Web Posted - Friday September 13, 2019
Island Origins Magazine

Why Caribbean Carnival Marches On To The Steel Pan Beat

Steel Orchestra

Florida, USA - Forged from sheet metal and the resistance of a resilient people, Trinidad’s steel pan music is enjoying a resurgence on the global stage. The genre has been seeping into mainstream music—pop, rock, jazz. And now a new generation of players keep the steel pan music alive and vibrant in the Caribbean, especially in intense competitions like Panorama.

According to Selvon Nanan, manager and member of Lauderhill Steel Ensemble, a winner of the 2019 Miami Carnival Panorama, “From the 1950s to 1980s, steelbands were the only bands on the road for Trinidad Carnival, then DJs took over. Now, only 10 percent of the music comes from steelbands.”

....The music is attracting renewed interest. “There has been a great transformation,” Nanan says. “Many more teenagers and young adults are playing than ever. More girls.” Public relations manager for Miami Carnival, Yvette Harris, agrees: “We have seen an evolution. Fortunately, more young people are participating and interested in delving into the culture.” With the reemerging popularity of pan music and Panorama, Harris says the Miami Carnival committee tweaked the 2019 lineup to accommodate more of it.
read more

Web Posted - Thursday September 12, 2019
Cayman Compass

Governor brings his steel pan talents to Sunrise Centre

Earl La Pierre, left, Governor Martyn Roper and Glen Inanga perform for the Sunrise Centre

Cayman Islands - Governor Martyn Roper continued his steel pan tour of the island on Wednesday.

The governor’s Caribbean stylings have been in high demand since he premiered his secret musical talents for the Queen’s Birthday in June.

On Thursday, Roper appeared with his teacher Earl La Pierre and pianist Glen Inanga at Sunrise Adult Training Centre in West Bay, to share two more songs.

The performance served as more than entertainment for the clients and staff. It also represented a budding relationship between Government House and the special needs facility.

....Steel pan performance

Roper closed his visit by recording two songs on steel pan, alongside La Pierre and Inanga, in the Sunrise Centre’s music studio. He officially inaugurated the space, which will serve as a creative and therapeutic outlet for clients.

The musical trio then performed two songs for the centre, resulting in a standing ovation by clients and staff.

Roper has been studying steel pan with La Pierre since April with weekly lessons at Government House.
read more

Web Posted - Thursday September 12, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Pan stalwart’s funeral tomorrow

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Pan pioneer Curtis Pierre died on Sunday, aged 84. His daughter Giselle said he died peacefully at his Glencoe home.

His granddaughter Quelita, in a Facebook post, invited family and friends to take part in the “nine nights” being held at 17 Carlos Street, Woodbrook.

Giselle told Newsday her father had emergency diverticulitis surgery last month, spent five days in hospital and was taken home to recuperate.

....Brought up on Henry Street and in Belmont, Port of Spain, Pierre was educated at Belmont Boys’ Intermediate School and then St Mary’s College.

It was a teacher, Jervais Girod, at St Mary’s College, who later became a priest, who gave Pierre his first pan and helped him learn about pan music, along with the Moyau family of Sackville Street.

Pierre formed the Melody Makers in 1950, but changed the name to Dixieland when he became the leader, at a time when playing in a steelband was not considered socially acceptable.

....His funeral will be held at St Theresa’s RC Church, Woodbrook on September 13, at 9 a.m., followed by a private cremation at the St James Crematorium.
read more

Web Posted - Monday September 9, 2019
When Steel Talks

Hell No, The Beat Is Not Gone - Ray Holman’s New CD “FIRST LOVE” Keeps The Music Going

It’s Celebration time for Ray’s first love, PAN

Global - I feel pretty, now that I’ve flirted with Holman’s take on his lover boy spin about Pan, the new world’s glorious instrument. Ray Holman Holman lights a fire under the instrument and bun them with beautiful music from a panist extraordinaire. Himself, actually.

No wonder Holman’s brand is his beat.

Some lines that bode well for Holman:
Any part of the world I go, they want to know. Pan is irresistible.
What’s causing the harmony? Magic in the atmosphere.
The music leaves you in amusement.

....Pan’s a treasure; ah fus you nice, Pan

....Magic in the atmosphere. Pan’s now a rite of communion and communication around the world. Much appreciative of our pioneers. 
read more

Web Posted - Sunday September 8, 2019
Trinidad Express Newspapers

On the bright side

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - ....The resilience and growth of the steelband movement is amazing. August was Pan Month. I began with the annual birdsong summer camp graduation musical concert.

I have previously described the birdsong model of providing musical education, which includes youth at risk. At this year’s concert, they stunned us with a performance of the Fourth Movement of Dvorak’s New World Symphony under the baton of Maestro Jesus Acosta. The choice of this piece demonstrated the full orchestral performance capacity of pan combined with other instruments.

It may be useful to share what this camp meant to the parents of the youths who took part by quoting some of their comments.

