Web Posted - Friday December 13, 2019
When Steel Talks

Pan Tune of the Decade:  Trouble In The Morning

Global - Before the last decade ended, When Steel Talks completely agreed with steelband enthusiast Glenroy Joseph when he called “Band From Space” by Amrit Samaroo and Edwin “Crazy” Ayoung “the best pan tune of the last decade.” And this declaration was done in 2007 with still time to spare before the decade officially ended. From a lyrical, spiritual, musical, story-telling and cultural level they simply nailed it. The song captured the imagination of the community and genre.

As this decade comes to an end with 2019’s “Trouble in the Morning” by “V’ghn” (pictured above) - it is When Steel Talks’ tune of the decade for pan.

To date, no less than eleven conventional steel orchestras in the upcoming 2020 Trinidad and Tobago National Panorama have committed to this song as their tune of choice.
read more


Web Posted - Friday December 13, 2019
When Steel Talks

Christmas and Carnival don’t ever mix

Panorama starts the Carnival celebrations...

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - I finally gave up on the battle with myself, trying to keep out of what I carelessly term the people's business; trying to believe that this Steelpan organization business is no longer my business, just for peace sake.

But the warrior spirit in me, keeps tugging at my conscience and better judgment and I can no longer stay silent in light of the road that my organization, our organization, Pan Trinbago is now heading.

Mind you, I am in no way expressing an interest in holding executive position again, given the mass of young, intelligent and energetic Panists out there.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday December 12, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

‘Make pan mandatory in schools’

Duvone elated with Medal of Honour (gold)

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Ace pan arranger Duvone Stewart is calling for the national instrument to be mandatory in the school curriculum.

Stewart was awarded this year's Medal of Honour (gold) for distinguished and outstanding service in the sphere of culture at the annual Tobago House of Assembly Tobago Day awards last Thursday.

....Born on September 17, 1976 to Curtis and Virginia Percival, who were both musicians, Stewart went to school in Tobago, doing his last two school years at Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive School.

Today, his wish remains “to see this instrument in all the schools as a compulsory instrument for students to learn music.”

“Funny enough, I have been a student at the Scarborough RC School… no pan, Scarborough Junior Secondary School…no pan, Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive School…little pan, because the musical director at that time was Mr. Frank Stanisclaus and he was also the arranger for Our Boys Steel Orchestra, and we had a little steelband."
read more


Web Posted - Monday December 9, 2019
When Steel Talks

My Time Again! -- Parang 2019, sung by Rhonda Rosales -  Steelpan by Curt Rogers

My Time Again! -- Parang 2019, sung by Rhonda Rosales, Steelpan by Curt Rogers

Global - This song was written through the belief, encouragement and bit of nag…LOL, from band mate Ron Metivier who always saw the potential in me to compose lyrically and never accepted the excuse, “I can’t write because I don’t play any instruments to guide me along!” The day of this inspiration occurred from one of those phone calls which started as a casual conversation about songs to prepare for a rehearsal that turned into an argument about believing in one’s self.
hear track, read more


Web Posted - Thursday December 5, 2019
When Steel Talks

Tobago Small Conventional Steel Orchestra Preliminaries - Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama 2020

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The final eight steel orchestras participating in the small conventional category of the 2020 Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama hail from the sister isle of Tobago.

New East Side Dimension, Tobago Pan-Thers, Steel Sensation, C&B Crown Cordaans, West Side Symphony, Uptown Fascinators, Alpha Pan Pioneers and Our Boys all face the panel of judges on one date: Tuesday December 17, 2019.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday December 5, 2019
When Steel Talks

Reflections In Steel Concert - New York, USA

A Look Back

Sonatas Steel Orchestra performs at the Reflections In Steel

Brooklyn, New York, USA - A look back at the Christmas Concert performances at Reflections In Steel. ADLIB, Demstars, Despers USA, Pan Rebels, Pantonic and Sonatas steel orchestras all took the stage at Brooklyn College, in December 2001. Garvin Blake and Friends including Frankie McIntosh, also appeared at the sold-out event.
see performances


Web Posted - Thursday December 5, 2019
When Steel Talks

South/Central Small Conventional Steel Orchestra Preliminaries - Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama 2020

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Twelve South/Central Region steel orchestras will show off their musical chops, as they strive to make the semi-finals in the small conventional steel orchestra category of the 2020 Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama.

On Sunday December 15, 2019, the first six: Music Makers Steel Symphony, Motown, Swavic, Panosonic Connection, Morne Diablo Philadelphians Funk-a-Delic and Starland - will perform in their respective panyards beginning at 4:00 in the afternoon before judges.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday December 5, 2019
When Steel Talks

Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra 2019–2020 Young Artist Winner, Panist Jonah Payne, in concert December 8, 2019

Jonah Payne, a junior percussion performance major, plays the steel pan inside of the Westbrook Music Building on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska  -  Photo by Jordan Opp

Lincoln, Nebraska, USA - Five Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra (LSO) is proud to announce the selection of percussionist Jonah Payne as the LSO Young Artist Competition Winner for the 2019–20 season.

Payne, a junior percussion performance major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, studies percussion with Dr. Dave Hall and steelpan with Louis Raymond-Kolker. Payne will perform Liam Teague’s ‘The Visit’ for tenor steelpan, arranged for orchestra by Jamie Wind Whitmarsh, with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

“The judges were very impressed with the overall level of playing at this year’s competition. All of the students displayed great skill, and Jonah Payne in particular blew us away with his technique, musicianship, and mastery of the instrument,” says Edward Polochick, Music Director of Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra. “We look forward to featuring Jonah on our holiday concerts.”
see more


Web Posted - Thursday December 5, 2019
When Steel Talks

Eastern Small Conventional Steel Orchestra Preliminaries - Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama 2020

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - While seeing to the Christmas ham, pastelles, parang, and like preparations, some Trinidadians and Tobagonians are also having another key focus: Pan. This, as the preliminaries in the small conventional steel orchestra category of the 2020 Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama competition are underway this week.

Following the Northern Region, the Eastern Region orchestras run from Thursday December 12. B Minor, Sound of Music, Northolus and Genesis Steel Orchestra steel orchestras compete on night one.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday December 4, 2019
When Steel Talks

Remembering Panist Vanya Reid

by Debra Pan Diva Eden

Vanya Reid, UK Panist

England, United Kingdom - Born in 1977, with an ear that appreciated decades of music from all genres, way beyond her years. The original compositions of this Pan Woman reflected her gifts and were the outlet for a talent she shared. Vanya Reid played piano, guitar, violin and pan. She owned each and spent quality time composing. This was a gift displayed over her life as a musician, arranger, mentor, friend and woman of steel.

A true pan woman who is credited for her versatility, Vanya had the ability to play well and learn almost anything with pure passion and drive. She did this naturally and it gave her a pleasure that only pan can give. A proud lover of steelpan music who was respected by many as she contributed her skills in many bands both national and international.
see more


Web Posted - Tuesday December 3, 2019
When Steel Talks

Small Conventional Steel Orchestras 2020 Panorama Preliminaries Kick Off December 9

Northern Region Preliminaries First Up

Pan Trinbago logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Five small conventional steel orchestras in the Northern Region i.e. West Stars, Merry Tones, Hummingbirds Pan Groove, Harvard Harps and Flabej Now Ensemble will start the National Panorama Small Conventional Preliminaries 2020 on Monday December 9, 2019 from 7:00 p.m.ards.

Continuing on Tuesday December 10 will be six in that region.  Those being judged Tuesday are Blue Diamonds, Belmont 5th Dimension, St. Margaret Super Stars, Crescendos Musicale, Road Block and Defence Force steel orchestras.
read more, see first line-up


Web Posted - Monday December 2, 2019
When Steel Talks

Participants for Small Conventional Steel Orchestra Competition - Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama 2020

Participants for Small Conventional Steel Orchestra Competition - Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama 2020

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Panorama season 2020 has begun in the twin-island Caribbean nation.  Get to know the participating bands in the preliminary phase of the Panorama competition for Small conventional steel orchestras. Where available, selections and arrangers are shown, with data subject to update. Fifty-four bands are scheduled for this round.
see the bands, arrangers


Web Posted - Monday December 2, 2019
The Mercer Island Reporter

Steel music concert to play holiday favorites on the Island

Steel Magic Northwest to perform holiday music Dec. 8

Steel Magic Northwest will host concert Dec. 8 at the Congregational Church

Washington, USA - It all began with a steel saucer sled.

Kansas native Gary Gibson was 12 years old when his father took him to a parade with the U.S. Navy steel band.

“I just fell in love with the sound,” he said.

Once he came home, he picked up his old steel saucer sled, took his father’s hammer and molded the sled. He was able to make four discernible notes. It was the beginning of his life-long career in steelpan music.

Since then, Gibson obtained a real steelpan drum and continued playing and studying the instrument. He received his master’s degree in music performance, but also studied composition and orchestration at Cornish College.
read more


Web Posted - Friday November 29, 2019
Searchlight

XS Steel Turns One

Minister of Education Anthony Garcia (right), gives Northeastern Sangre Grande Government ECCE administrator Zobida Ali-Mannan (left), a steelpan as part of the Music Education Expansion Initiative project. The event was held at the Arima New Government Primary School, Tumpuna Road South, Arima, Wednesday.

St. Vincent & the Grenadines, W.I. - This country’s newest steel pan organisation, XS Steel Incorporated, celebrated its first anniversary on Wednesday November 27 with an active steel orchestra that has begun to contribute to the entertainment landscape in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The organisation was launched last November under the chairmanship of Cecil Ryan, and with Marla Nanton-James as the Music Director. It is supported by a complete management team of seven persons, also including Arlene Regisford-Sam (Treasurer), Jennifer Richardson (PRO), Jennifer Browne (Secretary), Kent Cain (Logistics Officer) and Kevon Guy (Players’ Representative).

XS Steel currently operates from the Argyle Primary School and is heavily involved in teaching students from the school the rudiments of music and the art of playing the steel pan.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday November 27, 2019
The Observer

Calypso band gives Caribbean flair to holiday concert

Students who are part of the Elgin High School Calypso band prepare Tuesday during class for The Observer's upcoming Holiday Music Festival at Eastern Oregon University.

Oregon, USA - The sounds of Trinidad and Tobago can be heard in the Elgin High School’s music room as the Calypso band prepares for its winter concert. As special guests at the Observer’s 28th Annual Holiday Music Festival the first weekend in December, the EHS students will show off their talents on the steel drums.

The band began two years ago when the music teacher for Elgin’s third- through 12th-grade students, Tucker Murphey, founded a group of youth interested in that style of percussion. What started with grade school classroom instruments and a small xylophone is now a full steel drum ensemble with various sizes of steelpans and drums to create the sounds of the Caribbean. The school district invested about $28,000 to purchase the collection of instruments last year.

“(The district) could see the progress of the program and what we were doing without the instruments,” Murphey said. “They were excited to have something unique that no other school district has, and the school board had faith in me.”
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday November 27, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Education Ministry gives pans to ECCE centres

Arima New Government students Aiyana-Marie Jadoonanan and Samuel Berot, got musical with a steelpan at the Music Education Expansion Initiative project ceremony on Wednesday at the Arima New Government Primary School, Tumpuna Road South, Arima

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Preschoolers throughout TT now have the chance to become involved in music after several Early Childhood Care and Education centres received two tenor pans each from the Ministry of Education.

At the launch of the Multicultural Music Programme Unit hosted at the Arima New Government Primary School on Wednesday, Education Minister Anthony Garcia said the ministry was working to have steelpan in every ECCE centre, primary and secondary school. He said the programme would also be tailored to attract and help those with learning disabilities through music.

He said the ministry was working to establish a template to help with special education and he was happy that steelpan was a part of that template.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday November 27, 2019
When Steel Talks

New Zealand Experiences Steelband Love Through The Passion Of Marion Titmuss

New Zealand - What is a white, middle class, classically-trained flautist doing trying to get Pans going in New Zealand schools and how did she get the first University in Australasia to agree to Pans being introduced?

In 2011 following the earthquake in Christchurch my family emigrated to New Zealand and I brought with me all the Pans I had amassed over 25 years of teaching Pan in the UK. I felt that these pans had been entrusted to do good with as I had a rollercoaster of fun since being introduced to the sweet magic of steel by the bands in London UK.

