Panorama 2006 Articles
New York Steelbands - 2007 Panorama
- Grades A-Z
An in depth analysis of one the
greatest annual performances of tuned percussionists in North
Panorama Champions Sonatas Steel Orchestra
Wow! Another New York steelband season has
passed. All in all it was a very good season depending
on your perspective. Most of the New York steelbands
made it out for the Summer season. And as we all know that is
no small feat. Every year it is becoming increasingly
difficult for steelbands to survive in the Big Apple. Indeed,
every year bands seem to have different zip codes for their
pan yards. Real estate is currently at a premium in the New
York area. The challenges facing any steelpan
performance organization in this city is tremendous and
constantly in a state of flux. Yet in spite of this the
bands came out in force. The steelband movement is very
strong in New York in spite of environmentally unfriendly
confines. Most of the bands with a few exceptions
actually got larger this season. Nearly all of the bands with
one exception fell between the 70 to 100 players range.
Some of the bands could easily go past the 100 player limit if
there were no restriction. The management of New York
steel orchestras have to be congratulated for their untold
sacrifices to make this happen. Most of the bands
participated in the band launches, J'Ouvert and/or Panorama.
New York's steelband panorama is still the
greatest display of tuned percussion instruments in North
America. Some great music was created and performed by
the New York steel orchestras. The bands operated on a
high musical level. From top to bottom if you are not on
your 'A' game and clicking on all cylinders, you can get you
feelings hurt real bad. New York Panorama and
non-panorama bands brought a diverse and potent musical
repertoire to the table. Just check out Steel Sensation
and Utopia Pan Soul in the latter category, for example.
Pan in New York is clearly much more than panorama.
Wyclef Jean with Pantonic Steel Orchestra
This year, the pan yards became alive again -
particularly in the last week before panorama. The crowds are beginning
to return - in contrast with last year's showing. Even Hip Hop superstar
Wyclef Jean made it to the panyard. Buses ferrying folk from out of
town to visit the pan yards were seen on a few occasions. Although there
seems to be a concerted and usually effective effort on the part of some
in authority, to stifle much of the traditional pre-labor day
activities, this year the pan yards were left alone for much of this
season. The bands were able to practice without much interruption by the
city authorities. People visiting the pan yards are a critical part of
the existence of the orchestras.
Young people continue to exhibit a strong
attraction to the steelpan instrument. Close to one
thousand players took to the stage on panorama night. A
significant amount of the players are between Junior high
School, High School and College age. In fact a sizeable
amount of the players literally went from panorama to NY
metropolitan airports in order to be present on their college
campuses Monday morning. The growth of steelpan in the
New York schools is expanding exponentially.
Trevor Stubbs & the Utopia Pan Soul
A Utopia Pan Soul Production
Most of the steelbands are internet savvy and are
online through one means or another. Some have even become e-commerce
active and are finally learning to make their music work for them.
Moreover, some have began to recognize the financial freedom and power
that emerging technologies will have on every aspect of their lives.
Some of the bands are beginning to understand how to market themselves
to a global audience. And even more importantly bands are realizing that
they are in the entertainment business. Furthermore, they are now
cognizant that there is real competition for people's time,
entertainment dollars and sponsors; not simply their fellow steel
orchestras 'down the block,' but organizations like the New York Yankees
or Mets, or Sony's new play station.
Indeed the steelband organizations are being
to develop an entrepreneurial agenda and spirit. The
smaller and non-panorama organizations have taken the lead in
this arena as they are more apt to look to create situations
that are financially advantageous to them. Many
steelband organizations have taken up the role as producers
and promoters in addition to being artists of their own
shows. The following are all steelband produced
events. CASYM (Carols & Classics at the Brooklyn
Museum), Pantonic, Women In Steel (Pan in the Park), Utopia (Carnival of Instruments, III) and Sesame
Flyers (Steelpan Extravaganza).