“All I can say is wow. This was my daughter’s first camp ever at 13 years old—first musical adventure and from day one she enjoyed every day.”

“When she brought the flier from school that her music teacher gave her I was very skeptical, but she was determined she wanted to do it. This camp has built a confidence in her I have never seen.” 
read more

Web Posted - Friday September 6, 2019
When Steel Talks

CrossFire Steel Orchestra - “Trouble In The Morning” - (‘Cool Down’ version - Audio)

Damany James - Arranger

CrossFire Steel Orchestra band logo - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures CrossFire Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition just days before the event. CrossFire Steel Orchestra performed a Damany James-arrangement of “Trouble In The Morning.” This is the ‘cool down’ version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade. 
hear audio

Web Posted - Friday September 6, 2019
The Nation

Nigerian Navy band partners MUSON, others for improved musicals

Nigeria - Plans are underway for the Nigerian Navy (NN) Directorate of Music to partner foreign counterparts, the Music Society of Nigeria (MUSON) centre, and key universities to upscale its band performances. The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, stated this at the annual NN Band Conference at the Nigerian Navy School of Music (NNSM) in Ota, Ogun State. ”

....“Efforts are ongoing at the Naval headquarters (NHQ) to address identified challenges, including re-equipping the Navy’s band as well as forging strategic partnerships with some credible musical bodies and organisations, like the MUSON Centre, music departments of key higher institutions and foreign military bands.

“Commencement of in-country training and construction of ‘Steel Pan Band at the NNSM, Ota, is also part of NHQ’s efforts to ensure global outlook for the NN band,” he said.

The Acting Director of Music Commander Olalekan Abiodun said the Navy’s band has become a reputable department due to the foundation laid during its formative years, adding that it has expanded to include dance and steel band units.

He said: “It is worthy of note that the steel pan instrument, which is mostly imported from Trinidad and Tobago, is presently manufactured locally at the NNSM, Ota. Special thanks go to the CNS, who approved and sent band personnel for steel pan manufacturing courses at Trinidad and Tobago some years ago.
read more

Web Posted - Friday September 6, 2019
When Steel Talks

Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra - “Party Start” - (‘Cool Down’ version - Audio)

André White - Arranger

Pan Evolution Panorama 2019 band logo - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition one day before the event. Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra performed an André White-arrangement of “Party Start.” This is the ‘cool down’ version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade.

Pan Evolution would eventually go on to place third in the competition. 
hear audio

Web Posted - Friday September 6, 2019
When Steel Talks

D’Radoes Steel Orchestra - “Hookin’ Meh” - (‘Cool Down’ version - AUDIO)

Terrance “BJ” Marcelle - Arranger

D'Radoes Steel Orchestra - band logo - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures D’Radoes Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition one day before the event. D’Radoes Steel Orchestra performed a Terrance “BJ” Marcelle-arrangement of “Hookin’ Meh.” This is the ‘cool down’ version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade.

D’Radoes would eventually go on to place first in the competition. 
hear audio

Web Posted - Friday September 6, 2019
When Steel Talks

Despers USA Steel Orchestra - “Iron Love” - (‘Cool Down’ version - AUDIO)

Odie Franklin - Arranger

Despers USA band logo - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures Despers USA Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition just days before the event. Despers USA Steel Orchestra performed a Odie Franklin-arrangement of “Iron Love.” This is the ‘cool down’ version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade. 
hear audio

Web Posted - Thursday September 5, 2019
When Steel Talks

CASYM Steel Orchestra - “Gyal Owner” - (‘Cool Down’ version - AUDIO)

Kendall Williams - Arranger

CASYM Steel Orchestra logo - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures CASYM Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition just days before the event. CASYM Steel Orchestra performed a Kendall Williams-arrangement of “Gyal Owner.” This is the ‘cool down’ audio version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade. 
hear audio

Web Posted - Wednesday September 4, 2019
When Steel Talks

ADLIB Steel Orchestra - “Iron Love” - (‘Cool Down’ version - AUDIO)

Marc Brooks - Arranger

ADLIB Steel Orchestra logo - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures ADLIB Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition just days before the event. ADLIB Steel Orchestra performed a Marc Brooks-arrangement of “Iron Love.” This is the ‘cool down’ audio version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade. ADLIB took the stage with over 80 players.

ADLIB would eventually go on to place second in the competition.
hear audio

Web Posted - Monday September 2, 2019
When Steel Talks

Take A Bow, New York Panorama

New York, USA - Take a bow New York Panorama.