....I realised that it was going to be quite a struggle to get Pan in education established, there are few if any Kiwis who know what a steelpan is!
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday November 27, 2019
LoopTT

MoE to hire 120 music instructors for Pan in All Schools project

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Education Minister Anthony Garcia is hopeful that some of the negative feelings students experience which contribute to their disruptive behaviour, will be eliminated through steelpan music.

Garcia expressed this as he delivered the feature address at the launch of the Ministry's Music Education Expansion Initiative - Pan in All Schools Project - at the Arima New Government Primary School on Wednesday.

....“Very few of us recognize that among our students, there are so many things that affect them and loneliness is one that has been brought full-scale to the front burner. We are hoping again through this music programme in our schools and in particular, through the pan, that we are going to eradicate some of these negative feelings. My pledge is that in every school in Trinidad and Tobago beginning at the ECC Centre right on to our tertiary education system, there is the presence of our national instrument; there is the presence of our steel pan.”
read more


Web Posted - Monday November 25, 2019
When Steel Talks

George “Nugget” Joseph - Patriarch of Antigua and Barbuda’s Steelband Movement

by Jessy J. Stafford Joseph (Panthologist)

Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. - George “Nugget” Joseph, a centurion, is the patriarch of the Antigua and Barbuda steel pan movement. 

“Nugget,” as he was popularly known and referred to, is a pioneer of the steel pan movement of Antigua and Barbuda and a founding member of the Hells Gate Steel Orchestra (HGSO) (the world’s oldest steel orchestra), whose birthplace and home is in “The Point.” Hells Gate Steel Band began as an organized ‘Iron Band’ in 1945 and the steelpan was introduced in 1946.

....“Nugget,” in addition to his functions as Captain and Secretary/Treasurer, took on the responsibility of responding to all negative press, that was published in the Antigua Star News Paper. He responded via the Antigua Star and the Workers’ Voice Newspapers. Also, he did not own or had the luxury of a typewriter. Hence, his responses were all hand written where ever he could access light at nights. His discreet and effective responses brought about a change of attitude from the naysayers. In fact, many came to appreciate the steel pan artform and volunteered to assist the steel bands in the various communities.

....“Nugget’s” single-handed literary battle with the early critics of the steelpan movement, resulted in respect gained, the acceptance of the art form and the involvement of people of all walks of life in the steelpan movement, today.
read more


Web Posted - Sunday November 24, 2019
When Steel Talks

Antigua and Barbuda panists with Khan Cordice on cultural exchange in Japan - Steelpan the musical focus

Japan - A small delegation from Antigua & Barbuda is presently visiting Japan at the invitation of officials in Kagoshima prefecture, in the southerly Amami Islands of the country. Among those participating are pan musicians led by internationally-renowned steelband arranger and performer Khan Cordice, for years the resident champion arranger for Hells Gate Steel Orchestra. Two young people accompanying Cordice are Jahfari Hazelwood and Samanya Brazier. “They are just great panists and model students and members of the community,” says Cordice.
read more


Web Posted - Sunday November 24, 2019
When Steel Talks

Single Pan Bands - 2019-2020 Finals Results - Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - For the second time in 2019, in just over nine months, Trinidad and Tobago hosted a national Single Pan band finals competition. And while the defending champions, San Juan East Side Symphony did maintain their standing, they now share the title in this go-round, as there was a tie in the final tally in the scores of 284 points. Marsicans Steel Orchestra are now co-champions in what is, technically, the 2019-2020 Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama Single Pan band competition organized by Pan Trinbago.

Arrangers Carlon “Panman” Harewood and Marlon White took their respective bands to the top.  And of definite interest, is the fact that these two have been here in this position, “tied,” before!
read more, click for full results


Web Posted - Wednesday November 20, 2019
When Steel Talks

Single Pan Bands - Order of Appearance - FINALS 2019-2020 - Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The appearance order for competitors in the National Panorama 2019-2020 Single Pan Band finals is now known. The draw of numbers for playing positions in the Saturday November 23 finals was held at the Calypso Suite at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain on November 20. The latter is also the venue for the finals this weekend, which are slated for a 6:00 p.m. start.

Twenty-one bands out of thirty-one made the cut in the Semi-finals event which was held three days earlier on November 17.

....For the record, this will be the second “national” single pan band competition this year, 2019, as changes made to the competition dates are put into practice by Pan Trinbago. The regular Single Pan Band Panorama competition was already held within that traditional Carnival/Panorama season.
read more, see order of appearance


Web Posted - Wednesday November 20, 2019
The Virgin Islands Source

Senate OKs Sub Base Leases for Music Makers and Cement Producer

The committee Tuesday morning voted to approve government leases to Panyard People and Universal Concrete. Both government properties are in Sub Base, St. Thomas

St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. - Members of the Senate Committee on Finance want the music to continue to play and the cement to be poured.

.....Vincent Richards, deputy commissioner of the Department of Property and Procurement, recommended the approval of both contracts.

Panyard People is a nonprofit organization that trains residents in the art of steel pan.

.....The lease is for 10 years and provides for two, five-year renewal options with annual rent $1,200.

....Sen. Janelle Sarauw, alumni of Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra, said she was excited to be able to approve of the move to expand steel pan training in the territory.
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday November 19, 2019
The Battalion

A&M steel pan ensemble Maroon Steel performs around B-CS

Maroon Steel, Texas A&M’s Steelpan Ensemble

Texas, USA - Maroon Steel is a steel pan ensemble club that started at Texas A&M in 2013 with the purpose of getting together to play and spread the drum music associated with the Caribbean islands.

With the club being very united, Maroon Steel president and ocean engineering sophomore Jack Bahmer said “it makes things easier” for him.

“It is a ton of fun because I came in with a little experience on steel pan,” Bahmer said. “A big thing with steel pan is the group atmosphere. Everyone there is really good friends, and it's just a good time playing really fun music.”

With what originated as a music class, Maroon Steel vice president and performance studies grad student Josh Muetzel said Maroon Steel has grown into a student organization where students can join, be a part of something and find a sense of family.

....“As a composer and musician, I am looking to get more experience directing ensembles and writing for steel bands before I graduate,” Muetzel said.
read more


Web Posted - Monday November 18, 2019
When Steel Talks

Single Pan Bands - Semi-finals Results 2019-2020 - Trinidad & Tobago Panorama

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Results for the Single Pan 2019-2020 semi-finals are in. The competition was held on Sunday November 17 at the Arima Basketball Court in Arima. Thirty-one bands took part, and twenty-one made the cut to the finals carded for Saturday November 23 at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.
click for full results


Web Posted - Sunday November 17, 2019
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

Audit of steelband body exposes glaring noncompliance - Part 2

Missing invoices, no formal contracts

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Close to $4 million was paid out by Pan Trinbago to FCL Financial Ltd and its CEO Daniel Lambert over a three-year period with barely any paper trail found by auditors to justify these mammoth payments or any semblance of a formal agreement.

An audit report by Ernst and Young raised further questions over Pan Trinbago’s handling of its finances under the former president Keith Diaz (pictured) and other Central Executive Committee (CEC) members between the period 2013-2016.

....What Ernst and Young found was over the 2012-2013 period, Pan Trinbago entered into six management consultancy contracts with FCL—but from the table they drew up, they were only able to locate formal CEC approval for two of the six contracts.
read more


Web Posted - Sunday November 17, 2019
When Steel Talks

Live Stream - Fall 2019 NIU Steelband concert

Tribute to Al O’Connor

Fall 2019 Steelband Concert at NIU (Northern Illinois University)

DeKalb, Illinois, USA - Today, Sunday, November 17th at 3:00 p.m. CST, there is a wonderful NIU Steelband Concert at the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall!  What makes Sunday’s performance so special is that it’s dedicated to the memory of G. Allan O’Connor, who is responsible for originating the world famous NIU Steel Band.  The university has been extremely fortunate to have had Al as an instructor, musician, mentor, and friend at the NIU School of Music!
see archived stream


Web Posted - Saturday November 16, 2019
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

Audit of steelband body exposes glaring noncompliance - Part 1

Lack of transparency - Pan in Pain

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Financial mismanagement, an abysmal financial performance, misappropriation of funds, financial irregularities, and glaring non-compliance were uncovered in an Ernst and Young (EY) audit report conducted by Ernst and Young (EY) on Pan Trinbago’s operations over five years.

The “private and confidential” report was handed over to the Ministry of Community Development and the Arts in April 2018 and has been hidden in plain sight on the Parliament website for almost a year. It came up for discussion at Pan Trinbago’s Annual General Meeting on November 3 but according to several members, but was shot down by president Beverley Ramsey-Moore.  However, she has denied that claim.

The audit paints a gloomy picture about Pan Trinbago’s financial activities during the five years, while external auditors Panel Kerr Foster (PKF) said there was “significant doubt on the association’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

The timeframe covered in the EY report was 2013 to 2017 during the tenure of former president Keith Diaz.
read more


Web Posted - Saturday November 16, 2019
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

Ramsey-Moore:  They left us in a bad situation

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - President of Pan Trinbago Beverley Ramsey-Moore said it is the government that commissioned the audit on the steelband body and they should go after those who left the association in financial ruin.

Pan Trinbago did not commission the audit it was the Ministry of Community Development and the Arts and I would be really happy if they went after them. They left us in a bad situation,” she told the Sunday Guardian in a telephone interview.

Ramsey-Moore, who spoke candidly about the audit on Pan Trinbago by Ernst and Young (EY) which was laid in Parliament in April last year, denied claims that she wanted to “bury the report” and move on.
read more


Web Posted - Friday November 15, 2019
When Steel Talks

To Hell and Back to Pan

Veterans Day Embraces 2 Trinis who served in Vietnam and elsewhere

Dalton Narine with Catelli Trinidad All Stars on Carnival Tuesday on the way to the Savannah

Global - ....Veterans Day is officially observed on November 11.  So, it’s the memory of the Vietnam War and how Gerry and I both fought it as soldiers of the First Infantry Division (The Big Red One).

....It has been 50 years, and only now we reminisce about our experiences. We can jumpstart and even further improve our goal to satisfy readers’ interest in what we have to say about our sprawling commentary on Pan in the early period of the Behind the Bridge story of our experiences prior to our migration to the United States.

....For me, the war will never be in remission. It’s an indelible tattoo on my mind. I spent eight days in a hospital upon my return home from the war.

....They had me recuperating at the US Naval Base in Chaguaramas. There, I was fed more Thorazine. 

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. Jules thought I was a vagrant.  You drunk? No.  Looks like you on drugs?  Ain’t no dope I ever smoked, you know that, CAP.  Never smoked.  Thorazine, courtesy of the Military Base.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday November 14, 2019
When Steel Talks

Single Pan Bands - Order of Appearance - Semi-finals 2019-2020 - Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The sounds of steel will resonate at the Basketball Court, Arima, on Sunday November 17, 2019, as thirty-one Single Pan Bands vie for positions in the finals carded for one week later at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.

....Defending champions, San Juan East Side Symphony, emerged with the highest score of 266 points for their rendition of the Aldwyn Roberts’ composition “Guitar Pan” arranged by Carlon Harewood.

....Interestingly, there is a father-daughter duo challenging each other in this Single Pan semi-final arena. Veteran arranger Cary Codrington is taking Metro Stars in front the judges at position five, immediately after Gonzales Sheikers with his daughter Keisha Codrington having arranged “Fantastic Friday” for the band, would have taken the stage. Definitely back-to-back performances to look out for.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday November 14, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Junior Phase II band launched

HADCO Phase II Pan Groove Junior Steel Orchestra with principals Akua Leith from front right, Andrew Charles, Desiree Myers, Len”Boogsie” Sharpe and Terry Bernard

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - On November 9 the HADCO Phase II Pan Groove launched its first junior steelband:  HADCO Phase II Pan Groove Junior Steel Orchestra. The event took place at the Phase II panyard, Hamilton Street, Woodbrook.

In attendance were Phase II’s musical director, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, manager Akua Leith, captain Terry Bernard, chairman of Pan Trinbago Northern Regional Executive Desiree Meyers, HADCO liaison Danielle Espinet and guests, parents, well-wishers and children from the orchestra.

