Web Posted - Wednesday April 8, 2020
When Steel Talks

Something for Dougie... Concert Honesty: Martin Douglas (aka Dougie)

by Josh Quillen

Josh Quillen, director of NYU Steel and the late Martin “Dougie” Douglas - president of CrossFire Steel Orchestra and chairman of the United States Steelband Association

New York, USA - Dougie was the first owner of a Panorama steel orchestra [CrossFire] in NYC to let me come in and drill the music of Kendall K. Williams. Dougie swung his doors wide open, and continued to do so for me and my NYU students. The education he gave them by just opening the door is all any human can ask for.

He never GAVE me anything. He just opened the door. It was on me to make of it what I wanted.

Every good teacher I’ve had in life did just that. Opened a door.
see musical tribute


Web Posted - Tuesday April 7, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Selena Antoine - New York, USA

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Selena Antoine

New York, USA - “I have always felt that there is a difference between hearing a band play a song, and actually playing within the band to hear the song. The vibe is so much greater when standing in a band and I love the feeling. With Panorama, it is like that feeling amplified by a thousand and it’s like the ultimate high.”

Musically gifted, bright and multi-talented. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - standout panist Selena Antoine shares her thoughts, outlooks and expectations on Pan, and the steelpan art form overall.
read more


Web Posted - Monday April 6, 2020
When Steel Talks

And people stayed at home

by Kitty O’Meara

History repeating itself - COVID-19 Pandemic - 1918/19 Spanish Flu Pandemic

Photo taken during the 1918/19 Spanish Flu

Global - And people stayed at home
And read books
And listened
And they rested
And did exercises
And made art and played... 
read prose


Web Posted - Sunday April 5, 2020
When Steel Talks

‘Nobody Go Run Me’ - Hells Gate Steel Orchestra - arranger Khan Cordice

Hells Gate Steel Orchestra in 2014 in its panyard

Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. - Performing a Khan Cordice-arrangement of ‘Nobody Go Run Me,’ by King Short Shirt, is Hells Gate Steel Orchestra in their yard- Panorama 2014. Khan Cordice is an eight-time Panorama champion.
see performance


Web Posted - Sunday April 5, 2020
When Steel Talks

Eustace Archibald Cornell “Manning” Henry - Antigua & Barbuda

BRIEF “PAN” BIOGRAPHY

by Jessy J. Stafford Joseph – Senior Panthologist

1995 Hells Gate 50th Anniversary Concert - Interpretation Center, Shirley's Heights, Antigua

Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. - “Eustace ‘Manning’ Henry, a pioneer, the unrivalled master pan Builder/Tuner/Blender, player, soloist, tutor, leader and genuine cultural hero, must be accredited for the phenomenal survival of the Hells Gate [aka Hellsgate] Steel Orchestra and the steelpan art form in Antigua & Barbuda.”

Mr. Henry’s involvement in the band was unknown to his mother and also his grandmother. Being very much aware of how strict they were and how they viewed such gatherings (Iron Band), he had to make sure that whenever the band was performing, he kept out of their sights and avoided entertaining any discussion(s) in their presence regarding the band.
read more


Web Posted - Friday April 3, 2020
When Steel Talks

‘Lovely Day’ - The Knights & Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra featuring André White

Lovely Day - The Knights & Pan Evolution featuring André White

New York, USA - Performing an André White-arrangement of ‘Lovely Day,’ The Knights and Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra come together to perform the Bill Withers-classic at BRIC (Brooklyn Information & Culture), in Brooklyn, New York.
see performance


Web Posted - Friday April 3, 2020
When Steel Talks

Martin “Dougie” Douglas of CrossFire Steel Orchestra Remembered

by Garvin Blake

Left to right, foreground:  Garvin Blake, Clement Franklin of Despers USA, and Martin “Dougie” Douglas

New York, USA - The steelband community was dealt two vicious blows in a week. First the passing of Hansel “Hanny” Leon, now Martin “Dougie” Douglas.  Dougie “lived” Pan.  And he had an ear for talent, especially upcoming talent.  Dougie was a bridge between the old and new generation in New York.  He gave a lot of young musicians an opportunity to grow and shine. 
read more


Web Posted - Thursday April 2, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Karima Mohan - Atlanta, Georgia

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Karima Mohan of NuGen Steelpan Academy

