Web Posted - Tuesday October 27, 2020
When Steel Talks

From Bamboo to Steel

Steel bands in Britain: their history and future

London Film School - Steelband

London, United Kingdom - This film is being shared for free as part of LFSFF - the London Film School Film Festival - a monthly collection of memorable films from our archive, all created by our MA Filmmaking students in termly exercises or at the culmination of their studies in the form of Grad Films. Each edition of LFSFF is curated through the lens of a different theme.
see film

Web Posted - Monday October 26, 2020
When Steel Talks

Mikey Enoch - Pioneer, Panist, Pan Tuner - In his own voice

Pioneer, Panist and Pan Tuner Mikey Enoch

Global - Listen to the late iconic steelpan pioneer, tuner and panist Mikey Enoch in his own voice. This seminar was captured at a When Steel Talks/Basement Recordings pan class in the early 1990s.

Tuner Mikey Enoch was unequivocally one of the pillars of the New York steelband music movement. If you learned to play pan in New York your first pan could have been made by Mikey Enoch - a key figure in the development of NY pan.
listen here

Web Posted - Sunday October 25, 2020
When Steel Talks

Culture of the Arts Collector parts with Trinidad and Tobago Collection - “Time to say goodbye. Trinidad is not interested” says George Maharaj

George Maharah with boxes, part of his donated culture trove

Canada - “Time to say goodbye. Trinidad is not interested so I donated my entire collection of calypso, steelpan, combo, chutney, big band, rapso, Christmas, parang, Caribbean soul... music from 1912 to 1989. Over 5,000 records to a foreign institution that promised to preserve, document, and digitize the music. This is the first set of boxes ready to be shipped.....Records formats are LPs, EPs, 10, picture sleeves, and 78s. The next shipment is set to go next week. 50 more boxes to packaged.” –– George Maharaj
read more

Web Posted - Friday October 23, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Earle Wong - Tuner, Recording Artist, Educator, Panist and Engineer

Canada - “If I do have a blueprint, it is embedded in my head. The younger tuners today have a more systematic approach with actual measurements. Older tuners still eyeball a lot of the steps. In today’s world, we have a lot of specialization where we have people specializing in the building which encompasses sinking, grooving and preparation. Then there are people who prepare and break in (first tune) and then there are the tuners who finish the process. To be an accomplished tuner, one must go through all the steps to arrive at the ultimate.” –– Earle Wong

Performing artist, educator, arranger and panist Earle Wong shares his steelpan history as he exposes his deep passion for Pan in an exclusive interview with Ms. Aisha Joseph
read more

Web Posted - Friday October 23, 2020
When Steel Talks

Different Timbres (1980)

An examination of Steelpan Production - Archives of Ontario

Different Timbres (1980)

Ontario, Canada - This documentary by Claire Prieto and Roger McTair examines steel drum production, education, performance and cultural influence in Ontario in the 1970s and 1980s. It follows the stories of men and women who work with steel drums in various capacities, including a steel drum tuner, university and primary school students performing on steel drums, as well as two steel band orchestras.
see documentary

Web Posted - Wednesday October 21, 2020
When Steel Talks

Education Catalyst for the Creative Sector

by Sunity Maharaj

Steelpan Instructor Aquil Arrindell (in green) with graduating class

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - ....We talk ad nauseum about a future built on innovation but keep missing the dirty tricks that history has played in bequeathing us the legacy of an economy where it is possible to become a multi-millionaire by importing cheap plastic goods from abroad while our most creative, innovative minds are devalued and languish in poverty. It is no accident that while we invented and developed the Steelpan its wealth potential is being developed by others with the benefit of systems that value individual enterprise and entrepreneurship. Go back to the story of pan and ask yourself whether the explosion and excitement of invention that enraptured teenagers throughout Laventille, Woodbrook and other areas was not our version of Silicon Valley. Then contrast the US celebration of ingenuity and invention with our response of ostracism that endures to this day in the policy attitude towards our creatives as one of welfare and not investment.
read more

Web Posted - Friday October 16, 2020
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Amazing Race game show lifted Tobago’s spirits

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly Ancil Dennis said the popular American TV show The Amazing Race, which featured Trinidad and several historical areas in Tobago, has boosted the spirits and pride of all Tobagonians.

The Amazing Race is an adventure, reality game show in which teams of two compete against each other around the world.

Episode 32 was shot in T&T.... – before COVID-19 restrictions – and was aired on Wednesday night on CBS TV.

