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WHO’S WHO ● ● ●

moment,” as sewing machines stopped and the volume on the radio went up. Unfortunately not everyone felt the same and later that day the singer was promptly sacked. He took a job working nights at the giant Ford Motors plant in Dagenham Essex allowing him pursue his musical ambitions during the day. In 1975, adopting the name Billy Ocean, he signed a production deal with Dick Leahy’s GTO label. His single “Love Really Hurts Without You” reached number 2 in the charts selling 250,000 copies. His first album, “Billy Ocean” was released in 1976 and “Everything’s Changed” was released as a single to credit Billy as a composer. He worked with writer and producer Ken Gold on his next Album “City Limit”. Billy acknowledges Gold’s contribution. “He really should get a little respect in the sense that he was one of the innovators of English producers, taking black artists and treating them with a certain amount of respect and being serious with the music and sort of making an opening for us”. City Limit was dedicated in memory of Billy’s father who had passed on during the recording. “In 1979, his wife, Judy, gave birth to their first child, a beautiful baby girl called Cherie and their son, Anthony followed in 1983.” newly formed Jive records and Billy flew to New York to work with producer Keith Diamond who was also Trinidadian born, tasked to do four songs as a try-out, they completed almost an entire album. One of these tracks “European Queen” was issued as Billy’s first single for his new label, but Clive thought “Caribbean Queen” sounded more exotic and would appeal to a wider audience. The new recording was released in September 1984 and went on to be a worldwide hit earning Billy a Grammy award the following year. Another version of the song entitled “African Queen” was recorded for the African music market. Barry Eastmond produced “Love Zone” selling 100,000 copies and adding yet another gold disc to Billy’s collection. He spent most of 1987 recording his next album with Lange/Braithwaite/ Eastmond and enjoying fatherhood with his baby daughter, Rachel. After years of hard work and well-earned success,

Billy decided to take time away from the music business and devote himself to his young family. Jive issued a “Greatest Hits” package that featured Hollywood actor Will Smith in September 1989, which became Billy’s biggest, selling UK album. Billy started performing with Ebony Steel Orchestra, one of Europe’s top steel bands, rekindling his passion for pan. Starting off on Iron but later moving on to Tenor, he played at the World Festival in Trinidad, the European festival in France and the Notting Hill Carnival Panorama that Ebony won for a record 15th time in 2006. In 1993, a younger looking Billy sporting dreadlocks following his conversion to the Rastafarian religion recorded his “Time To Move On” album with R. Kelly. In September 1998 Jive issued “Love Is For Ever”, a twenty-four track double album that achieved gold disc status. Billy performed “When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going” with Celebrate Music, a combination of 36 South African and UK musicians at the South Africa Freedom Day concert attended by Dr. Nelson Mandela in April 2001 at London’s Trafalgar Square. On 11th November 2002, Billy was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the University of Westminster, where his eldest daughter Cherie studied for her degree in Commercial music. Cherie signed a recording contract with Jive in 2004 and released her first single “No 1”. To celebrate, Billy and family dined at a restaurant in London’s Savile Row, the




WELCOME, For years BAS has campaigned for a venue worthy to showcase the skills and abilities of musicians and arrangers; one that will allow us to build an event that is enjoyable for the audience, attractive to sponsors and is self-financing. The UK’s National Steel Band Panorama’s move into Hyde Park this year not only meets those objectives but will enable us to maximise opportunities for the benefit of the bands and for pan generally. Planning has not been without its difficulties but we are working closely with our partners to ensure the event is a resounding success. BAS extends its thanks to the Greater London Authority, Royal Parks and all other partners for their support. Hyde Park is not the only significant occasion being celebrated this year • The Leeds West Indian Carnival celebrates its 40th anniversary. Arthur France OBE has done outstanding work promoting carnival arts in the region and BAS wishes him continued success. • The Junior Panorama, hosted in partnership with the Children and Parents Carnival Association, sees an increased number of bands competing for the title of Junior Panorama Champions 2007. • BAS congratulates our European partners on the organisation of another successful Zomer Carnival in Rotterdam. This year’s winners of Battle of the Drums, ABC Brass, will open the Panorama and perform at the Notting Hill Carnival as guests of the Association. As we head into the Carnival season I appeal for the support of J’Ouvert participants. The reintroduction of J’Ouvert in 2003 was the result of years of negotiation. It is a time when steel bands reclaim the streets of Notting Hill. It is distressing that, in 2006, the actions of a small minority saw the event put in jeopardy. Participants are reminded to show respect for the bands, for themselves and for others. BAS will support the authorities in taking action against those who cause damage to individuals or their property. On behalf of the Executive and the members of BAS, I wish you a safe and enjoyable Carnival 2007.

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> ISSUE 15 SUMMER 2007


London Jouvert

infectious steel band music that broke the predawn tranquillity.


Rainbow Steelband’s 50th Anniversary

From Barbados to Bath – Rainbow’s journey over the past fifty years.

10 12 14 16

Newham Blockorama

Gillett Square was the venue for this all steelband event


Shern Hall Methodist Youth Steelband

After only one year this group has shown that they can be the new East London musical sensation.


Earl Rodney

Harlem Syncopators


Slavery to Steelband

Filling the Trinidad Single Pan competition with sweet steelband music since 1999.

Gunwharf’s Pan Extravaganza

Steel pan was the centre of attention for two days in Portsmouth’s Gunwharf quays.


Engine Room Collective Concerts


Danish Panorama




featuring some of the UK young, gifted and aspiring musicians. the 3rd panorama in three years, so event is still in its beginning.



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the grandfather of steelpan.

the journey of the people and the evolution of their music.

Readers Letters


Trafalgar Square Pan Jamboree


Leicester Steelband Festival

bringing the sweet sound of steel to this iconic London location.

Leicestershire hosted its first ever all Steelpan event.


Miles Pascall


Nostalgia in Hamburg


Ezekiel Biggs Yearwood


Miles of pan, the journey has just started.

performing at one of Germany largest street festivals.

He arrived in Britain in 1965, and soon after he decided on a pan tuning career after striking up a friendship with Gerald Forsyth.

Iman and Pan

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Flag Woman


Pans and Roses Steelband


The Steel Pan Academy is Born

deeply rooted in tradition and history is the role of the steel band flag carrier. It is a special time-honored position that requires confidence, grace and skill.

five enthusiastic ladies whose passions include playing the steel pan.

Promting the Steel Pan Art Form in Coventry and Warwickshire

Notting Hill Panorama 2K7 Champions of Steel

this competition has been in existence since 1974 and now it will be held in Hyde Park for the first time.


At a mere twenty years old, she is a veteran steelpan musician of more than fifteen years.

Codrington Pan Family

the Codrington Pan Family is popular and has brought tremendous exposure to the astounding beauty of steel music.

Fantastics Steelband

Fantastics Steelband from the town of Nagata, Kobe in Japan was founded to rejuvenate the town after the Hanshin and Awaji earthquakes hit Kobe.

Entertainment Reviews Rotterdam Carnival 2K7

the Beach party, Battle of the Drums and parade of the bands.






BAS’s media machinery continues its mission in getting the laborious work performed by pannists, arrangers, tuners and management promoted globally to its world audience. The struggle of recognition for the instrument and all involved with this art form has been a long and difficult journey that still has a long way to go. Pan Podium welcomes the day when you can visit your local HMV or Virgin outlets and readily purchase steel pan music. How wonderful it would be to visit a music store and acquire a steel pan instrument, to see pans on display with guitars, pianos, keyboards, drum kits etc. This is the vision and the dedication, determination and commitment of all those involved with this art form will one day see the global pan family reap the fruits of their labour. 2007 has seen BAS’s member bands continue to promote steelband music through their numerous events in the UK and abroad - Gateshead, Portsmouth, Leicester, Reading, London, Wycombe, Germany and Africa to name a few. Our annual Trafalgar Square Steelband


Jamboree was again a success and we now look forward to the Junior Panorama, National ‘Champions of Steel ‘Panorama, Jouvert and Tropical Rhythms Best Band on the Road competitions. This will be followed by our Future Development Forum’s ‘Mix it Up’ fun day and Pan Explosion competition. Our annual Awards on the 1st December will bring the curtains down on BAS events for 2007. 2008 will see BAS’s initiatives of regional committees and pan tuning/maintenance workshops being firmly implemented with new ones being considered in the interest of the continued development of the art. Pan Podium magazine and website continues to keep abreast of changes ensuring that they are both effective, efficient and continues to be a world leader. Pan Podium continues to work closely with our global media partners to ensure that we continue to aspire and achieve in unity. Pan 4 Life!