Atlanta, Georgia, USA - “As the instrument becomes more mainstream, we can’t let the uniqueness of the sound be lost through synthesizing. The steelpan is its own instrument and sometimes in our quest to show that it can play anything, we sometimes focus on trying to make it fit in to mainstream rather than making mainstream find a place for it.....” -- Karima Mohan

She successfully juggles being a wife, mother, daughter, and director of NuGen Steelpan Academy. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - panist and instructor Karima Mohan shares her experiences, views, reflections and dreams on Pan, and the steelpan art form overall.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday April 1, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Jamal Gibbs - Educator, Arranger, Panist - UpClose & Personal!

Jamal Gibbs
WST Upclose logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “My advice to the young panists would be to stay humble and strive for highest and to always be yourself in all that you do.” –– Jamal Gibbs

The music of the steelband is his life and passion. In a When Steel Talks exclusive - educator, arranger and panist Jamal Gibbs shares an up-close moment as he elucidates his passion for Pan.
see interview


Web Posted - March 2020
When Steel Talks

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Sisters in Steel - A Tribute To Women In Pan

Global - “Their Story, Their Voice, Their Life, Their Dreams, Their Passion - PAN”

It’s March and that means this is Women’s Month. It is the month when we celebrate the contributions of women to the world. Normally - as is the When Steel Talks tradition - we highlight the month through a series of articles and interviews with the female movers, shakers, and up-and-coming stars.
Meet these Sisters In Steel!


Web Posted - Wednesday March 31, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Martin Douglas - Manager, Executive, Panist, Educator - CrossFire Steel Orchestra - UpClose!

Martin Douglas at When Steel Talks/Basement Recordings Studio
WST Upclose logo

Global - The history of Pan is replete with large, colorful figures whose names and deeds will be entwined with steelband music art form forever.  Martin “Dougie” Douglas was one such character.

Whether you were a child or an adult, you only had to meet him once to understand why the name “Dougie” was known to all, and that he immediately made you feel like you had known him for a lifetime.  It takes a very special person to run a steelband organization in New York. And indeed Dougie was special.  He was always able, willing to help, always positive regardless of the situation, and always viewed the glass as half-full.  Dougie was one who was close to the late Rudolph Charles, and himself was pivotal in a way—unbeknownst to many—that shaped the New York pan community into what it is today.

In an exclusive 2004 interview with When Steel Talks - Martin Douglas demonstrated his gift for storytelling and a stellar memory attention to details of historical events.
see interview


Web Posted - Monday March 30, 2020
When Steel Talks

New York City percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19

The Coronavirus 2019 - COVID-19 - graphic featuring breakdown of areas

New York, USA - Percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19; by United Hospital Fund Neighborhood in New York City - a visual as to the progression, and areas most impacted.
see chart


Web Posted - Sunday March 29, 2020
When Steel Talks

Hansel “Hanny” Leon Remembered

by Garvin Blake

Ironman/percussionist Hansel “Hanny” Leon with Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra in 2019

New York, USA - When Hansel “Hanny” Leon passed on March 25, 2020, Brooklyn lost a beat. He was the most tireless ironman I have ever heard. Hanny played his iron, a piece of metal that’s central to Trinidad’s music, anywhere, everywhere.

His gift for playing complex rhythms, with precise timing, made him the life of a Flagwoman bus ride, a Hawks boat ride or any party. Hanny also had the discipline to perform with large steelbands like Cavaliers, Sonatas, Fonclaire and Pan Evolution, providing support and adding color to their music.
read more


Web Posted - Sunday March 29, 2020
When Steel Talks

The Rocket Pan - A Desperadoes Steel Orchestra Specialty

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The Rocket Pan aka Ying Yang, Six Pan was invented by the late, great Rudolph Charles of Desperadoes Steel Orchestra.  In an era that produced special men whose courage, leadership skills, intellectual and creative genius (the likes of whom have rarely been seen since) - Rudolph Charles of Desperadoes Steel Orchestra was indeed part of this select and very rare breed.
read more


Web Posted - Saturday March 28, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Julie Williams of Exodus Steel Orchestra - Trinidad & Tobago - Revisited

