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Music, music everywhere

Thursday, August 10, 2017
Sea Lots Steel Orcxhestra making enjoying their time on the road.

Pan on display today

After 17 years of being held on a Sunday, last year the organisers—Laventille Steelband Festival Foundation (LSFF) switched it to Saturday and the public’s response has been tremendous.

Saturday’s parade began a few minutes after its advertised 5 pm start with a libation by Orisa babalorisa Erin Folami.

This was followed by short addresses by LSFF chairman Michael Cooper, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and Laventille East/Morvant MP Adrian Leonce. Also present was culture director Suzette Corbett.

Opening items included the story of Emancipation as interpreted by Malick Folk Performers and a performance by the Claxton Bay Tamboo Bamboo Band who thrilled a small gathering at the review stand. They were invited to do an encore by show emcee Gemma Jordan.

The Success Village portion of the Eastern Main Road assumed the look and smell of a food fair as several vendors seized the occasion to sell popular local delicacies.

Twenty-eight steelbands were listed to perform and first to appear before the review stand was Arima Angel Harps performing Peter Ram’s Good Morning. They also played Nappy Mayers’ Old Time Days, Sparrow’s Melda, and Misty and Shadow’s Dingolay. Minus manager and fancy sailor Keith Simpson, St James Tripolians followed and paid tribute to recently departed radio personality/soca artiste Devon Matthews, playing Sparrow’s Memories.

The bands moved quickly along the main Laventille roadway and in Tripolians wake came Blue Diamonds, San Juan East Side, Sangre Grande Cordettes and Sea Lots One Love. A Single Pan band, East Side, made everyone sit up and take notice as the band gave a powerful performance of Sweet Soca Man, Steelband Clash and Drunk and Disorderly.

Other steelbands to perform last Saturday included Massy Trinidad All Stars, Desperadoes, Republic Bank Exodus, Sound Specialists, Exodus, bpTT Renegades, CAL Invaders, Phase II Pan Groove with Hadco, Newtown Playboys and Old Tech. Also in the parade were Laventille Rhythm Section and Trini Generation Next Rhythm Section. As in its 18 previous editions, Saturday’s event was incident free.


The Steelpan Journey from Tamboo Bamboo to G-Pan

In observance of the 25th anniversary of Declaration of the Steelpan as the national musical instrument, Pan Trinbago Inc will be hosting a photographic exhibition today at the Brian Lara Promenade (between Chacon and Abercromby Streets), Port-of-Spain. The exhibition runs from 9 am to 6 pm.

Under the theme The Steelpan Journey from Tamboo Bamboo to G-Pan, the exhibition features photographs in black and white and colour.

Additionally, the Steelpan Tuners’ Guild of T&T will mount a display depicting the origin of the steelpan from its early developmental stages to its current form.

Artefacts such as the Tamboo Bamboo, Kettle Drum, Dupdup, the fourths and fifth low “C” Spider Web Pan as well as the Ellie Mannette and Bertie Marshall instruments and G-Pans, among others, will form part of the exhibit.

Several milestones in the annals of Pan Trinbago will also be featured.

These include footage of past National Panorama competitions, Champs In Concert/Champs of Steel Plus, SteelFest, and the International Panorama and Conference.

Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz is scheduled to officially declare the exhibition open at 9 am. Valley Harps, Musical Gems and Diego Martin West Stars Steel Orchestras will entertain the public from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Plans are underway to take the exhibition to other parts of the country.

Southerners will have the opportunity of viewing the exhibits on Friday, August 18 on Harris Promenade, San Fernando, from 9 am. Dates will be announced for the staging of the exhibition in the East and Tobago.

Pan Trinbago has also scheduled several other activities in August in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the declaration of the steelpan as the national musical instrument by former prime minister Patrick Manning on August 30, 1992.

Two events, one an interfaith service held at Trinity Cathedral, Port-of-Spain last Sunday, included the blessing of steelband flags. A visit to the foundation stone in East Port-of-Spain also signalled the official start of activities heralding Pan Month.


Brass 2 The World blows its trumpet

Last month, music lovers, including family and friends, came together to help celebrate the first year of the band officially known as Brass 2 The World.

Now back home from performing abroad, Brass 2 The World will reveal its Kickdown 2018 campaign on August 18 at Club Fusion, Cascadia, St Ann’s with the release of two new songs.

“It’s been a challenging and exciting year for us,” says band manager Burt Marcellin.

“The response to our live brass band has simply blown us away. Over the past year we have been fortunate to partner with K2K Alliance for Carnival 2017 and provided live music for masquerades and patrons alike. It was a very successful venture which opened up international doors for us.”

Riding the success of this year’s Carnival, Brass 2 The World was sought out by the Montreal Carnival Foundation (MCM) to play in some of its major carnival events in Canada and the USA. The band’s first performance, billed as We Jammin Still, was hosted by the MCM.

Marcellin said: “The promotion for this event was featured on radio programmes in Canada with interviews with Brass 2 The World artistes. It was a fantastic opportunity to get the rhythm of T&T music out there.

“One of the main features of the band is a live four-piece horn section accompanied by a dynamic frontline consisting of top notch performers, namely Russel Cadogan, Snakey, Ejay and Keisha Stewart. The audience response was simply incredible.”

The next overseas trip for Brass 2 The World is scheduled for later this month when the band is booked to perform at Boston Carnival.


Emancipation Calypso

The National Action Cultural Committee (NACC) has announced the finalists for the 2017 Emancipation Calypso Competition. Following auditions held last month, 21 people were selected for the finals to be held on August 18, at City Hall, Knox Street, Port-of-Spain, at 8 pm. The competition has two categories: 17 years and Under, and 18 to 35 years. Finalists will compete for over $125,000 in prizes sponsored by First Citizens. The finalists are:

17 and Under:

Adana Dardaine, Caleb Hinds, Jael Black, Jayda Celestine, Joshua Hinds, Kurlene Bentham, Melina Smith, Monique Lively, N’Janela Duncan Regis, and Takiyah Nurse.

18 to 35:

Aneka Collins, Arnold Jordan, Curlissa Charles, Jerrisha Duncan Regis, Kerine Williams Figaro, Mark Eastman, Meguella Simon, Nyol Manswell, Rosemary Mitchell, and Shradah Mc Intyre.


Classical Indian Song contest

Member of Parliament for Caroni Central Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie is holding his second Independence Classical Singing Exposition at the Preysal Secondary School on Sunday, starting at 3 pm.

According to media coordinator Paras Ramoutar, the exposition will feature the country’s top singers and admission is free.

Included on the evening’s cast are Dubraj Persad, Cintra Sookhoo, Manmohan Gosyne, Naresh Boodram, Jameer Hosein, Rawle Ramjitsingh, Moonilal Gildharie and Ramesh Basdeo. Several people from the community will be honoured.


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