Another year. Another season. Another great experience. More great music that will tell our stories for many lifetimes.
Thank you for your efforts, contributions and sacrifices to keep the Brooklyn, New York steelband community, culture and music alive in an increasingly difficult and hostile environment. You live. You breathe. You dance. You sing. You play Pan. You exist. You, this specific steelband community, are one of the greatest in the world.
read more

Web Posted - Sunday September 1, 2019
When Steel Talks

D’Radoes Steel Orchestra Cops Fourth NY Panorama Title in 2019

New York, USA - It was a night of sweet victory for D’Radoes Steel Orchestra (aka Radoes) at the 2019 New York Panorama. A battle for the best in show among eight steel orchestras, one, Philadelphia (Philly) Pan Stars hailing from Philadelphia, joined its seven New York musical peers on the competition stage for the annual steelband showcase. A night of beautiful weather on this Labor Day weekend in New York complemented and played host to steel orchestras which delivered their Panorama tunes to steelband enthusiasts gathered at the venue in the back of the Brooklyn Museum on Saturday, August 31.
read more

Web Posted - Sunday September 1, 2019

Panchromatic Steel at Wyoming Valley School Cultural Arts Center

Panchromatic Steel

Wisconsin, USA - Rural Musicians Forum continues its tradition of bringing fun and engaging concerts to the unique space of the Wyoming Valley School Cultural Arts Center. On Sunday, September 1, the Madison-based steel drum group Panchromatic Steel will perform music from the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. Using instruments built from 55-gallon oil drums, their sound is positively intoxicating and has near universal appeal. The super danceable music will transport people to their happiest moments in the sun, featuring styles including calypso, soca and other “island” styles, to complex jazz-inspired compositions, as well as arrangements of hits by pop artists such as Steve Wonder, Prince and The Beatles.
read more

Web Posted - Sunday September 1, 2019
When Steel Talks

New York 2019 Panorama Results

New York, USA - Beautiful weather, very good steelband performances which went from evening into the early morning of September 1, 2019. Eight bands in all took the stage behind the Brooklyn Museum for yet another year, which this time around saw D’Radoes Steel Orchestra judged best in the show for the annual New York Panorama competition.
full results

Web Posted - Saturday August 31, 2019
When Steel Talks

Uninvited, Unannounced, Unprofessional - WIADCA’s Behavior Toward Genesis Pan Groove?

Genesis Pan Groove musicians with help, loading pan rack for storage at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

New York, USA - Under a climate of hostility and rejection Brooklyn’s Genesis Pan Groove Steel Orchestra is not taking part (or did not, depending on when this write-up is accessed) in this year’s 2019 New York Panorama. This was supposed to have been a great occasion and storied chapter in the history of the young Genesis Pan Groove as referenced and documented  by News12 Brooklyn.

When an official from the annual New York Panorama organizer/promoter W.I.A.D.C.A. (West Indian American Day Carnival Association) arrived at Genesis Pan Groove’s Brooklyn pan yard at 9301 Avenue B - uninvited and unannounced - on Monday August 19, one would have thought the WIADCA official was there to ask Genesis members “How can we help you to ensure your participation and success?” Instead, Genesis Pan Groove got the exact opposite.
read more

Web Posted - Wednesday August 28, 2019
When Steel Talks

Conversation With Pan Pioneers

Pan Trinbago logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “Conversations with the Pioneers” is the historical component in Pan Trinbago’s Pan Month calendar of events marking the anniversary of the declaration of the steelpan as the national music instrument of Trinidad & Tobago.

The forum takes place on Thursday August 29, at the Trinidad All Stars Pan Yard, Duke Street, Port of Span from 6:00 p.m.

Pan elders and historians will share their experiences. Among these are: Dr. Pearl Eintou Springer, internationally-renowned poet, playwright and cultural activist, Lennox “Bobby” Mohammed, steelpan legend and arranger of Guinness Cavaliers, and Emlyn Harewood, a member of the first National Steel Orchestra.
read more

Web Posted - Wednesday August 28, 2019
Cayman Compass

UCCI students take Toronto pan festival by storm

UCCI Pandemix provided a command performance at Toronto's police headquarters earlier this month

Toronto, Canada - Earl La Pierre’s musical odyssey continues to expand his legacy in Cayman, Canada and beyond.

La Pierre brought his UCCI Pandemix band to Toronto for the 10th consecutive year earlier this summer, and they placed first in the Non-Calypso category of the Pan Alive competition. UCCI Pandemix played in conjunction with Afropan, La Pierre’s band that he formed in Toronto decades ago.

The competition took place on 2 Aug., and the group of 16 students and five former UCCI students spent two weeks in Toronto working on their music and soaking up the atmosphere.