Robbie J

Editor: Robbie Joseph Writers/Contributors: Contributors: Hallam Ifill, Cordelia Johnney, Rachel Duchnowski, Lionel McCalman, Earl

Rodney, Vanessa Clarke, Sune Boregard, Michael La Rose, Kayleigh Lewis, Pat Munroe, Miles Pascall, Donna and Lynette Yearwood, When Steel Talks, Yoko Kimura , Lynne Duberry-Carter, Diana Hancox, Lynne Duberry-Carter. Photography: Response Photography Layout & Design Print: Donald Seepaul (Indus Digital Colour Services) Published by: BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF STEELBANDS The Tabernacle, Powis Square, London W112AV Tel: 020 7565 7813 - Fax: 020 7565 7810 E-mail: or Website: The views published in Pan Podium are not necessarily the views of the editor or the publisher. All material contained in this publication are the copyright of Pan Podium. No material written or photographic should be reproduced in any way without the written permission of the publisher. No liability will be accepted for any errors which may occur within the magazine.

NEED A STEELBAND? All events catered for Steelbands to suit any occassion E: 6




It’s Sunday morning on the 26th August 2007 the crowds are drawn to the sweet strains of steel pan music that break the pre-dawn tranquility on Ladbroke Grove in West London. Everyone joins in the celebrations and adorn themselves in ‘mud’ or brightly coloured paint depicting the celebration of emancipation.

For more than a century Jouvert (pronounced ‘Jouvay’ meaning ‘day break’) processions have marked the opening of the famous Trinidad Carnival. Held in the wee hours of Carnival Monday, Jouvert evolved from 19th century Canboulay festivals, these night time celebrations saw ex-slaves gather to masquerade, sing, and dance in commemoration of their emancipation. When this tradition was incorporated into Trinidad’s Carnival, it became an arena for African-derived percussion, sardonic costuming, and, more recently, lively steel band music with revellers jumping, dancing, shouting – fuelled by the fine local rum and the ambience of the occasion. The 2004 Notting Hill Carnival saw the revival of London’s Jouvert when Stardust, London All Stars and Ebony

steel orchestras took to road at 6.a.m filling the air with the sweet sounds of steel. Since then London All Stars have been victorious in the ‘Bomb’ competition (tune of choice) leaving revellers begging for more when the bacchanal comes to an end at 10:00 a.m. More BAS bands will be attendance this year to ensure that the competition is well contested and to challenge London All Stars unbeaten record. This all steel band event is well received by the public and is growing in popularity. Everyone is looking forward to a more successful Jouvert this year and BAS has been working laboriously to ensure its growth is sustained through the inclusion of more steelbands and masqueraders. In 2006, there were incidents where revellers adorned non-masqueraders and the

police with paint and other substances. BAS is appealing to everyone who attends the event to stop this practice, as we would like to see this event continue and become an important ingredient of the fabric of Notting Hill Carnival. London’s Jouvert celebration is a BAS all steel band event with the procession leaving from Sainsbury’s car park, Ladbroke Grove at 6:00 a.m. promptly on Sunday 26th August. Anyone wanting to ‘play mas’ or host a costumed band in this celebration must be part of a steel band. All enquiries must be directed to BAS at the Tabernacle, Powis Square, London W11, email – or telephone – 07956 546724 or 07944 156006. Come join the celebration and PAN PODIUM SUMMER 2007




The band originated in Barbados in the 1950’s and moved to the UK after Hallam Ifill immigrated to the UK and was quickly followed by the remaining members who settled in Bath and began performing under the name of Barbados All Stars. As time past, they started attracting younger players of which one was Toussaint Clarke. Over the years most of the original members migrated back to Barbados or retired from playing leaving Hallam and Toussaint to develop and form a new band with new recruits. Rainbow was born! Toussaint has also become one of the leading UK and global pan tuners and is supporting the British Association of Steel bands in their many initiatives in the further promotion and development of the steel pan art form in the UK. Over the years Rainbow has gained National and International recognition, playing for Royalty, touring Europe and the Caribbean. In 1984, Rainbow toured Barbados affording them the opportunity to return to its roots. Their current line-up includes the legendary

RAINBOW Steelband

FROM BARBADOS TO BATH The Rainbow Steel orchestra celebrated their 50th anniversary in Bath, England making it the oldest Black and Minority Ethnic organisation based within Bath and East Somerset. Wednesday May 16th 2007 saw the launch of their Exhibition and DVD – Rainbow Steel Band – ‘50 Glorious Years – from Barbados to Bath’ at the Bath Pump Rooms. To acknowledge the band’s contribution to and achievements within the City of Bath, the North East Somerset Council’s Corporate Equalities team working in partnership with Bath 8


and North East Somerset REC were awarded a Heritage lottery grant to create an archive history of the band, from their arrival in Bath to present day. Working in partnership, the Council, REC and Rainbow Steel Band have collated a photographic exhibition and DVD of memories from players past and present. The exhibition was available to

view at the Bath Central Library between the 14th and 26th May 2007. Both the exhibition and DVD show that Bath the World Heritage City, famous for its Roman, Georgian and Victorian heritage has become a multicultural City, with different black and minority ethnic communities contributing to the ever changing history of the City.

Earl Rodney, ‘The Grandfather of Steel Pan’ who has been with Rainbow since 1992, taking the band to a new dimension in playing and arranging. Rainbow’s story now forms part of the cultural archive for Bath and North East Somerset.



THE TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO STEELPAN History and Evolution by Dr Felix. I. R. Blake.

The book is dedicated to all men and women of the pan fraternity – wherever in the world they might be. The author of this book is an orthopaedic surgeon and doctor of sports medicine by profession. The research for this book provided a fascinating mosaic of the struggle and development and eventual acceptance of the steel band movement. The reproduced photos from the 1930s and 1940s are not of the best quality but the book contains a wealth of information. The history of the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago is well documented by Dr Blake who acknowledged Rudy ‘Two Lef’ Smith for his inspiration and conviction in encouraging him to write a definitive history of Pan. The book spans different avenues of the steelband story and highlights key players. A must read for all those who want to map the journey of the steelpan.






Gillett Square provides a quality public space of nearly 3,000 sq m of high quality open space at the heart of Dalston town centre. The project was selected in 2002 as one of the first ten open space projects within the Mayor of London’s 100 public spaces programme. The site was formally launched on 10th November 2006 by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. Gillett Square is in close proximity to Kingsland High Street and provides both relief from the excessive pedestrian footfall on the main street and a flexible arena for cultural activity. The Newham blockorama certainly filled the square with cultural activity. The ethnic food, steel band music, the colourful choreographed display of costumes by the Tropical Isles Mas 10


band coupled with the warm weather generated a Caribbean atmosphere that was fully enjoyed by all. The six steel bands in attendance filled the air with the sweet sounds of steel. Newham led by Nadine, Wilfred ‘Freddy’ Kirk led Woodbine, St John’s Catholic and William Patten Schools were led by Kyron Akal whilst Skinner’s Company School was directed by Alicia Brown with Chris Storey in charge of Haringey Young Musicians. All the bands were accompanied by young energetic flag wavers fervently waving their flags of all the Caribbean islands. Congrats go out to Joel ‘Tubbs’ Mills of Metronomes and BAS Future Development Forum, Justin Russell, Captain of Mangrove, Justin ’Redz’ Richardson and Wesley Joseph for their

percussive support of all the bands. Tubbs could be seen hustling from band to band with his percussive instrument, iron and iron board and was even seen playing the bass with Newham. Well done lads for your continued efforts in keeping the steel pan culture alive. Event co-ordinators Felix Joseph and Marcia Brown did a wonderful job ensuring that the event flowed smoothly. The British Association of Steelbands sponsored awards and certificates for all the participating bands. These were presented by UK pan pioneers, Gerald Forsyth and Frank Rollock. A special achievement award was given to Woodbine steel band. The general consensus from the audience was when will the next blockorama be? PAN PODIUM SUMMER 2007 11




Methodist Youth Steelband Louis Armstrong once said, “There are only two kinds of music. Good music and the other kind”.