The 40-minute episode featured Carnival in Trinidad in the first ten minutes. The race also started in Trinidad and ended with goat racing in Tobago. The episode featured Tobago’s Pigeon Point Heritage Park and jetty, along with the Buccoo Recreational Facility, the Nylon Pool and pan. 
read more

Web Posted - Thursday October 15, 2020
When Steel Talks

Who Knew? The Steelpan - the Tenor - proves the mightiest of challenges in Amazing Race 32’s first leg

It ain’t that easy - playing a Pan, that is

Chee, second from left did “Steel” The Show at the Road Block

Global - So who knew that the Tenor voice of the steelpan family of instruments, would prove to apparently be the most difficult challenge for some team members on the CBS Amazing Race’s latest season premiere, which started off in Trinidad and mainly, Tobago? Indeed, the eleven pairs of competitors who participated in the first leg of Season 32, had no idea what lay in store for them on an instrument which many music lovers around the world have deemed among the easiest to get the hang of.

....But the only thing that might be termed ‘easy’ on this group, regarding getting past what Amazing Race organizers dubbed the ‘Road Block’ - was the beautiful beach in Tobago that was the site for this activity. Teams had to learn to play a part of a song. As host Phil Keoghan put it: “If they can hit the right notes and stay ‘in time,’ they’ll end this ‘Road Block’ on a high note, with a clue.” That, so the teams could move on to the final first-leg test, the famously fun Tobago Goat Race.
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday October 13, 2020
When Steel Talks

‘Columbus Lie’ - Live Performance by Shadow

Global - Live performance of ‘Columbus Lie’ - sung by calypsonian Mighty Shadow.  “Tribute to Shadow” was held at the Toronto Convention Center in Toronto, Canada in 1994.  The song was originally released in 1989.
see performance

Web Posted - Tuesday October 13, 2020
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

Tobagonians excited for Amazing Race premiere Wednesday night

Cast members of the AMAZING RACE 2020 - Season 32, pictured together

Trinidad &  Tobago, W.I. Former Tourism Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine said she is excited for the premiere of ‘The Amazing Race’ on October 14 on CBS as the first leg of season 32, which was filmed in Trinidad and Tobago.

The majority of the filming took place in Tobago.

The Amazing Race is an Emmy award-winning reality show.

....People like the show’s local locations manager LaToya Williams said it was “a proud moment” for her.

....She also said participants and crew visited the Nylon Pool, took part in goat racing in Buccoo, and played steel pan with Redemption Sound Setters Steel Orchestra.

Lorraine O’Connor, Local Facilitator, said she was happy the show’s promoter chose Trinidad and Tobago to kick off season 32. She said she was also excited they hired local talent.

....The Government was also involved in facilitating production through FilmTT when shooting took place in 2018.
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday October 13, 2020
The Bucks Herald

Aylesbury Vale libraries host Black History Month exhibitions

October is Black History Month, an annual commemoration of the history, achievements and contributions of black people in the UK

Aylesbury, England - To help celebrate Black History Month, Buckinghamshire libraries have worked with local Arts and Heritage community organisation St. Vincent & the Grenadines 2nd Generation (SV2G) to give residents a chance to view some fascinating Black History Month exhibitions at five local libraries.

....A Steelpan Town explored the rich diverse history of steelpan music, the musicians and the instrument itself in High Wycombe. The project captured the main steel bands that were formed in High Wycombe. Many steelpan musicians from St. Vincent and the Grenadines settled into High Wycombe from the late 1950s. The New Sound Crusaders Steel Band became famous when in 1971 they won the national TV programme ‘Opportunity Knocks’ for six consecutive weeks. A modern-day equivalent programme of Opportunity Knocks would be Britain’s Got Talent.

This exhibition is showing at Aylesbury, Buckingham and High Wycombe libraries.

....Visit http://bit.ly/BHMlib for more details of the Black History Month exhibitions
read more

Web Posted - Monday October 12, 2020
News Americas Now

This Caribbean Country Is In The Spotlight On The Amazing Race

Chee Lee, a cast member of the AMAZING RACE 2020, is pictured in Tobago learning to play the steel pan with Redemption Sound Setters in 2018
Above:  Chee Lee, a cast member of the AMAZING RACE 2020, is pictured in Tobago learning to play the steel pan with Redemption Sound Setters in 2018

Global - A Caribbean country will be in the spotlight Wednesday [October 14] at 9 p.m. EST, as Season 32 of Emmy-winning The Amazing Race premiers on CBS television.

The Amazing Race is a reality show that sees teams of two competing all over the world for a grand prize of US$1 million and is hosted by Phil Keoghan.