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - From child to adult, the steelpan instrument has been a constant love and comrade. Her love for the instrument is profound. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks, Julie Williams of Exodus Steel Orchestra Trinidad and Tobago, shares her insight, experiences and expectations for the steelpan art form.
read more


Web Posted - Saturday March 28, 2020
When Steel Talks

The Baddest Desperado, so Rudolph Charles remains...

by Dalton Narine

The funeral of Desperadoes' Rudolph Charles - photo courtesy of David Rudder

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Thirty-five years ago, Laventille’s Rudolph Charles shuffled off this mortal coil and went out in style - a glam funeral service, his soul encased in the Chariot pans he invented and three religions vying for meager props at his rites on the banks of the Caroni - as an age of innocence was nearing its own death.
Fascinating that, as an uncommon man, he bore the weight of the absolute trilogy of personalities, the father son and holy ghost, and that he lived and died on a hill:

Rudolph Charles
The Hammer...
To this day, with his refinement as a leader in the bag, his skills as a pan tuner conclusive and his community service making a palpable difference, Rudolph’s eternal truth overmatches the music he made in both the classical and Panorama festivals. Driving Desperadoes’ heavenly sound and pushing his legacy to the extent of Hollywood’s old-time icons, in whose glamour he bathed in the rotten pits of local theaters.
read more


Web Posted - Saturday March 28, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Shelley-Jeanne Langton-Attang of Trinidad & Tobago - Revisited

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - She is a steelpan musician, steelpan administrator and a Pan mom. She is a proud member of Tropical Angel Harps. Meet, and share the experiences of, Shelley-Jeanne Langton-Attang in an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks.
read more


Web Posted - Friday March 27, 2020
When Steel Talks

Remembering Rudolph Charles

RAISING LAVENTILLE: THE DOC and THE HAMMER GO TO WORK

by Dalton Narine

Prime Minister Dr. Eric Williams takes in a practice session at the Desperadoes panyard with leader Rudolph Charles at his side

Global - A PM and a steelband legend build an alliance to benefit pan and a community:  Rudolph Charles – The Hammer himself, the headstrong leader of Desperadoes on Laventille hill.  He migrated there to be with family, but the development of pan had always been his fire. The Carnival over, he’d be in chilly LA engaging himself in various aspects of the art – tuning, inventing, metallurgy (the technique of working with metals) and forming relationships with drum factories.
read more


Web Posted - Friday March 27, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Rosanna Toney - Brooklyn, New York - Revisited

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Culture is her lifeblood. The Performing Arts flows through her veins. She’s a triple threat - Educator, Dancer, and Percussionist - Rosanna Toney speaks on her moves from the hardwood to the engine room and Pan in an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday March 26, 2020
When Steel Talks

Steelband Community On the Front lines Against COVID-19

Steelband Community On the Front lines Against COVID-19

Global - When Steel Talks (WST) extends our sincere appreciation of all those on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19 aka the Coronavirus.

BigUp to all our steelband family in the health care and first responder trenches, and related services.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday March 25, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Chanelle Walker - Brooklyn, New York - Revisited

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Brooklyn, New York, USA - “If steel pan was able to sustain a healthy and stable lifestyle then I would be out of my mind not to....” - She is driven, focused and very talented. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - musician, panist, Chanelle Walker shares her views and experiences with Pan, the culture and the steelpan art form.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday March 25, 2020
When Steel Talks

Rudolph Charles - Thirty-Five Years Later, Steelband Leader Still Exceptional

Global - In a few days - March 29th, to be exact - it will be thirty-five years since the death of one of the most influential figures in the history of the steelpan movement.  Rudolph Valentino Charles was one of the finest leaders, innovators and visionaries ever produced by the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago.  His ideas, concepts and products still reverberate in steelpan music communities globally today, both in terms of his inventions and the people he influences and motivates.  Moreover, his thought process and vision went way past the steelpan art form.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday March 25, 2020
When Steel Talks

“Every Kinda People” -1978 - features Robert Greenidge on steelpan and Freddie Harris on guitar

USA - This Robert Palmer-classic features Robert Greenidge on steelpan and Freddie Harris on guitar.