Meet a group that is certainly giving us some good music. They are The Shern Hall Youth Steel Band, a group that is just about to celebrate their first year as a collective. Located in the Shern Hall Methodist Church, Walthamstow, East London, this group has what it takes to be the East London musical sensation. They have already played for the monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11, when she opened the East London Business School, at the University of East London, and has toured in Europe, namely to perform at the Hamburg Altona Festival, in Germany. The group had known each other for many years. They were all members of the Shern Hall Youth Gospel Choir, but were interested in taking their musical talents to a higher plane. The idea of forming themselves into a church steel band became a reality. The band is very much at ease as a conventional steel band – playing with stands, and as a pan-around-neck steel band. Given the fact that panaround-neck steel bands are rare, this is a welcome addition to the pan-around-neck traditional steel band fraternity. The setting up of the steel band was the brain-child of Mrs. Blondell Campbell, one of the church wardens, who made a call to Grafton Yearwood – a local pan tuner – asking him to renovate some old steel pans. Blondell had been instrumental in getting some steel pans 12


from a local school that had closed. The pans were very old indeed and after some discussion, Nostalgia Steel Band agreed to loan the church some of their instruments to get the steel band off the ground. The rapid progress of the young people was remarkable to say the least. Grafton recalled how they all seem to gel together with a keen ear for the music and in particular, the steel pan genre. The leader of the band, Evangelica Brumant, is keenly supported by her sister, Bernita and her mother, Elvena. Indeed, the group itself consists of five sets of siblings; the Ampofo Family, the Kaka Family, the Bonds Family and the Ukandu Family are also represented. And all the brothers and sisters work well as a collective and pray together before and after every steel pan practice. It is a joy to see young people with so much devotion to their art. The minister of the Shern Hall Church, Rev. Jenny Sweet is also a keen supporter of the steel band. Indeed, the band has only recently played at her wedding reception and now has a string of engagements that has followed that exposure. The Rev. Jenny Sweet is very keen for this progress to continue. She told me recently, “This is the result of the hard work of the young people themselves. We are very proud of them”. By Lionel McCalman



BAND PROFILE ● ● ● The orchestra lives by a motto of “LOVE WITHOUT POSITIVE ACTION HAS NO MEANING” and provides a place for young people to socialize and enjoy their culture while developing self-discipline, responsibility and the self-esteem in “Harlem” a community of Quarry Street, East Dry River, Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago. As early as December 1998, Harlem Syncopators had their first official performance at the St. Roses Girls Roman Catholic School Home for the elderly. They continue to perform at many charitable events. Daisy, the sister of pan historian Ancil “Sonny” James, spent all her years involved in the steel band movement and earned the distinction of being one of the first female pannists in Trinidad and Tobago. Daisy captain’s the Orchestra but also wears the hats of treasurer, mentor, mother, teacher, advisor and friend. Herman, the Manager gives his financial resources, strength, love and wisdom, reminding them always to “use all opportunities as stepping stones to enhance their lives”. Together they are enthusiastic about steel pan music and exercise iron fists of pride to maintain discipline and respect among the membership of Harlem Syncopators Herman Andalacio resides in Chicago, USA but his heart and soul is pure Trini. Herman’s generous spirit is commendable and extends beyond the boundaries of Harlem Syncopators. His living principles of “Attitude, Aptitude and Altitude” has helped elevate the steel pan art form in the lives of so

HARLEM Syncopators

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many young people who became well traveled successful musicians after their introduction to steel pan music. He gives significant financial support to help the band procure its instruments, set up and maintain its pan tent. This springs from a heartfelt desire to promote his culture while giving back to his hometown. Gerald “Bellies” Charles steadies the musical mast of Harlem Syncopators. His musical arrangements over the years have provided excitement for and attraction to steel band music. This never-ending musical stimulation is the synergy that keeps Harlem Syncopators on track to maintaining their goals of developing in the young, a love of steel, respect for their culture, discipline and responsibility. Many of have moved on to play with large conventional steel orchestras and to pursue careers in music. By Vanessa Clarke

Contacts: Ms. Daisy (868) 623-7471 and Herman:


Herman Andalacio (left) Daisy (right) PAN PODIUM SUMMER 2007 15

● ● ● EVENT PROFILE Over two days in May 2007, steel pan was the centre of attention on Gunwharf Quays, famous for Samba Bands to French Markets, street entertainers & daredevil skateboard displays to fireworks & global yachting events – Gunwharf Quays hosts a year round programme of spectacular events & entertainment. In a festival organised by the Gunwharf Management Team and supported by Porchester’s Pan Yard, Pete Beadell. Steel pan brought a taste of the Caribbean to the shopping outlet, along with pan, soca, and food.



EVENT PROFILE ● ● ● DAY ONE Day one was a mass workshop for steel bands from schools all over Hampshire County Council. After a showcase from all the participating bands, the hard work began! Toussaint Clarke, one of the UK’s top steel pan tuners co-ordinated a workshop of over 150 players of varying abilities, both learning and playing, ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone’. This opportunity afforded these budding and promising players to be involved in an event which will encourage their future development, and performance in the pan world. DAY TWO Day two provided the people of Portsmouth to not only hear the spectacular homegrown talent of Sounds of Steel, but, also with the opportunity to hear two of the top bands from London perform on their doorstep. Both Ebony and Metronomes steel bands made the trip from London to Portsmouth, to participate in this Caribbean spectacular which took place outside of the more well known venues to hear pan. Metronomes kicked off the day, drawing the crowds to the sounds of summer, inside the steel band tent. Metronomes captivated the audience and had them swaying to the sweet sounds of the steel pan. Sounds of Steel followed with their eclectic musical programme, highlighting not only the band, but the individual talents of Dan Sadler and Lindsay Joplin who not only played but arranged various tunes within their repertoire. Ebony did not fail to impress, picking up the baton from the previous two bands, they


continued to hold the crowd in a mesmerizing trance. By this point the people of Portsmouth were definitely into the sounds of pan rather than shopping! By the interval the crowds were begging for more and new arrivals were expressing regret about missing the first half. Metronomes attacked the second half immediately upping the ante with a combination of standards and recent calypsos, drawing the crowds back to a promising second half. The event was not meant to be a competition but, Sounds of Steel did not seem to be aware of this, turning up the heat on a session filled with the melody of calypso and carnival. A musical treat for all in attendance. Ebony slowed the pace down producing their high calibre of old favourites and standards, showing the Portsmouth crowd what a steel pan can do. Then without warning they teased the crowd until they had them begging for calypso after calypso! With London believed to be the home of UK pan, it was nice to see that bands not performing at the event leaving London, to provide support for a pan event outside of the Capital. That sunny summer afternoon was definitely the place to be for liming, dancing and hanging out, listening to good steel band music. At the end of the event people were heard to comment, ‘we should have more of this, when’s the next one?’ By Cordelia Johnney and Rachel Duchnowski Photos by Rachel Duchnowski

With London believed to be the home of UK pan, it was nice to see that bands not performing at the event leaving London, to provide support for a pan event outside of the Capital. PAN PODIUM SUMMER 2007 17




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Monday the 7th May 2007, the UK’s May Bank Holiday, saw the Engine Room Collective continue to host their monthly music concerts featuring some of the UK’s young, gifted and aspiring pan musicians. The Inn on the Green, 3-5 Thorpe Close, Portobello Green, Notting Hill, London W10 5XL is the venue to be every first Monday of the month. Doors open 7.30pm with the first performance at 8.30pm. Entry fee is only £3.00.


The Engine Room Collective on the night comprised of Michael Bailey and Kwadjo Amponsem on bass guitar, Ugo Del Mirani on keyboards, Ray Carless on sax, Bobby Stignac on percussion and Matthew Phillip on drums who was celebrating his birthday. They accompanied Brent Holder, former World Steelband Champion soloist, founder member of the Caribbean Steel International band and musical arranger for the Stardust Steel Orchestra gave an awesome, energetic and inspiring display of his musicianship. Supported by well known pan tuner, calypsonian, musical arranger, singer cum all round musician Michael ‘Bubbles’ Oliviere, and

up-and-coming vocalist Yasmin James, the audience was treated to a evening showcasing the best of jazz, reggae, calypso and popular music. Already there are whispers amongst the steel pan community that ‘the Abbey’, famous for hosting steelpan concerts in the 80s has been revived through the Engine Room Collective concerts and pan lovers can enjoy a wealth of steel pan music on a regular basis rather than seasonal concerts. The driving force behind the Engine Room Collective is none other than the established musician, Matthew Phillip. Not content with managing one of Europe’s leading steel bands,

working full time playing the circuits as a professional drummer, supporting and nurturing young musicians and singers, and looking after his young family, Matthew set up the Engine Room in 1998. In 2003, he secured funding from the Arts Council London to set up Engine Room Records to afford musicians the opportunity to have their work recorded and published. In November 2005, he moved the studio to larger premises in Willesden, London NW10 and one year later started the Engine Room Collective sessions at Inn on the Green in West London. Matthew has indicated that he has a few more new initiatives lined up that

are designed to get pan music more recognised and that his efforts will continue far into the future. Pannists who have appeared at these concerts include Carlene Etienne, Justin Russell, Gary Moustache, Robert Clarke, Delphina ‘Panness’ James, Ryan Eastmond Cummings, Samuel Du Bois, Kyron Akal, Daniel Louis, Brent Holder and Chris Storey. For more information on the Engine Room Collective, visit www.myspace. com/engineroomcollective




The bands varied in size from 12-20 players, and their overall quality was relatively high which gave the judges a hard time deciding on the placements. Points were given in the categories: Execution of the music, the quality of the arrangements, and ability to communicate with the audience. This last category really made the difference in leveling out the average points given to each band, as those bands playing difficult music and scoring high points on the music didn’t have as much focus on the stage appearance as those bands performing simpler arrangements. All bands except one, Copenhagen Steelband, came from music schools around the Copenhagen area. Unfortunately the Panorama doesn’t have any funding, so there was no support to give to bands coming from far away to ease their transportation expenses.




