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PanMasters 10th Jamboree:
The Beauty Of Pan – The Joy Of Family

 

 

Maryland - It was a splendid day for the PanMasters Steelband Organization’s 10th Anniversary Steel Band Jamboree. There was not a cloud in the sky and the sun beamed its beautiful rays into De Panyard at Webster Street and Rhode Island Ave in North Brentwood, Maryland. The Jamboree, sponsored by the Gateway CDC (Community Development Corporation) embodied the spirit of Bob Marley’s call for “One Love”.

Mr. Marcus V. Adams, President of PanMasters Steelband Organization, related, “The purpose of the PanMasters’ Steel Band Jamboree is to showcase Caribbean culture with Pan as the main emblem within the community. We try our best to bring people young and old showcasing Pan as a measure of unity and one love.”

So on this gorgeous Saturday afternoon some 500 plus toddlers, teenagers, mothers, uncles, aunts, fathers and grandparents were all present to enjoy each other and the steel band music that enriches their souls and kindles pride in Caribbean cultural heritage. Unlike other musical events that are age centered, Pan music as seen in the audience at PanMasters Steelband Jamboree, brings families together from across generations and increasingly from across races and genders.

Ms. Patricia Thwaites brought her grandchildren and noted, “Every year the Pan Jamboree grows with new people coming in.” Her husband, Robert “Bullet” Thwaites reminisced about his playing days with Pan Am North Stars and their appearance in 1964 on the Ed Sullivan show, Radio City Music Hall, and Macy’s Day Parade. Patricia Thwaites is especially proud of her stepson Shawn Thwaites who graduated from Berklee School Of Music and has created the Pan United Youth Movement Of Maryland. The organization is dedicated to teaching Pan music and has a touring Pan side of twenty-five members.

Ms. Ivy Isong, originally from Tobago and now resides in Silver Springs, Maryland, is part of the growing phenomena of “Pan Moms” who support their children’s participation in Pan music. Her daughter plays with PanMasters. She recalled, “It’s wonderful to see young people out playing. When Pan started the upper class people didn’t play. My parents were very strict and didn’t allow me to play. But Pan has grown quite a bit.”

Ms. Akesha Petersen is originally from the Virgin Islands. She loves Pan music and came to support her friends in Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra. Carrying a list of songs to be performed by Positive Vibrations, Ms. Petersen said, “I love the sound of Pan music and the variety of music that is played, including R&B. Also it reminds me of home.” Ms. Petersen’s comments certainly point in the direction that favors the expansion of Pan music. While calypso music is wedded to steel band music, venturing into a wider canvas of music genres certainly attracts more people to Pan. The bands played songs, Alicia Keys’, “No One”, Stevie Wonder’s, “Another Star”, Mary J. Blige’s, “Dance For Me”, Chick Corea’s, “Spain”.  The intense Panorama competitions have their place but the experience of family coupled with the variety of music and the differences in playing styles performed in PanMaster’s10th Anniversary Steelband Jamboree reveal the wide open space that is the future of Pan music worldwide. Perhaps we can look forward to attending the 11th PanMasters Steelband Jamboree at the Baltimore, harbor.
 

- A. Hinkson

Contact Pan Masters at:
      web: www.panmansters.com  email: panmasters@hotmail.com  tel: 1 (301) 864-2610

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