The young musicians’ ages range between four and 20.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday November 13, 2019
When Steel Talks

Single Pan Bands - Preliminaries Results 2019-2020 - Trinidad & Tobago Panorama

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The Single Pan 2019-2020 preliminaries were held during the period November 4 to 12, 2019. Now complete, the top thirty-one bands move on to the National Single Pan Semi-Finals on Sunday November 17 at the Arima Basketball Court, Arima from 4.00 p.m.
click for full results


Web Posted - Tuesday November 12, 2019
When Steel Talks

Ray Allen presents a “Jump Up!” talk at Brooklyn College

Garvin Blake, Frankie McIntosh and Winston Wellington join discussion

Ray Allen, Frankie McIntosh, Garvin Blake and Winston Wellington

Brooklyn, New York, USA - ....Anytime you can get to hear panist Garvin Blake or pianist Frankie McIntosh ‘live’ you’re in for a treat. If you can get to hear both of them together - well, you are in a special place, as were the attendees to the presentation on the book “Jump Up!” by Professor Ray Allen. The recently-released book focuses on the life of Caribbean carnival music in New York City.

About five or six years ago Allen, who fell in love with the music of carnival in Brooklyn, realized that there was not a book that adequately addressed Brooklyn Carnival and its music - and there lies the impetus for writing the book.
read more, see performances


Web Posted - Tuesday November 12, 2019
When Steel Talks

Panorama 2020 logo

Vanessa Headley named 2020 Panorama arranger of La Brea Nightingales Steel Orchestra - large band category

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Vanessa Headley has been named the 2020 Panorama arranger for La Brea Nightingales Steel Orchestra - large band category. In addition, Vanessa will be the arranger for Trinidad Valley Harps Steel Orchestra medium band category and Golden Hands small band category. 

Very few women have arranged for large steel orchestras in the Trinidad and Tobago National Panorama.
read more


Web Posted - Monday November 11, 2019
When Steel Talks

Panorama logo

Single Pan 2019-2020 Preliminary Performances

San Juan East Side

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Enjoy the performances of a few of the Single Pan bands as they competed at the preliminary stage of the 2019-2020 Panorama competition. Featured are San Juan East Side, Pan Elites, Nu Pioneers Pan Groove and Arima All Stars. 
click for video


Web Posted - Tuesday November 5, 2019
Jamaica Observer

CDB issues US$350K grant to regional cultural projects

Bridgetown, Barbados, W.I. - The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved US$350,000 for four projects that are geared at increasing cultural collaboration and improving the enabling environment for culture and the creative arts in the region.

The funding came under the Enabling Environment grant stream of the Bank’s Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF).

The Enabling Environment Grant finances interventions to support projects and programmes that focus on improving the business climate for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the cultural industries.

....Five educational institutions – the University of Trinidad and Tobago, George Mason University, Barbados Community College, University of London and the Carnival Institute of Trinidad and Tobago – will be working together to deliver the Pan Fellowship Programme, another recipient of an Enabling Environment Grant.

The programme will see a curriculum being developed for 12-month undergraduate and two-year certificate programmes that focus on cultural context as a key consideration in both performance and instruction of the steel pan.

The programme received a grant of US$90,000.

Another grant recipient is a multi-country carnival development initiative from Export Saint Lucia and is entitled ‘Branding and Commercialisation of Carnival in Saint Lucia, Dominica and Grenada’.  
read more


Web Posted - Monday November 4, 2019
The Daily Orange

Steel-panist Victor Provost to visit Syracuse for master class, performance

Syracuse, New York, USA - ....[Victor] Provost, a renowned steel panist, has played across the globe, and teaches classes in world music at George Mason University.

The musician will visit Syracuse from Nov. 7 to 10 to teach a steel drums master class and a perform with the Insomniac Wookies at La Casita Cultural Center.

....At the master class on Thursday, Provost said he hopes to teach and refine SU student’s playing ability on the steel pan. Basile Touratier, a French exchange music student at SU playing the steelpan, tries to attend every master class he possibly can.

....Provost said that he tries to incorporate his own life experience into his master classes and how to survive as a musician. He also said that he tries to have the student be on the instrument as much as possible to keep them motivated and continue practicing.

The steel panist will also be playing with multiple ensembles at SU [Syracuse University] during his time here, including the steel drum ensembles. 
read more


Web Posted - October 21, 2006
When Steel Talks

The Art of [Pan] Tuning is Alive with Andy “Mad Max” Neils

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - One of the pan tuning greats Lincoln “Delgado” Noel passed, but the art of tuning the steelpan instrument is alive and the torch is passionately carried by some of the other greats of his generation, including Bertram “Birch” Kelman, Wallace Austin and Bertie Marshall, to mention just a few. And then there are those of the 'next’ generation - such as Andy “Max” Neils. “Max” as he is also known, is one of the most sought-after pan-tuners in the world, regularly declining job offers to tune entire orchestras and even individual pan instruments, both at home in Trinidad and Tobago, and abroad. The likes of Desperadoes, Exodus, Invaders, Skiffle Bunch and CASYM (New York) steel orchestras, and many more in the US Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Aruba and Antigua - all bear the mark (and sounds) of his expert skills. 
read more


Web Posted - Friday November 1, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Single Pan prelims begin Monday

San Juan East Side on final night in Arima

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Defending Single Pan Panorama champions San Juan East Side Steel Orchestra is ready to face all challengers for its title.

However, Music Makers of Picton Road, Laventille is set to make history as the first band to play in the 2020 Panorama competition when judging begins on Monday in the Northern Region. Thirty bands are scheduled to compete in this region. Celebrate the Pan is the Panorama theme.

The prelims have been brought forward to this year in a move that is aimed at giving "greater prominence and recognition to each category" of pan, said Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday October 31, 2019
The Weekly Packet

Carl and Susan Chase, pillars of local arts, die by choice

‘We have had full and happy lives’

Carl Chase leads Flash! in the Pans at a Pan New England Steel Band Festival in 2014

Maine, USA - Carl and Susan Chase, longtime Brooksville residents and huge contributors to the local music and arts scene, died together in their home on October 27. The cause of death was suicide, according to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department and by the couples’ own admission. Carl was 77 years of age, and Susan was 75.

“We have had full and happy lives, blessed with extraordinary good luck,” the couple wrote in a letter to the community found after their deaths. “It is unreasonable at our age to assume it will continue that way, and we want to leave while things are still good, before our luck runs out, not after!”

Carl Chase was best known for founding Flash! in the Pans, a community steel drum band that branched into the schools, summer culture—with the Monday evening fundraising concerts—and the wider steel band community, with the 2015 Pan New England Steel Band Festival held in Blue Hill in 2015.
read more


Web Posted -- Sunday October 27, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Big 5 thrill patrons at the Grand Stand

EMOTIONS RUN HIGH: BP Renegades arranger Duvone Stewart became emotional during his band's performance at the Big 5- The Concert, Third Edition, hosted by the International Steelband Foundation on Saturday at the Queen's Park Savannah.

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - TT’s top five steel bands pulled out all the stops to thrill patrons at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on Saturday night for Big 5 - The Concert.

Hosted by the International Steelband Foundation, the event started promptly at 6.30 p.m. And although it was held under the distinguished patronage of the Prime Minister, Dr. Rowley was not present.

The concert paid tribute to Neville Jules, widely regarded as an icon of immense stature in the pan world.

There a moment of silence for retired Chief Justice, the late Clinton Bernard who died earlier on Saturday.

Bernard, an avid pan lover, was the person who coined the name Big 5.

By the time ten-time national Panorama champs Massy Trinidad All Stars began its set, the crowd was ready for a night of great pan music and that’s exactly what they got.
read more


Web Posted - Sunday October 27, 2019
When Steel Talks

The Doctor Is In: Legendary Musician Pelham Goddard Receives Honorary Doctorate From UWI

Dr. Pelham Goddard - image: Exodus Steel Orchestra

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Pelham Goddard, one of the most notable and influential arrangers, composers, and performing artists of the Caribbean music genre has been bestowed an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies (UWI) on October 26, 2019. Many of the most memorable Caribbean songs of this generation have come through Pelham Goddard as an arranger, producer and studio recording musician.

In addition to outstanding musical works in the studio and with Charlie’s Roots, Pelham is a champion Panorama arranger with Exodus Steel Orchestra. His noteworthy musical works also include Panorama arrangements for New York’s Marsicans Steel Orchestra, such as Firestorm, (2002), Celebrate (2004) and Dead Or Alive (2005).
read more


Web Posted - Sunday October 27, 2019
When Steel Talks

Tribute to Al O’Connor, founder of the NIU Steelband Program - NIU Steelband Fall 2019 Concert

DeKalb, Illinois, USA - The NIU Steelband presents its fall 2019 concert Sunday, November 17, at 3 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST) at the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the Music Building on Northern Illinois University’s main campus in DeKalb. The program will also feature the NIU Steelpan Studio, All University Steelband and Community School for the Arts (CSA) Steelband.

The event will be dedicated to the memory of G. Allan (“Al”) O’Connor, the founder of the NIU Steelband program, former Associate Dean of Music, and Head of Percussion Studies who passed away in June.

....As an administrator and educator, one of O’Connor’s major accomplishments was the establishment of the first steelpan major at any university in the world. This bold move has had a profound impact upon many students, including a host of steelpan majors who have hailed from around the world.
read more


Web Posted - Saturday October 26, 2019
When Steel Talks

Live Stream - BIG 5 Pan Concert - Tribute to Neville Jules

Tribute to Neville Jules

BIG5 Live Streaming - A Tribute to Neville Jules

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Watch the Live Stream of the BIG 5 Pan Concert 2019, featuring Exodus, Phase II Pan Groove, Renegades, Trinidad All Stars and Desperadoes steel orchestras - all in tribute to the legendary Neville Jules. Stream courtesy Advance Dynamics.
see archived stream


Web Posted - Friday October 25, 2019
When Steel Talks

Single Pan Bands Panorama Preliminaries Kick Off November 4

Pan Trinbago logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - National Panorama 2020 Single Pan Preliminaries judging will commence with the eight bands in the Northern Region on Monday November 4, 2019. The exercise begins at 7:00 p.m. with Music Makers, Straker Village, Picton Road, Laventille. The other seven bands will face the adjudication panel on the following day, Tuesday November 5, at the same time, with the final eight on Wednesday November 6, at 7:00 p.m.

A total of fifty-one bands will vie for thirty places in the Semi Finals round in the Arima Velodrome on Sunday November 17. Starting time is 4:00 p.m.
read more, see line-up


Web Posted - Tuesday October 22, 2019
When Steel Talks

Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra - “Party Start” - (‘Cool Down’ version - Video)

André White - Arranger

Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition one day before the event. Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra performed an André White-arrangement of “Party Start.” This is the ‘cool down’ VIDEO version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade.

Pan Evolution would eventually go on to place third in the competition. 
see video


Web Posted - Tuesday October 22, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

No season for pan

Melodians steelband performs at the launch of Panorama 2020 at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Sunday

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Panorama 2020 was launched on Sunday evening at HADCO Phase II Pan Groove Pan Theatre, Damien Street, Woodbrook, with the theme Celebrate the Pan.

In outlining plans for the competition Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore said the national instrument would no longer have to “fight for a space in any short Carnival season with over 200 events.”

....“We have found a way to give greater prominence and recognition to each category particularity single pan and small conventional bands. No longer will those two categories be fighting for recognition. Both media and patrons have to divide their resources and prioritise events to attend.”

....She then declared, “Pan Trinbago has decided there must be no season for pan and as such we start our season of Carnival in November. If TT is the land of Carnival and pan then our pan culture will be spread throughout the year.”
read more


Web Posted - Saturday October 19, 2019
When Steel Talks

Legendary Dr. Roy Cape Injured In Fall

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - It has been reported that Dr. Roy Cape was invited at the last minute to Sangre Grande by the Regional Corporation to accompany calypsonian Mighty Chalkdust and local politicians to rename the space formerly called the Monte Cristo Park Band Stand at George Street in Sangre Grande, to ‘Eric Taylor “Pink Panther” Band Stand’ in honor of calypsonian Pink Panther. This was on Wednesday October 16.

On his way back home Dr. Cape stopped off in Valencia to purchase some avocados and is said to have missed his step on an ‘uneven’ sidewalk, falling and breaking his hip.
read more


Web Posted -  Saturday October 19, 2019
When Steel Talks

Blac Rabbit performs the inspirational piece for many steel orchestras - “Penny Lane” - at AES 147 in New York

Blac Rabbit performs “Penny Lane” at AES 147 in New York

New York, USA - The group Blac Rabbit performed the Beatles’ classic “Penny Lane” at AES 147 in New York on October 18, 2019. They were part of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus exhibit at the AES show, and “Penny Lane” was just one of the multiple numbers from the Beatles’ catalog that the group showcased for the enjoyment of attendees.