Hopefully this will be change in the near future, so it can be a true Danish Panorama and not just a Copenhagen Panorama in the future. This was the 3rd panorama in three years, so this event is still in its beginning, but considering the growing interest from bands, the great support from the audience, and the willing hosts, Copenhagen Carnival this has potential to develop into a large event featuring and showcasing the steelbands in Denmark. Results: Hot Pans Steelband from Hillerød Copenhagen Steelband Gladsaxe Steelband & Steelhammers from Allerød By Sune Boregard

“this has potential to develop into a large event featuring and showcasing the steelbands in Denmark”

A wet Copenhagen Carnival hosted the 3rd Danish Panorama on May 26. The rain poured consistently outside the tent, but couldn’t sweep away the great atmosphere inside. The tent was packed with enthusiastic steelpan fans and players and it remained so for the 4 hour show. Six bands had enlisted for the competition, where they had been given 20 minutes to play a set of choice. Most of the bands had mainly chosen up-tempo, powerful arrangements to keep the crowd going.




● ● ● WHO’S WHO

WHO’S WHO ● ● ●

The grandfather of steelpan

Earl was born in 1938 and began his musical career as a pan player in 1945 at the tender age of 7, in the southern oil town of Point Fortin, Trinidad. The ‘Steel Drum or Pan’ was at the time in its early stages of development, having a limited range and poor intonation. As the years rolled by there was rapid improvement in both the range and quality of both the instrument and steelbands. Having an abundance of natural talent, Earl too was able to make great strides as a player and has been an inspiration to many pan men up to this day.




In 1951, at the age of 13, Earl was the co-founder of the ‘Tropical Harmony’ steelband led by the late, great pan maker and player Alan ‘Maestro’ Gervais ( the alto pans you hear on Earl’s album – Steelband Music, was made by the ‘Maestro’ in 1972.) Earl stayed with Tropical Harmony for 14 years, during which time he learnt the art of arranging music by ear. Over the years he also learned how to play the double bass, by fooling around with one belonging to his grandfather. In 1965, Earl parted company with Tropical Harmony and joined ‘Dutchy Bros’ Dance orchestra as bass player. For Earl this was a dream come true, for he had for years been a great fan and follower of the Dutchy’s Band. For this reason, Earl knew most of their arrangements and so fitted into the band quite easily. Sometime in 1966, Earl was given crash courses in reading and writing music by the band’s trumpeter, Norbert Scanterbury, and in the space of 3 weeks was able to write his own arrangements for the band. Quite a feat! Earl readily admits to be a poor sight reader but can write any phrase that comes to mind. During that period with the Dutchy Bros, Earl was contracted to arrange music for a relatively new and not so well known steel band called ‘Solo Harmonites’, it was mid January 1967 just three weeks away from Trinidad Carnival. The band was registered to


compete in the national steel band Panorama championship and had to play three tunes in the competition. According to Earl, “Time was short and I knew that I had a big task ahead. When I arrived at the pan yard in 2nd Caledonia (it was morning) I was surprised to see such a big band, 130 plus members. The instruments were of a high standard and well tuned by ‘Maestro’. I was somewhat doubtful that I would be able to finish this job on time, but my fears were put to rest after just 30 minutes of working with a small group of the best players from each section of the band. They were absorbing the music like a sponge sucking up water. From then to this day I have not come upon so many talented pan musicians in one band. We managed to put down and rehearse the three tunes for the competition plus two extra tunes well in time for the Carnival.” The band went on to place first with one of the tunes, which won them an overseas trip. They were placed 3rd in another and 4th place in the national Panorama Championship. The following year, 1968, Solo Harmonites won the Panorama Championship. In 1969 they got a controversial 3rd place, but went on the win again in 1971-72-74 to become the first Steel band to win the Championship on four occasions. Harmonites also recorded eight albums. From the Dutchy Bros, Earl went to the ‘Sparrow Troubadours’ Calypso band as musical director and bassist. Slinger

‘The Mighty Sparrow’ Francisco was so impressed with the work Earl was doing for his band that he assigned him to write the musical scores for the 1969, ‘More Sparrow More’ calypso album, which became a success. From then on Earl was in great demand and went on to produce more than 20 calypso albums including 7 for the Mighty Sparrow as well as other big names like Lord Kitchener, Melody, Black Stalin, Arrow and others. Since leaving Tropical Harmony Steel Band in 1965, Earl has been experimenting with blending the sound of pan with other musical instruments and the results are always great. In recent times he has come to realise that he has not done a full all steel band recording for himself since 1962, with Tropical Harmony Steel Band. So after thirty seven long years he decided that the next recording will be ‘Steelband Music’ and of course it is. An album with a variety of rhythms from Calypso – Reggae – Latin. Meringue, Samba to Standards. In recent years Earl has gradually pulled out of arranging music to concentrate on playing his pans (his first love) and has been playing with the Rainbow Steel Band from Bath, England. Earl also wants to travel as much of the world as possible sharing the beautiful unique sounds of the steel drum with his global audiences.

“I was somewhat doubtful that would be able to finish this job on time, but my fears were put to rest after just 30 minutes of working with a small group of the best players from each section of the band. They were absorbing the music like a sponge sucking up water. From then to this day I have not come upon so many talented pan musicians in one band” PAN PODIUM SUMMER 2007 23



It was the heroic and bloody struggle of people of African descent in the Caribbean, North America and South America to win their freedom, which helped to abolish the Transatlantic Slave Trade. From the beginning they fought for their freedom with uprisings, plots, running away or simply burning down the slave system to a stand still. The most significant blow was the 1791 Haitian Revolution when freedom was won by an African slave army led by Toussaint L’Ouverture in Haiti. 24


The first victims of the murderous European slave trade were the original peoples of the region, the Amerindians. These were the fierce Caribs or Kalinago and the Arawaks or Taino. They suffered extermination caused by slavery on sugar plantations, disease and genocide for land. By 1618 the Carib and Arawak peoples and their culture had been effectively wiped off the face of the earth.

The European colonists badly needed a source of cheap labour to work the lucrative slave-run plantations of the Caribbean. The Spanish, French, British, Portuguese and Dutch decided on the same solution. They went to Africa. Men, women and children were abducted, imprisoned, beaten, enslaved and put on ships to make the horrific journey chained together and stacked like sardines in the bellies of the slave ships. Many died of sickness, murder and suicide. The Atlantic sea between Africa and the Caribbean was known as the Middle Passage and is the watery graveyard for many souls. Trinidad became a plantation slave society .The African population of Trinidad consisted of many tribal groupings or “nations” from all over West and Central Africa. But African culture in Trinidad was dominated by the Yoruba. With a strong culture they came late to the Caribbean slave islands. The Yoruba dominated the religious, cultural and artistic life of the Africans in Trinidad. The Yoruba religion followed in Trinidad was called Shango (or today Orisha). Shango drummers were very accomplished and were always in demand as secular musicians. The peoples of African descent in Trinidad practised their religion culture and

music against overwhelming oppression from the plantation slave owners and the Christian church. For this reason as in the rest of the Caribbean the music, religion, language, food, and culture of West Africa was always practised secretly and used as an uplifting resistance weapon against the slave system and its demoralising effect on identity and self worth. Drums in Trinidad were used for musical entertainment, to celebrate important occasions like births, marriages and deaths and the rich culture of dancing and masquerade like the Bele, Bongo and Limbo dances along with the Kalenda stick fighting,. Drums were also used to transmit messages in their constant plans and schemes to win their freedom. The plantation slave owners feared the power of the drums.



● ● ● SPECIAL FEATURE In Trinidad a new culture was developing. An example of this was the forerunner of the present day Carnival; a festival called the Canboulay which is a Kweyol (Creole) word that means burning canes. The Canboulay was originally a night time procession when singers, dancers and drummers would gather to go to other plantations to put out fires where the canfields had been set alight and the fires were out of control. The singers were led by Chantwelles who later developed into Calypsonians and included armed stick fighters from the Kalenda stick fight Gayelles. When slavery was abolished in Trinidad in 1834 it was the Camboulay tradition which took over the streets and transformed the European Mardi Gras Carnival into the Carnival we know today. The European colonists feared the new Camboulay – influenced Carnival and the drums and percussion that went with it.

the-bridge. The Tamboo Bamboo bands were representatives of their areas and there was intense rivalry and violence between the bands.

