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Ice Water Warms Panama with Steelpan

Ice Water Pan Ensemble in Panama

Panama - A performance at the Caribbean Shop in St. James, last April culminated in one of Ice Water Pan Ensemble’s most memorable series of performances to date.  His Excellency Prof. Gerardo Maloney, Ambassador to Panama, was present at dinner that night, to hear Ice Water dish out samplings of their sumptuous repertoire.  Prof. Maloney summarily introduced himself to the band, and the rest is history; the history of an invitation to Panama as guests of the Consejo Nacional De La Etnia Negra, to perform at the 3rd Annual Afro–Panamanian Festival.

The Consejo Nacional de La Etnia Negra, now in its second year, was incorporated by an Executive Presidential decree on May 29th 2007.  The group has, since it’s existence, sought to encourage and support all expressions of Afro–Panamanian culture.  Panama in part, owes its rich cultural heritage to the contribution of Caribbean nationals in the construction of the Panama Canal.  This made Ice Water Pan Ensemble an instant hit as calypso music is still much adored by the black community there.   Also present from Trinidad and Tobago for a lecture presentation was a contingent from the National Joint Action Committee (N.J.A.C.).

Panama shows love for steelpan music

The Festivities took place mainly at the Atlapa Convention Center from Thursday 29th through Saturday 31st May.  Upon our arrival at Tocumen International Airport at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, we were immediately whisked away to the Convention Center for an impromptu performance.  That performance set the tone for our four exciting days in Panama.  The next morning we were on the road by 7:30 for a 30–mile trek to Colon, a city that boasts one of the largest Afro-Caribbean communities in Panama.  N.J.A.C.’s Anum Bankole introduced in Spanish, Ice Water’s specially rehearsed repertoire of Latin selections which was savored by the audience at Colon who called for more.

Ice Water Pan Ensemble in Panama

Saturday’s activities commenced with a one–hour lecture/workshop at the University of Panama.  On Saturday night our final performance at Atlapa saw us sharing the stage with popular Panamanian band Los Beachers.  Ice Water was in full flight that night, wowing the crowd with another dazzling performance. 
Several other dance and choral groups contributed to a wonderful night of cultural expression.

Ice Water expresses sincere thanks to Sra. Sonia Brown, Sr. Juan Fagette and Sr. Enrique Sanchez of Consejo Nacional de La Etnia Negra.   Special thanks go out to our tour guides Ilka Fonseca and Carla Henry.

From the News desk of Ice Water Pan Ensemble

 


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