Web Posted - Tuesday September 15, 2020
When Steel Talks

Some Panmen of the 1950s

by Ian Lambie

Global - “I was there,” says Ian Lambie, who is 87 years of age and since 1998 has lived in Tobago. His band was Casablanca [Steel Orchestra] and he lived close to the panyard and was friendly with many of the players, particularly Ormond “Patsy” Haynes who became a member of TASPO.

“I am fully aware of the excellent contributions made by Ellie Mannette and Andrew “Pan” de la Bastide to the advancement of “pan” in the USA and by Anthony “Tony” Williams at home. I decided to write about lesser known pioneers and to include some “College Boys” who were beating pan in the 1950s.”
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Web Posted - Friday September 11, 2020
Antigua News Room

Calypso Icon Sir Rupert “King Swallow” Philo Dies


Sir Rupert “King Swallow” Philo aka Mighty Swallow

Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. - Calypso and Cultural Icon Sir Rupert “King Swallow” Philo has died.

Sir Rupert has been ill for some time now but his cause of death is not known.

Rupert Philo began competing in the calypso art form when still a youth in 1961. His very first hit, entitled Raphael Trujillo, recalled the story of a dictator of the Dominican Republic, whose maltreatment of migrant workers from Antigua and Barbuda was re-told upon their return home.

It was just last month in August that champion steelband arranger Khan Cordice, Antigua & Barbuda's Prime Minister Gaston Browne, along with others,  paid a visit to Swallow at his home.

Steel orchestras have routinely performed the music of the late legendary Mighty Swallow for Panorama competitions.
more


Web Posted - Thursday September 10, 2020
When Steel Talks

Tango Negro, The African Roots of Tango

Tango Negro, The African Roots of Tango

Global - Required and/or recommended viewing. The similarities between the history of Pan and Rap and the development of the Tango are astounding.

Tango Negro, The African Roots of Tango by Angolan filmmaker Dom Pedro explores the expression of Tango's Africanness and the contribution of African cultures in the creation of the tango. Tango was a reflection of the social life of the slaves that were taken to South America -- including Argentina and Uruguay -- mostly from central Africa, particularly from the former Kongo Kingdom. Director Dom Pedro reveals the depth of the footprints of the African music on the tango, through this rich movie combining musical performances and interviews from many tango fans and historians in Latin America and Europe, including the renowned Argentinean pianist Juan Carlos Caceres.
details


Web Posted - Sunday September 6, 2020
When Steel Talks

The Finest Moment in New York Pan History - 2001 New York Panorama: “By Pan People - For Pan People”

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Undoubtedly the finest moment in New York steel orchestra Panorama history. The New York steelband community took their destiny into their own hands and momentarily discarded the shackles of WIADCA (West Indian American Day Carnival Association). Practicing a serious case of “FUBU” - (For Us By Us) - as every aspect of this Panorama was executed by the NY Pan community. The New York Times gives the figure of 20,000 people present at this event. In spite of untold obstacles the New York Pan community came together in a manner that has never been seen since, and pulled off demonstrating just what could be.
see video


Web Posted - Sunday September 6, 2020
When Steel Talks

Silhouettes Steel Orchestra - “High Mas” - (‘TEMPO’ version - Audio)

Len “Boogsie” Sharpe - Arranger

Silhouettes Steel Orchestra 1998 - High Mas - Tempo version

Brooklyn, New York, USA -  The year is 1998 and pan in New York is slamming. Here is the often-sought after but not often heard or easily sourced “High Mas” - as arranged by the legendary Len “Boogsie” Sharpe for Silhouettes Steel Orchestra in 1998. This is a shortened analog version as captured by Basement Recordings on a Sony Walkman in the yard.
listen to audio


Web Posted - Saturday September 5, 2020
When Steel Talks

Silhouettes Steel Orchestra - “High Mas” - (‘COOL DOWN’ version - Audio)

Len “Boogsie” Sharpe - Arranger

Silhouettes Steel Orchestra 1998 - High Mas - Cool Down version

Brooklyn, New York, USA -  This is the ‘Cool Down’ version of David Rudder’s critically acclaimed “High Mas” as captured in 1998 on an analog Sony Walkman by Basement Recordings. The audio quality is not great but the genius of Mr. Sharpe shines through. The band performing is Brooklyn’s Silhouettes Steel Orchestra. They were massive that year.
listen to audio


Web Posted - Thursday September 3, 2020
When Steel Talks

Labor Day minus Labor Day

An Opinion - by Garvin Blake

Brooklyn, New York, USA - For most New Yorkers Labor Day signals the passing of Summer: back-to-school, early sunsets, dropping temperatures. However, for West Indians, the heat is on.

Frustrated masqueraders impatiently waiting to collect costumes. Steelbands scrambling to learn endings. Out-of-towners arriving in droves. Soca, kompa and reggae pumping everywhere. It's fete after fete. The Brooklyn Museum grounds are transformed into an open-air theatre. Eastern Parkway becomes the scene of the largest street party in North America.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday September 2, 2020
When Steel Talks

Looking back:  Kathleen Reilly - The Original Steelband “Karen” - Hostile Colonizer Terrorized Despers USA Steel Orchestra in their Panyard

Kathleen Reilly - Steelband 
				“Karen” - outside Despers USA’s panyard on Dean Street, capturing video

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Before the current and unwelcome trend of white people calling the “authorities” on Black people was somewhat normalized, Despers USA Steel Orchestra in Brooklyn had their nightly run-ins in 2017 and 2018 with their own “Karen” in the person of Kathleen Reilly. At the time, she was dubbed a “hostile colonizer.” The steel orchestra had called, and still does, that area “home” for almost forty years - very long before the arrival of Kathleen Reilly, at the time just eight years prior.

