Web Posted - Tuesday July 7, 2020
When Steel Talks

When Steel Talks extends condolences to the family and friends of Dennis “Tash” Ash & Desperadoes Steel Orchestra

The late Dennis “Tash” Ash on double seconds with Desperadoes Steel Orchestra

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Desperadoes Steel Orchestra legend Mr. Dennis “Tash” Ash has passed. “Tash,” as he is fondly known, has been playing with Desperadoes since 1961.  Of the steelpan, “Tash” said “The instrument is an instrument of PEACE, on earth!”
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Web Posted - Monday June 29, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Ronica Gordon - Trinidad and Tobago

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Ronica Gordon
 
When Steel Talks Women Logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Her vision for Pan - “For the national instrument to be treated as such, for pan men and women to be secured after retirement, for steelpan to reach as far as being featured on the Grammys and also to be a popular instrument which artists from across the world would use to create their music.....” -- Ronica Gordon

She has had many rewarding experiences through her life long association with the steelpan instrument. In addition she has been a member of a couple of the greatest steel orchestras in the history of Trinidad and Tobago Pan. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - panist Ronica Gordon shares her experiences, views, reflections and dreams on Pan, and the steelpan art form overall.
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Web Posted - Monday June 29, 2020
When Steel Talks

Plans announced for Brooklyn’s J’Ouvert Parade 2020

New York, USA - J’Ouvert City International has announced its plans for the 2020 festival usually held in the pre-dawn hours every Labor Day.  “As our State, our nation and our world continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all challenged to find creative means of expression and honoring our traditions. J’Ouvert City International is no different in this regard.

“....On the morning of Monday September 7, J’Ouvert City International and our affiliate organizations will host a Press Conference and breakfast to honor our Heroes.

“....special honor will be given to Martin “Dougie” Douglas, Hansel “Hanny” Leon and Oscar Williams three icons of the J’Ouvert Steelband movement who we sadly loss to the coronavirus, as well as Mr. Neville Jules one of the notable pioneers and innovator in the steelpan community died in early February.”
read more


Web Posted - Saturday June 27, 2020
When Steel Talks

2020 International Pan Ramajay - Soloists, Duos, Quartets - FINALS Results

Global - Following are the full Finals results, in the three categories of the International 2020 Pan Ramajay Competition - Soloists, Duos and Quartets. Panists representing the USA topped all three categories. Exodus Steel Orchestra is the producer of Pan Ramajay.

The performances of the finalists were streamed online on Saturday June 27.
get full results in all categories


Web Posted - Saturday June 27, 2020
When Steel Talks

2020 International Pan Ramajay Finals Live Stream - Soloists, Duos, Quartets Performances

Global - The 2020 International Pan Ramajay Finals are being live streamed, featuring steelpan performers from around the world in three categories. Ten Soloists, five Duos and five Quartets will display the musicianship of some of the finest steelpan musicians on the planet.

Visa recently announced its support of the Pan Ramajay competition - the Virtual Edition. Pan Ramajay is the brainchild of, organized and produced by, Exodus Steel Orchestra.
see show


Web Posted - Saturday June 27, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Edward Clarke Jr of New York, USA - Steelpan performing artist

Edward Clarke Jr of New York, USA

New York, USA - Edward Clarke Jr, (Eddy/BassMan From Hell) born and raised in Brooklyn, New York is from a family of Jamaican decent. At the age of 10 he started learning how to play steel pan at Winthrop Beacon. Six bass was the first instrument he learned during Saturday programs and fell in love playing and learning new music. Because of school, he had to stop playing steel pan in order to continue his education.

