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18th Cudrefin Steelband Festival showcases CSI and more

by Robbie Joseph - Pan Podium
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CSI charms Swiss

Switzerland - On Saturday 24th July 2010, the Cudrefin Steel Band Festival was held at Les Pampanas, Cudrefin, a municipality in the district of Avenches in the canton (member state) of Vaud in Switzerland.  On 1st January 2002, the municipality was united with Champmartin keeping the name "Cudrefin."  Cudrefin is about 2 hours from Zürich Airport, and also 2 hours from Basel but only about 40 minutes from Bern, the capital of Switzerland.

2010 saw this steel band festival celebrating its eighteenth (18) anniversary, which has been well received by the local Cudrefin community as well as those traveling further a field from Bern, Zürich, surrounding municipalities and other European destinations. The event is the largest Steel band festival in Switzerland with over 2,000 people in attendance. CSI and Calypsociation steel bands stayed at the Zivilschutzanlage in Cudrefin which is on the Neuenburg Lake.

Audience enjoys the show

The concert started at 6:00 p.m. and hosted nine steel bands. Local Swiss bands Pantaloni, Sweat N Steel, Los Panitos, Just for Fun, Ferrum Helveticum, Another Phase and Panta Rhei joined Calypsociation from France and CSI Steel band Trust from London to create an electric musical aura which filled the Pampanas with the sweet strains of steel until the wee hours of the morning.  The large audience was treated to an eclectic selection of musical genres all played on the steelpan instrument.  CSI was certainly well received by the appreciative audience.  Their scintillating first round performance left the audience wanting more, so much so, that they congregated at CSI’s platform long before their second performance to ensure they had a ringside seat.  They were not disappointed as CSI treated them to another explosion of sweet pan with Brent Holder taking them on a musical journey with his magnificent solos on the tenor.  The management of the Cudrefin Steelband Festival was so impressed that they have confirmed CSI’s appearance at next year’s event.


Prior to the concert at Les Pampanas, CSI Steelband Trust performed at the L’Equinoxe in Salavaux on the evening of Friday the 23rd July 2010.  They were specifically requested to play a further session after dinner owing to requests from the audience who were enthralled by their dexterity with the steel pan instruments.  On the Saturday morning CSI played at the Les Trois Suisses, Salavaux where the inhabitants of the rural community were drawn like bees to honey to listen to the magical sounds of steel, and Brent Holder treated them to some improvisation solos on the tenor.




Ferrum Helveticum


Another Phase


Just for Fun


Los Panitos


Sweat and Steel




Engine Room


On Sunday 25th July CSI played at the Auberge La Sauge in Cudrefin where they were joined by steel pan virtuosos Junior Edwards and Tamla Batra, Darryl Belgrove, founding member of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Steel Band and top St. Lucian percussionist, Lennox Biscette. What a jam session that was with players swapping instruments as their repertoire progressed. 

CSI is now looking forward to the UK Junior Panorama competition on 9th August 2010.

All photos by Robbie Joseph

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