Great promise lies in the fact that many of
the bands now realize that they do have a product that
is marketable, and valued - that being their music and
performances. Finally, groups are showing signs of
understanding that their music must and can work for
them. Many have diligently professionally digitally
recorded their music at the highest quality available for a
few years now. Many of them have sufficient years
archived to now release greatest hits compilations of their
panorama masterpieces. Groups like Sesame Flyers and
Utopia Pan Soul have already moved into the DVD productions of
In spite of the continued increase in the
popularity of the steelpan instrument, and by extension, the
steel orchestra - steelband music organizations continue
to face many of the same critical problems that threaten their
continued existence within the city for decades, with no help
in sight. Many of the attitudes and people who are
detrimental to the steelband music movement in New York are
unfortunately still in place. Inadequate, ineffective,
incompetent and non-existent representation continue to remove
steelband organizations in general (through
non-representation), from participating in any serious
discussions about matters that directly affect their future in
New York city. In spite of all obvious contributions the
steelbands bring to the financial, educational, social and
cultural fabric of the city, they (the steelbands), and their
supporters continued to be marginalized by inept
representation within the political circles and in the private
The housing boom of the last few years has
removed almost all of the traditional potential
panyards. Furthermore, re-districting, re-zoning and
re-gentrification are all seriously threatening existing
panyards. Couple this with the fact that no one has
championed to put the panyards as part of the New York city's
permanent charter, they have no real right to exist.
Every steel orchestra in New York, regardless of history and
age, is literally one second from being homeless. After
50 years of pan in the city, this is very sad. In New
York a band can go from experiencing the exhilarating joy of
winning a panorama championship, to the agony and destitution
of being homeless, in literally a moment's notice. In
2006, panorama champions CASYM found themselves in that
situation; so too did 2003 champions Pantonic steel
orchestra. And why, again, do the bands let those smiling
politicians into their yards and onto the panorama stage on
Economically speaking panorama is still not
financially viable. The prize monies are grossly
inadequate and insulting.
The steel orchestras still haven't begun to
take advantage of the Big Apple. This is the financial,
media and cultural center of the world.
How come the presidents of Percussive Arts
Society, Paiste, Yamaha Drums, Pearl, Lugwig, Zildjian,
Sabian, Latin Percussion, Remo, Tama and Gator - just to name
a few - are not routinely present at the panorama? Are
New York steelbands not percussionists too? Is this an
anti-New York pan thing? We saw a 36-inch timpani, a
large concert drum and a huge gong on Pantonic Steel
Orchestra's float. So what gives? Don't New York
iron men count as percussionists too? Do we have to turn
in our drums, cymbals and cowbells at the door? Feel
free to contact us at email@example.com
to discuss this thirty-year plus oversight of some of the
greatest drummers and percussionists in the world...
The inability of the steelpan fraternity to
put differences amongst themselves on hold, continues to
thwart any real forward progress or exhibition of power.
Moreover a leadership body with any significant success as it
relates to representing the New York steelbands on a global,
national or even local level, has yet to emerge.
Much of the talent, brain power and skills
needed to propel the steelband movement forward are in
abundance within the bands and steelband community but go
relatively unrecognized, untapped and unused.
For better or for worst depending your point
of view, the New York panorama has been associated with the
West Indian American Carnival Day Association (WIADCA).
In the latest WIADCA 2007 catalog the director of marketing
and public relations, Jane Alexander, says "With non-existent
government funding and corporate support down by over 50% -
the future is bleak for New York's treasured West Indian
Carnival". One would have expected that after a
forty-year monopoly on running the biggest street parade in
North America and annual cash cow for the city of New York
like no other, WIADCA would be the biggest sponsor of all
things related to carnival as opposed to looking for
sponsors. New York steel orchestras beware - it might be
intelligent for you each to get your own raft and life jacket
Panorama continues to be one of the major
driving forces in New York pan. However there are many
more bands that exist, that are highly regarded and do not
participate in panorama. This year's New York panorama
was very good. Great music and performances by all the
Ha Ha. That old devil
sound engineer got blanked this year. Somehow the pan
community was able to force a change. Basement
Recordings was brought in to take care of the sound. We
should have known it was too good to be true. That old
devil left his accomplices behind. In spite of their
unprofessional behavior which prevented us, the panorama
audience, from experiencing the ultimate sound for a panorama,
Basement's handling of the sound allowed the panorama
discussion among the audience, fans and players, to focus on
the bands' performances and their music, and not on how
atrocious the sound was, as in past years.
