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


Web Posted - Thursday August 13, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet Daisy James-McClean - Panist, Lecturer, Pan Pioneer - UpClose!

WST Upclose logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Mrs. Daisy James-McClean is an award-winning female steelpan musician, whose recognized list of firsts and accomplishments within the steelband movement are both significant and staggering. She is an original (Ms. McClean started playing over 70 years ago, and just celebrated her seventy-sixth birthday) who keeps on giving to the steelpan movement, starting from its earliest, and now as the leader of Harlem Syncopators of Trinidad and Tobago.

....In this UpClose When Steel Talks (WST) exclusive interview, WST participated in one of those rare and treasured moments as we stepped back in time through the eyes, voice and memories of an original Pan pioneer Daisy James-McClean in our ‘UpClose’ series. Here is Daisy James-McClean’s story in her own words.
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Web Posted - Thursday August 13, 2020
When Steel Talks

The History of Steelband in Jamaica

Jamaica, W.I. - The earliest record of steelpan in Jamaica was in 1954. Arden Williams, a student from Trinidad carried his ping pong with him when he attended the University of the West Indies, Mona campus (then the University College of the West Indies). Soon after, he and other Trinidadian students and one Jamaican started the first-ever steelband on Jamaican soil. Over time, different steelbands have come and gone but the Mona campus has never been without a steelband since its arrival in the 1950s. In 1973 the steelbands from two halls of residence merged and became known as UWI Steel (You-We Steel). In 1976 this band was re-branded UWI Panoridim and is still in existence today.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday August 13, 2020
When Steel Talks

Meet the late Steelpan innovator and Tuner Denzil “Dimes” Fernandez

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Denzil “Dimes” Fernandez - Master Craftsman - Steelpan Tuner - Educator.  Fernandez has been a steelpan innovator, tuner and educator for over 50 years. He pioneered the Bore method, which produces steelpans with greater tonal range and clearer, longer notes, and used it to create the Bore Pan, Panzer, Duo Bore Pan, U Bass/Den Pan, Bore Reed Pan, and the Bore-Reed Cello Pan.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday August 13, 2020
News12.com

West Indian American Day Carnival goes virtual amid COVID-19

Brooklyn, New York, USA - The West Indian American Day Carnival is going virtual for 2020 due to the pandemic.

The West Indian American [Day] Carnival Association (W.I.A.D.C.A.) says there will still be a number of events to enjoy in the comfort of people's homes.

The theme this year is “Back to Love.”

Viewers will be able to tune in live to view documentary-style clips of Carnival and J'Ouvert celebrations, partner messages, performances and more.

....PANOLOGY on Sept. 26 from 8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Join WIADCA, along with Pan in Motion, for some panyard talk as they delve into the Revolution of the Steel Pan. Log on and enjoy the sweet sounds of steel from the comfort of your home.
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday August 11, 2020
When Steel Talks

Rise of the Steelband in Guyana - UpClose!

WST Upclose logo

Guyana, S.A. - Before his passing, Godfrey Chin provided When Steel Talks (WST) with a brief history of the rise of the steelband in Guyana. Godfrey Chin was an extraordinary person. He produced an exceptional and highly respected body of work that will forever be etched in Guyana’s cultural history. He was a former costume designer, a founding member of the Guyana Cultural Association, journalist, historian and author, He is described as “a living tribute to our bygone and was adept at rekindling in us an irresistible longing for times when things seemed purer, simpler and more enjoyable.”
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday August 11, 2020
When Steel Talks

Notting Hill Carnival: Who Started It?  Watch

Carnival in the UK

Notting Hill Carnival

London, England, U.K. - Wyn Baptiste grew up in Notting Hill believing his dad Selwyn, a Trinidadian steel pan player who arrived in Britain in 1960 and was the first Chair of Notting Hill Carnival Committee, was the man who started Carnival. But the truth isn't quite that simple.