Later on, he went back to play.
read more


Web Posted - Saturday June 27, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Eljhaie Brathwaite of St. Thomas, V.I. - Musician, Performing Artist, Educator

Global - Eljhaie Brathwaite hails from the beautiful islands of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. He is heading into his senior year of his undergraduate jazz studies at George Mason University (GMU) under the tutelage of Victor Provost. Music and pan have shaped Eljhaie’s life at an early age in that it aided in overcoming his childhood developmental condition that presented challenges for him while in elementary school. Music gave him a sense of confidence that he didn’t have elsewhere. The young Eljhaie was able to hold his own in music classes and also in the pan yard. As time went by, Eljhaie caught up with his peers in the classroom and excelled academically and knew that music was the contributing factor to this success.
read more


Web Posted - Friday June 26, 2020
When Steel Talks

Visa joins the International Pan Ramajay

Global - “Visa is proud to support Republic Bank Exodus Pan Ramajay and bring experiences as unique as the Trinidad and Tobago DNA.” – said Waldemar Cordero, Head of Marketing for Central America and Caribbean, as he announced Visa’s support for Pan Ramajay 2020 – The Virtual Edition.

Pan Ramajay was started in 1989 in the Exodus pan yard in Tunapuna with Samaroo Jets and Fonclaire sharing the top honors, in the then-10-player band competition.  Fast forward to 2020, and it is now the weekend of the Grand Finals of this year’s competition, which started with over 200 entries in three categories: soloists, duos, and quartets.
read more


Web Posted - Friday June 26, 2020
News & Record

Greensboro native Tracy Thornton's steel pan resonates worldwide

Greensboro, North Carolina, USA - When Tracy Thornton first heard the banging in his head, he hammered it out on heavy metal, beating it into shape with a variety of local headbangers. But a chance encounter with Calypso percussion in a rock song changed the path of his life and career.

The Greensboro native was rocking out behind the drum kit for heavy metal bands when he heard Jane's Addiction's “Jane Says” in 1988. Drummer Stephen Perkins used a steel pan drum in the cut from the band’s debut, “Nothing's Shocking.”

....Thornton started doing clinics across the country, from middle school to high school to college kids, teaching and performing with them. He had gotten a big national push from the release of '06's “Pan for Punks: A Steelpan Tribute to the Ramones.”

He says he did it as a goof, thinking a couple of friends might like it. “The Ramones camp got it and before I knew it, I had their publicist and I was in Spin magazine with it, and Kurt Loder from MTV was calling me about it.”

....“If people want to put together a project and they need two steel drum players, or 150, I can do that.”

Even in the COVID-19 situation, Thornton recently pulled off a steel pan gathering.

“We did a quarantine video, released it last week, and I thought I'd get maybe a few people who wanted to do it. But within two weeks, we had 125 pan players from all over the world playing ‘Baba O'Riley’ with Stephen Perkins from Jane's Addiction on drums.”
read more


Web Posted - Friday June 26, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Domenic Lewis of Barbados - Steelpan Performing Artist

Global - Domenic Lewis’s introduction to steelpan came at age 13 during secondary school in his native Barbados, where he fell in love with the instrument. It was during this time that his playing spanned a range of musical genres from classical, to jazz, to gospel, to pop. Since then, he has performed all over the United States and the West Indies, including with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.
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Web Posted - Friday June 26, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Kaijah Codrington of Trinidad & Tobago - Performing Artist, Pan Builder, Tuner & Administrator

Global - Kaijah Codrington is currently an integral performing member of the Codrington Pan Family, a musical family who began their journey as a functioning ensemble on the streets of Port of Spain. The family, being of modest background, shares a special bond that holds fast to this day. Kaijah, the third son, as well as his other brothers and sisters were trained by their father, Cary Codrington. At the tender age of 5, Kaijah began learning his first song on the tenor (soprano/lead) pan. Often, Kaijah, along with his siblings, would have competitions among themselves to become the champion soloist at the home.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday June 24, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Maico Miyamoto of Japan - Steelpan Performing Artist

Global - Maico Miyamoto is definitely a panist who is being counted among the ‘First-of-Firsts’ in Steelpan history, relative to Pan Ramajay, an initiative conceived, developed and produced – in 1989 by Exodus Steel Orchestra of Trinidad & Tobago. Maico has become the first Japanese panist to ever compete in the Pan Ramajay, and made it to the finals of the June 27, 2020 competition in the ‘Soloist’ category. Maico’s love for music began at a young age, and led her to the piano, marimba and chorus.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday June 24, 2020
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Steelbands play again

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Steelband rehearsals can now resume.