A new musical form swept the Tamboo Bamboo bands – the beating of steel metal receptacles. On Jouvay morning Carnival 1937 Calvary Tamboo Bamboo band from Newtown, was beating dustbin covers, hubcaps, biscuit tins and anything they could lay their hands on to provide the powerful steel percussion for their revellers and followers. Their mas band was called Alexander’s Ragtime Band. Significantly a member of the band that day was the pan genius Ellie Mannette later of Invaders Steelband. Steel instruments were used by all Tamboo Bamboo bands after the success of this band. The now steel percussion bands started to use

paint pans, large Bermudez biscuit tins, hubcaps, dustbin lids and later the cut down 55-gallon oil drums from the US naval base. During the Second World War, Carnival was banned but people continued to play and experiment with Carnival percussion music. Experimentation carried on at a feverish pace. When VE Day was declared in 1945, the population of Trinidad came out on to the streets to jump up and dance to the music of the newest musical instrument of the 20th century – the Steel Pan. It was a long struggle from Slavery to the steelband. The Steelbands now replaced the Tamboo Bamboo bands as the percussive and melodic music of the Carnival. Hell Yard Tamboo Bamboo Band became Trinidad All Stars Steelband another from Laventille Dead End Kids became Desperadoes Steelband. Like the drum brought from Africa during slavery the colonial authorities tried to ban the steelband but in the tradition of Caribbean cultural resistance, creativity and invention it has survived and today the Steel Pan is played all over the world. Michael La Rose Copyright Michael La Rose June 2007


WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! Send us your views... DIUM


it to azine on a vis n Podium mag Pa me d so re g te un sin co ha I first en . After purc rnival in 2005 e beautiful th in h ot Bo T&T for the Ca ’s e of the Vendor compact sweets from on nnah, I enquired about the va Sa had to I rk d Pa an e n’s bl Quee g on a ta s free, ine I saw sittin indicated it wa or nd glossy magaz ve e th es iri qu in y m r have it. Afte reading. al and very ine and began ome, education I took a magaz n Podium awes uld produce co Pa e d in un az fo I ag , m An avid reader such a small at th e articles d th se d es an pr was im ut, the pictures yo la e informative. I Th Everything . e. m ion na of informat lives up to its s ly tru um such a wealth di e Po s, th arranger mensely. Pan s, the pannist moved me im lturally, the steel band Cu . of ic um us di m Po s n ctiou in Pa ures on about the infe can be located e beautiful pict rs of this craft n also view th ca u and the pionee Yo n. ico n is truly an this publicatio ing you www.panpodiu well done, wish the web site at ed s staff for a job hi ish d bl an pu r d ito an Ed ed Hats off to the a well produc um di Po n Pa ess on continued succ magazine.

ry-Carter Lynne Duber York. Brooklyn, New

The 1881 Canboulay Riots in Portof-Spain won the right to have Carnival forever in Trinidad. But African drums were banned from the Carnival in 1884. Undaunted Carnival musicians formed Tamboo Bamboo Bands. They now beat out their African percussion rhythms on Bamboo cut on full moon nights. Their instruments consisted of varied cut lengths of bamboo. When beaten together or stamped on the ground, they provided the percussive music for the Carnival. They also included a bottle and spoon rhythm section. Many musicians in Tamboo Bamboo bands were drummers from Shango and other African influenced religions. In Trinidad’s capital city Port of Spain, the Tamboo Bamboo bands were organised around groups of young men in the poor districts to the east and west of the city, an area known collectively as Behind26


DEAR PANPODIUM Holidaying in London I visited London Trafalgar Square on Sunday the 22nd July 2007 and really enjoyed the Steel band music played by the bands. The variety and quality of the music played by the young players was great. I also collected a Pan Podium magazine that was very informative. A quality product that positively promotes the steel band on a global level.

Robin Maraj - Toronto, Canada DEAR PANPODIUM

I just wanted to say that you have an excellent magazine that is informative, colourful and exciting about steel bands in Britain and also abroad. The Band’s profile is very helpful as an update and people in who’s who are introduced as the role models in steel pan art form. Your magazine puts people together who love the fantastic world of steel pan. Keep up the good work.

Yoko Kimura - Japan

Winter ‘07 issue



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A legacy of steel



Champion pannists Cary and Karen Codrington passed on the gift of musical legacy to their offspring Kareem, Khari, Kaijah, Keisha, Kamau and Kizzie. Together they became The Pan Family Steel Orchestra of Trinidad & Tobago in 1999. Cary holds a Grade II certificate from UWI Creative Arts Centre and a Grade V certificate from the Royal School of Music and is the orchestra’s musical director and arranger. His musical exploits are featured in the audio recordings of the Pan in Education Program, in Trinidad & Tobago.


The Codrington Pan Family is popular and has brought tremendous exposure to the astounding beauty of steel music. On their journey to become noted cultural ambassadors they built up a repertoire that exceeds 130 songs from all genres. Since inception they have maintained a full schedule of appearances. Every year they put on performances during the carnival celebrations and they have been called upon to provide entertainment on numerous occasions. In 2004, they were one of the opening acts for the Jazz Artistes on the Green; they were part of the T&T cultural contingent at a music festival in Hollywood California USA in 2006 and performed for Trinidad and Tobago’s elected officials including Prime Minister Patrick Manning and for international figures such as Prince

Andrew and the Duke of York. This phenomenal family of musicians began capturing titles as early as 2002. Some achievements include 1st place titles in the Soloist and Quartet categories; 2nd Place in the Duet category at the 2004 World Steelband Music Festival; 1st Place in the Under 13 Soloist and Under 16 Duet and 3rd Place in Under 21 Quartet and Under 21 Ensemble categories at the 2005 School Steelband Music Festival; two Jouvert Bomb competitions in the Single Pan Bands 2006 and 2007 in addition to 2nd place finishes in Last Lap and Pan Down Memory Lane competitions in 2007. Their individual talents are obvious during performances and they captivate their audience with joyful smiles and musical versatility on all instruments. Keisha, whom the family calls “a gifted

soloist”, has performed extensively throughout her nation and is well recognized for her musical forte. Pan Soloist Champion at Sanfest 2001, Schools Steelband Music Festival 2001; Citigroup Twelve and Under Champion 2003 and World Steelband Music Festival Champion 2004. The family’s filial bonds are as strong as the steel on which they love and perform and remain committed to their journey of sharing the joy of steel with the world of music. Pan Podium extends thanks to Herman Andalcio and Lynne Duberry Carter for arranging the Pan Family Concert of 2007 and to Councillor McDonald Morris for being a most generous host. Visit with the family at By Vanessa Clarke PAN PODIUM SUMMER 2007 29



cd reviews Rainbow Steel band - 50 Glorious Years The sound on this CD has been very well organised/engineered, one of the best studio live recordings to come from the UK. To own this CD would be money well spent. Fantastic collection of pan melodies, each one representing great international and Trinidadian hits. Easily marketable to a large commercial audience. Musicianship is world class. A great product to celebrate 50 years of Rainbow.

Steel Band Music – Earl Rodney Extremely pleasing to the ears. Consistent high quality sound throughout the CD. Great attention to percussion. The high level of pan playing helps to make everything gel and work as one. Track 6 Steel Band Music is wonderfully nostalgic and encourages you to reminisce on the good times. Good CD to add to your easy listening section of your collection.


Rotterdam Summer Carnival is an annual 3-day event held in the city centre of Rotterdam, Netherlands. Hosted in the last weekend of July, 1 million people from around the globe got together in Holland to celebrate Rotterdam’s Carnival’s 23rd anniversary in 2007.

Small Talk – Fimber Bravo and Kadialy Kouyate Small Talk came when these two musicians met in Break House, Oxfordshire playing together for friends and family. This album has fused two traditions of Africa and the Caribbean, the steelpan and the kora musical instruments in an innovative and contemporary way. The album affords its listener an original and innovative combination of sound with vocals containing powerful lyrics. Ten tracks of music, each telling its own story musically. Track eight – Kilonding is truly beautiful. Visit for more information.

SUMI The music on this CD is not traditional at all. The steelpan is featured as part of a collective sound. The music can be described as alternative, futuristic and abstract. A melancholy of experimental ambient sounds.

BIMA Caribbean Paradise This CD is well engineered and packaged. A professional product. A steel pan CD to add to a connoisseur’s collection. Great relationship between the melody of the tenor pan, live percussion and bass guitar on the title track, Caribbean Paradise. Fantastic percussion which adds real worth to each track. This CD will appeal to a more mature, appreciative audience. Bima plays a Big Mama pan manufactured by E.C.S on all tracks. For you copy email Bima at 30


The growth of Summer Carnival, both in size and quality, meant that the city of Rotterdam has embraced the event. Pictures of Summer Carnival are increasingly featured in promotion material for the city of Rotterdam. Everyone is proud of this event. It is festive, colourful, proud and a protest - all at the same time. Its form appeals to a wide audience. The Thursday evening’s Beach Party was held on the Strand aan de Maas. The following day, the Warming Up/Battle of Drums was held at the Coolsingel stage just outside the Town Hall, you could

literally feel the beats of the drums. Highlight of the Warming Up is without any doubt the Battle of Drums. The music style is called Asembeho and is a wild mixture of salsa, merengue, calypso and soca. Four brass bands with over a hundred percussionists and trumpeters competed in front of an audience of 70,000 people in this musical battle for the coveted title of ‘Best Brass Band of Summer Carnival 2007, prize money of 6000 euros and the opportunity to perform at the 2007 Notting Hill Carnival. The night ended with Europe’s finest, Ebony Steelband, 2006 Notting