Wyn discovers that the origins of Carnival are as tangled as the history of London itself as he meets key players who were actually there with his dad, and goes on a journey that takes in mass immigration, the 1958 race riots, pioneering social workers, Trinidadian steel pan players – and adventure playgrounds.
see video


Web Posted - Tuesday August 11, 2020
When Steel Talks

Revisited:  Hazel Henley of Girl Pat Steel Orchestra

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “Hazel was always very “avant garde,” and not only an academic but a talented musician, as well, who had always been fascinated by the pan....Some of us were schoolgirls and people would ask Hazel’s mother ‘How she could allow that in her house.’ “But,” said Pat, “she straightened them out replying ‘it’s my house and these children come from good families”.” - Pat Maurice, former member of Girl Pat

She was an intellectual, a Pan Pioneer, and multi-talented, thoughtful, forward-thinking and a steelband leader in an era when women were looked down upon for any association with pan. When Steel Talks spotlights panist, musician, arranger and performing artist the late Hazel Henley, founder of one of reportedly only two all-women steel orchestras in the 1950s in Trinidad and Tobago, “Girl Pat Steel Orchestra.”
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday August 11, 2020
When Steel Talks

Lennard “Scrubb” Wellington - St. Lucia’s North Stars Steel Orchestra

History of St. Lucia’s North Stars Steel Orchestra

Saint Lucia, W.I. -  Steelband performers in Trinidad and Tobago (steeldrum’s birthplace) since 1950, have been represented by three organizations: the Steelbands Association, the National Association of Trinidad and Tobago Steelbandsmen (NATTS), and (now) Pan Trinbago.

One man served as the head of all three. George “Sonny” Goddard (1924-1988).

He is the only president of any of the three organizations to be re-elected to the post, not once, but (at least) ten times!

In all, he served as steelbands’ leader during the years 1957-1959, 1962-1971, and 1978-1979.

He is also the only president of either organization to hold government appointed positions (including Cultural Adviser to the Prime Minister). He also served as an executive member of the Carnival Development Committee (CDC).
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday August 11, 2020
When Steel Talks

A look back:  Who Am I? A Breakdown Of George “Sonny” Goddard’s Accomplishments

by George D. Goddard Jr.

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. -  Steelband performers in Trinidad and Tobago (steeldrum’s birthplace) since 1950, have been represented by three organizations: the Steelbands Association, the National Association of Trinidad and Tobago Steelbandsmen (NATTS), and (now) Pan Trinbago.

One man served as the head of all three. George “Sonny” Goddard (1924-1988).

He is the only president of any of the three organizations to be re-elected to the post, not once, but (at least) ten times!

In all, he served as steelbands’ leader during the years 1957-1959, 1962-1971, and 1978-1979.

He is also the only president of either organization to hold government appointed positions (including Cultural Adviser to the Prime Minister). He also served as an executive member of the Carnival Development Committee (CDC).
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday August 11, 2020
When Steel Talks

“My Soca Birthday Party: with Jollof Rice & Steel Pans” - August 2020 book release

The late legendary tuner Bertie Marshall

Global -  As Anne’s birthday drew close, her friends prepared a soca party. Anne loves the sound of Caribbean soca music played on steel pans and West Africa’s spicy jollof rice. Hence, her friends planned to celebrate her special day with a fusion of sounds and traditional dishes from Caribbean and African countries — a representation of their diverse yet comparable cultures.

Anne was in for a real surprise.
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday August 10, 2020
KUAC.org - Alaska Live

Cold Steel Pan Orchestra on Alaska “Almost” Live

Performance and conversation featuring Cold Steel Pan Orchestra

Cold Steel in their matching shirts and new for the PANdemic, matching Cold Steel Pan Band masks

Alaska, USA - Time to forget all your cares for a few and enjoy the sounds of Trinidad with our local pan band, Cold Steel Pan Orchestra. Learn about how to become a steel pan player and where the pans came from while dancing and swaying to your favorites played on the pans. This session will lift your spirits!
read more, listen to performance


Web Posted - Sunday August 9, 2020
When Steel Talks

A look back:  Master Steelpan Tuner, legendary Steelpan Innovator and builder - the late Bertie Marshall

Global - Noted historian, journalist and film maker Dalton Narine writes:  “Bertie Marshall, 74, is a dreamer and trailblazer. A tuner of forceful personality who impressed his will on Pan.