This specific song, “Penny Lane” by The Beatles, is the one that (circa 1970) the late great arranger Clive Bradley heard showcased by Starlift Steel Orchestra, and arranged by Ray Holman, and Bradley had shared with When Steel Talks in an interview, that it convinced him that the steel orchestra was essentially a viable music force.
read more, see video


Web Posted - Thursday October 17, 2019
When Steel Talks

WST Upclose logo

Meet Immersive Audio Works Engineers and Producers - David Bowles and Paul Geluso

The Steel Orchestra is ideal for the Immersive Audio Experience

Pan Trinbago logo

New York, USA - In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks while at AES New York 2019, audio engineer and recording producer David Bowles, and NYU (New York University) Music Assistant Professor, Director of the Music Technology Program Paul Geluso, share their thoughts on the future of immersive audio works today and tomorrow, and the day after, dipping into it relative to the steelpan instrument along the way.  Both had been on hand to host the “Immersive Music Listening Session: Critical Listening and Recording Techniques” at AES NY.

....Incidentally, Paul Geluso is already familiar with the steelpan instrument when, as NYU faculty member and recording engineer, he helmed the recording of ‘NYU STEEL PLAYS PHILIP GLASS’ - a CD released back in 2011 by NYU Steel. He worked alongside Jonathan Haas and Josh Quillen.
read more, see interview


Web Posted - Wednesday October 16, 2019
Tyler Morning Telegraph

TJC Steel Drum Band offers multicultural opportunity for student musicians

Sophomore VICTORIA MARTINEZ plays her part of “Jump in the Line” on cello steelpans drum during rehearsal with the Tyler Junior College Steel Drum Line Tuesday in a practice room at Jean Brown Theatre in Tyler

Texas, USA - The Tyler Junior College Steel Drum Line has been performing sounds of the Caribbean since its inception in fall of 2004.

....Familiar traditional steel drum songs include “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett and “Jump in the Line” and “Day-O” by Harry Belafonte, all of which are in the TJC Steel Drum Line repertoire.

TJC Steel Drum Line Director Tom McGowan said the organization brings a multicultural element to campus and offers musicians an opportunity that competes with four-year universities.

....The Steel Drum Line is currently rehearsing for a joint performance with the TJC Percussion Ensemble set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at a location yet to be determined.
read more


Web Posted -  Wednesday October 16, 2019
The List

Kano records two Spotify Singles with Ladbroke Grove steel band

Kano the rapper

England, UK - UK rapper Kano has recorded new versions of his songs ‘Ps & Qs’ and ‘Pan Fried’ featuring Ladbroke Grove steel band for Spotify.

Kano has released two exclusive Spotify Singles recorded at Abbey Road Studios.

The 34-year-old MC has dropped stunning new versions of ‘Pan Fried’ and ‘Ps & Qs’ from his acclaimed 2019 album ‘Hoodies All Summer,’ which he laid down at the legendary studio in London with the accompaniment of Ladbroke Grove’s full Metronomes steel band and a live brass section.

Kano said: “We’re always going for it and trying to raise the bar and achieve more and more and just be as creative as we can.

“So when Spotify called and said, ‘Abbey Road, perform a song there.’

“I’m like, ‘Cool, what about, a steel pan band and six brass and two percussion?’
read more


Web Posted -  Tuesday October 15, 2019
When Steel Talks

CrossFire Steel Orchestra - “Trouble In The Morning”  - (‘Cool Down’ version - VIDEO)

Damany James - Arranger

CrossFire Steel Orchestra - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures CrossFire Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition just days before the event. CrossFire Steel Orchestra performed a Damany James-arrangement of “Trouble In The Morning.” This is the ‘cool down’ VIDEO version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade.
see video


Web Posted - Monday October 14, 2019
When Steel Talks

Pan Trinbago Set to Launch the Panorama 2020 Season

Pan Trinbago logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Panorama 2020 will be officially launched on Sunday October 20, 2019, at Phase II Pan Groove Theatre, Samuel Drive, Woodbrook, at 5:30 p.m.

Persons attending the launch will be treated to the big sounds of steel from Supernovas, Phase II Pan Groove, Melodians and Road Block with guest appearance by the Trinidad & Tobago Defence Force Steel Orchestra. DJ Klass is Class will also be in attendance. Admission is free.
read more


Web Posted -  Saturday October 12, 2019
When Steel Talks

Music Literacy & Education Conference - Mark Loquan Celebrates 20 Years Of Music For Pan

Music Literacy & Education Conference

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - With a global vision, and labor of decades of love and dedication to his country, its national instrument, the steelpan and the steelband art form overall - composer, performing artist, panist and businessman Mark Loquan celebrated twenty years of Music for Pan in part by organizing the Music Literacy & Education Conference held on Saturday, October 12, 2019 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

The event was coordinated by Dr. Mia Gormandy and featured various speakers on topics relative to the steelband art form, complete with presentations, and question and answer sessions. For now, view all five individually archived segments of Loquan’s 20th Anniversary celebration at NAPA (National Academy for Performing Arts) as the conference unfolded throughout the day.
see conference


Web Posted -  Friday October 11, 2019
When Steel Talks

Pantonic Steel Orchestra - “Stranger”  - Audio

Clive Bradley - Arranger

Pantonic Steel Orchesra with arranger Clive Bradley - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA -  A Clive Bradley-arrangement of Shadow’s 2001 composition “Stranger” performed by Pantonic Steel Orchestra. This is the audio captured by Basement Recordings in the band’s panyard. Pantonic would go on to win the 2001 USSA (United States Steelband Association) New York Panorama competition held at the Thomas Jefferson High School field.
hear audio


Web Posted -  Thursday October 10, 2019
When Steel Talks

Pan Rebels Steel Orchestra - “Mind Yuh Business” - Audio

Len “Boogsie” Sharpe - Arranger

Pan Rebels Steel Orchestra - band logo - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA -  A Len “Boogsie” Sharpe-arrangement of his 1996 composition ‘Mind Yuh Business.’ This arrangement was captured by Basement Recordings in Pan Rebels’ panyard - (behind what is today Kings Theater) - a few days before they take the stage for the 1996 New York Panorama competition. Pan Rebels was young, fearless, immensely talented and forward-thinking. Without doubt, Pan Rebels Steel Orchestra was our favorite group to record. We were all on the same page in understanding how capturing and documenting the present could play out in the future.
hear audio


Web Posted -  Tuesday October 8, 2019
When Steel Talks

CASYM Steel Orchestra - “Gyal Owner” - (‘Cool Down’ version - VIDEO)

Kendall Williams - Arranger

CASYM Steel Orchestra - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures CASYM Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition just days before the event. CASYM Steel Orchestra performed a Kendall Williams-arrangement of “Gyal Owner.” This is the ‘cool down’ VIDEO version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade.
see video


Web Posted - Tuesday October 8, 2019
When Steel Talks

Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C. to Host Workshops to Improve Adjudication Process at Panorama competitions, Produce Professionally Trained Judges

Pan Trinbago logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C. has embarked on two workshops with the aim of improving the adjudication process at the Panorama competitions and to produce a cadre of professionally trained judges.

The first in the series is a workshop earmarked for Arrangers. The forum will be conducted by Ms. Nubia Williams on October 8, 2019, at the Laventille Community Complex, Trinity Avenue, Eastern Main Road, Laventille from 5:00—8:00 p.m.

Arrangers are invited to share their views on the adjudication process in a bid “to improve the judging criteria for implementation at the 2020 Panorama competitions.”
read more


Web Posted -  Monday October 7, 2019
When Steel Talks

Despers USA Steel Orchestra - “Iron Love” - (‘Cool Down’ version - VIDEO)

Odie Franklin - Arranger

Despers USA Steel Orchestra - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures Despers USA Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition just days before the event. Despers USA Steel Orchestra performed an Odie Franklin-arrangement of “Iron Love.” This is the ‘cool down’ VIDEO version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade. 
see video


Web Posted -  Saturday October 5, 2019
When Steel Talks

D’Radoes Steel Orchestra - “Hookin’ Meh” - (‘Cool Down’ version - VIDEO)

Terrance “BJ” Marcelle - Arranger

D'Radoes Steel Orchestra - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures D’Radoes Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition one day before the event. D’Radoes Steel Orchestra performed a Terrance “BJ” Marcelle-arrangement of “Hookin’ Meh.” This is the ‘cool down’ VIDEO version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade.

D’Radoes would eventually go on to place first in the competition. 
see video


Web Posted - Saturday October 5, 2019
When Steel Talks

ADLIB Steel Orchestra - “Iron Love” - (‘Cool Down’ version - VIDEO)

Marc Brooks - Arranger

ADLIB Steel Orchestra - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures ADLIB Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition just days before the event. ADLIB Steel Orchestra performed a Marc Brooks-arrangement of “Iron Love.” This is the ‘cool down’ VIDEO version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade. ADLIB took the stage with over 80 players.

ADLIB would eventually go on to place second in the competition.
see video


Web Posted - Saturday October 5, 2019
When Steel Talks

WST Upclose logo

Meet the executive producer of the Ken “Professor” Philmore tribute “Pan By Storm... The Storm Continues” - Sherwin Thwaites

Champion arranger Cordel Byam

New York, USA - How does one pay homage to a legend, mentor and friend? From A Place of Love. A project based on, and motivated and inspired by, nothing but love.

With the unexpected passing of Ken “Professor” Philmore on September 30, 2018, many worldwide were moved to pay tribute to the steelpan music icon.

Similarly, musician, panist and producer Sherwin Thwaites was inspired to honor the late performing artist and steelband arranger via Philmore’s signature hit - the world-renowned “Pan By Storm,” but with a unique twist that encompassed the musical sensibilities of Thwaites. He, along with a bunch of exceptional musicians connected through their love for “Professor,” all voluntarily participated in this special project.
read more, see interview


Web Posted - Friday October 4, 2019
When Steel Talks

WST Upclose logo

Meet Mustafa Alexander, Panist and Performing Musician

New York, USA - Mustafa Alexander, who started playing pan in New York during the Bradley-Pantonic years, experienced special moments in New York pan first-hand as he learned and expanded his skill set as a steelband musician under the great Clive Bradley’s Panorama experience.

He has now had years of profitability on the event-performance circuit. A panist and businessman, Mustafa takes some time out to share his path to success, for the benefit of aspiring would-be career musicians, with a focus on those within the global steelband fraternity, in this exclusive interview with When Steel Talks.
see interview


Web Posted - Thursday October 3, 2019
NZ Herald

Bream Bay: College steel pan band strikes right note at music fest

The Panimals playing at Panzfest 2019 in Melbourne: Laura Corbet (front left), Scott Brown, Hayden Bartlett, Maraea Henry, Joseph Brady (back left) and Mirabella Uphof.

Rocklea, Queensland, Australia - Bream Bay College’s steel pan musicians are buzzing after four days of international musical interactions, and the prospect of collaborating with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Twelve students, accompanied by parents and two staff members Scott Brown and Vivienne Milton, headed across to Brisbane last week for PANZfest 2019, a celebration of steel pan band music.

Bream Bay’s bands are The Panimals and Steel Pandas. The students had a massive impact on the festival, which was predominantly made up of adult bands, said Brown.

The Panimals arranged and performed their own Panorama piece “Outta de Box” which won second place in the Arrangement category.

....Mirabella Uphof and Maraea Henry took an amazing opportunity and performed “Fanfare for the Common Man” on pan with the Kelvin Grove Wind Orchestra, which opened the festival.

Around 70 wind instruments accompanied by steelpan produced an incredible sound, said Brown.

....Steel Panda’s performance later in the day had the audience dancing and singing along.

....The Panimals are currently in discussion to collaborate with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra later this year.
read more


Web Posted - Monday September 30, 2019
When Steel Talks

WST Upclose logo

Meet Nigel Byam, Director of Marketing, New Dimension Steel Orchestra - Grenada

Champion arranger Cordel Byam

Grenada, W.I. - Meet Nigel Byam who is about to start an exciting new chapter in his career. He has now taken over the reins as the marketing director of New Dimension Steel Orchestra of Grenada. New Dimension is the 2019 Panorama champion.