Hill Panorama Champions performing a grand finale lasting forty five minutes that left the audience wanting more and anxious for the street parade the following day. THIS EXCHANGE PROGRAM BETWEEN THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF STEELBANDS AND THE ROTTERDAM CARNIVAL ORGANISERS, DUCOS PRODUCTIONS, HAS SEEN THE ‘CHAMPIONS OF STEEL’ AND THE ‘BEST BRASS BAND OF SUMMER CARNIVAL’ PERFORM AT EACH OTHER’S CARNIVALS. On Saturday, the big Street Parade emerges in the city centre. At night there is still a lot to see on the two live stages and last but not least you can visit ‘La Noche Grande del Carnaval’, so you can party until the wee hours. Ebony performed on the float with the radio station Fun X. The players and presenters of the radio station gave out condoms to the crowd, danced to the pan music, waved their rags to the soca music on the float and created a brandy fruit salad leaving everyone ‘getting on bad!’ Kayleigh Lewis PAN PODIUM SUMMER 2007 31






The six orchestras were dotted around the lower level of the Square and it was not unfamiliar to see the crowds drifting from orchestra to orchestra as they played alternatively. Eclipse positioned to the left of Nelson’s Column certainly treated the crowds to some lively and melodic music. Mark ‘Tyson’ Williams has certainly done a wonderful job with his young musicians. To the left of Eclipse was Comets who fielded players from their three bands. Their young musicians from the Comets Community Project

band certainly entertained the audience with some catchy numbers and choreographed dancing. In one year, Jason Butcher has developed them into budding pan musicians. Croydon positioned at the foot of the stairs which provided an amphitheatre setting, treated their audience to a varied repertoire. Paul Dowie continues to inspire his young band of musicians. Pantasia was again a favourite; with their varied repertoire that pleased the crowds immensely. The young and innovative Chris Storey continues his musical

journey to develop his young and capable players into skilful and talented pannists. Ebony, Europe’s finest, commanded their usual location, positioned at the foot of Nelson’s column and between the two magnificent lions which after all is Ebony’s trademark. Captivating the crowds with their wide repertoire, their submission to the public‘s request for more saw their performance surpass the scheduled time. Nostalgia started late but had the crowds chipping around the square to their rhythmic renditions, with

Marvin leading the procession and Haroun encouraging their young members. The Square’s heritage warden had to stop Nostalgia festive procession in the end, much to the dislike of the crowd. The appearance of the event’s flag woman, proudly waving her Trinidadian flag was missed this year. BAS and the Mayor of London have hosted yet another successful Steel Band Jamboree filled with a wealth of steel pan music. Pan 4 Life!




WHO’S WHO ● ● ●


On Saturday 7th July 2007, Leicestershire hosted its first ever all Steelpan event, Steel bands of all abilities from across Leicestershire were brought together for the first time under one roof to create a Massive Jam.

Leicestershire’s pan tutor, Pat Munroe, along with the Leicestershire Arts in Education planned this massive steel pan event involving all 21 schools/colleges being taught pan throughout Leicestershire. Pat’s idea was to raise the awareness and recognise the importance of Pan in Leicestershire. It was also to give the pupils the opportunity to perform to an audience as some have never before, to meet and hear other people who share the same joy of Pan and to play in a large ensemble. Pan Jam took place at the Guthlaxton College in Wigston, Leicestershire. One hundred and eight pannists from 11 schools/colleges, a junior and senior steel orchestras and Contrast Steel band all taught by Pat Munroe took part in the event. Each primary/junior school was taught the same piece of music to perform as an ensemble for the Jam and the same with the senior/colleges. The first time they met was four hours before their performance. Rehearsals went well with some effort spent on synchronising the three drummers from each ensemble. The juniors performed, “I’ll Be Missing You” by Faith Evans and Biggie Smalls whilst the seniors performed the classical piece,”The Nuns Chorus”. Each school/college was also allocated a 5 minute slot to perform a couple of tunes of their choice from all genres of music. A five man adjudication panel provided written feedback on enthusiasm, rhythm and presentation with general comments and recommendations to all participating schools.




Students made their schools, instructor and parents proud regardless of their varying abilities. In the interval the audience was entertained by The Leicester Contrast Steel band giving the students an opportunity to see a semi professional band perform as well as their tutor performing Pat’s musical arrangements of “Colours Again” and “Max It Up” by Destra Garcia and “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” by Simon and Garfunkel. It was not a competition but I have to say the best band on the night was the Leicestershire Arts Senior Steel Orchestra who closed the event with their arousing rendition of “REMIXX”, a piece named by the pupils comprising of a compilation of intros, verses and choruses of music new and old and had the audience in uproar for an encore. The compilation contained music such as “Crazy In Love” - Beyonce, “1 Thing”-

Amerie, “Everybody Dance Now” - Bob Sinclair, “Crazy Frog” – Elephant Man, “Let The Sun Shine” – Lizzie Pattin, “Man-eater” – Nelly Fatado, and ending with “Can’t Touch This” – MC hammer, with all the choreographed singing and dancing, this ending to the show was really fantastic. Their version of “Any Dream Will Do” from the play, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat followed to calm the audience down. It was an extremely successful and fantastic event. I hope it has raised the profile and awareness of Steel pan in Leicestershire and that we can continue to hold this and similar events on a regular basis. It was great for the City of Leicester to have its first steel pan show. I hope that it continues to grow bigger and better with time. Thanks to all for Supporting Pan in the UK. by Pat Munroe

I was first introduced to pan at primary school where I started playing at aged eight. After graduating to secondary school, I joined Stardust Steel Band in 2000 through one of their workshops. I was promoted to a stage side player shortly after joining and I have been playing all year round ever since, regularly gigging and teaching the younger and newer players in the band. Although I never studied any theory, through my 12 years of playing I have gained a better understanding of music through self-teaching and guidance from my more experienced peers. It has given me the confidence to start arranging tunes and composing my own pieces. My first composition ‘Thanks for being you’, took Stardust for their first time to compete in the BAS Pan Explosion in 2005.

I have always been interested in meeting and working with pannists from other bands and in 2006 I started attending meetings for young pan players that were set up to give us the chance to air our views and to see how we could help make the UK pan scene more suited to the younger generations. This led to my appointment as the acting Vice Chairman of what became

people who have the same drive and passion as me only makes my passion for what I do grow stronger. As a member, I am honored to be working with the BAS executives and thank them for this opportunity. I have played in panoramas both in the UK and in Trinidad under arrangers like the late Randolph Baptiste, Brent Holder and Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe and by

Although I never studied any theory, through my 12 years of playing I have gained a better understanding of music through self-teaching and guidance from my more experienced peers. the British Association of Steelbands Future Development Forum. FDF’s aim is to help tighten the strength of the UK pan community by highlighting and developing the innovative skills and talents of pan players. Working with

the grace of God and the blessings of my mother I hope and aspire to become an inspiration to others as they have been to me. By Miles Pascall





THE »ATHAMBURG ALTONA FESTIVAL By Lionel McCalman Photos by Johannes Hermann



The Altona Festival, in the Northern German metropolis of Hamburg is a spectacular event with acts and musical renditions from as far a field as Canada, Angola, America, Ghana, Brazil South Africa, and of course Europe. Nostalgia Traditional Steel Band represented The UK with its flare and lively musical tradition that is well known at the Notting Hill Carnival. Nostalgia is one of the UK’s oldest steel bands. Its tradition was founded in the streets - and the traditional pan yards of Trinidad and Tobago. The feed back from the people who attended the parade was overwhelmingly positive. They all enjoyed the splendour of a big ‘pan-around-neck’ steel band which was well balanced in all its sections. Nostalgia arrived in Hamburg on Saturday morning. The band was greeted by the organisers and taken to the Altona Town Hall. There the band delivered its first impromptu performance to an audience of fellow musicians and residents. After booking into hotels and other communal boarding homes,

the band was taken to its first schedule performance – at the oldest church in Hamburg. Among the performers were five other steel bands of Germany and this made for a splendid block-o-rama in a church building, perhaps, never before seen in Europe. It was an opportunity for net-working and exchanging views, and this was also an opportunity to win the hearts and minds of the people of Hamburg. The youths of Nostalgia were particularly brilliant, performing to rapturous applause, and adulation. Traditionally, the Altona Parade gets high attention in the Hamburg Media, and Nostalgia was given its fair share of coverage, both on radio and TV. Nostalgia performed at the parade on the Sunday, and also featured on three stages in the Hamburg Music Festival Category. These open -air street and stage performances resulted in the group being cheered by a crowd of over ten thousand carnival attendees. A great time was had by all. PAN PODIUM SUMMER 2007 37

● ● ● WHO’S WHO

WHO’S WHO ● ● ●



You have heard the saying “Pan Tuners are born, not made”. Heard it a thousand times. I was one of those pan men who never believed that this was an in-grained skill. So I bought a Strobe Peterson tuner and went about trying to blend my own pans. Then I would take the the un-tuned pans to “‘‘Biggs’’” to correct the damaged pans. I am not the only one; John “Scruff” Thomas could tell the same story stated Grafton Yearwood.