With its blend of Caribbean steel pan, violins and moving lyrics, “Every Kinda People” has become one of Palmer's best-loved songs, covered multiple times by other artists (including The Mint Juleps (1987), Randy Crawford (1989), Chaka Demus and Pliers (1996), Amy Grant (1996), Jo O'Meara (2002), Joe Cocker (2004) and Ana Popovic (2013)), and cited by music fans and spiritual groups for its positive message of peace and multiculturalism
listen to the track


Web Posted - Wednesday March 25, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Hallie Blejewski - Connecticut, USA - Revisited

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Connecticut, USA - “When I started college, I knew I wanted to be an ethnomusicologist and study music and culture as a career. I didn’t know what type of music I would specialize in. I was very inspired by my ethnomusicology professor, and he was the one who first suggested that I go to Trinidad. I fell in love with steelband music the first time I heard it. The day I bought my first tenor pan from Gill’s Pan Shop was definitely a turning point.”

She is an intellectual - multi-talented, thoughtful and progressive... In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - panist, musician, educator, PhD candidate, and performing artist Hallie Blejewski shares her reflections, journey and views on Pan, and the steelpan art form.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday March 25, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Laéticia Walker - New York/Saint Vincent - Revisited

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. - “Steel pan has become a part of who I am. The sound is my heart beat, it is something I will never attempt to try and live without.”

She is an intellect whose ultimate destination is medical school.  However, what is abundantly clear is that along that journey Pan and the music of the steel orchestra will be constant companions.  In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - panist Laéticia Walker shares her feelings, experiences, and love for the Steelband music art form and more.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday March 25, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Daneisha Frederick - Queens, New York - Revisited

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

New York, USA - “....I have no personal preference when it comes to performing or teaching. I love the idea of performing. The energy behind it. The goose bumps from playing that sweet part in a song is the best feeling; but also teaching is a great feeling.”

She is a self-described “Carnival Baby” - simply destined to play mas and pan from jump-street. After falling in love with Pan at an early age she has since blossomed into one of the key fixtures and players in New York’s renowned CASYM Steel Orchestra. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - the multitalented musician, educator and performing panist Daneisha Frederick shares her thoughts, experiences, and insight into the Steelband music art form and more.
read more


Web Posted - Friday March 20, 2020
When Steel Talks

Sonatas - Pan in New York 2010 - Cool Down Special - ‘Battle Zone’

Sonatas - Pan in New York 2010 - Cool Down version - ‘Battle Zone’

New York, USA - This is the video special of Sonatas Steel Orchestra playing “Battle Zone” as captured by Basement Recordings two days before they won the 2010 Panorama. The arranger is Yohan Popwell. As part of the Pan in New York project, other bands captured included Despers USA, Sesame Flyers, Crossfire, D'Radoes and Pantonic steel orchestras.
see video


Web Posted - Wednesday March 18, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Carrisa Victor - Trinidad and Tobago - Revisited

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - This multi-talented panist is immensely gifted, intelligent and ready to take the art form to a higher level. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - composer, musician and performing artist Carrisa Victor shares her views, experiences on and expectations for, the steelpan art form and more.
read more


Web Posted - Monday March 16, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Wendy Jones - Toronto, Canada - Revisited

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Toronto, Canada - She fell in love with the steelpan instrument and the power of pan at an early age. She is a founding member of Pan Fantasy Steelband. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - administrator, player and pan-mom Wendy Jones of Toronto, Canada, shares the joy of pan and how the steelpan instrument has impacted her life from a young girl, to the point of now being the mother of pan players herself.
read more


Web Posted - Monday March 16, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Alexis Schloss - Brooklyn, New York - Revisited

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

New York, USA - “...challenges. There is so much to learn, from music theory to Kendall's offbeat phrasings. There's always something to do or something I don't know about as yet. Music is infinite.”

Multi-talented, multi-disciplined and focused. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - panist, model, choreographer and college student Alexis Schloss shares her reflections, experiences and views on Pan, and the steelpan art form overall.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday March 12, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Zaynab Wilson - Montreal, Canada - Revisited

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Montreal, Canada - She is good... Real good and setting a new tempo. In an exclusive, When Steel Talks (WST) speaks to musician Zaynab Wilson of Montreal. Zaynab is a panist, percussionist, drummer and vocalist, and has been the anchor for the Salah Wilson’s Steelpan Academy for a number of years.

She is currently in the Bachelor of Music program at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday March 11, 2020
When Steel Talks

A Critical Review of ESPN’s Podcast - Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

by A. Hinkson

Global - When Steel Talks asked our trusted medical advisor Augustin Hinkson to give his opinion of the podcast we posted earlier this week.