“I’m really proud of the group. What I can say about that is, steel pan is in good hands in the Cayman Islands,” said La Pierre. “All the kids that went with me, they really did put on a good show.”
read more

Web Posted -Tuesday August 27, 2019
When Steel Talks

Basement Recordings’ 2019 New York Pan Yard Recording Schedule

New York, USA - Basement Recordings, Inc. - parent company of PanOnTheNet and When Steel Talks - routinely visits the pan yards of some of New York’s finest steel orchestras, to capture the phenomenal results of the work put in for New York’s annual Panorama season. Check out the schedule for dates and times of recording sessions. Subject to revision.
see schedule

Web Posted - Saturday August 24, 2019
When Steel Talks

Mangrove Steelband Makes It Title Ten In UK Panorama Triumph With Arranger André White - 2019 UK Panorama Results

Celebrating Mangrove Steelband - 2019 UK Panorama champions

London, U.K. - In almost a year to the day, Mangrove Steelband copped its tenth UK Panorama title on Saturday August 24, 2019. The sweetness of Savannah Grass (played by three of the six orchestras) as musically envisioned by champion arranger André White and performed by Mangrove, proved irresistible not just for pan music lovers, but also apparently to the judges, going by the results. This victory makes it title number ten for the defending champions and the third UK triumph for the New York-based André White. This year, performing artist and arranger in his own right Leon Foster Thomas drilled, and drummed for, Mangrove. Exuberance was evident, with both the players and audience euphoric during and after the performance.
read more, get full results

Web Posted - Friday August 23, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Canada, Antigua thrill Carifesta patrons

Trinidad and Tobago, W.I. - ....Then came their Hells Gate Steel Orchestra that pleasantly surprised all in the crowd with their highly entertaining playing of Tourist Leggo and Fire in the Backseat, songs from two prolific Antiguan calypsonians, Short Shirt and Swallow respectively.

That act also included some bele dancing, then folk singers. Another calypso/soca session feature the junior soca queen calypso queen Claudette Peters. The Antiguans’ finale comprised drumming with calypso dancing, and more calypso and soca music.

As the steelbands from the Pan and Powder made their way into the Carifesta village for the culmination of the event, dancers from Guadeloupe gave the Guyanese steelband time to get to their pans set up in front of the Grand Stand and the big stage. They played until BPTT Renegades were done setting up for a performance which brought a fitting end to both events.
read more


Web Posted - Friday August 23, 2019
When Steel Talks

New York Panorama “Trouble” - not ‘In the Morning’ - but rather - ‘In Broad Daylight!’ - Genesis Pan Groove Launches Formal Protest Against New York Panorama Event Organizer W.I.A.D.C.A.

New York, USA - Genesis Pan Groove of New York has been seeking to be the latest steel orchestra to become Panorama champions in the annual event which takes place the Saturday night before Labor Day in New York. This year, that is August 31, 2019. The band has been practicing at its Brooklyn pan yard since the beginning of the month. Trouble In the Morning is Genesis’ tune of choice, but for now, it’s trouble even perhaps getting on stage to compete, despite all their hard work.

Event organizers W.I.A.D.C.A. (West Indian American Day Carnival Association) have repeatedly blocked Genesis musical director and arranger Sadé Constantine in the band’s attempts to participate in the event, going so far as to even turn up unannounced and in a hostile manner at the band’s pan yard during rehearsals to conduct an unprecedented ‘head count’ - this, almost two weeks before the competition.
read more, see signed petition

Web Posted - Thursday August 22, 2019
When Steel Talks

2019 New York Steelband Panorama - Order of Appearance

When Steel Talks 2019 Steelband Panorama logo

New York, USA - Eight steel orchestras—not nine, as in the original line-up—will be taking the stage behind the Brooklyn Museum in little over one week from now on August 31, as seven attempt to dethrone reigning Panorama champions Despers USA Steel Orchestra. The latter will defend its title from position four. CASYM Steel Orchestra, which was last champion in 2013, is first in the line-up of competitors. Full order of appearance is below.

The bands selected their playing positions in the offices of event organizer W.I.A.D.C.A. (West Indian American Day Carnival Association) on Thursday August 22. All but Genesis Pan Groove led musically by Sadé Constantine, were allowed to ‘pull’ numbers.
read more, order of appearance

Web Posted - Thursday August 22, 2019
When Steel Talks

Guyana National Steel Orchestra performs at Carifesta XIV - 2019

The Guyana National Steel Orchestra performs at Carifesta XIV in Trinidad

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The Guyana National Steel Orchestra performed at Carifesta XIV in Trinidad on Wednesday August 21, 2019. The stream was facilitated by TTEN TV (Trinidad and Tobago Entertainment Network Ltd.)
see performance

Web Posted - Tuesday August 20, 2019
When Steel Talks

‘Pan Sweet Pan... The Solidarity Concert’ by Pan Trinbago

Pan Trinbago logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “Pan Sweet Pan… The Solidarity Concert” is fourteen of Trinidad & Tobago’s topnotch steel orchestras rallying to Pan Trinbago’s call to showcase the national instrument on one stage while Carifesta XIV is ongoing in the country.

The scintillating pan experience takes place on Saturday August 24 at Starlift House of Music, Christopher Samuel Drive, Mucurapo, Port of Spain, at 6:00 p.m. Gates open one hour earlier. Contribution is TT$100.00 on entry.

“Pan Sweet Pan... The Solidarity Concert” “is in response to the clarion call by the public ““to see more pan during Carifesta”.”
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday August 20, 2019

Driving children’s rights for 25 years

Cape Town, South Africa - On Thursday 1 August, CECD staff members, funders and friends came together to celebrate this huge achievement at the Tuscany Garden’s (Cathkin Caterers) in Rylands, Athlone.

