure at Pleasantville Senior Comprehensive School.  So when she’s not entertaining audiences with the pan she makes time to satisfy the sartorial desires of her male folks.


Her first encounter with the national instrument of T&T was at Pleasantville Senior Sec. under the tutelage of Ken “Professor” Philmore.  She readily expatiated her gratitude to the “Professor” for instilling in her pan-discipline and professionalism which she cherishes dearly.  


Ms. Webb’s face began to glow as she was reminiscing on her glory days with Fonclaire Steel Orchestra from 1988 to 1992.  She then played with Skiffle Bunch till 1995.  She even recalled a shorter stint with T&TEC Power Stars.


Still brimming with excitement Arlene, who is often the only female pannist on the tour, recalled her first trip overseas which took her all the way to Japan in 1996.  It was entitled 'Trinidad and Tobago Show Boat'. The players included former school mates Brent Richardson, Kervyn Philbert, Darryl Edwards plus Herlima Hernandez and Patrick Mc Cain from Port of Spain.  They performed at the Theme Park in Nagasaki for six weeks doing four shows daily and showcasing the best of T&T inclusive of pan, limbo and calypso dances.


Next stop was Hong Kong for few days followed by Peru for another month.  Then came Massachusetts for another twenty one days.  Then in 2001 the group went to Japan again, this time for six months.    


Apart from the “Professor”, Arlene is grateful to her own brother, Ancil, for his patience and technique which have impacted meaningfully on her career as a musician.


Another of her tours was entitled 'The Caribbean Experience'. This was directed by dance choreographer Erica Rawlings.  The contingent included another pannist in Sherwyn Cooper, limbo dancer Sterlin John, with Kenton Byron, Rodney Barrow, Terron Matasaran as moko jumbies plus dancers Michelle Pilgrim, Janelle Dick, Crystal La Caille, Jewel Thompson and Carla Green.  


Ms. Webb was expected to fly out at the end of January on another jaunt.


Pan Diaspora is hosted on WACK Radio 90.1 FM by Presenter Heshimu and co-host Hollis Clifton and can be heard each Sunday during “Pan in Yuh Pwefen” between 3 PM and 6 PM.  

by Hollis Clifton
Pan Diaspora Visionary


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