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When Steel Talks - Special - Post-Trinidad and Tobago Steelband Panorama 2005

           Date: 2.18.05

After Panorama

Leon Edwards
Trinidad All Stars
2005 T&T Panorama Season

When Steel Talks caught up with Leon "Smooth" Edwards arranger for Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra to re-visit the 2005 Panorama season, especially the surprising but disappointing placing of the band.  The 2002 Trinidad and Tobago Panorama champions could only manage seventh place out of a field of eight large conventional steel orchestras for the 2005 season. 

Asked about his thoughts on Trinidad All Stars' placing, the arranger said to be honest, he had not really given it much thought, [and] just had to say it was history, and that one had to move on, "sometimes you win some, you lose some," Smooth said.  He still believed that the yesteryear selection of Chris "Tambu" Herbert - Free Up - was a good tune of choice, but mused that the dissenting voices of his "colleagues" may have been partially responsible for "tainting the minds of people who otherwise would have been objectively listening."    

Edwards was nonetheless pleased with the overall performance of All Stars.  Maintaining that the tempo the band played at was one that allowed the listeners a chance to understand and enjoy what the musicians were doing, Edwards reiterated that every year the steel orchestra was committed to "enhancing the quality of music in Trinidad and Tobago." 

Close to home, Edwards gave kudos to the resounding success of his protégé, arranger Yohan Popwell, who this year garnered the Panorama championship title in the medium category together with Sforzata Steel Orchestra.   Edwards said that he was objective and open to any desire for a change in direction ,should All Stars wish to do so, and that he would only be "too happy" to pass the baton [of arranging for Trinidad All Stars] to Popwell.

Edwards also took the opportunity to send his "heartiest congratulations" to the 2005 Panorama champion arranger Len "Boogsie" Sharpe and his orchestra Phase 2 Pan Groove, saying that he hopes that Boogsie continues to maintain that "high standard of music."  He was also happy for all the finalists in the Panorama competition, pointing out that "it was not a place most bands could make" and should not be taken lightly, saying they "were all winners."  "It is a pity that someone had to decide who is number 1 and who is number 5..." said Edwards.

Now back home in the United States, Edwards says he is concentrating his efforts and focusing fully on his family.  When they are taken care of, he says, then he would turn his attention back to himself and his music. 


Trinidad All Stars On Panorama Night

C. Phillips, Basement Press Corp.

©2005 When Steel Talks - All Rights Reserved

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