About 140 guests were treated to welcome drinks on arrival, followed by a three-course dinner. A lively performance by a steel band made up of a group of high school learners from the Cape Flats kicked off the evening’s festivities.

The steel band is one of 16 taught by The Steelband Project Western Cape. The project’s core focus is to provide quality music education to young people, with a particular focus on youth in under-resourced communities and “youth-at-risk”.
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday August 20, 2019
When Steel Talks

United Kingdom - UK 2019 Steelband Panorama Order of Appearance - Line-up

London, U.K. - Ebony Steelband will be attempting to capture its twenty-third title, yes - 23rd - this Saturday 24th August as they take the Panorama stage in position one. But they have five other bands following in their wake all equally determined to clinch that honor. Among them, the defending champions Mangrove Steelband playing in position three.

.Croydon Steel Orchestra drew position two once again this year. The full order of appearance is available below. All six steel orchestras will meet and compete at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park, Kensal Road in London. The steelband Panorama is organized and presented annually by the British Association of Steelbands (BAS).
click for Order of Appearance

Web Posted - Sunday August 18, 2019
When Steel Talks

Memorial Concert for the Legendary Ellie Mannette

by Emily Lemmerman

West Virginia, USA - When Ellie Mannette died in August of 2018, the steelband community worldwide grieved along with his family. He had made it clear that he did not want a funeral, but we, his apprentices, friends and family, knew we would soon hold a tribute fitting of his stature, and one that reflected both the impact he had on our lives and how much we loved him. Over the following months, it became clear that this tribute should coincide with the annual summer steelband festival in Morgantown - the “Ellie Mannette Festival of Steel.”

....The concert opened with the Festival faculty performing on historical instruments, in homage of the early days of pan. To hear these early instruments in contrast with an orchestra of modern steel drums, an orchestra that featured some of Ellie’s best contemporary work, underscored the incredible evolution of this artform in which Ellie was such an integral part.
read more, see video

Web Posted - Friday August 16, 2019
When Steel Talks

New York 2019 Panyard Locations

New York, USA - A listing of addresses of the Pan Yard locations of Steel Orchestras, along with contact information, of those participating in the 2019 New York Panorama competition on Saturday August 31. Take the opportunity to visit the panyards in the run up to the competition. Of the nine bands, all except one are New York-based. Just one, Philadelphia Pan Stars, hails from, of course - Philadelphia.
see locations

Web Posted - Wednesday August 14, 2019
When Steel Talks

Caribbean Steelpan Connextion live at Carifesta Grand Market

CSC Musical Director Kwesi Paul and local reggae gospel artiste Joel Positive Murray at a 2018 concert held by CSC

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Caribbean Steelpan Connextion (CSC) Ensemble is pleased to inform all steelpan lovers and music aficionados of its participation at the Carifesta Grand Market. The 10-piece ensemble will perform live at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Thursday August 22, 2019 from 5 p.m.

In keeping with the project theme of the Grand Market, The Streets of the Caribbean, Caribbean Steelpan Connextion promises visitors and patrons, a highly eclectic medley that is reminiscent of the various moods and sounds of the participating countries.
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday August 13, 2019
When Steel Talks

Pan Trinbago Celebrates Pan Month in August

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C. will be celebrating the 27th Anniversary of the Declaration of the Steelpan as the National Instrument of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago with a series of activities marking this auspicious occasion during Pan Month, August.

On the calendar is a wide variety of scheduled events including a Church Service (August 18) at the Holy Trinity Cathedral during which there will be the blessing of the steelpan, members and the bands’ flags. Trinity All Generation Steel (TAGS) and Daniel Gulston will perform during the service which starts at 8:00 a.m. This will be followed by a parade from the church to Pan Trinbago’s Head Office at Duke & Melbourne Streets, Port of Spain, where the festivities will continue.
see events list, read more

Web Posted - Tuesday August 13, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Pan Trinbago vex with culture minister

‘She dropped the ball on pan in Carifesta’

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Pan Trinbago is most upset with Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, as well as the producer and promoter of the Island Beats concert that will bring the curtain down on Carifesta XIV on August 24.

The show, at the Queen’s Park Savannah, will feature international stars Shaggy, Kassav, Calypso Rose, Machel Montano and other local acts.

But Pan Trinbago feels it is sad that pan will not be represented at the concert, except for the playing of the national anthem.

A fiery Dane Gulston, Pan Trinbago’s external relations officer, blasted the minister for her response.

He said: “We went to the minister and she said: “Pan? Pan on stage with Shaggy and Machel?”

The minister told us straight out... and John Arnold (co-ordinator) say they looking for super artistes.

“So pan not good enough for that concert? Honestly, I think this is a total disrespect to the pan fraternity.”

