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International Steelpan Jazz Challenge Underway

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The qualifying round of the FCB (First Citizens Bank) International Steelpan Jazz Challenge will take place at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on Sunday 21st October from 5:00 p.m. The Grand Finals come off on Sunday 4th November 2012 at the same venue.

Thirteen (13) ensembles with a minimum of twelve musicians, and where at least 50% of the ensemble must be playing steelpan instruments - will perform for six minutes.

At left:  Robert Lewis - General Manager, First Citizens Bank presents Mortimer Baptiste, Committee Member (right) with a cheque
At left:  Robert Lewis - General Manager, First Citizens Bank presents Mortimer Baptiste, Committee Member (right) with a cheque.     Photo:  Gary Cardinez

The Challenge will focus on the ensemble’s ability to take songs chosen and perform them in a jazz idiom, but not deviate from jazz at any period during the arrangements. For the qualifying round, the ensembles must perform one song from the list of approved songs, whereas for the finals, they must perform two selections.

At the draw for playing positions on October 9th at The Normandie Hotel in St. Ann’s, title sponsor First Citizens Bank presented a cheque for TT $500,000.00 to the Organizing Committee.

The order of appearance for the qualifying round is as follows:-

1. Sforzata TBA  
2. Codrington Pan Family Pan Night & Day Aldwyn Roberts
3. Moyenne Mambo Inn Machito
4. Curepe Scherzando The Carnival Is Over Aldwyn Roberts
5. Couva Joylanders Be Careful Dennis Williams
6. UWI Caribbean Contemporary Workshop Sweet Music Garfield Blackman
7. Sound Specialists of Laventille Be Careful Dennis Williams
8. Renegades Magic Drum Machel Montano
9. Golden Hands Mambo Inn Machito
10. Trinidad & Tobago Police Service Band Love in the Cemetery Aldwyn Roberts
11. Arima Golden Symphony Pan Night & Day Aldwyn Roberts
12. Tamana Pioneers Mambo Inn Machito
13. Our Boys The Carnival Is Over Aldwyn Roberts

Eight of the highest scoring ensembles chosen by adjudicators Dr. Dawn Batson and Ron Reid will play in the finals. Adjudication will be determined by musicality of the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic inventiveness of the presentation. First prize is TT $50,000.00, whilst the groups placing second through eighth will receive TT $25,000.00 each.

Objectives of the event are to deepen the relationship between the Trinidad & Tobago Steelpan and Jazz Festival and the steelpan community, and further promote the integration of the steelpan with conventional musical instruments utilizing the jazz idiom.

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