We got to hear every band clearly - a 'first'
at a WIADCA panorama for us. Indeed, the presence of
Basement at this year's panorama was a moral and obvious sonic
victory for the steelband community. However, based on
the difficulties Basement experienced with the WIADCA
personnel, it is safe to assume that Basement will not be
back. There is absolutely no incentive or reason for
them to return if they can't deliver their best work. So
guess who will be back in 2008 doing sound for the panorama?
Adjudication: - Fail -
2007 Adjudicators at work
Judging a panorama is not an easy task.
Moreover, you are not going to make any friends.
However, this year's judging turned into a fiasco as there
were serious mistakes and omissions in the tallying of the
scores which came to light days after the competition.
Embarrassing! And there were additional questions about the
system used to tabulate the final scores. Unlike his
fellow judges, one did not sign his score sheets, raising ugly
results validity concerns among bands. Most of the bands
continue to complain about the lack of comments on score
sheets. How can they understand how the judges came to
their decisions, and to improve for the next year, if there
are no comments?
All six judges for this year's competition,
were also part of the 2006
2007 Judges, alternate judge & related
Judith de Four-Howard
As we said last year - the judges' decisions
are final and thus are not subject to question. However,
it would have been intelligent if the pan association had
someone to monitor the process on their behalf.
The arrangers did very good work this
year. Everyone did put some interesting music out
there. Our only complaint, or better yet, request,
is that more of the arrangers use the musical latitude
that the New York's broadminded panorama attitude
affords you. Push the envelope and continue to
challenge the norm. Don't sit in the pocket.
Judges cannot adjudicate the next great thing. It
is only through this boldness you, the art form and the
music will continue to grow.
New York Steelband
Governing Bodies: - Fail -
a year later and what's different?
The Bands: -
in New York is like no other place in the
Pan Soul; the Next GenerationSteel
Talks said last year that
then-sixteen-year old André White was going to be the
arranger of the future for ADLIB. We were very
impressed then with his panorama arrangement for
ADLIB. Unfortunately, ADLIB played first last year
and was tortured severely by the sound
system. This year the world got a hearing of what
this extremely talented young man and orchestra have to
offer. In many ways ADLIB was the story of the
2007 panorama. The young arranger and the Long
Island steelband have finally received the recognition
they so justly deserve. The kids of ADLIB have
grown up. They are now teenagers and young adults
surrounded by the guidance of committed adults.
ADLIB's management is to be commended for having the
foresight and patience to invest their time and
resources in these young people. ADLIB will
continue to be a force to be reckoned with for many
years to come because they are young and remain focused,
humble and hungry.
Their tune of choice this year was
Band From Space. It was an
excellent choice for the band.
Look for ADLIB to threaten the virtual
lock - and deservingly so - that the Big Three
(CASYM, Sonatas and Pantonic) have had on the top
positions since 2000.
Last 5 Panorama Placings
>> 3rd | 10th |
10th | 10th | 7th
For more on ADLIB
back to top
came into this panorama as the defending champions. They have
firmly established themselves as one of the elite steel
orchestras of New York - so expectations going into this
panorama were high. Performing in the number one position is
never optimal for any steelband because normally, the majority
of the crowd has not settled in; as the first group you are
forced to set the judging bar by default, and of course you can
become the sound check for a wicked sound engineer. However, on
this night none of those things impacted on CASYM's performance.
This was simply not their night. CASYM performed very well but
failed to take the judging out of the judges' hands. In a word -
CASYM was 'out-CASYMed' by the winning band. They (the winning
band) just did everything better.
CASYM fell victim to its own success
this year. To regain the title CASYM will have to
start their season earlier and finish their song
earlier. As a matter of fact all the bands will
have to adopt a different approach if they want to
seriously challenge this year's champion. CASYM
who took second position trailed the winners by 21
CASYM with Arddin Herbert will always
be a lethal combination. Arddin is a proven
arranger. CASYM will continue to be part of the
trio (the other two being Sonatas, Pantonic) that has
dominated NY panorama in recent years. Look for
CASYM to come real hard next year. Their tune of
choice this year was 'Sharing
Licks' by Len "Boogsie"
Sharpe. This selection was perfect for CASYM.