See and join the Discussion
read more

Web Posted - Monday August 12, 2019
When Steel Talks

Grenada 2019 Panorama Results - New Dimension Steel Orchestra Triumphs With Champion Arranger Cordel Byam

Champions New Dimension Steel Orchestra at the 2019 Grenada National Panorama

St. George’s, Grenada, W.I. - At Grenada’s 2019 National Panorama, one of the competition's youngest arrangers, Cordel Byam, guided now-twelve-time Panorama champion New Dimension Steel Orchestra to its latest victory lap around the national steelband music circuit.

....The third-largest band in the competition with seventy-five players, New Dimension was third on stage and skillfully rocked the musical world of the pan lovers in attendance, performing the popular 2019 soca ‘Trouble In The Morning’ by “V’ghn.” Byam's arrangement was masterfully constructed, well layered and punctuated with captivating transitions, for a total competition piece his musical army executed effortlessly, apace and with full exuberance. 
read more

Web Posted - Monday August 12, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Salsa and steelpan

Arranger, anthropologist honoured in Cuba

El Cobre Steelband of Cuba with instruments donated by Gill Pans

Cuba - His passion for pan has been identified as the primary motivation for ensuring that our Caribbean neighbours are fully equipped to enjoy the sounds of the the steelpan.

Seventy-year old pan aficionado Merlin “Mutt” Gill attended the annual Fiesta del Fuego (fire festival) last month at Santiago de Cuba. There he received a plaque for his generosity having donated a shipment steelpans to a band in the community called El Cobre.

....He is the owner of Gill Pans which supplies pans and its accessories. “I sent a 40-piece orchestra. The Cubans treated me like a king.

....Last year, Gill read an article in the Newsday in which Sorrillo called on the public to donate a pan to members of the band in El Cobre. People including Gill contacted Newsday and pledged to assist. But Gill was the only one to fulfil his promise, first by donating two tenor steelpans. He subsequently donated more and earlier this year sent a local tuner to tune the pans.
read more

Web Posted - Wednesday August 7, 2019
When Steel Talks

United Kingdom - UK 2019 Steelband Panorama Line-up

London, U.K. - Saturday 24th August is the date set for the 2019 UK Panorama Championship being held at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park, Kensal Road in London.

Five steel orchestras will rise up in musical challenge to reigning champ Mangrove Steel Orchestra, which this year is defending its title with the popular Savannah Grass by KES The Band arranged by Andre White. It is one of three bands going with this track as tune of choice.
read more, see line up

Web Posted - Wednesday August 7, 2019
Evening Standard

Notting Hill Carnival: Executive Director Matthew Phillip on the festival’s traditions and what to expect from this year

London, England - It all started back in January 1959. Claudia Jones, a Trinidadian human rights activist, organised a Caribbean Carnival at St. Pancras Town Hall in London – a celebration of West Indian culture that was televised by the BBC and so successful, it ran for a further six years.

Made-up of a series of indoor events which took place around London in the early 1960s, the carnival was promoted by Trinidadian husband and wife booking agents Edric and Pearl Connor [parents of the late Geraldine Connor].

....Jones’ 'indoor' carnival paved the way for what we now know as the Notting Hill Carnival.

....But the inaugural fayre took on a more carnival style owing to the renowned pan player Russell Henderson, who Laslett had asked to perform. Accompanied by his fellow pan band members – Sterling Betancourt, Vernon ‘Fellows’ Williams, Fitzroy Coleman and Ralph Cherry – Henderson walked along the Portobello Road as he played, piquing the interest of locals who began dancing to the music and following the band as it moved through Notting Hill.

That was Carnival number one, in 1966. And in just over two weeks' time, Notting Hill will host its 53rd.

....Ahead of it, Future London caught up with Notting Hill Carnival Ltd’s Executive Director Matthew Phillip, to find out how the festival has changed over the years and what Londoners can expect from 2019.
read more

Web Posted - Monday August 5, 2019
When Steel Talks

WST Upclose logo

Meet Salmon Cupid - Panist, Organizer, Arranger, Director, and Innovator

Salmon Cupid directing Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra at the Raptors parade in 2019

Toronto, Canada - Recently steelband music history was created on a global scale when the Salmon Cupid-led Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra participated in the 2019 NBA Champion Toronto Raptors live broadcast celebration parade, as hundreds of thousands watched the group perform directly behind the team’s float.

Salmon Cupid (inventor of the E-Pan) is straightforward, thorough, experienced and completely committed to the success of the steelband artform globally. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks, Cupid shares his understanding of the road to success as he sees it and lives it through his experiences, and much more.
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Web Posted - Sunday August 4, 2019
When Steel Talks

Antigua & Barbuda Panorama 2019 Results - Hells Gate Steel Steel Orchestra Notches 21st Win - Champion Arranger Khan Cordice Makes It 8

Hells Gate Steel Orchestra on their way to becoming the 2019 National Panorama champions

St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. - Seven bands took the stage, but eventually with eight performances overall for the country’s 2019 national steelband Panorama competition, this event was definitely one for the record books... How about the same orchestra opening - and closing - the competition??? But more on that later.

