Panorama Gold

Tunapuna All Stars Steel Orchestra

2019 Tune of choice:  Cheers To Life  | arranger:  Kimberli St. Clair

right click for history/bio

The Tunapuna All Stars Steel Orchestra was started in the year 1952 in Pasea Village, Tunapuna, Trinidad. In the beginning years the band was lead by Ramdass Sammy one of the top Tenor Pan players at that time with the musical arrangements done by George (YoYo) Kalicharran. In the 50s the only music renditions played on the Steel drums were Calypso and Western music.  The Tunapuna All Stars, however, was the only steel orchestra to play East Indian music on the Pan, and continued this until the late 60s. With changing times the band incorporated Calypso, Carnival and Panorama Steelband Competition musical styles and changed the name to ‘The Starland Steel Orch. which was sponsored by the Turban Brand Products Company. In 1972 the band had their first major success when they won the East Zone Panorama Competition. The band continued its operations, gaining popularity and a distinction as the only steel orchestra that played a variety of music that included a repertoire of East Indian music until 1982, when the sponsorship was withdrawn and a group of young and upcoming musicians took over the management and control of the band.  They were George Rampersad (Arranger), Lalsingh Ramberran, Tony Raghunath and Eshwarlal (Sam) Ranjitsingh. The name was changed to the one still presently used today, The Tunapuna All Stars Steel Orchestra.

From 1983 to 1992, a period of almost 10 years, the band operated as a community band playing for a variety of functions that included birthday parties, weddings and religious functions, and they re-introduced the heavy influence of East Indian music and discontinued the practice of participation in Panorama and Calypso Competitions. However in 1993 with an influx of rising talent, enthusiasm of the players and a general demand to showcase the band, the decision was made to enter the National Steel Band, Panorama and Carnival Competitions, that has been successfully maintained to date. 

The Tunapuna All Stars Steel Orchestra has grown since then from strength to strength and to validate this, has a record that includes being finalists in 2002 and 2003 for The Sydney Gollop Trophy (Sydney Gollop was the first president of the Steel Band Association), and finalists in the Small Band Category in 2007 and 2008, placing 5th and 9th respectively.  In the last few years the band has been receiving international recognition and frequently entertains guests of India’s High Commissioner at his residence. They have also played at the residence of the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago for numerous religious and cultural celebrations such as Divali and Indian Arrival Day.  “We are sure that the name of The Tunapuna All Stars Steel Orchestra will always be remembered as one that excelled in all of its endeavors, and will remain synonymous with the Steel Band that introduced East Indian music to the beautiful sound of the Steel Pan.”