CASYM performs throughout the year in
addition to running a series of successful music
education programs that feature the steelpan as the
instrument of choice. Their versatility continues
to make them one of the most sought-after steel
orchestras in the country.
Last 5 Panorama Placings >> 2nd
| 1st | 4th | 2nd |
For more on CASYM click
back to top
CrossFire entered this
season with much promise. The arranging reigns
were turned over to the very capable Anthony "Pra"
Trebuse. Crossfire has been steadily investing in
its infrastructure and musical future. Look for
this investment to pay big dividends soon.
Crossfire's instruments are among the best in the New
York steelband fraternity.
The judges' scores and band placement
in this year's panorama do not reflect the band's
improvement or performance over last year. For
whatever reason Crossfire's version of 'Sharing
Licks' did not go over
well with these judges but was hailed by many pan
fans. As we went 'to print,' When Steel
Talks was informed that nineteen points
'mysteriously' omitted from Crossfire on Panorama night,
were officially awarded them, making their points 404,
and moving them into eighth position overall in the
Crossfire took fashion sense to new
levels as they were all decked out in oriental-styled
attire. They get an 'A' for fashion. Their
tune of choice this year was Sharing Licks by Len
"Boogsie" Sharpe. This was a good selection for
the band and arranger.
Again, as in previous years, Crossfire
could be found cranking up a storm on J'Ouvert
morning. The band captured a large following on
Crossfire is one of the groups that has
been committed to recording their panorama
selections. Look for their 2007 offering on the
2007 Pan in New York pan yard recordings CD.
Last 5 Panorama Placings >> 8th
| 8th | 7th | 5th |
For more on CrossFire
back to top
Dem Stars brought in veteran
arranger Denzil Botus formerly of Despers USA
fame. That association between Mr. Botus and
Despers USA brought six consecutive championships in the
1990's. Dem Stars has featured six different
arrangers in the seven years since it entered the
panorama scene in 2001. Historically speaking in
New York, arrangers and bands need to grow
together. Expectantly, we look for Mr. Botus to be
back next year to build on what he has begun in
2007. His reputation and past accomplishments are
not in jeopardy.
Last 5 Panorama Placings >> 9th
| 9th | 6th |
6th | 8th
back to top
or 'perplexed' might be
the operating word to Despers USA's feelings in terms of
explaining their 2007 placing in this year's
panorama. It is definitely not normal that a group
with the caliber of players and victorious history as
Despers USA possesses, to place so low in a panorama
competition. Clearly there was a disconnect with
the judges and the orchestra's
performance/arrangement. In speaking to band
management, Despers convey that they can accept their
placement. What they find hard to digest is the
total lack of comments on some score sheets by judges as
to how they came to their decision, and the
non-signature/validation of one in particular.
Without a doubt this year will not go
down as one of Despers more memorable years. This
is the third year for Despers USA with Eddie Quarless at
the arranging helm. Both arranger and band members
have very high expectations. There is no panic in
the Despers camp but they are concerned about the
unanswered questions and lack of accountability.
Despers USA possesses quality players
who employ some of the best playing techniques on the
instrument anywhere. We are afraid with the almost
fanatical attention paid to steel orchestras' panorama
placings by young players and fans, that there may be
some very valuable music offerings lost or worse -
ignored - by newly-emerging players.
Their tune of choice this year was 'Sharing
Licks' by Len "Boogsie" Sharpe. This song for a
band as heady and musically-gifted as Despers USA, is debatable.
Two additional bands played this song in the panorama; however
their arrangers come out of the 'Boogsie' school of thought and
therefore that choice would be natural for them. Also, by
coincidence, the three bands that played this song appeared
consecutively on stage. This may have had something to do
with the low scores. We would have loved to have heard
Despers do Band From Space or Ray
Holman's "We Can't Go On Like This".
Last 5 Panorama
Placings >> 10th
| 5th | 5th | 8th | 6th
For more on Despers USA
back to top
Radoes turned over the arranger's duties to Curtis
Edwards - another up-and-coming arranger partially influenced by
the Bradley school of thought. Veteran arranger Robert
Greenidge was also brought in to bolster the arrangement. This
year's tune of choice was "Band
Radoes is made up of veteran players for
the most part. They are a very dangerous band on
panorama night because they all come from winning
environments. However, Radoes remains
unpredictable and inconsistent for panorama. This
year's 7th place was totally out of character with the
group's past panorama history. Junior "Man"
Samuels and his team are extremely committed to the
group's success. Look for them to sure-up some
parts over the off-season and come back out smoking.
