John John, Laventille, Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Tokyo Steel Orchestra takes this opportunity to officially announce to members of the steelband fraternity, that preparations are on-going for the band’s participation in the small conventional steel orchestra category of Trinidad and Tobago’s 2024 National Panorama Competition. The annual event is hosted under the auspices of Pan Trinbago, Inc. T.C.
Acknowledged globally as one of the oldest steel orchestras, what is perhaps even more significant, is the selection of the legendary and esteemed Carlton “Zanda” Alexander as the band’s arranger, with the icing on the cake being Rikky Andre Robley, as Tokyo’s new musical coordinator and drill master for the season. The partnership between “Zanda,” who has been the arranger for Desperadoes Steel Orchestra since 2016, and Robley at the helm, has been instrumental in the success of that band within recent years in the large conventional steel orchestra category.
Carlton “Zanda” Alexander on keys with Tokyo members
Drill Master Andre Robley takes this young tenor player through the paces
In speaking with Mr. Oswald “Farmer” Goddard, Captain of Tokyo Steel Orchestra, it was revealed that the overarching decision to work with Zanda was as a result of the latter’s belief in the “power of good music to continue to enhance the community,” and by extension, “alter the negative stereotypes that have stymied the growth of the wider community of John John.” Farmer shared that while other arrangers were approached and expressed some reservations about working in the community, Zanda’s decision was “a reflection of his heart,” in that, he sought inspiration from his chosen way of life, which echoes similar sentiments to those of Tokyo Steel Orchestra. These include, “the improvement of human rights and dignity for all persons, as well as, the fostering of discipline and tolerance,” through consistency and shared expectations.
Cross-section of some of the musicians at work
Tokyo Steel Orchestra’s 2024 tune of choice is a local classic that was made popular by calypsonian Irwin Reyes Johnson, better known as “Scrunter.” ‘Sing In She Party’ is the band’s selection, and was previously used by another celebrated arranger and musician, the late Clive Bradley for Pandemonium Steel Orchestra in 1987.
Music aficionados can therefore expect a delectable treat!
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Press Release from:
Tokyo Steel Orchestra
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