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“The Bradley Years”

The Bradley Years represent the definitive collection of steelband music arrangements and performances for a large steel orchestra. This collection showcases seven classic arrangements from the master arranger Clive Bradley.  Bradley is considered to be the best steelband music arranger ever by many, including his peers.  In addition, the arrangements are performed by one of the finest steelbands in the world, New York’s Pantonic Steel Orchestra. Clive Bradley had a very special relationship with Pantonic.  This orchestra clinched the title of panorama champions five times in seven years - performing Bradley’s musical works.  The performances were captured by Basement Recordings days before, and in one instance, mere moments before they took the stage for the prestigious annual steelband music panorama competition. 

The recordings capture, reproduce and present an unrivalled clarity with sonic realism, of a large steel orchestra fielding between one hundred and one hundred twenty musicians - unlike any other steelband music recordings in its class.

This body of musical work is a sterling addition for all fans, educators, players, historians and fine music collectors.  

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Addresses of Panorama Steelband Panyards Trinidad and Tobago Carnival
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Web Posted - Monday June 24, 2019
When Steel Talks

WST Upclose logo
Meet Yanis Roset - Explorer, Panist, Organizer, Arranger, Educator, and Bandleader

Akira Iino of Japan - Steelpan

Guadeloupe - The formula is simple. Yanis Roset = Pan. An in this regard Yanis has embarked on a life long journey of exploring all things involving the culture of Pan, without exception, apology and/or compromise. He is indeed an exceptional talent and a deep-thinking intellect devoted to moving the art form to new heights.

Humble and always in learning mode - Yanis is a living breathing “ethnomusicologist” who is completely absorbed in living the Pan experience. To say he sleeps, eats, drinks and dreams the culture of the Pan would be an understatement.

In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks, the ultra-talented Yanis Roset shares his noteworthy and extensive history with Pan in Guadeloupe and much more.
read more

Web Posted - Monday June 24, 2019
When Steel Talks

Steelband Activities Continue Throughout Trinidad & Tobago

Pan Trinbago logoTrinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Pan Trinbago Regions have heeded the clarion call from the President to stage events within their zones during the year.

Already off the starting block is the Eastern Region with its ongoing “Pan For The People” series. The next event in the series, the third, is carded for Sangre Grande at the Cordettes Pan Yard on Saturday July 27 featuring Supernovas Steel Orchestra.

On Saturday June 29, Pan Trinbago South Central Region along with Seon’s Bar & Associates will be staging “Steel Brass Soca” at Skinner Park San Fernando.
read more

Web Posted - Monday June 24, 2019
When Steel Talks

Trinidad & Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble to visit Toronto

Trinidad & Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Following successful tours to Dublin in 2010 and Beijing in 2014, the Trinidad & Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble (TTCSE) will once again be spreading its unique blend of T&T music abroad when it visits Toronto from June 29 to July 15, 2019.

....The band will be performing at the Cherry Street Car Park before the popular Xpats Carnival Cruise on July 6 and at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto for their Summerfest event on July 13. During the band’s two-week overseas stint, apart from the above events, they will be the featured guest performer at other private engagements including at a popular Chinese restaurant in Mississauga on July 4, with a repeat performance on July 8.
read more

Web Posted - Sunday June 23, 2019
When Steel Talks

Salmon Cupid - E-Pan Man....Take a bow!

Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra & Toronto Raptors

Global - ....Salmon Cupid is now well-known as the E-Pan man and the musical director of the Toronto All Stars.

....So today the Electronic Pan is becoming increasingly used as a solo instrument and an arranging tool and the Toronto All Stars have been touching and captivating audiences in Canada and internationally with their energetic percussive style.

....The victory of the Toronto Raptors was a victory for the whole of Canada. That victory was long in coming, the Raptors journey having started a mere four years after the afore-mentioned street parade in France in 1991. Seeing the steelband finding pride of place in a Canadian national celebration is a testimony not only to the creativity and the indefectible spirit of Salmon Cupid, but also an affirmation of where a commitment to standards of excellence can lead us and very importantly a preview of the allure and attraction of the percussive steelpan instrument in its natural, participatory street habitat.
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Web Posted - Friday June 21, 2019
When Steel Talks

WST Upclose logo
Meet Akira Iino - Musician, Panist, Bandleader & Creator of the Diamond Cut Steel Pan

Akira Iino of Japan - Steelpan

Japan - Akira Iino from Japan has created a new guitar pan with diamond shapes indented into the skirt of the drum produced by Nittetsu Drum.

Suffice to say that his creation has generated quite a buzz within the global steelband community across social media platforms.