The former professional basketball player is no stranger to success and looks to bring his winning ways to New Dimension Steel Orchestra. With a focus on high quality, professionalism and name-recognition, Byam looks to make the band a household-recognized musical brand globally.
see interview


Web Posted - Monday September 30, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Fed up of disrespect

Ramsey-Moore: Pan fraternity treated unfairly

President of Pan Trinbago Beverley Ramsey-Moore

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Pan Trinbago President Beverly Ramsey-Moore has warned the public that the organisation, the local governing body for the steelpan, will not be insulted.

She also feels Pan Trinbago still has to “fight up” to get support from governmental and private institutions to carry out some of its activities.

....Ramsey-Moore took to task people who persist in saying Pan Trinbago is too dependent on the government.

“No longer are we going to be insulted, because pan is yours. Always remember that. Pan is yours. It is not only Pan Trinbago’s,”

Ramsey-Moore, whose lecture focused on the development of the steelpan and its impact on communities, revealed she sometimes has to behave in a “kinda manner” to get assistance.

“Recently, I had to remind somebody I am a marabunta. Sometimes, you have to behave in a particular way but we must not struggle anymore and I have indicated that we, the leaders of the movement, give support without being compensated.”
read more


Web Posted - Saturday September 28, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Tribute to Philmore

New York Steel Pan

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - A number of top panists will gather at Kaiso Blues Café on Wrightson Road, Port of Spain on Monday night to pay tribute to composer, arranger and pannist extraordinaire Ken “Professor” Philmore, exactly one year after his passing.

Philmore, was badly injured in an accident along the Solomon Hochoy Highway on Republic Day last year, after which he spent the next six days at the San Fernando General Hospital until he died on September 30. He was 59.

Under the patronage of his wife Sophia Philmore, the event entitled: Sangabranga 1, will feature Duvone Stewart...arranger Len "Boogsie" Sharpe, along with ace panists Noel La Pierre, Dane Gulston and Johann Chuckaree, Professor’s son Keston Philmore Marchan and more.

....Widow Sophia told Newsday yesterday: “One year has gone, so fast. The outpouring of love has never stopped. Ken lived for love and I am not surprised that, that love is being given back to him now.
read more


Web Posted - Saturday September 28, 2019
When Steel Talks

Tell your story. Please. ONE VIDEO IS NOT ENOUGH. One raindrop is not a thunderstorm. One note is not a Panorama song.

Opinion - by Markus Garceran

New York, USA - ....I find it, at this point utterly hilarious that people are more upset about inclusion on a spur of the moment conversation and less upset about the complete and utter bull that the bands we allegedly love have to endure because of one event that holds more weight than it should.

What many people in the WhenSteelTalks video share in common is that when they were tired of their current system: they decided to stand up, make a change, and try something new. They were willing to take the risk. Learn. Grow.
read more


Web Posted - Friday September 27, 2019
When Steel Talks

WST Upclose logo

Meet Champion Arranger & Performing Artist, Cordel Byam

Champion arranger Cordel Byam

Grenada, W.I. - He is a first-time national champion steelband Panorama arranger; youthful, yet at the age of thirty-one a “young” veteran in his craft of musicianship, with a history of more than twenty years of involvement with the steelband art form. Extremely talented, humble and quiet until the spirit of the music takes over, Cordel Byam, musical director of Grenada’s New Dimension Steel Orchestra is transformed on stage as the band delivers his musical masterpieces to appreciative audiences. Hear from Cordel in his own words, in this exclusive interview with When Steel Talks.
read more, see interview


Web Posted - Wednesday September 25, 2019
The SandPaper

Steel Margarita Pens Tune About Her Love for LBI

Terry Muldoon plays at various area venues as Steel Margarita; her specialty is the steel pan

Long Beach Island, New York, USA - Sometimes there’s traffic on the GSP,
but I love this island so its worth it to me.

Speed limit here’s only 35,
that’s why you gotta find a bike to ride

So many people you can meet,
and plenty of sand for your feet.

You can bring your love or your family
– the best awesome sunsets you’ll ever see


That is the first verse of “Exit 63,” an original song written earlier this year by Terry Muldoon, who plays at various area venues as Steel Margarita. Her specialty is the steel drum, known also as the steel pan.

....The song is included in her third CD, Steel Vibes, which Muldoon recently released.
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday September 24, 2019
When Steel Talks

Real Talk - From New York Pan Men and Pan Women - But Is Anybody Listening?

Lino Hughes playing the keyboards in later years.

New York, USA - ....With resounding clarity and honesty, members of the next generation of leaders, arrangers, tuners, owners, players and managers speak to the dangers and perils that face New York pan. And moreover, that which threatens the New York steelband art form’s very existence from within and without. But is anyone listening?

It was the brainchild of one of the young leaders who was very interested in the general public getting a first-hand understanding of the blood, sweat and tears that go on behind the scenes in bringing out a New York Panorama steel orchestra. The normally-reserved, quiet and extremely hard-working manager/founder of Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra [PESO], Wayne Bernard, invited WST (When Steel Talks) to listen to and document, what key young people in New York Pan had to say, felt, and lived – all for Pan in the community.
read more, see discussion


Web Posted - Monday September 23, 2019
The Daily Herald

Legendary musician Lino Hughes turns 71

Marigot, St. Maarten - Tributes will be pouring in today for the birthday of Lino Hughes, leader of the iconic bands “Creole Stars” and “Lino and the Hardway” that dominated the island’s musical scene in the 1970s and 1980s.

Radio stations will undoubtedly be playing his songs, among them “St. Martin is my home” recorded in 1983...

 “Even at five years old in my mother’s house Lino was drawn to the steel pans that my older brothers were playing,” remembers Dora, the eldest sister. “Even then he understood how to keep time with the music. When my brothers saw that, they took him into their band and let him play a two-note pan. Because Lino was short in stature, they had to let him stand on a box to play.”

Lino would recall in his own memoirs, at the tender age of seven playing the steelpan with the Prickly Boys at the first major hotel in St. Maarten, Little Bay Beach Resort. He would eventually progress years later from leading a steel band to forming an orchestral band which emerged as the Creole Stars. In the meantime, Lino had learnt to play the trumpet, organ, piano and other instruments.

Creole Stars was created in 1966.
read more


Web Posted - Saturday September 21, 2019
When Steel Talks

Calypso, Carnival, Steel Band: Expressive Cultures of the Caribbean Diaspora

A Tribute to the late Christopher Innes

Toronto, Canada - The performance of ‘Esso Tripoli Steelband’, Trinidad and Tobago’s representative of the nation musical heritage for Canada’s centennial celebration ‘Expo 67’ in Montreal was a watershed moment in North American culture and arts. Canada’s Caribbean community responded with Toronto’s Caribana which soon rose to become North America’s largest street festival. Caribbean carnivals in New York, Toronto (Caribana) and London (Notting Hill) each attract around 2-3 million people annually and net hundreds of millions of dollars/pounds into their respective economies....The branded name ‘Caribana’ is the envy of many as it is so unique that it became a global phenomenon that was soon immortalised in “Toronto Mas” by the legendary Mighty Sparrow. However, behind these monumental events, the motivation for authenticity and success were doggedly driven by the innovativeness of the tireless and dedicated artists of the Diaspora. Many gave up their fulltime jobs to devote their careers as perfectionists to this artform and the City rose to meet their aspirations.

....But it was a victim of its own success and soon started to decline as the route began to shrink and was eventually taken out of the city to its outskirts.

....Frustrated by the direction Caribana was being pushed, the late Professor Christopher Innes held Canada’s first carnival conference in 2008 titled “Carnival, A People’s Art’ and ‘Taking back the Streets’ at York University, July 31 - August 3 to coincide with Caribana.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday September 19, 2019
WNYC News

The Morning Ritual That Makes a Schoolhouse Rock

The daily assembly/morning ritual at I.S. 285 Meyer Levin includes the playing of steelpan

Brooklyn, New York, USA - At I.S. 285 Meyer Levin, the morning ritual is anything but routine. The daily assembly at the East Flatbush middle school is more like a pep rally crossed with the Oprah Winfrey Show. And New York City officials said it is just the kind of thing they want to see more often.

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and the city’s first lady Chirlane McCray stopped by the school Wednesday to highlight it as a model of what they call social-emotional learning, restorative justice, and culturally responsive education.

At the town hall, a few students stepped up on stage for “libations,” pouring some water from a plastic bottle into a plant to celebrate an achievement, or to mourn a loss. One student talked about a grandmother passing away....There were birthday shout-outs. Students wearing sunglasses played steel drums while their classmates sang the U.S. national anthem, the South African national anthem, a civil rights hymn, and a rousing rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”
read more, hear audio


Web Posted - Wednesday September 18, 2019
NY1

With Steelpan Drums and Music, a Brooklyn School Starts its Day Embracing Social-Emotional Learning

Higher Levin Steel Orchestra - students at Meyer Levin Junior High in East Flatbush as part of "Town Hall."

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Some days start with a school bell. Others start with the sound of the steelpan drum.

It’s a typical morning at Meyer Levin Junior High in East Flatbush. Students get a chance to dance, celebrate birthdays, cheer accomplishments, and share heartbreaks as part of a daily ritual called “Town Hall.”

“We don’t know what they went through when they left us yesterday, or on their way to school today,” Principal George Patterson said. “So this is our way of putting our students in a good frame of mind to get ready to attack these classrooms.”

First Lady Chirlane McCray and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza dropped by Wednesday to spotlight this approach to learning, watching as students took part in a ceremony called “libations,” sharing important events.

....On this day, the school’s steelpan drum band played the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often called the black national anthem, with the goal of celebrating their culture and identity. Students also sang the South African national anthem.
read more


Web Posted - Monday September 16, 2019
When Steel Talks

New York Steel Orchestras - 2019 Panorama Selections Playlist - ‘Cool Down’ versions - Audio

New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures New York Steel Orchestras as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition the week before the August 31 event. Enjoy the performances of ADLIB, CASYM, CrossFire, Despers USA, D’Radoes and Pan Evolution steel orchestras. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade.
hear audio


Web Posted - Friday September 13, 2019
Island Origins Magazine

Why Caribbean Carnival Marches On To The Steel Pan Beat

Steel Orchestra

Florida, USA - Forged from sheet metal and the resistance of a resilient people, Trinidad’s steel pan music is enjoying a resurgence on the global stage. The genre has been seeping into mainstream music—pop, rock, jazz. And now a new generation of players keep the steel pan music alive and vibrant in the Caribbean, especially in intense competitions like Panorama.

....PANORAMA AND CARNIVAL
According to Selvon Nanan, manager and member of Lauderhill Steel Ensemble, a winner of the 2019 Miami Carnival Panorama, “From the 1950s to 1980s, steelbands were the only bands on the road for Trinidad Carnival, then DJs took over. Now, only 10 percent of the music comes from steelbands.”

....The music is attracting renewed interest. “There has been a great transformation,” Nanan says. “Many more teenagers and young adults are playing than ever. More girls.” Public relations manager for Miami Carnival, Yvette Harris, agrees: “We have seen an evolution. Fortunately, more young people are participating and interested in delving into the culture.” With the reemerging popularity of pan music and Panorama, Harris says the Miami Carnival committee tweaked the 2019 lineup to accommodate more of it.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday September 12, 2019
Cayman Compass

Governor brings his steel pan talents to Sunrise Centre

Earl La Pierre, left, Governor Martyn Roper and Glen Inanga perform for the Sunrise Centre

Cayman Islands - Governor Martyn Roper continued his steel pan tour of the island on Wednesday.

The governor’s Caribbean stylings have been in high demand since he premiered his secret musical talents for the Queen’s Birthday in June.

On Thursday, Roper appeared with his teacher Earl La Pierre and pianist Glen Inanga at Sunrise Adult Training Centre in West Bay, to share two more songs.

The performance served as more than entertainment for the clients and staff. It also represented a budding relationship between Government House and the special needs facility.

....Steel pan performance

Roper closed his visit by recording two songs on steel pan, alongside La Pierre and Inanga, in the Sunrise Centre’s music studio. He officially inaugurated the space, which will serve as a creative and therapeutic outlet for clients.

The musical trio then performed two songs for the centre, resulting in a standing ovation by clients and staff.

Roper has been studying steel pan with La Pierre since April with weekly lessons at Government House.
read more


Web Posted - Thursday September 12, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Pan stalwart’s funeral tomorrow

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Pan pioneer Curtis Pierre died on Sunday, aged 84. His daughter Giselle said he died peacefully at his Glencoe home.

