New York -
Once again the Pathmark Multicultural Arts Festival
facilitated the opportunity for thousands of people to
experience a significant part of Caribbean culture. Patrons at the Kings Plaza Shopping Center in
Brooklyn, New York, were greeted with the sights and sounds of
drums, dance and song from the performing artists this past
performers featured several returning crowd favorites as
well as some new artists. The performing lineup
included Women In Steel, Utopia Pan Soul: the Next Generation, Pantonic Steel Orchestra, Pan Ambassadors, Something Positive Dance group and
the Ebonč Roots Dance & Drum Theater.
The five–hour event started at 12:00 pm and continued
thorough 5:00 pm. The large crowds and fascination by onlookers
are expected norms whenever the steelbands perform at
the Brooklyn mall.
Like the fabled
pied piper, the steel orchestras summoned and
enticed young and old to the Kings Plaza stage area, and stopped
them all in their tracks. Within moments they became
oblivious to their original plans. The jovial
smiles on the faces of patrons, together with swaying hips, nodding
heads, snapping fingers, clapping hands and shouts of joy
were all very visual indicators, in
much abundance, showing once again the steel
orchestras had their merry way with the patrons in
providing a joyous afternoon. In fact, every
performing steelband brought their unique voice to the table.
Utopia Pan Soul: the Next Generation
Utopia Pan Soul:
the Next Generation opened the steelband performances for the event
with a series of songs that
featured the substantive musical skills of the youth members
of their group. Utopia Pan Soul is known for its
unconventional ‘musical colors’ but nonetheless alluring
approach to its arrangements and choices of material.
The audience was not disappointed. Utopia’s
performance was both stimulating and
Orchestra followed Utopia Pan Soul and delivered a charged
performance that had the patrons singing and clapping.
From standards with a Caribbean flavor like the ‘Long and Winding
Road’ to ‘Earth A Run Red,’ the crowd showed an instant
connection with Pantonic’s
musical versatility and high–energy routine. The group
looked like it was already in high gear as it moves towards
making another New York panorama championship run.
Their last title was in 2005.
Dance Group put on a great performance that showcased the
dance and music of the Caribbean. This was coalesced with storytelling that explained the musical history of performances.
also a regular at the event – were not to be outdone.
It was now late afternoon by the time they took
the stage, and the crowd had swollen considerably.
Pan Ambassadors performed a series of popular hits that
captured the fancy of all within sight and sound. For
some time, Ambassadors have made it a point to feature a
vocalist with the band for part of their repertoire, and of
course this appearance presented a similar occasion.
Women In Steel
Women in Steel
closed out the show with a silky smooth
approach that was reserved and deliberate, but very chic and effective.
The all–female steelpan group sent the audience out on a
From Alicia Keys’ No One (for which the group’s
accompanying vocalist saw even more people scurrying up
toward the stage from all points, anxious to see the face
behind the attention–grabbing choral performance) – to
well–loved Stevie Wonder material, Women in Steel’s
arrangements showcased the evolution of Caribbean culture in
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