The diamond-cut steel drums are made by Nittetsu Drum in Japan. When Steel Talks had a short communiqué with Akira Iino about his creation.
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Web Posted - Tuesday June 18, 2019
When Steel Talks

World Leaders and Pan
First-First logo

World Leaders in Pan

Global - The late Honorable Patrick Manning was once a tenor player with the "Playboys" in 1968 at UWI Mona Jamaica.

The Honorable Ralph Everard Gonsalves also played tenor at UWI Mona.

The Honorable Baldwin Spencer once served as the president of the Antiguan Steelband Association. He also served as manager, coordinator, advisor, public relations officer and father-figure for Antigua's Halcyon Steel Orchestra.
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Web Posted - Tuesday June 18, 2019
When Steel Talks

Chuma Akil Jahi Watson - Panist, Educator, Visionary

Beverley Ramsey-MooreTrinidad & Tobago, W.I. - On the concept of The Excellence in Growth of the Steelpan Art Form Chuma Akil Jahi Watson says: “Steelpan has so much to offer and needs the youths to continue being heavily involved. Not just for the playing aspect but most importantly the history behind it, the growth of the manufacturing and innovation process.”
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Web Posted - Thursday June 13, 2019
The Daily Observer

Festivals Commission pays up to avert Panorama boycott

St. John's, Antigua & Barbuda - Another threat to boycott an event on the Carnival calendar has reportedly been pulled back after the Festivals Commission allegedly made good on outstanding payments to member bands of the Antigua and Barbuda Pan Association (ABPA) late yesterday.

Earlier yesterday, the ABPA issued a press statement, informing the media that due to the “blatant disrespect towards the pan fraternity” from the Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission (ABFC), “the decision has been made to withdraw all member bands from the National Panorama Competition scheduled for 3rd August.”

....The strongly worded statement noted that as part of negotiations held last year, the Cabinet had agreed to pay the steel bands by December 31.

“With only three of the nine Panorama bands presently sponsored, this delay is already causing serious disruptions in preparations for Panorama 2019,” the release said.
read more

Web Posted - Thursday June 13, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Sweeping changes for Panorama 2020

Beverley Ramsey-MooreTrinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Following an extraordinary general meeting of Pan Trinbago and its membership on Tuesday at Communications Workers’ Union Hall in Port of Spain, Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore confirmed sweeping changes to the format of Panorama 2020.

....“Panorama must not be boxed in by Carnival! We have to create a new experience because we want people to buy in more to the various categories,” she said.

....The Single Pan preliminaries will be held from November 1-8, with the opening of score sheets on November 9, the semi-finals - November 16 and final on November 23.

....Regarding the small band category Ramsey-Moore said: ....That competition starts in the December 9, and will continue to just before Christmas, with the semi-final on January 4, and final on January 11.

....The medium band prelims will be held January 14-17, opening of score sheets on January 20, semi-final on February 9 at the Queen’s Park Savannah, the same day as the large band semis as is normal, but the final will be held in Tobago on February 15.

Large bands preliminaries will be held between Sunday February 2 and Tuesday February 5, with the final being held on Carnival Saturday as usual.
read more

Web Posted - Thursday June 13, 2019
Eastern Daily Press

'The end of an era': Lorry ban forces school's float out of city procession

The Angel Road Junior School steel band practicing ahead of a previous Lord Mayor's Procession

Norwich, England - A school's 17-year tradition of bringing musical entertainment to the Lord Mayor's Procession in Norwich could come to an end this year due to a new ban on lorry floats.

Angel Road Junior School has participated in the centrepiece parade since 2002, with its steel band encouraging plenty of dancing in the streets.

But a ban on petrol and diesel powered lorries in the procession on Saturday, July 6 means the school won't be able to use the 40ft curtain-sided lorry it has previously borrowed for the occasion - the only vehicle big enough to hold its vast steel pan collection and drum kit.

Sue Graham, music coordinator at the Angel Road schools, said it could spell the end of a tradition for the steel bands from years four, five and six - around 25 children - to play in the procession.
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday June 11, 2019
When Steel Talks

WeBeat Five-A-Side Finalists
Nine steelband ensembles confirm participation in Five-A-Side steelband competition staged by the St. James Community Improvement Committee, organizers of WeBeat St. James Live 2019

WeBeat St. James Live logoTrinidad & Tobago, W.I. - This event sponsored by TSTT/bmobile and endorsed by Pan Trinbago Inc. takes place on Thursday June 13, at the St. James Amphitheatre, Western Main Road, St. James at 8:00 p.m. Admission is TT$150.00. Patrons can walk with their coolers.