Read Hinkson’s critical review of ESPN’s Podcast with Dr. Bettina Fries on the COVID-19 aka Corona Virus.

....“Her critical statement is that “over 80% of the Patients [with Corona Virus] are going to have a harmless presentation.” This alone should be a break on the panic/hysteria currently on display. Reminds me of Orson Wells’ “War of the Worlds.” Something that can be missed by the casual listener are her statements regarding the reliability of the tests.

“The CDC has had some hiccups rolling out the test, which are, by the way, not FDA approved, according to the CDC’s website. The tests were approved under an emergency authorization and therefore did not go through traditional milestones for approval.” 
read full review


Web Posted - Tuesday March 10, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Naoko Yabuta - Tokyo, Japan  - Revisited

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Tokyo, Japan - “After our Panorama performance, I listened to the final result on the radio at the Desperadoes panyard. I didn’t understand English well but when I saw everyone bubbling over with joy, I knew we had won!”

She doesn’t just love Pan - she breathes Pan and lives the experience of Pan. She was born and lives in Tokyo, Japan - but there is absolutely no doubt, that she is 1000% Desperadoes. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - panist and performing artist Naoko Yabuta shares her reflections, experiences and views on Pan, and the steelpan art form overall.
read more


Web Posted - Monday March 9, 2020
When Steel Talks

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the Steel Pan Music Community and Industry

Global - The Coronavirus disease 2019 is real. It’s here. And it has and will impact on every aspect of our lives globally. Family gatherings, weddings, sports events, college classes, travel and world cruises have already been severely impacted to name a few. 

And of course this virus will threaten and impact every aspect of Steelpan and Steelband music life.  There have already been documented cases in the Caribbean:  Dominican Republic, St. Martin, Martinique and Saint Barthelemy (St. Barts).
read more


Web Posted - Saturday March 7, 2020
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Former Panorama arranger: ‘South musicians have talent’

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Former Panorama arranger Dr. Jeannine Remy’s appreciation for South Trinidad musicians continued to grow after day five of the Music Festival at the Naparima Bowl in San Fernando.

The senior music lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine left the building highly impressed after adjudicating a series of steel pan performances by students on Friday morning. The opening category was the tenor/double seconds solo for those ages 17 and under.

The nine competitors performed the test piece Vals Venozolano (Venezuelan Waltz) composed by Paquito D’Rivera.
see more


Web Posted - Wednesday March 4, 2020
When Steel Talks

Dalton Narine on Neville Jules - UpClose & Personal!

Neville was a strong man, a God of the instrument.  We played by his rules...

Global - “The Brass gave me a break and I stumbled through Port of Spain, where I reconnected with Neville Jules and Leon “Smooth” Edwards at the Henry Street panyard. They saved my ass..” – Dalton Narine |To Hell and Back to Pan To Hell and Back to Pan|

Indeed, it takes one to know one. And in this regard genius knows genius. In a When Steel Talks exclusive, award-wining journalist, film director and panist Dalton Narine shares an up-close moment and very personal look at the greatness, brilliance, genius and impact of the late legendary Neville Jules.
read interview




When Steel Talks

2020 Trinidad and Tobago National Steelband Panorama Info - Complete

Global - PanOnTheNet/ WhenSteelTalks is Panorama Central! Complete information on the 2020 season of the Trinidad and Tobago National Panorama, and competitions:  Schedules, Orders of Appearance for preliminary, semi-final and final phases for large, medium and small conventional steel orchestras, and single pan bands; arrangers’ bios, bios of steel orchestras; full results, panyard addresses, history of previous Panoramas, and much more!
see complete information index


Web Posted - February 2020
When Steel Talks

Complete Summary of Results of all Conventional Steel Orchestras - 2020 Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama

Complete Summary of Results of all Conventional Steel Orchestras - Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama 2020

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - At a glance and on a single page, access the comprehensive summary of results for the Small, Medium and Large conventional steel orchestras that participated in their respective categories in the 2020 Panorama.

Follow the musical journey of respective bands through all three phases - compare side-by-side preliminaries, semi-finals and finals through data on band info, scores, tunes of choice and arrangers - on one page.
access full summary





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