His granddaughter Quelita, in a Facebook post, invited family and friends to take part in the “nine nights” being held at 17 Carlos Street, Woodbrook.

Giselle told Newsday her father had emergency diverticulitis surgery last month, spent five days in hospital and was taken home to recuperate.

....Brought up on Henry Street and in Belmont, Port of Spain, Pierre was educated at Belmont Boys’ Intermediate School and then St Mary’s College.

It was a teacher, Jervais Girod, at St Mary’s College, who later became a priest, who gave Pierre his first pan and helped him learn about pan music, along with the Moyau family of Sackville Street.

Pierre formed the Melody Makers in 1950, but changed the name to Dixieland when he became the leader, at a time when playing in a steelband was not considered socially acceptable.

....His funeral will be held at St Theresa’s RC Church, Woodbrook on September 13, at 9 a.m., followed by a private cremation at the St James Crematorium.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday September 11, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

‘I’ve paid my dues’

Pelham Goddard happy with UWI honour

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Ace musician Pelham Goddard said when he was told he would be conferred with an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine campus, he felt very happy.

With a gleam in his eye and joy on his face, PG, as he is fondly called, said: “I feel honoured because sometimes people feel that musicians aren’t recognised. So any time a musician or artiste gets something of that nature you feel great about it.”

The master keyboardist said with a big laugh: “Some people are calling me heckling me, telling me, ‘Doc! Doc! I have a pain here.’ But people seem to be happy for me because they know I have been playing music for so long.”

Goddard started playing music with bands from 1967, but before that he played in schools, church and community concerts.

“For well over 65 years I have been playing, so that is more than paying dues.”
read more


Web Posted -- Monday September 9, 2019
When Steel Talks

Hell No, The Beat Is Not Gone - Ray Holman’s New CD “FIRST LOVE” Keeps The Music Going

It’s Celebration time for Ray’s first love, PAN

Global - I feel pretty, now that I’ve flirted with Holman’s take on his lover boy spin about Pan, the new world’s glorious instrument. Ray Holman Holman lights a fire under the instrument and bun them with beautiful music from a panist extraordinaire. Himself, actually.

No wonder Holman’s brand is his beat.

Lagniappe:
Some lines that bode well for Holman:
Any part of the world I go, they want to know. Pan is irresistible.
What’s causing the harmony? Magic in the atmosphere.
The music leaves you in amusement.

....Pan’s a treasure; ah fus you nice, Pan

....Magic in the atmosphere. Pan’s now a rite of communion and communication around the world. Much appreciative of our pioneers. 
read more


Web Posted - Sunday September 8, 2019
Trinidad Express Newspapers

On the bright side

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - ....The resilience and growth of the steelband movement is amazing. August was Pan Month. I began with the annual birdsong summer camp graduation musical concert.

I have previously described the birdsong model of providing musical education, which includes youth at risk. At this year’s concert, they stunned us with a performance of the Fourth Movement of Dvorak’s New World Symphony under the baton of Maestro Jesus Acosta. The choice of this piece demonstrated the full orchestral performance capacity of pan combined with other instruments.

It may be useful to share what this camp meant to the parents of the youths who took part by quoting some of their comments.

“All I can say is wow. This was my daughter’s first camp ever at 13 years old—first musical adventure and from day one she enjoyed every day.”

“When she brought the flier from school that her music teacher gave her I was very skeptical, but she was determined she wanted to do it. This camp has built a confidence in her I have never seen.” 
read more


Web Posted - Friday September 6, 2019
When Steel Talks

CrossFire Steel Orchestra - “Trouble In The Morning” - (‘Cool Down’ version - Audio)

Damany James - Arranger

CrossFire Steel Orchestra band logo - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures CrossFire Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition just days before the event. CrossFire Steel Orchestra performed a Damany James-arrangement of “Trouble In The Morning.” This is the ‘cool down’ version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade. 
hear audio


Web Posted - Friday September 6, 2019
The Nation

Nigerian Navy band partners MUSON, others for improved musicals

Nigeria - Plans are underway for the Nigerian Navy (NN) Directorate of Music to partner foreign counterparts, the Music Society of Nigeria (MUSON) centre, and key universities to upscale its band performances. The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, stated this at the annual NN Band Conference at the Nigerian Navy School of Music (NNSM) in Ota, Ogun State. ”

....“Efforts are ongoing at the Naval headquarters (NHQ) to address identified challenges, including re-equipping the Navy’s band as well as forging strategic partnerships with some credible musical bodies and organisations, like the MUSON Centre, music departments of key higher institutions and foreign military bands.

“Commencement of in-country training and construction of ‘Steel Pan Band at the NNSM, Ota, is also part of NHQ’s efforts to ensure global outlook for the NN band,” he said.

The Acting Director of Music Commander Olalekan Abiodun said the Navy’s band has become a reputable department due to the foundation laid during its formative years, adding that it has expanded to include dance and steel band units.

He said: “It is worthy of note that the steel pan instrument, which is mostly imported from Trinidad and Tobago, is presently manufactured locally at the NNSM, Ota. Special thanks go to the CNS, who approved and sent band personnel for steel pan manufacturing courses at Trinidad and Tobago some years ago.
read more


Web Posted - Friday September 6, 2019
When Steel Talks

Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra - “Party Start” - (‘Cool Down’ version - Audio)

André White - Arranger

Pan Evolution Panorama 2019 band logo - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition one day before the event. Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra performed an André White-arrangement of “Party Start.” This is the ‘cool down’ version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade.

Pan Evolution would eventually go on to place third in the competition. 
hear audio


Web Posted - Friday September 6, 2019
When Steel Talks

D’Radoes Steel Orchestra - “Hookin’ Meh” - (‘Cool Down’ version - AUDIO)

Terrance “BJ” Marcelle - Arranger

D'Radoes Steel Orchestra - band logo - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures D’Radoes Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition one day before the event. D’Radoes Steel Orchestra performed a Terrance “BJ” Marcelle-arrangement of “Hookin’ Meh.” This is the ‘cool down’ version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade.

D’Radoes would eventually go on to place first in the competition. 
hear audio


Web Posted - Friday September 6, 2019
When Steel Talks

Despers USA Steel Orchestra - “Iron Love” - (‘Cool Down’ version - AUDIO)

Odie Franklin - Arranger

Despers USA band logo - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures Despers USA Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition just days before the event. Despers USA Steel Orchestra performed an Odie Franklin-arrangement of “Iron Love.” This is the ‘cool down’ version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade. 
hear audio


Web Posted - Thursday September 5, 2019
When Steel Talks

CASYM Steel Orchestra - “Gyal Owner” - (‘Cool Down’ version - AUDIO)

Kendall Williams - Arranger

CASYM Steel Orchestra logo - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures CASYM Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition just days before the event. CASYM Steel Orchestra performed a Kendall Williams-arrangement of “Gyal Owner.” This is the ‘cool down’ audio version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade. 
hear audio


Web Posted - Wednesday September 4, 2019
When Steel Talks

ADLIB Steel Orchestra - “Iron Love” - (‘Cool Down’ version - AUDIO)

Marc Brooks - Arranger

ADLIB Steel Orchestra logo - WST

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Basement Recordings captures ADLIB Steel Orchestra as they prepare for the 2019 New York steelband Panorama competition just days before the event. ADLIB Steel Orchestra performed a Marc Brooks-arrangement of “Iron Love.” This is the ‘cool down’ audio version. The annual New York Panorama is a major highlight of and precursor to the West Indian American Carnival Day Parade. ADLIB took the stage with over 80 players.

ADLIB would eventually go on to place second in the competition.
hear audio


Web Posted - Monday September 2, 2019
When Steel Talks

Take A Bow, New York Panorama

New York, USA - Take a bow New York Panorama.

Another year. Another season. Another great experience. More great music that will tell our stories for many lifetimes.
Thank you for your efforts, contributions and sacrifices to keep the Brooklyn, New York steelband community, culture and music alive in an increasingly difficult and hostile environment. You live. You breathe. You dance. You sing. You play Pan. You exist. You, this specific steelband community, are one of the greatest in the world.
read more


Web Posted - Sunday September 1, 2019
When Steel Talks

D’Radoes Steel Orchestra Cops Fourth NY Panorama Title in 2019

New York, USA - It was a night of sweet victory for D’Radoes Steel Orchestra (aka Radoes) at the 2019 New York Panorama. A battle for the best in show among eight steel orchestras, one, Philadelphia (Philly) Pan Stars hailing from Philadelphia, joined its seven New York musical peers on the competition stage for the annual steelband showcase. A night of beautiful weather on this Labor Day weekend in New York complemented and played host to steel orchestras which delivered their Panorama tunes to steelband enthusiasts gathered at the venue in the back of the Brooklyn Museum on Saturday, August 31.
read more


Web Posted - Sunday September 1, 2019
Isthmus.com

Panchromatic Steel at Wyoming Valley School Cultural Arts Center

Panchromatic Steel

Wisconsin, USA - Rural Musicians Forum continues its tradition of bringing fun and engaging concerts to the unique space of the Wyoming Valley School Cultural Arts Center. On Sunday, September 1, the Madison-based steel drum group Panchromatic Steel will perform music from the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. Using instruments built from 55-gallon oil drums, their sound is positively intoxicating and has near universal appeal. The super danceable music will transport people to their happiest moments in the sun, featuring styles including calypso, soca and other “island” styles, to complex jazz-inspired compositions, as well as arrangements of hits by pop artists such as Steve Wonder, Prince and The Beatles.
read more


Web Posted - Sunday September 1, 2019
When Steel Talks

New York 2019 Panorama Results

New York, USA - Beautiful weather, very good steelband performances which went from evening into the early morning of September 1, 2019. Eight bands in all took the stage behind the Brooklyn Museum for yet another year, which this time around saw D’Radoes Steel Orchestra judged best in the show for the annual New York Panorama competition.
full results


Web Posted - Saturday August 31, 2019
When Steel Talks

Uninvited, Unannounced, Unprofessional - WIADCA’s Behavior Toward Genesis Pan Groove?

Genesis Pan Groove musicians with help, loading pan rack for storage at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

New York, USA - Under a climate of hostility and rejection Brooklyn’s Genesis Pan Groove Steel Orchestra is not taking part (or did not, depending on when this write-up is accessed) in this year’s 2019 New York Panorama. This was supposed to have been a great occasion and storied chapter in the history of the young Genesis Pan Groove as referenced and documented  by News12 Brooklyn.

When an official from the annual New York Panorama organizer/promoter W.I.A.D.C.A. (West Indian American Day Carnival Association) arrived at Genesis Pan Groove’s Brooklyn pan yard at 9301 Avenue B - uninvited and unannounced - on Monday August 19, one would have thought the WIADCA official was there to ask Genesis members “How can we help you to ensure your participation and success?” Instead, Genesis Pan Groove got the exact opposite.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday August 28, 2019
When Steel Talks

Conversation With Pan Pioneers

Pan Trinbago logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “Conversations with the Pioneers” is the historical component in Pan Trinbago’s Pan Month calendar of events marking the anniversary of the declaration of the steelpan as the national music instrument of Trinidad & Tobago.

The forum takes place on Thursday August 29, at the Trinidad All Stars Pan Yard, Duke Street, Port of Span from 6:00 p.m.

Pan elders and historians will share their experiences. Among these are: Dr. Pearl Eintou Springer, internationally-renowned poet, playwright and cultural activist, Lennox “Bobby” Mohammed, steelpan legend and arranger of Guinness Cavaliers, and Emlyn Harewood, a member of the first National Steel Orchestra.
read more


Web Posted - Wednesday August 28, 2019
Cayman Compass

UCCI students take Toronto pan festival by storm

UCCI Pandemix provided a command performance at Toronto's police headquarters earlier this month

Toronto, Canada - Earl La Pierre’s musical odyssey continues to expand his legacy in Cayman, Canada and beyond.

La Pierre brought his UCCI Pandemix band to Toronto for the 10th consecutive year earlier this summer, and they placed first in the Non-Calypso category of the Pan Alive competition. UCCI Pandemix played in conjunction with Afropan, La Pierre’s band that he formed in Toronto decades ago.

The competition took place on 2 Aug., and the group of 16 students and five former UCCI students spent two weeks in Toronto working on their music and soaking up the atmosphere.