....But first, and naturally, it’s hats off to, and another year of triumph for, Hells Gate Steel Orchestra now with twenty-one National Panorama Championships to its credit. The last eight of those titles have come under the baton of the musical ace, now ‘veteran’ steelband arranger and composer, Khan “KC” Cordice.
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Web Posted - Wednesday July 31, 2019
Music In Africa

The Traceys: An intergenerational story of African music

Geoffrey Tracey and father Andrew Tracey on steelpan having a jam

South Africa - Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson used a selection of local recordings of traditional African music to inspire his music for the film Black Panther, which won an Oscar for Best Original Score. He sourced these tunes from the International Library of African Music (ILAM), the world’s largest repository of indigenous African music, which was established by Hugh Tracey nearly 70 years ago, and then run by Hugh’s son, Andrew.

....In 1969 he [Andrew] started the Andrew Tracey Steel Pan Band, which performed around Grahamstown and South Africa and at festivals such as the National Arts Festival until 2007. During the 28 years Andrew headed ILAM, he lectured on African music at universities, schools and societies, and on TV and radio around the world.

....Geoffrey, born in 1972, is Hugh’s grandson and Andrew’s son. I spoke to him about taking the Tracey legacy forward.
DEREK DAVEY: What was it like growing up in the Tracey family and tradition?
GEOFFREY TRACEY: It was amazing. Music filled the home and musicians came around frequently. The Andrew Tracey Steel Pan Band was a big part of that; it was a platform to arrange and secure gigs with, all around the country. For many years it was a very popular thing for the public and for the people who passed through the band. It was like a mini school of international folk music. A number of the old members are music researchers now .
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Web Posted - Tuesday July 30, 2019
When Steel Talks

Great Expectations Delivered - NY Pan Stars Launch Lights Up the Hood with Electrifying Steelband Performances

NY Pan Stars Steel Orchestra performs at its 2019 band launch

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Back in the day one always had a favorite TV show that aired once a year. This was long before the era of Netflix and Hulu and DVDs. And no matter how many times you saw it - you knew it was going to be great every time. Like the ‘March of the Wooden Soldiers’ around Thanksgiving or Diana Ross & Michael Jackson’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ or the ‘Lion King.’ Great expectations delivered.

So on this sweltering 90-degree-plus Sunday evening, the stage sides of three of New York’s finest steel orchestras performed - Despers USA, Pan Evolution and the hosts New York Pan Stars. They did not disappoint.
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Web Posted - Friday July 26, 2019
When Steel Talks

Petoskey Steel Drum Band performs to a massive crowd at Concerts on the Lawn series

NY Pan Stars Steel Orchestra performs at its 2019 band launch

Michigan, USA - The Petoskey Steel Drum Band (PSDB) was part of the 2019 Concerts on the Lawn series at Grand Traverse Pavilions - Traverse City, Michigan. Featured on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., it was the turn of the band on July 25.

The group shared the following about the experience on Facebook: “Just a ridiculously massive crowd in TC [Traverse City] tonight to hear the PSDB. Estimate was 6,000+! Thank you everyone for coming out! And Thank You to the Pavilions and Jessi Weir for the invitation. Hope to see you all next year. PSDB.”

Take in video of their performances at the following link.
click to see clips

Web Posted - Wednesday July 24, 2019
When Steel Talks

Antigua & Barbuda National Panorama Steelband Music Competition

The Anatomy of Panorama 2019 - Quick Chart

St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. - Saturday August 3, 2019 is the date for the annual Antigua & Barbuda National Panorama in the country’s capital of St. John’s. This year, no doubt the quest will be on in earnest to break last year’s “tie” for the Panorama champion title between Hells Gate and Panache steel orchestras. And of course there are other orchestras, five in total, also determined to be best in this musical wrestling match known as Panorama.
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Web Posted - Wednesday July 24, 2019
When Steel Talks

Trinidad & Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble Wows Audiences in Toronto

Trinidad & Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble’s performance at the Summit Garden Restaurant

Toronto, Canada - The Trinidad & Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble (TTCSE) took Toronto by storm during their recently-concluded performances a couple of weeks ago.

....This small ethnic group, captained by Susie Young, received rave reviews from all those in attendance, many of whom were well known in the entertainment industry.

...The band’s performances included a sold-out banquet and repeat performance at the ever-popular Summit Garden Chinese Restaurant...
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Web Posted - Monday July 15, 2019
When Steel Talks

Supernovas Steel Orchestra Headlines July’s Edition of Pan For The People Concert Series

Pan Trinbago logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The steelband pride of Lopinot, Supernovas Steel Orchestra will headline this month’s “Pan For The People Concert” series in Trinidad & Tobago.

Hosted by the Eastern Region of Pan Trinbago, the free concert will take place at the Sangre Grande Cordettes Pan Yard, Foster Road, Sangre Grande on Saturday July 27, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. Contributions will be accepted.