The nine “finalists” were announced by the event coordinator at the end of the registration period on Tuesday afternoon.
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday June 11, 2019
When Steel Talks

The History of Steelband in Jamaica

Flag of Jamaica

History - The earliest record of steelpan in Jamaica was in 1954. Arden Williams, a student from Trinidad carried his ping pong with him when he attended the University of the West Indies, Mona campus (then the University College of the West Indies). Soon after, he and other Trinidadian students and one Jamaican started the first-ever steelband on Jamaican soil. Over time, different steelbands have come and gone but the Mona campus has never been without a steelband since its arrival in the 1950s. In 1973 the steelbands from two halls of residence merged and became known as UWI Steel (You-We Steel). In 1976 this band was re-branded UWI Panoridim and is still in existence today.
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Web Posted - Monday June 10, 2019
When Steel Talks

G. Allan O'Connor, founder of the NIU Steelband program, has passed away

G. Allan O'Connor

Illinois, USA - G. Allan “Al” O’Connor was a native of Long Island, New York, and earned his Bachelor of Music Degree and Performers Certificate from SUNY-Fredonia and a Masters in Percussion Performance from the University of Illinois.

At Northern Illinois University (NIU), in 1973, Al O’Connor was the first person to establish an actively performing steelband in an American university, and in 1987 he created a steelpan major field of study within the NIU School of Music. O’Connor was appointed NIU’s Head of Percussion Studies in 1968 and served as Associate Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts from 1989 to 2000. He retired from NIU in 2002.

Following the early success of the NIU Steelband, Al was instrumental in starting steelbands at numerous colleges and universities throughout the United States....
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Web Posted - Thursday June 6, 2019
When Steel Talks

WeBeat Festival in St. James, Trinidad
The sounds of steelpan resonate in St. James over the next couple of days during the annual WeBeat festival

WeBeat St. James Live logoTrinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Come Sunday June 9, three of the original St. James steelbands, Scrunters Pan Groove, St. James Tripolians and Power Stars, will come together under the banner “Small But Large”, at the St. James Park & Amphitheatre, Western Main Road, St. James, from 6:30 p.m.

The free concert, “Small But Large”, is an initiative of Keith Simpson, Manager of St. James Tripolians, who decided to stage this event as a gift to the people of St. James and also in the memory of Earl Crosby, first President of the St. James CIC and Chairman of the WeBeat St. James Live Committee.
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Web Posted - Sunday June 3, 2019
When Steel Talks

André White to drop a Steel Orchestra Version of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road”

Arranger, performing artist and composer Andre Whité

New York, USA - My-o, My, o-My. Hmm, hmm, hmm...

Earlier this week one of the When Steel Talks (WST) forum regulars (Bugs) made what may have seemed to most an odd request, to one of the world’s most brilliant steel orchestra music composer/arrangers, André White.

“Bugs” made a request of Mr. White to write an arrangement of the Lil Nas X’s runaway hit “Old Town Road” for the upcoming “Pan Is Sweet” steel orchestra competition to be held in Brooklyn, New York this month, June (29th).”

Mr. White not only responded to the poster, but responded in the affirmative - with the additive that while it could not be done for the “Pan Is Sweet” competition, he might still do it as an additional arrangement for the stage side (of Pan Evolution).
read more

Web Posted - Friday May 31, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Guaico school steelband still needs $32,000

Members of the Guaico Presbyterian Steel Orchestra during rehearsals at their school

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The Guaico Presbyterian Steel Orchestra had to reschedule its flight from Friday to Monday because it has been unable to raise funds it needed for a Maryland trip.

The steel orchestra from Sangre Grande won first place at the National Schools' Panorama competition in the primary school category this year. It was invited by the Cultural Academy for Excellence, Inc. (CAFÉ) in Maryland to perform at the school graduation.

....Anna Noel, artistic director of the Guaico Presbyterian Steel Orchestra, said the school now needs $30,000 more to fly out.
read more

Web Posted - Thursday May 30, 2019
When Steel Talks

Was Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber’s “I Don’t Care” influenced by KES The Band’s “Savannah Grass”?

Justin Bieber & Ed Sheeran

Global - A huge debate has begun to raise some eyebrows about whether or not Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber’s “I Don’t Care” was influenced by KES The Band’s 2019 carnival hit “Savannah Grass”.

The WST (When Steel Talks) forum has been buzzing with opinions from music scholars, fans and the like about similarities between the two songs. Some hear a closeness, others say it’s not even in the same ballpark.

You be the judge.
click to hear

Web Posted - Thursday May 30, 2019
Times Standard

Music series begins at Humboldt Botanical Garden

Pictured here is the Pan Dulce Steel Orchestra. They’ll be at the Humboldt Botanical Garden’s “Music in the Garden’ series on Sunday.

California, USA - The Humboldt Botanical Garden Summer Music Series begins Sunday with a performance by the Pan Dulce Steel Orchestra.

This 16-piece band has been playing for local audiences for 20 years with traditional Calypso/Soca infused with jazz and World Beat styles.