Mr Eziekel Yearwood, known as ‘‘Biggs’’ to everyone, was born in St Vincent on 12th February1935. He arrived in Britain in 1965, and soon after he decided on a pan tuning career after striking up a friendship with Gerald Forsyth. The Yearwood family were well known for their musical skills. Indeed, ‘‘Biggs’s cousin was a top guitarist in St Vincent, and ‘‘Biggs’’ himself was a mean banjo and guitar player before immigrating to England. His brother, Claudius was a well known pan tuner in St Vincent, and was an inspiration to the young ‘‘Biggs’’ who learnt to play the steel pan. When in England, and at that time employed by Fords in Dagenham, ‘‘Biggs’’ linked up with two Trinidadians, Speedy and Brown to form a steel band. They bought a set of pans from a well known pan tuner, Michael ‘Natsy’ Contant. Soon afterwards, the innovative ‘Biggs’, felt he needed to experiment. He bought some oil drums and decided to

copy the patterns of the pans he had. He was very passionate about pans and the self-taught skills he developed enabled him to grasp the finer points about sound and tuning. Very soon the news of the new pan tuner was spreading and – as people grew to like the sound of his pans, the request for new pans started flooding in. ‘Biggs’ became a full time pan tuner. Raymond Joseph, a pan teacher from Leeds heard about ‘Biggs’ and visited him in London. He wanted to start a steel band in Leeds and decided to buy all the pans he needed from ‘Biggs’. Later, Raymond Joseph decided to move to London to work there. ‘Biggs’ suggested that he contact Gerald Forsyth to obtain employment in schools as a pan teacher. ‘Biggs’ himself was a pan teacher at Nortwold Primary school, where his children and many of his grand children later attended. Raymond stayed with ‘Biggs’ and his family for two years and worked as a

steel pan tutor in London schools. Soon afterwards ‘Biggs’ made a decision to form a steel band and with Raymond’s help, Pantonic Steel Band was born. Pantonic is now one of Britain’s oldest steel bands. They achieved second place, twice at the UK National Panorama, Champions of Steel competition and travelled to Switzerland, Malaysia, India, Ireland and many other places around Europe. Biggs’s unselfish nature has seen him share his pan tuning skills with many others including Grafton, Kerry, Terrance, Roger and John Scruff (not always a raving success). Biggs is reputed for the quality of the steel pans he has produced coupled with his unique sound. Many have grown to love ‘Biggs’ the man and admire ‘Biggs’ the pan tuner. By Donna and Lynette Yearwood



● ● ● WHO’S WHO




WHO’S WHO ● ● ●


At a mere twenty years old, she is a veteran steelpan musician of more than fifteen years. Usually on tenor, she is equally adept on double seconds, quadraphonic, double and triple guitars and the bass. Like other young people, she `loves hip hop and funk,’ but lists jazz legends Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Miles Davis and John Coltrane among her icons.

This quiet but selfassured young lady who is overwhelmingly talented moves comfortably among her peers and mentors. Her diminutive stature bellies the strength and maturity which surge to the fore when necessary to assert herself. Iman Pascall is wellknown in the New York pan world, and beyond. Those aware of the emerging steelpan virtuoso since she was little more than a tot are unsurprised by the mark she has already left on the steelpan landscape; in fact they expect even greater achievements. Iman remembers mom Lynette positioning a tenor pan where she had only to climb up to be within reach (at around four years old). It was mom who stayed with her nightly for steelpan practice, her knowledge of and familiarity with the pan community allowing Iman the opportunity to play with some of the best bands in Brooklyn, New York, when she was still a ‘baby’ among the community. Some of her earliest experiences, though, were sometimes fraught with

frustration. One such was around 1995. Though actually seven at the time, people mistook her for four or five while practicing with Moods Pan Groove for New York’s panorama. Nobody wanted to teach her the music and older players continually took advantage, taking her pan from her. “I cried a lot,” she admitted. But she remembers with great fondness, those who did take the time to instruct her: the arranger himself that year for Moods Pan Groove, the legendary Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe, and ace pannist Freddie Harris, III. It would become more heart-rending for the sevenyear old pan prodigy. Iman ‘made the cut’ – a competitive elimination process - for panorama - that is, she was selected to be part of the orchestra to take the stage on competition night. What actually transpired though, Iman will never forget. “Someone took my pan just before I went onstage. I went to put on my white sweater, because we had a white sweater that said

‘Moods.’ I [had] put my pan up. I went back onstage – it wasn’t there. And by that time they had started the count [in readiness for the orchestra to begin] and I couldn’t do anything about it.” Unbelievably, someone crudely cheated Iman out of her big night and along with it, the opportunity to be the youngest steelpan musician on stage that evening under the direction of Boogsie Sharpe. The band played on – without a seven year-old Iman. Such occurrences toughened up ‘little’ Iman Pascall. Late master musician and arranger Clive Bradley is also dear to her, because he too, took her under his wing while arranging for the mighty Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, placing her with his frontline musicians for the 1999 Trinidad and Tobago panorama because she was simply that good! Desperadoes went on to win, and Iman was deservedly part of that history-making night. Today, the young pannist continues to blaze a trail in the steelband world, and is

additionally into arranging and composing. Studies in jazz, the genre which has also captured her fancy is her major alongside the steelpan at Miami’s Florida Memorial University where she is now in her second year. Among her mentors is close friend, fellow student Kareem Thompson of Jambalasi, who excels on the double seconds. Iman credits Thompson with making her an even better player every time they work together, because of his experience, “he’s had different training in steelpan than I did” says Iman. “I’ve grown and learnt so much from him...” In about five years time, Iman sees herself performing in a combination of both the jazz and hip hop genres, with the steelpan front and center; and leading a steel orchestra, both as a stage side and to panorama. This young lady has big dreams, and is more than halfway along the journey to making them a reality. Visit www.panonthenet. com for the full Iman Pascall interview. PAN PODIUM SUMMER 2007 41




EVENT PROFILE ● ● ● 2007 sees the celebration of the 29th anniversary of the Notting Hill Panorama, ‘Champions of Steel’ competition on the 25th August 2007 to be held in Hyde Park. For many years, Honiman’s Pleasant on Kensal Road has been the venue for this iconic Carnival event. Since the Russell Henderson steelband played at the inaugural Notting Hill Children’s Neighbourhood Festival in 1964, organised by Rhaune Laslett, steelband music is noted as the first recognised form of music to appear at the Carnival and continues to play an important role in what is now termed the largest street festival in Europe and possibly the world with the exception of Brazil’s Carnival. The first National Steel band competition was held in 1978 and was won by Paddington Youth Steel Orchestra led by Zac Herbert. This annual national

steelband musical battle sees top UK bands vying for the coveted title of the Notting Hill, ‘Champions of Steel’ with great enthusiasm and vigour. On the evening of the 25th August 2007 the audience at Hyde Park will witness nine steel orchestras with over 500 pan musicians who practice for hundreds of hours, play thousands of pan instruments. An explosion of sweet steel pan music ringing out musical renditions from the past as well as the present will be heard. The audience will be in awe when hit by these inspiring musical pieces. Steel pan has and always been the perfect machinery to promote unity in diversity. Over the past four years the UK pan fraternity has seen an influx of young ‘local’ pan arrangers develop into established musicians and also win the coveted title in the likes of Kyron Akal.

Other young arrangers in the competition include Brent Holder, Leroy Clarke, Paul Dowie, Chris Storey and joining them for 2007 is gifted Samuel Du Bois who will be arranging for Ebony Steel Orchestra. These young arrangers will certainly have a musical war on their hands when they come up against the likes of world renowned steelband arrangers Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe, Rudy ‘Two Lef’ Smith, Ken ‘Professor’ Philmore and Eustace Benjamin. Bands appearing on the night are Croydon, Ebony, Glissando, Mangrove, Metronomes, Pantasia, Real Steel, Southside and Stardust. This competition will certainly continue to offer its audience an evening filled with a wealth of steelband music. The British Association of Steelbands would like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Carnival 2007.








1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 (Bromyard) 1989 (INC) 1990 1991

Paddington Youth Metronomes London All Stars Metronomes/Mangrove Metronomes Ebony Metronomes London All Stars Mangrove Phase 1 Ebony London All Stars Ebony Mangrove Ebony

Metronomes Paddington Youth Ebony

Glissando Ebony Metronomes London All Stars London All Stars Mangrove Mangrove Ebony Stardust Stardust Mangrove

1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Ebony Ebony Ebony Ebony Ebony Ebony Ebony Ebony Mangrove Ebony Mangrove/North Stars Mangrove Mangrove Ebony Ebony

Mangrove/Metronomes Metronomes Pantonic Pantonic Eclipse Glissando Southside Mangrove Ebony Mangrove

Ebony Metronomes Ebony Mangrove Ebony London All Stars Metronomes Stardust Mangrove Ebony Mangrove

Ebony Ebony Stardust Stardust

Metronomes Metronomes London All Stars/North Stars Pantonic Mangrove Lambeth Youth Lambeth Youth Mangrove Eclipse Eclipse Glissando Glissando Metronomes Real Steel Glissando Glissando Southside Harmonics Glissando PAN PODIUM SUMMER 2007 43

● ● ● WHO’S WHO


Fantastics Steelband from the town of Nagata, Kobe in Japan was founded to rejuvenate the town after the Hanshin and Awaji earthquakes hit Kobe.