The region staged a steelband coup in pulling in the topnotch band, Supernovas. The band is reputed as having one of the most vibrant stage sides which was evidenced at the recently-concluded North-East Pan Spektakula in Arima.
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Web Posted - Saturday July 13, 2019
When Steel Talks

Steelpan Music Legends

Cordell “Spongy” Barbour - Steelpan Great

by Kathryn Barbour

Cordell giving a private concert

Global - Lore has him as one of the greatest double-tenor players to have ever walked the planet. Through the eyes of someone who knew him closely—his former wife Kathryn Barbour—the steelband world gets an upclose and personal look at the man known as Cordell “Spongy” Barbour.

On August 16, 1941, Cordell Delano Barbour was born in John-John, Trinidad, the firstborn child of Julitha Barbour and George Masanto. He was named after the U.S. secretary of state at the time, Cordell Hull, and the U.S. president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. From an early age, he clashed with his father and was sent to be reared by his grandmother in John-John. The war years were hard, and his grandmother was poor. He remembered often being hungry and as an adult, would stress to others that no one could know of hunger by reading about it. They had to experience it.....
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Web Posted - Wednesday July 10, 2019
When Steel Talks

When a great idea meets a great idea - simply a charmed Pan experience

The birth of Carib Parlor Notes

Garvin Blake on double second and Ron Reid on double bass

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Let’s start with the end. The inaugural session of Carib Parlor Notes featuring performing artist and panist Garvin Blake was extremely successful. It was a groundbreaking event with vast historical, cultural, and artistic and intellectual significance. All who were present felt the love and warmth generated. Moreover they all knew they were part of something very special.

Now, fast-forward to the beginning.

As hostess and co-director Hazel Beckles Younglao said, “We want to share our pot of gold with you.” A pot of gold it was, and she and her husband, Terah, did indeed share—their home, and the energies vibrating throughout the abode on this evening in particular—with all those who were present.
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Web Posted - Monday July 8, 2019
Now Grenada

New Dimension dedicates Pan Xpression win to fallen comrade

Pan Xpression (Bomb Tune) win dedicated to Adrina Byam
Defending arranger Cordel Byam described moment as bittersweet

New Dimension Steel Orchestra wins Pan Xpression 2019 in Grenada

Grenada - New Dimension Steel Orchestra dedicated their Pan Xpression (Bomb Tune) win to Adrina Byam, a long-standing player who passed away in February of this year.

Amassing 278.5 points, New Dimension already has 5 Pan Xpression titles under its belt. Performing their rendition of Bridge of Troubled Waters by Aretha Franklin, the currently unsponsored steelband managed to defeat their 2nd place rival, Republic Bank Angel Harps by 2.5 points (276), with Suzuki Food Fair Pan Wizards settling for 3rd position with 270 points. Republic Bank Angel Harps and Suzuki Food Fair Pan Wizards tied for 1st place in 2018.

Defending arranger Cordel Byam was quite emotional, and described their moment as bittersweet, following the loss of one of their star players and his sister. “I feel speechless and overwhelmed. I did this for my sister so that’s the best thing I can say...”
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Web Posted - Monday July 8, 2019
When Steel Talks

An ‘Ivory & Steel’ Moment in Pan - BSO’s Tribute to Ken “Professor” Philmore at ‘Pan Is Sweet’ 2019

Leon Foster Thomas and Khuent Rose at the Roulette Intermedium

Khuent Rose & Leon Foster Thomas at ‘Pan Is Sweet’ 2019

New York, USA - The one thing there was no shortage of at the 2019 Brooklyn Steel Orchestra (BSO) Summer production of ‘Pan Is Sweet’ at the Roulette Intermedium, was great memorable music performances.

The BSO show producers again hit the nail on the head when they asked Pan standout, Leon Foster Thomas, to give a live performance in tribute to the late musician and global ambassador of the steelpan instrument, culture and music - Ken “Professor” Philmore. And of course, the collaborating of the extraordinary musical mind and talent of Khuent Rose (himself an outstanding panist, and much more) on piano with Thomas, was indeed a brilliant move. It was a total Leon and Khuent experience.
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Web Posted - Saturday July 6, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Sweet success for Music Makers

Music Makers graduates put on a recorder duet and pan performance

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The success of Music Makers Music School continues as proud music director and founder Merle Albino-de Coteau turns young children into well-rounded teens and adults.

The pan pioneer and educator is a shining light in Laventille as many youths, teens and adults look up to her for taking them along a path of success.

She is “proud to be Laventille” and every year boasts and shows off the success of Music Makers Music School. This year was special, Albino-de Coteau received 100 per cent passes in the Associated Board of The Royal School of Music (ABRSM) and the Graded Examinations in Solo Steelpan Performance of the University of the West Indies.

Last Saturday Music Makers kept its annual Achievement Day Celebrations at the school (Albino-de Coteau’s home) 206 Eastern Main Road, Laventille. The occasion was also a celebration of Albino-de Coteau’s 80th birthday.
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