A post on Pan Trinbago’s Facebook page on Wednesday said after intervention by Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore, steelbands can resume rehearsals under protocols established by the Government.

The protocols are a maximum grouping of 25 people....
read more


Web Posted - Monday June 22, 2020
When Steel Talks

2020 International Pan Ramajay - QUARTETS Semi-Finals Results

Global - Performances in the last of the three categories in the semi-final phase of the International 2020 Pan Ramajay Competition have been publicly shared with the global steelpan audience in an online stream by Exodus Steel Orchestra, organizer of the event. Five of the Quartets from the semi-finals now join the finalists in the other two categories - Soloists and Duets - for the final round of competition, scheduled for June 27 beginning 8:00 p.m. EST.
get results, see performances


Web Posted - Sunday June 21, 2020
When Steel Talks

‘I Call Him Dad’ - Father’s Day Online Concert by Hells Gate Steel Orchestra

Duet of panists Dejean Cain and Deja Cain of Trinidad & Tobago during their Semi-final performance, which put them into the finals of the category in the 2020 International Pan Ramajay competition

Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. -  ‘I Call Him Dad’ is the Father’s Day Online Concert organized, and with performances by, Hells Gate Steel Orchestra.  In tribute to Fathers around the world on Father’s Day, musical performances were showcased by one of Antigua & Barbuda’s premier steel orchestras. The event featured Zahra Lake, Khan Cordice, guitarist/vocalist Annia Matthews and more.
see performance


Web Posted - Sunday June 21, 2020
When Steel Talks

2020 International Pan Ramajay - DUETS Semi-Finals Results

Duet of panists Dejean Cain and Deja Cain of Trinidad & Tobago during their Semi-final performance, which put them into the finals of the category in the 2020 International Pan Ramajay competition

Global - The Semi-Finals results for the Duets in the 2020 Pan Ramajay Competition are now known. Ten pairs of steelpan musicians made it out of the preliminary round of the category, with the final five Duets now moving forward to the finals, scheduled for June 27 beginning 8:00 p.m. EST.
get results, see performances


Web Posted - Saturday June 20, 2020
When Steel Talks

2020 International Pan Ramajay - SOLOISTS Semi-Finals Results

Soloist Khan Cordice of Antigua & Barbuda during his Semi-final performance, which took him to the top position of that round of the 2020 International Pan Ramajay competition

Global - This is a listing of the Semi-Finals results, in the Soloists category, of the steel pan musicians participating in the 2020 Pan Ramajay Competition. Panists representing multiple countries initially took part in the preliminary round.

Organized by Exodus Steel Orchestra, one of the premiere music organizations in the land of Pan, Trinidad & Tobago - the competition runs through June 27. The results for the second phase of competition for the Soloists, were released Saturday June 20, immediately after a compilation of pre-recorded semi-final performances was streamed online. The top ten Soloists move on to the Finals on June 27.
get results, see performances


Web Posted - Friday June 19, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Earl Brooks Jr. - Performing Artist, Instructor, Arranger - UpClose!

Earl Brooks Jr.
WST Upclose logo

New York, USA - “The instrument is amazing as is; however, it’s the organizations and people of power that give it the wrong attention.” - Earl Brooks Jr.

The name “Brooks” resonates deep and loud in the world of Pan. There is the iconic Earl Brooks Sr., and his son Earl Brooks Jr. who has charted his own lane to greatness. Moreover Brooks Jr. has secured his props the old-fashioned way - he earned it.

With a touch as smooth as felt, like Muhammad Ali - he can float like a butterfly or sting like a bee, as he executes the most challenging of musical passages. Indeed, the thoughtful and forward-thinking Earl Brooks, Jr. through his experiences, musical excellence and competence, brings a lot to the table. And this bodes well for the next generation of steelpan musicians.  Earl Brooks Jr. talks succinctly about his love for pan, his dad Earl Brooks, Sr., and more, in this exclusive When Steel Talks interview.
see interview


Web Posted - Sunday June 14, 2020
When Steel Talks

2020 Pan Ramajay Preliminary Results

The Soloists moving to the 2020 Pan Ramajay semi-finals

Global - These are the Preliminary results, by category, of the steelband musicians participating in the 2020 Pan Ramajay Competition. The panists, who are representing multiple countries, competed as Soloists - Duets  - Quartets.

