Brooklyn, New York - While a large portion of the world was focused on the first day of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London - Brooklyn, New York was gearing up for its own ‘Olympic’ affair of the music kind. It is “Steelband Music Time” and band launches are underway. As the New York steelpan music franchises go, none is more storied or a valued as the New York original Sonatas Steel Orchestra.
With over 40 years of successful existence, Sonatas has firmly established itself as one of the true cultural treasures of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York. In a town and time when it is fashionable to be a “one and done operation,” Sonatas’ longevity is a testament to its community importance and commitment to excellence. Sonatas remains a prime example of the long history, accomplishments and contributions of the Caribbean descendants who have inhabited Crown Heights for over half a century.
Present was a slew of New York staple steel orchestras - D’Radoes, CASYM, New York Pan Stars, Steel Sensation, Pantonic, Harmony and of course the host, Sonatas. Each orchestra performed a set mixed with their trademark musical pieces and new additions that clearly met with the approval of the audience.
Sonatas got the launch going with some of its signature jams like Mister Magic and She Ain’t You. The baton was then handed off to New York Pan Stars who dropped a stellar performance while passing through the Latin corridor, the Caribbean and the sweet soul of Stevie Wonder. Next up were Harmony Music Makers, who were in turn followed by the always-crowd pleasing Steel Sensation. CASYM then brought the heat as expected with Mr. Fete and more. Pantonic continued the temperature rise with a repertoire which included season favorites like Bacchanalist/Vibe Cyah Done.
The spotlight then turned to D’Radoes’ expanded stage side with arranger Terrance “BJ” Marcelle at the helm. They let everyone know it was not going to business as usual this year with their serious musical approach.
This launch personifies specifically Sonatas’ focus and the steelpan music community’s commitment to youth development and institution building. Sonatas youth could be seen involved in every aspect of the launch activities.
Sonatas Steel Orchestra performers
New York Pan Stars performers
Harmony Music Makers performers
Steel Sensation performers
Ian Japsi, Tristan Japsi, Ryan Joseph, Edward Clarke, Marc Brooks, Dwayne
CASYM Steel Orchestra performers
Pantonic Steel Orchestra performers
Brittany Burton, Tyrone McShine, Shania Baker, Brandon Waldroop, Zakiya Howe, Byrce Beache, Joseph Wilson, Adrian Edwards, Danielle Gamory, Melina Scott, Amira Beache, Marriler Wilson, Gwynn Glasgow, Lenny, Patrick Davis, Kayode Wiltshire, Wayne Bernard
D’Radoes Steel Orchestra performers
“2012 Band Launch” - in Pictures
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