Antiguan Touch Down: A Caribbean Love Story In Pan

by Sharmain Baboolal

Provided by, and published with, the expressed permission of: the Author

“He is such a good man, everything about him reminds me of Pat Bishop. He has the ability to take anybody’s music and shape it properly.” It’s a commendation rightfully earned by Khan Cordice, after his first stint as a drill master for Exodus Steel Orchestra, when working with “BJ” Marcelle’s arrangement of ‘Tourist Leggo’ brought the Tunapuna band back into the top three as they notched 280 points to place second in Panorama 2023, three points away from champions BP Renegades.

Most importantly, Ainsworth Mohammed, Exodus’ founder and manager said, “He is a real good human being.

“He understands people and knows how to work with a group because there are so many dynamics working with a large group, and he did an excellent job.

“BJ Marcelle’s arrangement was wonderful,” Mohammed said with the satisfaction of a man who successfully mined gold.

Indeed it was a “huge” coincidence that Exodus chose the song from Antiguan Short Shirt, who was barred (due to nationality) from being the 1977 Road March winner.

The song is older than Khan Cordice, a graduate of The University of the West Indies, with post grad work at Northern Illinois University, NIU.

“I never told him the song of choice was ‘Tourist Leggo.’ We hired him first, in a professional capacity as drill master,” he explained.

“He knows Short Shirt (Sir McClean Emmanuel) and you know all of Antigua wanted to hear Exodus because we revived the song,” Ainsworth said, recalling the bridge between Trinidad, the southernmost Caribbean island and its distant neighbour to the North, Antigua.

Khan Cordice
Khan Cordice

“It was the first time, I recall, that a steelband musician from another Caribbean island played a prominent role in our Panorama,” Ainsworth added, for good measure.

Pat Bishop was a musical sculptor and Khan had a great foundation with BJ’s arrangement. “The team loves him,” he said with that tone of voice which tells you that, all things considered, Khan Cordice has found a place on the Exodus team.

“I have been following Khan’s progress over several years and I got a very good idea of his achievements, both musically and scholastically,” he added. Khan, when he posed for this photo at the Queen’s Park Savannah, outside the Lagniappe show, said his experience with Exodus goes back to his days as a student at UWI’s St Augustine Campus.

Exodus’ 2nd place in 2023 is just a rehearsal for the 2024 showdown, exactly 20 years since they last won a Panorama in 2004, with War. The Tunapuna band also earned Panorama titles in 1992, 2001 and 2003 as well.

As for Khan Cordice - he returned to Antigua the Sunday after Trinidad Carnival and was officially welcomed home with a performance from his band, Hells Gate. He has eight Panorama victories under his belt, at home in Antigua. And that’s just a brief look at this Caribbean treasure.

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Sharmain Baboolal

About the author, Sharmain Baboolal

A Journalist/Editor based in Trinidad and Tobago, with 38 years experience in print, broadcast and digital media. As a founding member of the T&T Mirror Newspaper, I served as photo journalist, columnist and editor over 23 years.

My experience in broadcast journalism started and ended at the now defunct National Broadcasting Service (Radio 610 AM and Radio 100 FM). I honed my skills in broadcast journalism at the Radio Netherlands Training Centre (RNTC) and I am a certified media trainer.

Single-handedly, I established a small but effective News Department at Trinidad and Tobago Radio Network Limited (TTRN). As a seasoned news woman I am skilled in photojournalism, parliament and court reporting, writing and producing for print, electronic (radio and video) as well as digital media and promotions. I have mentored and trained a few younger writers and producers along the way. For this and more I earned a National Award in 2012, the Humming Bird Medal (Gold). I am a Mom, and a lover of steelpan music.

Contact Sharmain Baboolal at:

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