Directors Kate and John Salazar started the band in 1999, inspired by their own experiences playing with 120-piece bands in Trinidad and Tobago. It was their dream to recreate the spirit of the panyard on the North Coast, teaching students in the traditional rote style of the Caribbean.

The garden opens at 10 a.m., and the music begins at 1 p.m.
read more

Web Posted - Wednesday May 29, 2019
When Steel Talks

WST Upclose logo
Meet Dr. Mia Gormandy-Benjamin - Panist, Composer, Arranger, Ethnomusicologist, Educator & Performing Artist

Dr. Mia Gormandy-Benjamin

Global - Her passion for Pan is obviously without question. She developed a natural affinity for pan and music at a very early age. That love and passion has taken her to the heights of the arts and education. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks, Dr. Mia Gormandy-Benjamin takes us on the journey from her beginnings, her current works, and envisioning of the future for pan.

On the future of the instrument in Trinidad & Tobago Gormandy-Benjamin feels Pan is going through a transformational period. “We are seeing... more of the younger generation coming up with way more skills to work, to function in the world of music.”

She is blazing new pathways for the instrument and music through technology, new music works for instrument, and exposure.  
watch interview

Web Posted - Tuesday May 28, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Stewart out for Panorama 3-peat in 2020

Duvone Stewart

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Duvone Stewart, who has led the BPTT Renegades Steel Orchestra to back-to-back national Panorama titles in 2018 and 2019, is looking forward to 2020, and going after the three-peat in Panorama wins.

He said: “It’s on the top of the agenda for Duvone Stewart....I know it is going to be an uphill task, but I am humble and focused. And I’m going to leave it in God’s hands. I have a good band, a good complement of players, a good staff that I work with in Renegades, a good sponsor to support me and I am going to give my all in trying to see if we can repeat as Panorama champions, 2020.”
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday May 28, 2019
When Steel Talks

NYU Steel Ensemble 2019 Spring Concert: Steelpan Magic on West 4th Street - when the Doctors Make a House Call

NYU Steel performs at its 2019 Spring Concert

New York, USA - With enough music magic being generated at the Frederick Loewe Theater to make Harry Potter and his mates jealous, NYU Steel proceeded to turn the capacity audience into life long “Pan Jumbies.”

A long time ago the legendary drummer Max Roach said that the steelpan is a magical instrument. And under the directive of Dr. Jonathan Haas and leadership of Josh Quillen the prestigious NYU percussion studies program continue to show why.

....Presenting something old, something modern, something new, something futuristic or even galactic (Mars, the Bringer of War), as we would soon learn from this year’s show - is the norm.
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday May 28, 2019
Offbeat Magazine

U.S. Navy Steel Band To Reunite For Steelpan Drum Celebration In New Orleans

US Navy Steel Band

New Orleans, USA - As part of the exhibition “New Orleans Medley: Sounds of the City” – an exploration of New Orleans music hosted by The Historic New Orleans Collection – members of the U.S. Navy Steel Band are reuniting to perform, on Wednesday, June 5. A band of panists, musicians favoring the steelpan instrument which originated in Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. Navy Steel Band performed over 20,000 concerts before disbanding in 1999.

Formed in 1957 by U.S. Navy Admiral Daniel V. Gallery (who was stationed in Puerto Rico at the time), the band helped popularize Caribbean music in America. After gaining success in the New Orleans music scene in 1973, the U.S. Navy Steel Band went on to obtain worldwide recognition.
read more

Web Posted - Sunday May 26, 2019
When Steel Talks

Meet Crystalann Timothy
Trinidad & Tobago

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Crystalann Timothy

Woman symbolTrinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “....when I get behind those drums I’m already in performance mode (I just love it). Organising is really my thing, I take pride in doing what I have to do and what needs to be done... Making it happen is my password! In a nutshell.”

A key part of her chosen mandate is to bring the legacy of Harmonites Steel Orchestra to life once more. And she has the belief, determination and grit to do just that. Crystalann Timothy bonded with the steelpan instrument and artform since childhood, and it completes her existence in tandem with her beloved family. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - the panist shares on her mindset and vision for Harmonites, the steelband artform, the place of women in it, and more.
read more

Web Posted
When Steel Talks

When Steel Talks 2019 Steelband Panorama logo
 Complete Summary of Results of all Conventional Steel Orchestras - 2019 Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - At a glance and on a single page, access the comprehensive summary of results for the Small, Medium and Large conventional steel orchestras that participated in their respective categories in the 2019 Panorama.

Follow the musical journey of respective bands through all three phases - preliminaries, semi-finals and finals through data on band info, scores, tunes of choice and arrangers.
access full summary here

Web Posted
When Steel Talks

Early Trinidad and Tobago Steelbands Names Associated with Hollywood Movies

Global - Within the historical context, a look at the impact of American movies on the naming of early steelbands of Trinidad and Tobago.
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