“I’m really proud of the group. What I can say about that is, steel pan is in good hands in the Cayman Islands,” said La Pierre. “All the kids that went with me, they really did put on a good show.”
read more


Web Posted -Tuesday August 27, 2019
When Steel Talks

Basement Recordings’ 2019 New York Pan Yard Recording Schedule

New York, USA - Basement Recordings, Inc. - parent company of PanOnTheNet and When Steel Talks - routinely visits the pan yards of some of New York’s finest steel orchestras, to capture the phenomenal results of the work put in for New York’s annual Panorama season. Check out the schedule for dates and times of recording sessions. Subject to revision.
see schedule


Web Posted - Saturday August 24, 2019
When Steel Talks

Mangrove Steelband Makes It Title Ten In UK Panorama Triumph With Arranger André White - 2019 UK Panorama Results

Celebrating Mangrove Steelband - 2019 UK Panorama champions

London, U.K. - In almost a year to the day, Mangrove Steelband copped its tenth UK Panorama title on Saturday August 24, 2019. The sweetness of Savannah Grass (played by three of the six orchestras) as musically envisioned by champion arranger André White and performed by Mangrove, proved irresistible not just for pan music lovers, but also apparently to the judges, going by the results. This victory makes it title number ten for the defending champions and the third UK triumph for the New York-based André White. This year, performing artist and arranger in his own right Leon Foster Thomas drilled, and drummed for, Mangrove. Exuberance was evident, with both the players and audience euphoric during and after the performance.
read more, get full results


Web Posted - Friday August 23, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Canada, Antigua thrill Carifesta patrons

Trinidad and Tobago, W.I. - ....Then came their Hells Gate Steel Orchestra that pleasantly surprised all in the crowd with their highly entertaining playing of Tourist Leggo and Fire in the Backseat, songs from two prolific Antiguan calypsonians, Short Shirt and Swallow respectively.

That act also included some bele dancing, then folk singers. Another calypso/soca session feature the junior soca queen calypso queen Claudette Peters. The Antiguans’ finale comprised drumming with calypso dancing, and more calypso and soca music.

As the steelbands from the Pan and Powder made their way into the Carifesta village for the culmination of the event, dancers from Guadeloupe gave the Guyanese steelband time to get to their pans set up in front of the Grand Stand and the big stage. They played until BPTT Renegades were done setting up for a performance which brought a fitting end to both events.
read more

 

Web Posted - Friday August 23, 2019
When Steel Talks

New York Panorama “Trouble” - not ‘In the Morning’ - but rather - ‘In Broad Daylight!’ - Genesis Pan Groove Launches Formal Protest Against New York Panorama Event Organizer W.I.A.D.C.A.

New York, USA - Genesis Pan Groove of New York has been seeking to be the latest steel orchestra to become Panorama champions in the annual event which takes place the Saturday night before Labor Day in New York. This year, that is August 31, 2019. The band has been practicing at its Brooklyn pan yard since the beginning of the month. Trouble In the Morning is Genesis’ tune of choice, but for now, it’s trouble even perhaps getting on stage to compete, despite all their hard work.

Event organizers W.I.A.D.C.A. (West Indian American Day Carnival Association) have repeatedly blocked Genesis musical director and arranger Sadé Constantine in the band’s attempts to participate in the event, going so far as to even turn up unannounced and in a hostile manner at the band’s pan yard during rehearsals to conduct an unprecedented ‘head count’ - this, almost two weeks before the competition.
read more, see signed petition


Web Posted - Thursday August 22, 2019
When Steel Talks

2019 New York Steelband Panorama - Order of Appearance

When Steel Talks 2019 Steelband Panorama logo

New York, USA - Eight steel orchestras—not nine, as in the original line-up—will be taking the stage behind the Brooklyn Museum in little over one week from now on August 31, as seven attempt to dethrone reigning Panorama champions Despers USA Steel Orchestra. The latter will defend its title from position four. CASYM Steel Orchestra, which was last champion in 2013, is first in the line-up of competitors. Full order of appearance is below.

The bands selected their playing positions in the offices of event organizer W.I.A.D.C.A. (West Indian American Day Carnival Association) on Thursday August 22. All but Genesis Pan Groove led musically by Sadé Constantine, were allowed to ‘pull’ numbers.
read more, order of appearance


Web Posted - Thursday August 22, 2019
When Steel Talks

Guyana National Steel Orchestra performs at Carifesta XIV - 2019

The Guyana National Steel Orchestra performs at Carifesta XIV in Trinidad

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The Guyana National Steel Orchestra performed at Carifesta XIV in Trinidad on Wednesday August 21, 2019. The stream was facilitated by TTEN TV (Trinidad and Tobago Entertainment Network Ltd.)
see performance


Web Posted - Tuesday August 20, 2019
When Steel Talks

‘Pan Sweet Pan... The Solidarity Concert’ by Pan Trinbago

Pan Trinbago logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “Pan Sweet Pan… The Solidarity Concert” is fourteen of Trinidad & Tobago’s topnotch steel orchestras rallying to Pan Trinbago’s call to showcase the national instrument on one stage while Carifesta XIV is ongoing in the country.

The scintillating pan experience takes place on Saturday August 24 at Starlift House of Music, Christopher Samuel Drive, Mucurapo, Port of Spain, at 6:00 p.m. Gates open one hour earlier. Contribution is TT$100.00 on entry.

“Pan Sweet Pan... The Solidarity Concert” “is in response to the clarion call by the public ““to see more pan during Carifesta”.”
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday August 20, 2019
News24.com

Driving children’s rights for 25 years

Cape Town, South Africa - On Thursday 1 August, CECD staff members, funders and friends came together to celebrate this huge achievement at the Tuscany Garden’s (Cathkin Caterers) in Rylands, Athlone.

About 140 guests were treated to welcome drinks on arrival, followed by a three-course dinner. A lively performance by a steel band made up of a group of high school learners from the Cape Flats kicked off the evening’s festivities.

The steel band is one of 16 taught by The Steelband Project Western Cape. The project’s core focus is to provide quality music education to young people, with a particular focus on youth in under-resourced communities and “youth-at-risk”.
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday August 20, 2019
When Steel Talks

United Kingdom - UK 2019 Steelband Panorama Order of Appearance - Line-up

London, U.K. - Ebony Steelband will be attempting to capture its twenty-third title, yes - 23rd - this Saturday 24th August as they take the Panorama stage in position one. But they have five other bands following in their wake all equally determined to clinch that honor. Among them, the defending champions Mangrove Steelband playing in position three.

.Croydon Steel Orchestra drew position two once again this year. The full order of appearance is available below. All six steel orchestras will meet and compete at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park, Kensal Road in London. The steelband Panorama is organized and presented annually by the British Association of Steelbands (BAS).
click for Order of Appearance


Web Posted - Sunday August 18, 2019
When Steel Talks

Memorial Concert for the Legendary Ellie Mannette

by Emily Lemmerman

West Virginia, USA - When Ellie Mannette died in August of 2018, the steelband community worldwide grieved along with his family. He had made it clear that he did not want a funeral, but we, his apprentices, friends and family, knew we would soon hold a tribute fitting of his stature, and one that reflected both the impact he had on our lives and how much we loved him. Over the following months, it became clear that this tribute should coincide with the annual summer steelband festival in Morgantown - the “Ellie Mannette Festival of Steel.”

....The concert opened with the Festival faculty performing on historical instruments, in homage of the early days of pan. To hear these early instruments in contrast with an orchestra of modern steel drums, an orchestra that featured some of Ellie’s best contemporary work, underscored the incredible evolution of this artform in which Ellie was such an integral part.
read more, see video


Web Posted - Friday August 16, 2019
When Steel Talks

New York 2019 Panyard Locations

New York, USA - A listing of addresses of the Pan Yard locations of Steel Orchestras, along with contact information, of those participating in the 2019 New York Panorama competition on Saturday August 31. Take the opportunity to visit the panyards in the run up to the competition. Of the nine bands, all except one are New York-based. Just one, Philadelphia Pan Stars, hails from, of course - Philadelphia.
see locations


Web Posted - Wednesday August 14, 2019
When Steel Talks

Caribbean Steelpan Connextion live at Carifesta Grand Market

CSC Musical Director Kwesi Paul and local reggae gospel artiste Joel Positive Murray at a 2018 concert held by CSC

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Caribbean Steelpan Connextion (CSC) Ensemble is pleased to inform all steelpan lovers and music aficionados of its participation at the Carifesta Grand Market. The 10-piece ensemble will perform live at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Thursday August 22, 2019 from 5 p.m.

In keeping with the project theme of the Grand Market, The Streets of the Caribbean, Caribbean Steelpan Connextion promises visitors and patrons, a highly eclectic medley that is reminiscent of the various moods and sounds of the participating countries.
read more


Web Posted - Tuesday August 13, 2019
When Steel Talks

Pan Trinbago Celebrates Pan Month in August

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C. will be celebrating the 27th Anniversary of the Declaration of the Steelpan as the National Instrument of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago with a series of activities marking this auspicious occasion during Pan Month, August.

On the calendar is a wide variety of scheduled events including a Church Service (August 18) at the Holy Trinity Cathedral during which there will be the blessing of the steelpan, members and the bands’ flags. Trinity All Generation Steel (TAGS) and Daniel Gulston will perform during the service which starts at 8:00 a.m. This will be followed by a parade from the church to Pan Trinbago’s Head Office at Duke & Melbourne Streets, Port of Spain, where the festivities will continue.
see events list, read more


Web Posted - Tuesday August 13, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Pan Trinbago vex with culture minister

‘She dropped the ball on pan in Carifesta’

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Pan Trinbago is most upset with Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, as well as the producer and promoter of the Island Beats concert that will bring the curtain down on Carifesta XIV on August 24.

The show, at the Queen’s Park Savannah, will feature international stars Shaggy, Kassav, Calypso Rose, Machel Montano and other local acts.

But Pan Trinbago feels it is sad that pan will not be represented at the concert, except for the playing of the national anthem.

A fiery Dane Gulston, Pan Trinbago’s external relations officer, blasted the minister for her response.

He said: “We went to the minister and she said: “Pan? Pan on stage with Shaggy and Machel?”

The minister told us straight out... and John Arnold (co-ordinator) say they looking for super artistes.

“So pan not good enough for that concert? Honestly, I think this is a total disrespect to the pan fraternity.”

See and join the Discussion
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Web Posted - Monday August 12, 2019
When Steel Talks

Grenada 2019 Panorama Results - New Dimension Steel Orchestra Triumphs With Champion Arranger Cordel Byam

Champions New Dimension Steel Orchestra at the 2019 Grenada National Panorama

St. George’s, Grenada, W.I. - At Grenada’s 2019 National Panorama, one of the competition’s youngest arrangers, Cordel Byam, guided now-twelve-time Panorama champion New Dimension Steel Orchestra to its latest victory lap around the national steelband music circuit.

....The third-largest band in the competition with seventy-five players, New Dimension was third on stage and skillfully rocked the musical world of the pan lovers in attendance, performing the popular 2019 soca ‘Trouble In The Morning’ by “V’ghn.” Byam’s arrangement was masterfully constructed, well layered and punctuated with captivating transitions, for a total competition piece his musical army executed effortlessly, apace and with full exuberance. 
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Web Posted - Monday August 12, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Salsa and steelpan

Arranger, anthropologist honoured in Cuba

El Cobre Steelband of Cuba with instruments donated by Gill Pans

Cuba - His passion for pan has been identified as the primary motivation for ensuring that our Caribbean neighbours are fully equipped to enjoy the sounds of the the steelpan.

Seventy-year old pan aficionado Merlin “Mutt” Gill attended the annual Fiesta del Fuego (fire festival) last month at Santiago de Cuba. There he received a plaque for his generosity having donated a shipment steelpans to a band in the community called El Cobre.

....He is the owner of Gill Pans which supplies pans and its accessories. “I sent a 40-piece orchestra. The Cubans treated me like a king.

....Last year, Gill read an article in the Newsday in which Sorrillo called on the public to donate a pan to members of the band in El Cobre. People including Gill contacted Newsday and pledged to assist. But Gill was the only one to fulfil his promise, first by donating two tenor steelpans. He subsequently donated more and earlier this year sent a local tuner to tune the pans.
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Web Posted - Wednesday August 7, 2019
When Steel Talks

United Kingdom - UK 2019 Steelband Panorama Line-up

London, U.K. - Saturday 24th August is the date set for the 2019 UK Panorama Championship being held at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park, Kensal Road in London.

