New York’s 2018 Steelband Summer Sizzles At NY Pan Stars Band Launch

by When Steel Talks

© 2018 -  All Rights Reserved.

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In Pictures


Promotional Flyer for New York Pan Stars 2018 Band Launch
Promotional flyer

New York, USA - In a sky devoid of stars, a lone satellite pulsing brightly moved in over Pantonic’s East Flatbush pan yard, as if to let all know it was reserving an early seat and would be watching everything that transpired on this night, as this was one of the best community live music tickets in town. Shortly thereafter, a bright New York full moon moved into the frame and said “I’m here for the night - let the show begin.” The temperature was over 90 degrees on the ground. And if there was a roof over the performing steelbands it would have been on fire - as a direct result when each band kept raising the temperature with their respective performances.

The time-honored Brooklyn practice of holding steelband launches when Summer arrives was in full effect this weekend as New York Pan Stars dropped the first one of the season. It was outstanding. The annual New York Pan Stars launch is one of the best musical events of this type and as we said before this year was no exception. It was great food, great music, friends and camaraderie in abundance.

Known for its free flowing nature, elevated musical performances and professionalism - once the first note was struck, it was a continuous stream of music from the performing bands. Of course a realistic start time comparable to what is advertised, has previously been a hallmark of Pan Stars’ operations - a critical component to elder pan music lovers who want to take in the show and support the art form. In the past NY Pan Stars has distinguished itself admirably from all the other similar events in this regard. This year was different in that pan lovers got their first taste of pan more than two hours after that advertised time-frame.

Higher Levin Steel Orchestra at NY Pan Stars' 2018 band launch
Higher Levin Steel Orchestra performs at NY Pan Stars’ 2018 band launch

Four bands performed, including the host NY Pan Stars. Higher Levin opened the event with a wide variety of music genres that moved through reggae, soca, R&B and other popular music idioms. Higher Levin Steel Orchestra, a Brooklyn music staple did not disappoint. They were followed by the latest addition to the New York coalition of steelbands, Vybez Steel Orchestra. Needless to say, Vybez came out swinging; they are a welcome addition to the family of New York steelbands. Under the management and musical directive of Wilfred Kieal, Jr., Vybez was a newbee only in name. The Vybez skilled lineup delivered the musical goods as the crowd cheered them on.

Vybez Steel Orchestra at NY Pan Stars' 2018 band launch
Vybez Steel Orchestra performs at NY Pan Stars’ 2018 band launch

And then there was Pan Evolution; they took everyone on a musical high with a command performance that had the crowd “Oooing” and “Aahhhing.” Coming off the plateau of winning the Pan Is Sweet competition only a week earlier, Pan Evolution gave a rousing rendition of the champion performance of “Let Me Love You” along with others in their set.

Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra at NY Pan Stars' 2018 band launch
Pan Evolution performs at NY Pan Stars’ 2018 band launch

But it was NY Pan Stars which blew the lid off the house. They simply moved and dropped the ‘Wow’ factor - from the music of Stevie Wonder, to that of The Weeknd, to Blaxx’s “Hulk.” To tell you the truth it took one back to the old Verizon commercial, as with each song it was like Pan Stars was saying “Can you hear me now?” To which the crowd responded with much love and enthusiasm “Give us more!”

New York Pan Stars Steel Orchestra at its 2018 band launch
New York Pan Stars Steel Orchestra at its 2018 band launch

You missed a good one if you were not there. Two weeks of A-plus music. Brooklyn has got it going on. Make sure you catch NY Pan Stars at their next performance; you will not be disappointed.

Contact NY Pan Stars at:

Contact Vybez Steel Orchestra at: (347) 274-4842; 

Contact Pan Evolution at: (917) 620-1125

   Performances -  @ New York Pan Stars’ 2018 Band launch


Band logo for Higher Levin Steel Orchestra - WST

Higher Levin Players.....


  • Jeffrey Jean

  • Chelsea Warren

  • Isiah Nanton

Double Tenor

  • Justin Fields

Double Seconds

  • Amarie Camron

  • Dave Breiser


  • Christina Springs

  • Kylah Morgan


  • Jason Williams


  • Jayah Mederick

  • Juveneson


  • Damany James

  • Nyalies Cano


  • Ryan Osborne


  • >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Band logo for Vybez Steel Orchestra - WST

Vybez Steel Orchestra Players....


  • Yvonne Best

  • Josiah Castillo

Double Seconds

  • Sciyahn Koonkoon

  • Stanley Bettis 


  • R. Joseph 


  • Isaiah Barrington

  • Mark Joseph

Tenor Bass

  • Raven Sargeant


  • Bria Blake


  • Sheldon Rattan

  • Matthew Best

  • Wilfred Kieal, Jr.


  • Ryan Osborne


  • High Mas (David Rudder)

  • Come Over (Estelle featuring Sean Paul)

  • Medley:
     {Sugar Bum Bum, Trini To The Bone, Hot Hot Hot, Ah Feeling It}

  • Before I Let Go (Frankie Beverly and Maze)

  • Folklore Riddim Mix

  • Year For Love (Voice)

Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra band logo - WST

Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra Players....


  • Wayne Bernard

  • Jabari Sharpe

  • Akil Moses

Double Seconds

  • Brandon Waldrop

  • Markus Garceran

  • Jahi Sharpe


  • Tiffany Fields

  • Zion Hutchinson


  • Syanne Fleming


  • Aviel John


  • Lenny King

  • Adrian Ramdoo

  • Andre White

  • Sheldon Thwaites


  • Dashawn Wallace


  • Shape of You

  • Finesse

  • Skankin’ Sweet

  • Vivir Mi Vida

  • Let Me Love You

  • Bandit

  • Rocket

  • Meh Lover

  • Gimme De Ting

  • Give It To Ya

  • Splinters

  • Like It Like That

  • Hello

  • Catching feelings

  • Year For Love

New York Pan Stars Steel Orchestra band logo - WST

New York Pan Stars Players....


  • Antonio John

  • Sage Harrison

  • Joel Edouard

  • Alexia Isaac

  • Malik Inniss

  • Kassie Pierre

  • Zeandre Douglas

Double Tenor

  • Selena Antoine

Double Seconds

  • Marc Brooks

  • Andrew Semple

Double Guitars

Triple Cello

  • Keifer Dover

Six Basses


  • Sheldon Rattan

  • Matthew Best

  • Wilfred Kieal, Jr.


  • Noah Smit

  • Nakyla Carrington

  • Andrea Wilson

  • Jordon Cato


  • Don’t You Worry About A Thing (Stevie Wonder) - arr. Marc Brooks

  • I Feel It Coming (The Weeknd) - arr. Marc Brooks

  • Nah Do Dat (Iwer George) - arr. Marc Brooks

  • Jahaji Bhai (Brother Marvin) - arr. Noah Smit

  • Hulk (Blaxx) - arr. Marc Brooks

  • Give It To Ya (Marzville) - arr. Marc Brooks

  • Finesse (Bruno Mars) - arr. Marc Brooks

  • Top Striker (Lil Natty & Thunder) - arr. Marc Brooks

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