“A harmonica player, he strove to achieve harmonics on steel. Not a single note played on the instrument in the 1950s, even by the top steel bands, resonated in his ear..

“Each note lacked something crucial to music. The blending of several notes or harmonics to beget the dominant note. That’s what Marshall accomplished through experimentation.
see interview, read more


Web Posted - Saturday August 8, 2020
When Steel Talks

A look back:  From the Mind of a Pan Man - Dalton Narine Speaks

Dalton Narine

Brooklyn, New York, USA - He is one of the best and most trusted cultural journalists in the world today. For years - panist, editor, journalist and director Dalton Narine has been the 'Walter Cronkite' of cultural affairs - particularly in Trinidad and Tobago's mas and steelpan worlds.

In this exclusive interview with When Steel Talks when he was in New York recently, Dalton allows us to get a glimpse into the makeup of the man whose writings and all-round professionalism have chronicled and impacted so many throughout the years.
see interview series


Web Posted - Wednesday August 5, 2020
When Steel Talks

Eustace Archibald Cornell “Manning” Henry - Antigua & Barbuda

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.

On one occasion, when Mr. Henry was newly enrolled into the “Iron Band”, he was so taken up with his performance, that he was not aware that the band had trespassed into the established “NO PLAY ZONE”. He only realized that he was all alone with his instrument in his hand and the other band members were running northwards on Pope’s Head Street. He was arrested by the police and taken to the St. John’s Police Station.
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday August 4, 2020
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Pan Month goes on despite pandemic

Renegades Steel Orchestra

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Every August for the last 28 years Pan Trinbago has used the month of August to observe and celebrate pan.

This year despite challenges posed by COVID-19, is no different. Pan Month will honour the national instrument through various online activities.

The organisation’s president Beverley Ramsey-Moore said in a phone interview with Newsday it has encouraged all the regions and pan organisations to do something effective for Pan Month.

She added that Pan Trinbago recognised that because of the pandemic, all of its events have been brought to a screeching halt as its members cannot gather.  But while the organisation and bands need large groups and crowds for its events, its main business is preserving lives, she said.

So the Pan Month calendar has been trimmed considerably this year.
read more


Web Posted - Sunday August 2, 2020
When Steel Talks

Nervin “Teach” Saunders Was A “Good one” if There Ever Was One

An opinion - by Andre Moses

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “Today, after a lifetime of committed and significantly impactful service to the steelband and to teaching, we bid farewell to our elder, colleague, mentor, teacher and exemplar. Nervin ‘Teach’ Saunders, we salute your selfless contribution and we promise to continue to work and walk in your inspiring footsteps..”. - Andre Moses.

“Nervin “Teach” Saunders Was A “Good one” if is There Ever Was One..

“I first met Nervin “Teach” Saunders approximately 40 years ago. I was at the beginning of my teaching career and was assigned to St Augustine Secondary, and Teach was an Agricultural Science teacher there.”
read more


Web Posted - Saturday August 1, 2020
CBC News

Toronto Caribbean Carnival keeps spirit of celebration, community solidarity alive in face of pandemic - Pan Fantasy Steelband

Wendy Jones and a few members of the Pan Fantasy steel pan band pose outside of their 'pan yard,' the rehearsal space where they practice and arrange their performances for Toronto Caribbean Carnival

Toronto, Canada - ....For Wendy Jones, the month of July is usually filled with the rhythmic sounds of steel pans and performances throughout the city on Carnival's biggest stages. Jones has been playing steel pan since the '70s and is the leader of the Pan Fantasy Steelband orchestra. Her instrument of choice: the six bass.

....During carnival season, you can find anywhere from 80 to 100 steel pan players in and out of their warehouse headquarters, known as the Pan Yard.

"This is the first year in all the years … that we haven't played on the road [in a parade] or played in the festival itself," Jones says, adding that it has been emotional to be apart from the team. "The band is not just here to play, it's a family. And because we're a family it brings us all together."

Jones says they're using technology like Zoom and online chats to keep the band connected and the music going, with hopes they'll be back together in person next year.

"We haven't stopped rehearsing, so that gives us an opportunity to come together and just work with each other in that context."
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