....Trinidad and Tobago will be featured on the show, which was filmed before the pandemic, back in 2018. The Emmy-award winning reality show was filmed in various locations around T&T including Exodus Panyard, Nylon Pool, Pigeon Point and the Buccoo Racing Facility, and spotlights on several of the cultural aspects of the twin-island Republic including its steelpan, Carnival costumes and goat racing.

....Keoghan revealed that he was really excited about “getting to the Caribbean” since he grew up in Antigua for eight years as a kid. “I just love the Caribbean culture. I love steel drums, cricket, the beaches, the people, the food. Particularly, like in Trinidad, the food has such a mix of culture, of Indian, South American and African influence, so it’s really a wonderful melting pot,” he told TVline.com.
read more

Web Posted - Saturday October 10, 2020
The Nation

Trinidad and Tobago to boost cultural exchange with Nigeria, says high commissioner

Nigeria - The Trinidad and Tobago High Commissioner to Nigeria Wendell De Landro  has said his country plans using its steel band music to boost cultural exchange between his country and Nigeria. He made this comment during a recent food festival in Abuja: Taste of the Caribbean. He said the high commission plans to introduce steel music in Nigerian schools. He said: “I thought it is best to highlight our Carnival by exhibiting two of our mas costumes which were used for the recent festivities in February 2019 and 2020. They are displayed here together with our steel pan (tenor pan) which is being played by a talented Nigerian. He will be playing calypso music (which is similar to high life music) and also contemporary Nigerian music. Plans are already in place to introduce the steelpan in schools and churches, in fact, the Nigerian National Orchestra is currently using the tenor pan with other African instruments to expand is repertoire.”
read more

Web Posted - Friday October 9, 2020
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Arts helping people to cope with COVID-19

Tobago band Katzenjammers copped the third place at the 2020 Panorama Medium Steel Band Finals

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Chairman of the Pan Trinbago Tobago Region Salisha James is supporting a separate Tobago Carnival.

....Speaking with Newsday last Thursday, James voiced her support.

“We are in support of a separate Tobago Carnival in the year, as long as it is safe to do so.”

In a press release, she said the pan fraternity is saddened by the announcement but understands it is necessary, given the rate of community spread of COVID-19.

....The dynamic for steelbands and the nature of the performances, she said, is different from that of other interest groups.

Pan players gathered in large numbers “definitely numbers above five for performances and competitions.” Some members of the public and even those within governmental institutions believe that Panorama and other pan activities can take place virtually, she said, but while it is possible to record bands or stream their performances live, practice for a 120-piece band, large bands, a 35-piece band or single pan bands cannot take place virtually.
read more

Web Posted - Wednesday October 7, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Lauren Pierre - Administrator, Planner, Panist - UpClose & Personal!

Lauren Pierre
WST Upclose logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “I truly believe that work shouldn’t feel like work. If steelpan is your passion, work hard at your craft and you will succeed. Be courageous.” –– Lauren Pierre

She is a straight-up game changer. Highly intelligent, skilled and yet she remains humble, caring and true to her belief system. You have seen her work and felt her passion, as this greatly-talented problem-solver walks point in the transformation of the steelband association of Trinidad and Tobago known as Pan Trinbago.

The artform of the steelband is her life and passion. In addition she is immensely in tune with the cultural impact of technology on culture. In a When Steel Talks exclusive - administrator, planner and panist Lauren Pierre shares her zeal for Pan and her vision for the way forward.
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday October 6, 2020
When Steel Talks

Wynton Marsalis on Trumpet & Salmon Cupid on the E- Pan with the Steelpan App PRO

Wynton Marsalis on Trumpet & Salmon Cupid on the E- Pan with the Steelpan App PRO

Global - Salmon Cupid:  “The GREAT Wynton Marsalis on Trumpet playing in the key of “Bb” let’s see if I can keep up playing in the key of “F”... We all have the ability to slow it down and learn it.

I am using the Steelpan App PRO. It’s educational, fun, AND very interactive. Practicing and learning virtually and on the run is as easy as 1-2-3. Download the Steelpan App PRO and join me!
see video

Web Posted - Monday October 5, 2020
Valdosta State University News

VSU Department of Music Presents Free Pops in the Park Oct. 8

Valdosta State University Steel Band and more perform

Valdosta, Georgia, USA - The Department of Music at Valdosta State University will host Pops in the Park at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8, at the College of the Arts Outdoor Amphitheater. Admission is free of charge and open to the public.

Pops in the Park will feature entertaining performances by VSU’s Steel Band, Wind Ensemble, and Spotlighters.

