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New York Youth Pan Fest showcases Steelpan Talent

Damany James of Higher Levin Steel Orchestra is The Man!

Brooklyn, New York, USA - They are bright, young, gifted and highly intelligent. They are simply awesome and possess it all. And they are the highly skilled young musicians, captains and arrangers of tomorrow’s New York steelband music community. They are the future and they are here now.

Once again New York got a chance to look, see, hear and experience up close and personal, the awesome talent pool of New York Pan at the 2016 Youth Pan Fest under the auspices of the Carlos Lezama Archives & Caribbean Cultural Center (CLACC-C). St. John’s Place between Kingston and Brooklyn Avenues became staging area, ‘drag’ and performance stage for the event on this warm Summer afternoon on the final Saturday in August.

Damany James
Damany James

The annual showcase featured junior pan players from CASYM, NY Pan Stars, Harmony, CrossFire, Higher Levin, Pan Evolution, ADLIB and Triumph Stars. The youth performances captured and impressed the audience with the high level of their content and overall musicianship. The audience consistently demonstrated their enthusiasm for what they were hearing with thunderous applause and shouts of approval.

In addition to the outstanding performances, also on display was the arranging prowess of the arrangers. This year the arranging skill sets of  Marc Brooks, Tristan Brewington-Japsi, Matthew Best, Brandon Waldrop, Lance Maximin, Terrance ‘BJ’ Marcelle and Wilfred Kieal.

This year, Higher Levin Steel Orchestra took top honors with a Damany James-arrangement of “Scene.”  Mr. James is no joke.

Place Points Orchestra Arranger  
1st 264 Higher Levin Damany James Higher Levin
2nd 262 NY Pan Stars Marc Brooks New York Pan Stars
3rd 257 ADLIB Tristan Brewington-Japsi ADLIB Steel Orchestra
3rd 257 CASYM Lance Maximin CASYM Steel Orchestra
5th 254 Pan Evolution Brandon Waldrop Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra (PESO)
6th 248 CrossFire Mathew Best CrossFire Steel Orchestra
7th 230 Triumph Stars “BJ” Marcelle Triumphant Stars
8th 181 Harmony Wilfred Kieal Harmony Music Makers

Look for the New York Youth Pan Fest to become even bigger in the coming years.

Listen to Damany James’ arrangement of “Scene” with Higher Levin Steel Orchestra -- recording by Adrian Lovell - used with permission by Adrian Lovell


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