Organized by Exodus Steel Orchestra, one of the premiere music organizations in the land of Pan, Trinidad & Tobago - the competition runs through June 27th and the first phase results were released via video on Sunday June 14, 2020.
click for results


Web Posted - Saturday June 13, 2020
When Steel Talks

Caribbean Queen - Billy Ocean and Ebony Steelband in Concert

Annise “Halfers” Hadeed - Arranger

Global - Why steel bands?

“I’ve been doing that since I was in Trinidad as a little kid. One of the hurtful things when I came to England was that I had to leave my pan and my dog behind.” ... Billy Ocean

Born Leslie Sebastian Charles in Fyzabad, Trinidad, in 1950, to Grenadian parents, the man known to the world as mega musician Billy Ocean moved to Romford, Essex, England, with his family at the age of eight. Initially a calypso-crazy kid who later soaked up the influences of soul singers like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke (in addition to pop groups like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones), Ocean enjoyed his first taste of success in the mid-seventies with a two-year run of catchy, Motown-influenced UK Top 20 singles - peaking with the Number Two pop smashes ‘Love Really Hurts Without You’ (1976) and ‘Red Light Spells Danger’ (1977).
see performance


Web Posted - Friday June 12, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Tamika Alexander - New York, USA

Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Tamika Alexander
 
When Steel Talks Women Logo

New York, USA - After ten years with one of New York’s powerhouse steel orchestras, Tamika Alexander could be described as being ‘Despers USA to the bone!’ She is impassioned about, as she calls him “My big time Arranger! Odie Franklin” of Despers, while also cherishing arranger Marc Brooks, who gave her her first lessons on the instrument at age six. For Tamika, it’s all about her love for the steelband and her ‘Pan’ family.

In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - the dedicated performing artist talks about her journey in pan to date, and hopes for the future of the steelband art form and community.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday June 11, 2020
When Steel Talks

Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing - Desperadoes Steel Orchestra

Clive Bradley - Arranger

Desperadoes performing “Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing”

Global - The Four Pillars Of Steel... A Repertoire Championship 2011 - a performance by Desperadoes Steel Orchestra.

“Many bands show greatness periodically but I must admit my bias for the consistency of Desperadoes. For decades they have proven superiority in tone production, arrangements and discipline. Ever since I heard their arrangement of Sparrow's ‘Mr. Walker’ decades ago, the unique runs of the cellos, the counter melody of the double seconds or tenors - boy, I instantly shifted from a Starlift fan to a devout Despers.”   - Bob Diaz
see performance


Web Posted - Wednesday June 10, 2020
Daily Chronicle

Wiemer-Hastings - Steelband Bass player receives Palmer Family scholarship

Jesse Wiemer-Hastings

Scyamore, Illinois, USA -  Jesse Wiemer-Hastings, a graduate of DeKalb High School (DHS), is the recipient of the 2020 Palmer Family Music Education Scholarship award.

Historically, the scholarship recipient is honored at the first DeKalb Municipal Band concert of the year at Hopkins Park, with the $3,500 scholarship award from the DeKalb County Community Foundation. This year, because of COVID-19 precautions and social distancing restrictions, the June concert will not take place.

Wiemer-Hastings plans to attend St. Olaf College in the fall of 2020, pursuing a degree in music education. His interest in music started with his parents, both of whom are musicians....At the age of 7 his mom started him with cello lessons.

Since then, Wiemer-Hastings has been very active in the music department at DHS. He played the tuba in the Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Pep Band and Symphony Orchestra. He played trombone in the Jazz Ensemble and played the bass pans in Steel Band.
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday June 9, 2020
When Steel Talks

Remembering Allan Turner and his son, Brandon Turner

Maryland, USA - On May 23, 2020 the world lost Allan Turner and just a mere 10 days later, his son Brandon Turner was taken from us unexpectedly.