“The Steel Band will provide some fun and light pre-concert music,” shared Dr. Ryan Smith, assistant professor of percussion at VSU. “Our music is selected from traditional island tunes, rock and popular tunes, and newer original tunes for steel drum ensemble. Musically, we try to provide a diverse musical experience for the students and a fun and engaging experience for audiences of all ages.”

The 12-member Steel Band’s set list includes “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, and “Jump in the Line (Shake Senora)” by Harry Belafonte.

....Pops in the Park attendees are welcome to bring their chairs, pillows, and blankets and enjoy an evening of musical performances in the fall fresh air.
read more

Web Posted - Saturday October 3, 2020
Trinidad Express Newspapers

Pan Trinbago to lose $5m in revenue

Industry already counting losses after Carnival 2021 cancelled over COVID fears...

Revenue earner: Winner of Panorama 2020 Desperadoes Steel Orchestra performs its winning rendition on Carnival Saturday, at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Revenues for Pan Trinbago, the governing body for pan players, could fall by at least $5 million due to the cancellation of Carnival 2021.

While Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s confirmation—that next year’s Carnival was not on in light of the COVID-19 pandemic—was met with agreement from cultural stakeholders, several entities associated with the greatest show on earth are already counting their losses.

Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore said while a virtual Carnival presentation remains an option for next year, the economic impact of the loss of the real thing cannot be ignored.

....“What we also know is that there will be no virtual Panorama competition because this will be extremely difficult to stage,” Ramsey-Moore told the Sunday Express in an interview on Thursday.

“The bands and our organisation are going to be impacted. The majority of our revenue is raised during the Carnival period, and at this time, we have been putting our figures together because we now have to review our financial position going forward.
read more

Web Posted - Saturday October 3, 2020
The Antigua Observer

National honour for Hells Gate Steel Orchestra

Reigning Panorama champions Hells Gate Steel Orchestra will become the first steelband in Antigua and Barbuda to receive a national honour, after the government decided to confer the accolade on the 75-year-old band during the 2020 Independence celebration

Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. - The reigning Panorama champions will make history by becoming the first steelband in Antigua and Barbuda to receive a national honour.

The Cabinet, during its meeting on Thursday, decided that the Caribbean Union Bank Hells Gate Steel Orchestra, the oldest steelband in the world, will be honoured during this year’s Independence celebrations in November.

The band, which hails from the Point community, was founded in 1945, and is celebrating its 75th year of existence. It “is deserving” of a national honour, the post-Cabinet notes read.

In addition to the national honour, Cabinet has decided to grant the non-profit steelband a long-term lease or ownership of the parcel of land at Dredge Bay where its instruments are stored and where the band practices.

Veron Henry, son of one of the founding members, Eustace “Manning” Henry, shared his elation on hearing the good news.

“I am very honoured and proud that the government would have seen it fit to bestow such an award on the Hells Gate Steel for being not only the oldest band in the region, but the ‘winningest’ in Antigua as well, in the world even, because I don’t think any other band would have the amount of championships that Hell’s Gate has; so I am very honoured,” Henry said.
read more

Web Posted - Saturday October 3, 2020
Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival 2020 - Access All Areas: PANOLOGY

The Virtual Edition

PANOLOGY The Virtual Edition

London, U.K. - Notting Hill Carnival 2020 - The Virtual Edition. NHC Online - Panology.  Featuring performances from Mas bands, Steelbands & Brazilian bands. Justin Russell filmed at The Tabernacle; Delphina James filmed at The Tabernacle; Ebony, Endurance, Mangrove & Metronomes Filmed at The Royal Albert Hall.
see performances

Web Posted - Friday October 2, 2020
When Steel Talks

New Dimension Steel Orchestra - Poet and Peasant Overture

 A Moment In Pan - LIVE in Brooklyn, New York - panyard recording - 2005

Mrs. Regan Mendes conducts New Dimension Steel Orchestra performing Poet and Peasant Overture (Franz Von Suppe)

Global - In the Summer of 2005 When Steel Talks had the honor of watching New Dimension Steel Orchestra from Grenada as they prepared for the World Steelband Music Festival (WSMF), held that year at Madison Square Garden in New York.  The orchestra performed Poet and Peasant Overture (Franz Von Suppe ) as conducted by Mrs. Regan Mendes.  That preparatory performance of New Dimension was captured by Basement Recordings, Inc.
see performance

Web Posted - Friday October 2, 2020

Notting Hill Carnival provides blueprint for a virtual production

Mrs. Regan Mendes conducts New Dimension Steel Orchestra performing Poet and Peasant Overture (Franz Von Suppe)

United Kingdom - With a virtual Carnival celebration among the options under consideration for 2021, the recently-concluded virtual celebration of Notting Hill’s Carnival may provide the blueprint.