This year Radoes' stageside (the
representation of the band which performs outside of the
panorama competition) was vastly improved. This
bodes well for the future as there will be a core group
of players on which stability can be realized for the
Last 5 Panorama Placings >> 7th
| 4th | 2nd | 4th | 3rd
For more on D'Radoes
back to top
Harmony made some
major changes this year for the purpose of immediately
propelling them into the next level. Veteran
arranger Ken "Professor" Philmore was handed the
arranger's duties. Harmony, made up primarily of
very young players has risen up the scale of steelband
respectability by New York standards very quickly.
Ken Philmore has won a few New York panoramas in the
past with Sonatas, and has always had the ability to
relate to young people. By all accounts and our
own observations, the transition to the new arranger was
an easy one. The young people seem to have
developed a good relationship with Philmore.
Harmony's tune of choice was "Nah
Going Home" by Biggie Irie.
This is not your 'traditional' panorama
song but a great tune for New York panorama in its urban
setting, which is much more liberal in its panorama
music mindset and expectations. It was also a
great selection for the young people in Harmony because
of its popularity. Pro's approach was to give the
arrangement a pop and funk feel - a "Homeboy" look
as he called it. It worked, as it went over very well
with the group and fans.
Harmony finds itself at a difficult
crossroad that few groups ever really make - that is,
the jump from steelband music mediocrity to that of a
ranking and top class steel orchestra. This takes
hard work, modesty and dedication to develop the
excellent musicianship necessary to get to the next
level. The next few years will determine whether
Harmony's players and management have what it takes to
get there. On the part of Harmony's management's
Talks has witnessed a commitment to young people
that goes way beyond music. They are to be highly
commended for that.
Harmony joins the Pan in New York
panyard series this year for the first time. It is
very good that their 2007 panorama music will be
available on CD.
Last 5 Panorama Placings >>
12th | 9th | 12th
For more on Harmony
back to top
New York Marsicans
NY Marsicans is in a
rebuilding mode. At this stage, anytime you can
make it out of the gate in New York that is a good
thing. Their tune of choice was De Fosto's 'Pan
Lamentation'. Anthony Simpson was their arranger
for 2007. Despite the current odds against them
and challenges faced,
they have a lot of heart, and continue to maintain a presence on the New York pan
Last 5 Panorama Placings >> 11th
| 12th | 8th | 3rd | 4th
For more on NY Marsicans
back to top
Pantonic is one of the
"Big Three" on the New York panorama scene - and with
that acknowledgement comes much expectations and
responsibilities internally and publicly. To their
credit the players and management have handled it
remarkably well. In its ten-year history,
placed lower than
third only once (in
2004 the group was allotted next to last place, 12th
position). Their overall record speaks volumes
about the Pantonic music program and consistency.
This year Keith Roberts settled
comfortably into the arranger's chair. With all
the questions and doubts about 'could he successfully
handle one of the most prestigious, coveted and powerful
positions in the New York steelband music world'
answered - Pantonic moved forward with uncanny calm as
they anticipated capturing their sixth title in eight
years. This year people were clamoring "I've got
to take Keith's music".
Pantonic took the panorama stage with the
maximum 100 musicians but could have easily gone up with 120 if
the competition allowed. Mr. Roberts dropped an
arrangement of 'Band
From Space' that resounded well with the band's players
and fans. They, Pantonic, have more great young panorama
performing players than any other band in the city - so there is
absolutely no excuse as to why they are not the tightest
performing group every year. Pantonic must get back to the
things that made them lean and hungry for success. This
two-year drought is the longest Pantonic has ever gone without a
championship. Look for that 'lean, mean and hungry dog' to
be back next year.
As usual, Pantonic recorded its 2007
panorama selection for the Pan in New York series.