Five steel orchestras will rise up in musical challenge to reigning champ Mangrove Steel Orchestra, which this year is defending its title with the popular Savannah Grass by KES The Band arranged by Andre White. It is one of three bands going with this track as tune of choice.
read more, see line up


Web Posted - Wednesday August 7, 2019
Evening Standard

Notting Hill Carnival: Executive Director Matthew Phillip on the festival’s traditions and what to expect from this year

London, England - It all started back in January 1959. Claudia Jones, a Trinidadian human rights activist, organised a Caribbean Carnival at St. Pancras Town Hall in London – a celebration of West Indian culture that was televised by the BBC and so successful, it ran for a further six years.

Made-up of a series of indoor events which took place around London in the early 1960s, the carnival was promoted by Trinidadian husband and wife booking agents Edric and Pearl Connor [parents of the late Geraldine Connor].

....Jones’ ‘indoor’ carnival paved the way for what we now know as the Notting Hill Carnival.

....But the inaugural fayre took on a more carnival style owing to the renowned pan player Russell Henderson, who Laslett had asked to perform. Accompanied by his fellow pan band members – Sterling Betancourt, Vernon ‘Fellows’ Williams, Fitzroy Coleman and Ralph Cherry – Henderson walked along the Portobello Road as he played, piquing the interest of locals who began dancing to the music and following the band as it moved through Notting Hill.

That was Carnival number one, in 1966. And in just over two weeks’ time, Notting Hill will host its 53rd.

....Ahead of it, Future London caught up with Notting Hill Carnival Ltd’s Executive Director Matthew Phillip, to find out how the festival has changed over the years and what Londoners can expect from 2019.
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Web Posted - Monday August 5, 2019
When Steel Talks

WST Upclose logo

Meet Salmon Cupid - Panist, Organizer, Arranger, Director, and Innovator

Salmon Cupid directing Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra at the Raptors parade in 2019

Toronto, Canada - Recently steelband music history was created on a global scale when the Salmon Cupid-led Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra participated in the 2019 NBA Champion Toronto Raptors live broadcast celebration parade, as hundreds of thousands watched the group perform directly behind the team’s float.

Salmon Cupid (inventor of the E-Pan) is straightforward, thorough, experienced and completely committed to the success of the steelband artform globally. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks, Cupid shares his understanding of the road to success as he sees it and lives it through his experiences, and much more.
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Web Posted - Sunday August 4, 2019
When Steel Talks

Antigua & Barbuda Panorama 2019 Results - Hells Gate Steel Steel Orchestra Notches 21st Win - Champion Arranger Khan Cordice Makes It 8

Hells Gate Steel Orchestra on their way to becoming the 2019 National Panorama champions

St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. - Seven bands took the stage, but eventually with eight performances overall for the country’s 2019 national steelband Panorama competition, this event was definitely one for the record books... How about the same orchestra opening - and closing - the competition??? But more on that later.

....But first, and naturally, it’s hats off to, and another year of triumph for, Hells Gate Steel Orchestra now with twenty-one National Panorama Championships to its credit. The last eight of those titles have come under the baton of the musical ace, now ‘veteran’ steelband arranger and composer, Khan “KC” Cordice.
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Web Posted - Wednesday July 31, 2019
Music In Africa

The Traceys: An intergenerational story of African music

Geoffrey Tracey and father Andrew Tracey on steelpan having a jam

South Africa - Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson used a selection of local recordings of traditional African music to inspire his music for the film Black Panther, which won an Oscar for Best Original Score. He sourced these tunes from the International Library of African Music (ILAM), the world’s largest repository of indigenous African music, which was established by Hugh Tracey nearly 70 years ago, and then run by Hugh’s son, Andrew.

....In 1969 he [Andrew] started the Andrew Tracey Steel Pan Band, which performed around Grahamstown and South Africa and at festivals such as the National Arts Festival until 2007. During the 28 years Andrew headed ILAM, he lectured on African music at universities, schools and societies, and on TV and radio around the world.

....Geoffrey, born in 1972, is Hugh’s grandson and Andrew’s son. I spoke to him about taking the Tracey legacy forward.
DEREK DAVEY: What was it like growing up in the Tracey family and tradition?
GEOFFREY TRACEY: It was amazing. Music filled the home and musicians came around frequently. The Andrew Tracey Steel Pan Band was a big part of that; it was a platform to arrange and secure gigs with, all around the country. For many years it was a very popular thing for the public and for the people who passed through the band. It was like a mini school of international folk music. A number of the old members are music researchers now .
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Web Posted - Tuesday July 30, 2019
When Steel Talks

Great Expectations Delivered - NY Pan Stars Launch Lights Up the Hood with Electrifying Steelband Performances

NY Pan Stars Steel Orchestra performs at its 2019 band launch

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Back in the day one always had a favorite TV show that aired once a year. This was long before the era of Netflix and Hulu and DVDs. And no matter how many times you saw it - you knew it was going to be great every time. Like the ‘March of the Wooden Soldiers’ around Thanksgiving or Diana Ross & Michael Jackson’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ or the ‘Lion King.’ Great expectations delivered.

So on this sweltering 90-degree-plus Sunday evening, the stage sides of three of New York’s finest steel orchestras performed - Despers USA, Pan Evolution and the hosts New York Pan Stars. They did not disappoint.
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Web Posted - Friday July 26, 2019
When Steel Talks

Petoskey Steel Drum Band performs to a massive crowd at Concerts on the Lawn series

NY Pan Stars Steel Orchestra performs at its 2019 band launch

Michigan, USA - The Petoskey Steel Drum Band (PSDB) was part of the 2019 Concerts on the Lawn series at Grand Traverse Pavilions - Traverse City, Michigan. Featured on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., it was the turn of the band on July 25.

The group shared the following about the experience on Facebook: “Just a ridiculously massive crowd in TC [Traverse City] tonight to hear the PSDB. Estimate was 6,000+! Thank you everyone for coming out! And Thank You to the Pavilions and Jessi Weir for the invitation. Hope to see you all next year. PSDB.”

Take in video of their performances at the following link.
click to see clips


Web Posted - Wednesday July 24, 2019
When Steel Talks

Antigua & Barbuda National Panorama Steelband Music Competition

The Anatomy of Panorama 2019 - Quick Chart

St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. - Saturday August 3, 2019 is the date for the annual Antigua & Barbuda National Panorama in the country’s capital of St. John’s. This year, no doubt the quest will be on in earnest to break last year’s “tie” for the Panorama champion title between Hells Gate and Panache steel orchestras. And of course there are other orchestras, five in total, also determined to be best in this musical wrestling match known as Panorama.
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Web Posted - Wednesday July 24, 2019
When Steel Talks

Trinidad & Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble Wows Audiences in Toronto

Trinidad & Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble’s performance at the Summit Garden Restaurant

Toronto, Canada - The Trinidad & Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble (TTCSE) took Toronto by storm during their recently-concluded performances a couple of weeks ago.

....This small ethnic group, captained by Susie Young, received rave reviews from all those in attendance, many of whom were well known in the entertainment industry.

...The band’s performances included a sold-out banquet and repeat performance at the ever-popular Summit Garden Chinese Restaurant...
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Web Posted - Monday July 15, 2019
When Steel Talks

Supernovas Steel Orchestra Headlines July’s Edition of Pan For The People Concert Series

Pan Trinbago logo

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The steelband pride of Lopinot, Supernovas Steel Orchestra will headline this month’s “Pan For The People Concert” series in Trinidad & Tobago.

Hosted by the Eastern Region of Pan Trinbago, the free concert will take place at the Sangre Grande Cordettes Pan Yard, Foster Road, Sangre Grande on Saturday July 27, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. Contributions will be accepted.

The region staged a steelband coup in pulling in the topnotch band, Supernovas. The band is reputed as having one of the most vibrant stage sides which was evidenced at the recently-concluded North-East Pan Spektakula in Arima.
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Web Posted - Saturday July 13, 2019
When Steel Talks

Steelpan Music Legends

Cordell “Spongy” Barbour - Steelpan Great

by Kathryn Barbour

Cordell giving a private concert

Global - Lore has him as one of the greatest double-tenor players to have ever walked the planet. Through the eyes of someone who knew him closely—his former wife Kathryn Barbour—the steelband world gets an upclose and personal look at the man known as Cordell “Spongy” Barbour.

On August 16, 1941, Cordell Delano Barbour was born in John-John, Trinidad, the firstborn child of Julitha Barbour and George Masanto. He was named after the U.S. secretary of state at the time, Cordell Hull, and the U.S. president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. From an early age, he clashed with his father and was sent to be reared by his grandmother in John-John. The war years were hard, and his grandmother was poor. He remembered often being hungry and as an adult, would stress to others that no one could know of hunger by reading about it. They had to experience it.....
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Web Posted - Wednesday July 10, 2019
When Steel Talks

When a great idea meets a great idea - simply a charmed Pan experience

The birth of Carib Parlor Notes

Garvin Blake on double second and Ron Reid on double bass

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Let’s start with the end. The inaugural session of Carib Parlor Notes featuring performing artist and panist Garvin Blake was extremely successful. It was a groundbreaking event with vast historical, cultural, and artistic and intellectual significance. All who were present felt the love and warmth generated. Moreover they all knew they were part of something very special.

Now, fast-forward to the beginning.

As hostess and co-director Hazel Beckles Younglao said, “We want to share our pot of gold with you.” A pot of gold it was, and she and her husband, Terah, did indeed share—their home, and the energies vibrating throughout the abode on this evening in particular—with all those who were present.
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Web Posted - Monday July 8, 2019
Now Grenada

New Dimension dedicates Pan Xpression win to fallen comrade

Pan Xpression (Bomb Tune) win dedicated to Adrina Byam
Defending arranger Cordel Byam described moment as bittersweet

New Dimension Steel Orchestra wins Pan Xpression 2019 in Grenada

Grenada - New Dimension Steel Orchestra dedicated their Pan Xpression (Bomb Tune) win to Adrina Byam, a long-standing player who passed away in February of this year.

Amassing 278.5 points, New Dimension already has 5 Pan Xpression titles under its belt. Performing their rendition of Bridge of Troubled Waters by Aretha Franklin, the currently unsponsored steelband managed to defeat their 2nd place rival, Republic Bank Angel Harps by 2.5 points (276), with Suzuki Food Fair Pan Wizards settling for 3rd position with 270 points. Republic Bank Angel Harps and Suzuki Food Fair Pan Wizards tied for 1st place in 2018.

Defending arranger Cordel Byam was quite emotional, and described their moment as bittersweet, following the loss of one of their star players and his sister. “I feel speechless and overwhelmed. I did this for my sister so that’s the best thing I can say...”
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Web Posted - Monday July 8, 2019
When Steel Talks

An ‘Ivory & Steel’ Moment in Pan - BSO’s Tribute to Ken “Professor” Philmore at ‘Pan Is Sweet’ 2019

Leon Foster Thomas and Khuent Rose at the Roulette Intermedium

Khuent Rose & Leon Foster Thomas at ‘Pan Is Sweet’ 2019

New York, USA - The one thing there was no shortage of at the 2019 Brooklyn Steel Orchestra (BSO) Summer production of ‘Pan Is Sweet’ at the Roulette Intermedium, was great memorable music performances.

The BSO show producers again hit the nail on the head when they asked Pan standout, Leon Foster Thomas, to give a live performance in tribute to the late musician and global ambassador of the steelpan instrument, culture and music - Ken “Professor” Philmore. And of course, the collaborating of the extraordinary musical mind and talent of Khuent Rose (himself an outstanding panist, and much more) on piano with Thomas, was indeed a brilliant move. It was a total Leon and Khuent experience.
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Web Posted - Saturday July 6, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Sweet success for Music Makers

Music Makers graduates put on a recorder duet and pan performance

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The success of Music Makers Music School continues as proud music director and founder Merle Albino-de Coteau turns young children into well-rounded teens and adults.

The pan pioneer and educator is a shining light in Laventille as many youths, teens and adults look up to her for taking them along a path of success.

She is “proud to be Laventille” and every year boasts and shows off the success of Music Makers Music School. This year was special, Albino-de Coteau received 100 per cent passes in the Associated Board of The Royal School of Music (ABRSM) and the Graded Examinations in Solo Steelpan Performance of the University of the West Indies.

Last Saturday Music Makers kept its annual Achievement Day Celebrations at the school (Albino-de Coteau’s home) 206 Eastern Main Road, Laventille. The occasion was also a celebration of Albino-de Coteau’s 80th birthday.
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