Allan, although not a pan player in the physical sense was an extreme pan enthusiast/pan jumbie! Notably, he is a cousin of Len “Boogsie” Sharpe. His apartment in Brooklyn housed the DMV panists who traveled up to play for Panorama every year....Brandon was an exceptional father, husband, son, brother, and friend. He had a generous spirit, sharp wit, and infectious laugh that will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. He began learning to play with CAFE under the tutelage of Leon “Smooth” Edwards.
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday June 9, 2020
When Steel Talks

Six-pan / Rocket Pan

Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra

Brandon Waldrop on Six-Pan with Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra - New York

Global - The Rocket Pan aka Six Pan -- Invented by the late, great Rudolph Charles of Desperadoes Steel Orchestra.

In speaking to master arranger and performing artist Robert Greenidge, the first musician to play this pan - he explained that Rudolph was not necessarily seeking “loudness,” but rather an all-round sonic impact of about three pans/instruments from a single one – via the Rocket Pan, along with the resultant unique tonal quality. The cones were added to the Six-pan afterwards to simulate a whistling tone similar to what was envisioned from a rocket. And thus we have - the Rocket Pan.
see more


Web Posted - Monday June 8, 2020
When Steel Talks

Pure Poetry in Motion:  Remembering Desperadoes Steelpan Bassist Great, Frank “Crawl” Findley Killed in Car Crash

Bassist Frank “Crawl” Findley with New York D'Radoes Steel Orchestra

Global - Twelve years ago today, June 8, the world lost a music maestro, a master performing artist.  Frank “Crawl” Findley was pure poetry in motion. His effortless movements hid even the most difficult passages from the eyes of the uninitiated eyes. He mesmerized, fascinated and hypnotized us with his marriage to the nine-bass from the steelpan family of instruments.

“Crawl” played the instrument like it was meant to be played. Few have ever commanded the touch and sound he elicited from the bass pan instrument. “Crawl” was one of the all–time greats. In a word – he was the artist young players were told to watch and emulate. It was a joy to watch him perform.
read more


Web Posted - Monday June 8, 2020
When Steel Talks

ADLIB Steel Orchestra - ‘What’s Going On’

ADLIB Steel Orchestra after their performance of ‘What’s Going On’

New York, USA - ADLIB Steel Orchestra performs the classic “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye.

“Although the song was written and released over forty-seven years ago on January 20, 1971, at the height of the Vietnam war - it is perhaps as relevant today as it was back then, in light of current events worldwide. The song could easily be a referendum on the tortuous demise of George Floyd, who has become a global symbol for police brutality and troubling race relations.
see performance


Web Posted - Saturday June 6, 2020
When Steel Talks

Gregory Boyd - ‘Purple Rain’

Denmark - “‘Purple Rain’ [by Prince] is one of those songs that I did not fully appreciate until the time was right. It simply was one of those nights where I was painting late in my apartment in New Orleans. Candles were lit all over and I heard the song on one of the local radio stations that decided to play full album tracks. The ending solo caught me and held me in suspense. I knew one day I was going try this song as a Steelpanist and Singer. But where?

“It just so happened I was performing with none other than a traditional Jazz band in Hamburg, Germany and for a joke, I was practicing the song in rehearsal. The band leader said “Let’s play it!” I thought “Cool, let’s!” So I am working on how to incorporate this into my future live shows. Here is a singular version of the song - Music, Love, Peace, and Unity is my Goal.”   Gregory Boyd
see performance


Web Posted - Wednesday June 3, 2020
When Steel Talks

Pan Ramajay 2020 Musicians - by Category

Global - Get the listing, by category, of the steelband musicians participating in the 2020 Pan Ramajay Competition, organized by Exodus Steel Orchestra. The panists, who are representing multiple countries, have opportunities to display their skills in three categories: Soloists - Duets  - Quartets. The event runs from June 13th—27th.
access listing





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