Panorama – The Real Carnival All-Inclusive

An Opinion

by Garvin Blake

Provided with the expressed permission of: the Author

DNA - Desperadoes Steel Orchestra 2024

Trinidad and Tobago, W.I. - Panorama is never short on drama. This year (2024) was no exception. A first-place tie and a last-place judgment have generated endless debate. But despite the annual tension, frustration and hints of conspiracy, the competition continues to resonate with the people, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Pan can survive without Panorama. But can Carnival - a festival rooted in resistance and participation of the masses - survive without Panorama? This year, Machel Montano won the calypso monarch singing “Soca is the Soul of Calypso.” I’d add that Panorama is the soul of Carnival.

Panorama is the real Carnival all-inclusive. It’s both a grassroots and high-art festival. People from all walks of life come together to give and receive the blessings of music. No one is priced-out or roped-off. The magnificent artistry can be witnessed in panyards, on de Drag or from the North and Grand Stands. Everybody is welcomed.

I can’t think of a music festival that has the scope of Panorama. Where in the world do you get to listen up-close to dozens of new orchestral works written by young and seasoned arrangers and performed by talented musicians of every stripe, in the middle of winter?

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