LAND OF THE RISING SUN »FANTASTICS The town of Nagata suffered catastrophic damage because most of the local shopping arcades and markets were destroyed by fire. Kenji Akashi, leader of Fantastics, and a local civil servant around the Nagata area, lost his house in the earthquake. He decided to establish a steel band as a local project after seeing steelbands in New York and knew the sound of a steelpan would encourage people who had suffered from the natural disaster. The local authorities and a mail-order firm assisted him in the project called “Nagata Latin Music Street”. They bought steelpans and provided a pan yard near Nagata Station, where they practiced regularly. The project attracted local shopkeepers and citizens, and “Fantasitics” was established in 2001 with twenty members. In 2002, they played in gigs including the opening events of World Cup 2002 and Kobe Airport. In 2005, they decided to have a big event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Hanshin and Awaji earthquakes. They recruited



one hundred players using a community paper and one hundred and fifteen citizens of Kobe applied for participation in the event. The municipal office provided the steelpans and Kobe 100 Steel Orchestra was formed. In August 2005, Kobe Steelpan Carnival was held and ten steel bands including Kobe 100 Steel Orchestra and Exodus Steel Orchestra from Trinidad joined the carnival. A special song to commemorate Kobe’s recovery from the earthquake was introduced there. The lyric of the song, “To Bring Happiness” was written by one of the primary school teachers in Kobe. The orchestra produced a CD that included this song, Brazil and Calypso Latin Okinawa melody. The profit from the CD that amounted to over £1,000 was donated to the victims of another earthquake in Niigata. The music of the CD was arranged by Yoki Murakami, a musical arranger who comes from Yokohama. Murakami started playing the steel pan after meeting Andy Narrell at the University of North Texas, from where he graduated. He played in

the world famous Trinidad and Tobago National Panorama competition with the Harmonites steel orchestra in 2001. Murakami founded the Pan Village Pan School in Tokyo and Yokohama in 2001 and now tutors about one hundred students. Fantastic’s members’ ages range from teen to the sixties. They play in over thirty local festivals and gigs annually. One of their main events is the Kobe Festival held annually on the 2nd Saturday in May. They play in the festival from a float whilst some of the members accompany them by playing the pan-around-the neck. In Japan, steel pan music is looked upon as healing music and lends an atmosphere of encouragement to all who listen to it. The members of the Fantasitics steel band certainly epitomizes the meaning of Music is the Food of Love as they bring happiness to all in attendance wherever and whenever they play. Play on Fantastics, Spread the Steelpan Gospel! By Yoko Kimura



WHO’S WHO ● ● ●

FLAG WAVERS STEEL BAND FLAG WAVERS – FLAG MAN – FLAG WOMAN It’s Carnival Tuesday morning in Trinidad in the 1960’s and you are standing at the corner of Cawnpore Street and the Western Main Road , St James. You see the black flag carrying the famous skull and the crossed bones logo being waved energetically in the bright sunlight, announcing the coming of the Crossfire Steel Orchestra. Your heart starts beating frantically as the flag waver gets closer and the sounds of sweet steel captivates your spirit. Deeply rooted in tradition and history is the role of the steel band flag carrier. It is a special time-honoured position that requires confidence, grace and skill. The flag woman does her enthusiastic flag-waving choreographed dance during her steel band’s live performance. This energetic task was formerly performed by a man. In 1976, it was the late Lord Kitchener’s calypso, Flag Woman that won road march honours. “Flag Woman”, a bright and flashy “lavway”, light in content, but full of rhythm sent the early morning, Jouvert celebrations, crowds wild. In fact, it could be said that the 1976 Trinidad Carnival could be termed as the ‘Flag Women Carnival’. Each band has a dancer with a flag doing an elaborate flag dance. It was Lord Kitchener who highlighted that a ‘Flag Woman’ was essential in a steel band on carnival day. His calypso ‘Flag Woman’ opens by stating “You have no band unless you have a flag woman.” A fitting tribute to the role of the flag woman and her importance is told throughout the calypso. 46


Today, this tradition carries on as flag women and men are highly visible during steel band performances notably at global Panorama competitions.

Extract of Lyrics to Flag Woman by Aldwyn Roberts (Lord Kitchener) You have no band without a beautiful flag woman You have no ban without an experienced flag woman The band will have no control, the music will have no soul The revelers wouldn’t play, their usual mas on carnival day (Chorus) A woman really have the touches to send you bumping Sure to make the rhythm touch you when she start waving When you see she get that fever, is plenty trouble Whether you sink or swim, you bound to waiver Aye yi yi yi yi yi yi yi yi, wave it baby Get them moving, yes, honey – Do your duty, wave it sexy – Send them crazy Woman, woman, move your hand


Pan Sticks FOR SALE contact: Felix Joseph Tel:020 7474 7467 Mob: 07808 847 974



WHO’S WHO ● ● ●

PANS ‘N ROSES Cycle of Fifths

We are five enthusiastic ladies whose passions include playing the steel pan. We have learnt to play the steel pan instrument at Pan Kultur in Dortmund, Germany and played gigs as members of their full orchestra as well as their “Pan-around-the-Neck” Band.

» 48

“as soon as we start playing people are pleasantly surprise to discover such a rich and harmonious sound”


Approximately eight years ago we decided that we wanted to establish an all female steel band and this was made possible by the support of our friends in Germany and other parts of Europe who arranged workshops to enable us to develop our own repertoire. Having no pan yard we usually rehearse at home or walking through the forest entertaining the birds and passer bys. Steel pan was and still is not well known in Germany but as soon as we start playing people are pleasantly surprise to discover such a rich and harmonious sound. Most of our performances are at corporate events, birthday parties, weddings, street parades and other

various functions. As we do not use any sound system this affords us the flexibility to play at any venue. Several of us in the band have gained valuable experience playing with the Nostalgia Steel band at the World famous Notting Hill Carnival and with Funland Serenaders in Bern Fasnacht.

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For further information and news about us please visit our website: By Ingeborg Schroeder-Daschkey Photos by Janosch Gruschczyk and Ruediger Daschkey


UK £3.00 - Overseas £5.00 I enclose a cheque/postal order for the sum of £ made payable to BAS. Annual Subscription: Please send this form to: British Association of Steelbands, The Tabernacle, Powis Square, London W11 2AV PAN PODIUM SUMMER 2007 49





Two years ago Panpodium featured an article on Diana Hancox and her work on promoting the steel pan art form in Warwickshire.


iana’s role in Warwickshire ceased, and although on a protected salary and spending some months looking at alternative employment possibilities, she realised that her heart was indeed with pan and promoting its teaching and learning. In August 2006, Diana was invited to speak about her work at the International Conference on Steel Pan in London. She told the story of “The Magic Sticks”, about the magic of pan and about the need to raise the status of Pan to that of other instruments. In preparing for this talk she realised the need to work on what had been developed so far and the idea of the Steel Pan Academy was born. In September 2006, Diana was asked to run some evening groups at Harbury and so the first Academy groups were founded. These groups are 50


held on a Wednesday evening involving Junior, Youth and Adult groups. All three groups have been a great success. They are booked for every weekend this summer. Diana has always been keen to work with others in the Pan industry and has always had close links with Coventry’s Phase One Steel Orchestra, directed by Stephon Phillip. This year Phase One decided to go on tour to Barcelona and invited Academy Youth@Harbury to join them. This has involved a mammoth fundraising effort that has created a great spirit amongst the groups who toured in July. The Steel Pan Academy and Phase One believe that this tour is a great way to enhance all their steel pan skills. From September 2007, the Academy will be providing regular peripatetic steel pan teaching to a number of

schools in Coventry and Warwickshire, it will be hosting after school groups in different areas of Coventry and Warwickshire every night of the week to junior, youth, adult, and U3A groups. The Academy will also be running the Academy Stars, a top band for their most able pannists. The Academy Stars will be directed by Bev Wickham and supported by the rest of the team, with some special sessions run by Stephon. Plans and ambitions are many; next year the Academy will be running its first Steel Pan Festival, hosting a special event in October for Black history Month and continuing Diana’s mission to raise the status of pan by working with BAS to get a nationally accredited system for pan set up in thie UK. It has not been an easy ride, and it has certainly been hard work, but Diana, Bev and Lisa are a strong and established

team, with supportive schools and all working closely with pan colleagues and with a dedication to fulfill their visions. Within a few months, the Steel Pan Academy has made its mark, it is a non-profit making organization and aims to succeed in all its plans and ambitions, ensuring that the quality of steel pan playing, teaching and learning flourishes in the Midlands and beyond. For more information on the Steel Pan Academy Contact Diana at or call 07765 811042 By: Diana Hancox Photos by: Polly Hall


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Panpodium Issue 15  

Spreading the Love of Pan

Panpodium Issue 15  

Spreading the Love of Pan