....Filming of the different shows and packages took place over six weeks at the famous Abbey Road Studios, The Royal Albert Hall, Malcolm Ryan Studios, Kennington Studios and Royal Theatre Haymarket.

Apart from the NHC’s website, productions were broadcasted on four YouTube channels—Culture, Parade, Main Stage and Sound Stage—and on Carnival Monday, three channels broadcasted simultaneously, a first for YouTube said Matthew Phillip, Executive Director of the Notting Hill Carnival committee.

Key to pulling off what he described as a virtual celebration of Carnival were the partnerships his committee created with digital service providers like YouTube, Spotify, Facebook and Google Arts and Culture.
read/see more

Web Posted - Wednesday September 30, 2020
When Steel Talks

Saving the Sight of Music Ace Vanessa Headley

Keratoconus (Cone-Shaped Cornea) Procedures

Global - The lifelong music passion of Vanessa Headley has been the centered on (but not limited to), the sounds of steel via the national instrument of her native Trinidad & Tobago, the steelpan. But for now, her focus has had to shift from steel to saving her eyesight.

Vanessa is one of the Caribbean’s young musical gems, and she has been pursuing her path of professional and personal success. At the same time, the current challenge of maintaining a healthy quality of life so she may continue to be a source of joy and inspiration via musical endeavors, means immediately addressing her visual status.

Get the full synopsis by Vanessa herself, and check the LINK to help fulfill the financial goal to facilitate the necessary medical procedures. “Time is of the essence.”
more details

Web Posted - Tuesday September 29, 2020
When Steel Talks


 on Amazon Music Twitch

Global - Amazon Music Twitch - Nailah Blackman, Nadia Batson and Patrice Roberts in concert via Amazon Music TWITCH.  The music of these three Soca artists have been performed by multiple steel orchestras around the world, especially at annual national Panorama competitions, and has also been among the championship selections of the bands.
see concert

Web Posted - Tuesday September 29, 2020
When Steel Talks

Carnival 2021 Postponement - National Carnival Commission of Trinidad and Tobago Speaks

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The National Carnival Commission of Trinidad and Tobago (NCC) is in complete accord with the recent announcement by the Prime Minister, Dr. The Honourable Keith Rowley and the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago with respect to the adjournment of Carnival 2021, in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As the Prime Minister rightfully indicated, the preservation of lives and livelihoods is of paramount importance, and, given the expected trajectory of the pandemic, it is highly unlikely at this time to consider as a given, the staging of the annual festival.
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday September 29, 2020
When Steel Talks

Panist and internationally renowned artist Leon Foster Thomas joins University of Miami’s Faculty - one of several

Florida, USA - Known for its world-renowned, award-winning faculty, the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami is pleased to announce eleven new esteemed faculty hires for 2020-2021.

LEON FOSTER THOMAS – STUDIO MUSIC & JAZZ - Leon Foster Thomas is a gifted international jazz musician and steel pan virtuoso who blends the music of his Caribbean roots with the harmonic and improvisational complexities of jazz, creating a lively and eclectic meld all his own.

....“I am thrilled to welcome these immensely gifted and nurturing new colleagues to the Frost School,” stated Shelton G. Berg, Dean of the Frost School of Music.
read more

Web Posted - Tuesday September 29, 2020
When Steel Talks

The Virtual Carnival 2021 Is On

by Rubadiri Victor

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I.

  • BUT
  • We might lose 55,000 PHYSICAL visitors but we may gain 55 million pairs of eyes!
  • Normally Carnival brings in 55,000 visitors and around $650 million in Foreign Exchange (2006 Tourism Study). Government also spends over $150 million in the festival with private bodies spending possibly upwards of $600 million. This means the T&T economy could conservatively lose up to $1.4 billion of economic activity with no Carnival. There are many people for whom Carnival represents up to 75% of their annual income. Even large T&T corporations.

read more

Web Posted - Monday September 28, 2020
When Steel Talks

Kes The Band LIVE - BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Performance

Kes the Band

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - In collaboration with BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn, Kes the Band delivered a high-energy set from Trinidad & Tobago!  In 2020 BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn’s festival was transformed into a virtual multi-platform destination designed to bring the spirit of the outdoor concert series to homes globally.
see performance

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