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The jazz season blossoms

…spiced by the sound of pan
Published: 
Friday, May 19, 2017
Pulse
Renowned singer Juliet Robin heats up the stage at Jazz Under the Stars. PHOTOS: ANDRE ALEXANDER

This week has been a some­what sad one in the field of entertainment with the passing of calypsonian Brigo (Sam­uel Abraham) and guitarist Tony Voisin on Tuesday. Nonetheless the “jazz season” continues to be in full swing and on Saturday, pa­trons were out in numbers at O’Far­rell’s Waterville Estate, Santa Cruz where the Rotary Clubs of Central Port-of-Spain and Maraval staged Jazz Under the Stars.

The artistes who received raves for their performances were Dr Pat Darda­ine Raguet’s Holistic School of Music, The Mad House Katz, former national calypso monarch Relator, Juliet Robin and Timothy Newtown.

All proceeds from this event go to­wards the service projects of the Ro­tary Clubs of Central Port-of-Spain and Maraval.

The jazz wave continues tonight, spiced with pan and other music genres, at the Deltones Institute of Steel Drums and Music at Railway Road, Siparia, from 7.30 pm. Billed as Cousoumeh Festival 2, the star-studded cast for this event includes Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, the band’s Panorama ar­ranger Carlton “Zanda” Alexander and his Coalpot Band, gifted pan musician Akinola Sennon and The Cousoumeh Band, and Siparia Deltones Steel Or­chestra.

Tomorrow evening, from 7 pm, the sound of pan will again res­onate in Siparia, this time on High Street from 7 pm when the Diatonic Pan Institute holds the seventh annual Si­paria Steel in Motion Parade. Twelve single pan bands will parade, performing religious music played in calypso tempo and a selection from the reper­toire of Black Stalin.

This year’s event is being held as a tribute to Black Stalin who is convalescing, having suffered a stroke a couple years ago. Special awards, courtesy of the Siparia Regional Corporation, will be presented to Stalin’s grandson Kevan Calliste, the Fire Services Steel Orchestra and Trinidad East Side Steel Orchestra.

Steelbands to perform include Arima All Stars, Gonzales Sheik­ers, Brimblers, Pan Stereonettes, Scrunters Pan Groove, T&T De­fence Force, T&T Fire Services, Trinidad East Side, Unistars, San Juan All Stars and La Romaine Su­per Vibes.

In addition to the Single Pan bands, also parading along High Street will be popular First Citizens Supernovas Steel Orchestra and the Siparia Rhythm Section.

The 2017 Siparia Festival comes to an explosive climax on Sunday with the staging of the Talent Quest Finals at Irwin Park, at 4 pm, followed by Big Fete Sunday at 7 pm at the same venue.

There is more jazz to come on Satur­day 27 when North Coast Jazz is held at the Blanchisseuse Recreation Ground, from 2 pm. Headline acts for this event include Vaughnette Bigford, Adan Hag­ley & Band, Adana Roberts, Mavis John, Gyerlini Clarke and Ray Holman.

Foundation for five big steelbands
Today’s world requires mutually ben­eficial partnerships to leverage creativi­ty, experience and resources. This is the philosophy behind the collaboration of five of the world’s most celebrated steel orchestras in the establishment of the International Steelband Foundation. Desperadoes, Massy Trinidad All Stars, BP Renegades, Phase II supported by HADCO and Republic Bank Exodus are the Foundation’s founding members.

The aim of the foundation is to de­velop mutually beneficial opportunities for its members and to promote more collaboration between progressive bands throughout the year. It is also the Foundation’s objective to include bands from across the globe and to mar­ket steelband music, the instruments

 and the musicians inter­nationally. Bringing their bands together under one flag will make it possible to share ideas, bring their skills together and work at making those ideas come to life as a team.

The foundation’s launch will be celebrated through Big 5 – The Pan Concert at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Sat­urday, July 22. Between them they have won the National Panorama title 43 of the 56 competi­tions since 1963. These five bands have also dominated the National Steelband Music Festi­vals, World Steelband Music Festival, Caribbe­an Panorama and World Steelband Panorama.

The bands would be presenting a varied rep­ertoire and will include guest artistes as part of their performances. Len “Boogsie” Shar­pe, prolific composer and musical director of Phase II, will debut a special theme song for the Foundation at the concert.

Disco Knights at the new Uppa Level
How many of you re­member Upper Level Club at West Mall, then the most swinging party venue in the north? Since its demise, there have been several efforts to clone the mystique and ambience of Upper Lev­el, including attempts at 5th Element in Arima and Club Ambassador on Long Circular Road. The good news is that anoth­er effort is being made to recreate Upper Level, this time with some of its original personnel in tow.

Everything is still be­ing kept on the down­low but Pulse has been informed that the Club Coconuts premises, lo­cated in Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s, also a popular with young people, will be the new home for the new Uppa Level Club, the name alteration for legal purposes. Former Upper Level ace DJ Dar­ryl is supposed to be on the crew of the new club, along with veteran mu­sic men like Scobie, Chris Boynes, Richard Simply Smooth and UCL Mix.

One of the first events to be held at the new spot will be billed as Disco Knights at Uppa Level.