But for more than two years, she would stalk Despers USA, for hours standing right outside the panyard during rehearsals for the annual Panorama competition, take pictures and video, and routinely called the NYPD (New York Police Department), the FDNY (Fire Department of New York), and any agency she could get to come out and attempt to shut Despers USA Steel Orchestra down, stop practice, etc.
read more, see video


Web Posted - Tuesday September 1, 2020
When Steel Talks

A Tribute to Two Legends - Martin Douglas & Ray Holman

A Khuent Rose initiative

Global - “In the Spring of 2020, Martin Douglas succumbed to COVID-related illness. In honor of him, I’ve re-interpreted one of his favorite Bomb Tunes: Penny Lane.

“Originally written by the Beatles, Ray Holman penned his arrangement in the mid 1970s.

“In this effort, join me, Khuent Rose, in honoring our past Hero (Dougie) and our living Legend (Ray).

“From now through Sept 8th, use the links below to learn, practice and record your Audio or Video submission for compilation.”

** Click below to find links of Scores of the arrangement, practice, record, upload:
learn more


Web Posted - Wednesday August 26, 2020
When Steel Talks

Who Give Them the Okay? — A Brooklyn J’Ouvert Story

An Opinion - by Garvin Blake

New York J'Ouvert 2004

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Most people claim Brooklyn J’Ouvert officially started in the late 1980s in Flatbush. But here’s Kitchener in 1974 singing “Who Give Them the Okay”, a tune about a J’Ouvert in Bedford Stuyvesant. Assembling on Fulton Street and Franklin Avenue, the group then proceeded east up Fulton towards Utica Avenue and eventually to Eastern Parkway. Bed Stuy was a hub for West Indians in the 60s and 70s, therefore it's not surprising Trinidadians, after feting, would form a band, and, without permission, head to the Parkway.

Trinidadians in New York City have a tradition of not asking the authorities for permits to share their customs. This bold disregard for rules has made the city’s culture richer, but also caused run-ins with the law and unreceptive neighbors. Permits were sought (if ever) after their events increased in scale or became more visible. “We doh need permission to beat pan, party or play mas" is a Trini cry. A mantra they carried wherever they lived in the city. From Harlem to Bed Stuy to Crown Heights, it didn’t matter.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday August 20, 2020
When Steel Talks

Legend on Legend: Panorama Time was Bradley Time - The Great One Examined by master musician, arranger extraordinaire Frankie McIntosh

Cover of Pantonic Live! The CD

Global - “Rather abruptly, our Sociology professor asked for an example of a “synergistic collaboration”; silence pervaded the room; that was during my college freshman year. Today, without hesitation, I’d holler “the Pantonic Live CD!”. This musical masterpiece is a product of the joint efforts of: veteran arranger Clive Bradley; the Pantonic Steel Orchestra led by Keith Roberts; and Basement Recordings’ sound crew, directed by distinguished engineer, musician, and educator Trevor John.”
read review


Web Posted - Wednesday August 19, 2020
When Steel Talks

Dr. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly no longer Trinidad & Tobago Minister of Culture

The trio from Exodus Steel Orchestra performs after the swearing-in of the government and Cabinet, held at President’s House, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago - August 2020

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The government of Trinidad & Tobago has been sworn in on August 19, 2020 at President’s House, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Former Minister of Community Development and Culture Dr. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly is now the Minister of Education. The responsibility for the national Steelband art form was within her previous portfolio.

The new Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts is now Randall Mitchell. The Steelband art form now falls under his purview.
read more


Web Posted - Monday August 17, 2020
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Pan in a major way

Global - My name is Liam Teague and the steelpan made me whatever I am today.

I’m originally from San Fernando. I grew up in an extremely humble background in a very problematic area, Navet Road, near Pleasantville.

Only as a teenager did I realise my family was “different’ from many others.

Though we didn’t have very much, financially, we were very close-knit. My late parents, Russell and Pearl, did their very best to make sure my sister, Audra-Marie, and I were happy.

I have an older sister, Angela, but we have different mothers.

I met my wife, Lorena, in Panama, when I was a guest steelpan soloist and she was the principal violist with the Panama National Symphony years ago.

....I went to Northern Illinois University at age 19 to pursue a degree in music, with emphasis on the steelpan.

My masters is also from NIU, where I am a professor of music and head of steelpan studies.

My father had a Cub Scout troop. At one meeting, another scout, Darren Sheppard (now arranger for Fonclaire), played a pan and I was transfixed! I told my father immediately I wanted to learn.

I joined the T&TEC Motown Steel Orchestra, then Hillside Symphony.

....My father, Russell, is responsible for me falling in love with both classical and steelband music. He wanted me to emulate Rudy “Two Left” Smith, a steelpan virtuoso based in Europe, who grew up in the part of Trinidad my father was from.

My mother, Pearl, had a special place in her heart for Jit Samaroo and the Renegades Steel Orchestra.
read more





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