Pantonic has recorded its selections every year, all
available on CDs on their web site at
Last 5 Panorama Placings >>
3rd | 3rd | 1st
| 12th | 1st
For more on Pantonic
back to top
2007 may be looked
back on as the most pivotal year in the history of
Sesame Flyers Steel Orchestra. In what has to be
viewed as one of the major pre-season
developments, veteran and champion arranger Pelham
Goddard of the famed Exodus Steel Orchestra, took over
the arranger duties.
The infusion of Pelham Goddard and exit
of their past arranger Freddie Harris, III indeed
signified a major change in approach and direction for
the organization. The name Pelham Goddard brings
instant credibility and professionalism. And with him
come many expectations internally and externally.
So, the big question going into this panorama season
was: could Sesame players meet Pelham's music
performance standards or would he have to
In a recent When Steel Talks interview
with Pelham Goddard, he said that he made no
compromises. His approach changed with an
understanding that in New York there are other things
and issues competing for his players' time and
attention, but he maintains that you can't 'cheat' the
music. Pelham Goddard, in addition to being a
first-class musician, is also an educator. This
year he brought a level of seriousness and direction to
Sesame not seen in previous years. Even personnel from
Exodus were brought in to drill the orchestra in the
days leading to panorama. Sesame's players indeed
did step up their game as they became more comfortable
with Pelham's approach and expectations.
Again Sesame Flyers has displayed a
commitment to the development of their youth through
engaging Mr. Goddard. Pelham has conveyed to us
that he is here for the long haul and will be
working with the Sesame Youth towards developing them
into champions for as long as he is needed. From
the results of this year that may not be very
long. Sesame Flyers achieved one of its
highest panorama placements in its history.
Sesame Flyers' tune of choice was 'Band
From Space'. Sesame
Flyers will again be featured on the Basement
Recordings-produced 2007 New York Panyard
And it must be documented here that Sesame
Flyers was once again way out front of the other bands in terms
of visual presentation for their panyard recording this year.
Their musicians looked spiffy and were camera-ready, all dressed in
matching black shirts. The group's management initially made such a showing
their 2006 recording.
Last 5 Panorama Placings >>
9th | 7th | 15th
For more on Sesame Flyers
back to top
Many say that the race
to capture the 2007 panorama championship was over in
August, and all that was left was who would come in
second and third - moreover, just how far would Sonatas
leave them in its dust. It was a blow out.
The rest of the field took a serious thumping.
Sonatas outdistanced the nearest band by 21
points. Regardless of what you thought about the
ability of the judges, it was no contest. Sonatas
did what we expect most champions to do - take the
judging out of the judges' hands.
Sonatas put on a great
performance. They looked good. Sounded good. And
performed very, very well. They brought a flair
and stylishness that captured the crowd
immediately. Their choreography was almost
flawless (too bad VH1 or MTV wasn't there). With
Basement handling the sound you got to hear the nuances
of their Yohan Popwell arrangement. In addition
the audience also got to hear the superior quality of
their instruments, and just how great their tuner and
pan instrument manufacturer, Bertrand 'Birch' Kellman, is.
Sonatas has developed a system that
affords them a certain musical and performance comfort
zone by finishing their tune at least a week in
advance. The other groups will have to change
their thought process if they expect to serious
challenge Sonatas in the future. In Sonatas' long
history they have never been known to beat themselves,
and that is not about to start now. Frankly,
Sonatas' Black and Gold never looked so good. All
indicators say that Sonatas likes first place, and is
not going to give it up peacefully. With eight
Sonatas has more panorama wins than
any other group in New York Panorama history. They
are also one of only two group that has won two
panoramas in the last five years - the other being
Sonatas, similarly to the other members of
the Big Three (Pantonic and CASYM) took the stage with an
announced 100 players. But unlike the other two 'big guns' their
size did not diminish their sound or precision. They were
the most balanced group of the night. Their tune of choice
Sonatas will again be featured on
the Basement Recordings-produced
2007 New York Panyard recordings.
Last 5 Panorama Placings >>
| 2nd | 3rd | 1st | 4th
For more on Sonatas
back to top
Utopia Pan Soul: the Next Generation
Utopia Pan Soul: The
Next Generation is a perfect of example of a steelband
music organization that has taken the necessary next
steps to ensure their future. Utopia has avoided the
enticing lure of panorama and the all-encompassing drain
on the participating organizations' resources.
Utopia has established itself as a skillful producer,
event organizer and performing and recording music
While most other people are 'talking',
Utopia is doing it. Utopia is a great place
to be if you are interested in expanding your
Utopia can put on a whole show by
themselves. Very few New York stage sides can say
they can do that.
For more on Utopia Pan
back to top
simply one of the finest steelpan groups out
there. If you have never seen them. make it your
business to do so. These cats can play. They
have a varied repertoire that showcases their tremendous
Every time we saw them perform they
wowed the crowed and more importantly, they opened the
minds of young people to other possibilities as to what
can be done with the instrument.
Steel Sensation is quite serious about taking the art
form to new heights.
For more on Steel
Women In Steel
Women In Steel (WIS)
keeps doing their thing. This was an interesting
year as we noticed that the group had grown with the
addition of a few new members. They remain at the
forefront of providing female players with an option to
learn the steelpan instrument. Like a few of the
smaller groups mentioned here WIS has also successful
moved into the event-producing arena.
We miss Women in Steel from the
panorama scene. Hopefully the panorama economics
will change so that it will make business sense for them
to once again enter the event. Their last panorama
appearance was in 2003.
For more on Women In Steel
back to top
Pan Ambassadors, as we
have noted before has no interest in being defined or
limited by the panorama experience. In a recent
talk with management it was explained that one of the
main goals of Ambassadors, beyond the obvious music
focus area, is to provide the players with a sense of
appreciation for their dedication and sacrifices to the
group regardless of their age.
Ambassadors continues to plot a course
that is logical and that makes business sense for the
group, with the aim that other groups will see their
successful ventures and emulate.
For more on Ambassadors
back to top
Higher Levin Steel
Orchestra are no longer 'new kids on the block'.
People are starting to take notice of the group.
Their approach and repertoire are very different from
any of the other groups in New York. In their
brief existence Higher Levin has already produced
two major shows that were sold
out. They have really taken the lead in producing
a total steelband show that includes drama, dance and
music performance. Can't wait to see what they
will do next year!
For more on Higher Levin
back to top
Hearts of Steel
Hearts of Steel
is an amalgamation of some veterans on the New
York pan scene who have chosen to focus more on
'ole time' classics with an authentic feel to
successfully draw their audiences into a joyful
musical place. While the group does leave
room for a popular piece or two, they know the
power of their chosen niche which was apparent
when they appeared at this year's band
The attraction of the band was
evident especially in the pleasantly larger
representation that took to the streets for
J'Ouvert to the delight of supporters.
Wherever they have played this season, they found
their way into a special place in the hearts of
For more on Hearts of Steel click
- C -
There wasn't any change that we noticed -
other than the usually-awful sound system was not in place,
but was much better this year, and did not cause any more
Pan Lamentation that would result in the Bands From
Space - Sharing Licks.
A special thanks to the Miami-based sound
equipment company, with Virgo and colleagues, for your
professionalism. According to Basement that was
something that was in very short supply, based on their
interaction with WIADCA personnel.
Same as Last Year
Same as Last Year
Same as Last Year, but again, a non-issue -- bands do have
Post-Production and Follow Up
as Last Year
players, management, arrangers, fans): -
New York Panorama
In Pictures click
New York Panorama 2007 In Pictures.
J'Ouvert: - B
J'Ouvert was great this year.
J'Ouvert - 2007
in Pictures click
J'Ouvert 2007 Pictures In Review
The audience was very
well behaved as always, and showed remarkable tolerance
and perseverance, despite the promoters having once
again provided just five hundred sixty-seven chairs for
an event that drew thousands, but who raised the price
of admission this year.
No programs appeared to be provided for the gracious
audience, so that they could follow the show along and
note information on their favorite bands. Despite
this, the love, support and respect the audience
displayed for the hard work and great performances of
the New York Steel Orchestras was unstinting.
Stage Sides: - B
Pan In New York CD is Available
educational, historical, cultural and artistic masterpiece that
showcases one of the most vibrant live music performance movements
in the United States today...
Click to hear samples
Pan yard recordings are
1 (718) 421-2042
Search for Anything Steelpan