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The Official Magazine of the British Association of Steelbands

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Issue 19 l Summer ‘09

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elcome to another edition of Pan Podium, the only magazine representing and promoting the interests, culture and importance of the steel pan and wider carnival arts.

Firstly, on behalf of the Executive and Members of the Association, I would like to thank our Public Relations Officer and Editor of ‘Pan Podium’ – Robbie Joseph - for all his work in promoting the music and culture of pan both in the UK and worldwide. 2009 celebrates the 10th anniversary of this publication – a milestone in our history and in the pan movement – and its success is a reflection of his efforts. Another milestone in the history of pan in the UK is the 40th anniversary of Ebony Steelband. Ebony lays claim to being “Europe’s finest” having built a reputation for musical excellence nationally and internationally. They have won a record breaking 17 Panoramas, nine of which were consecutive. An organisation that delivers a variety of steelband workshops and community projects for disadvantaged young people – Ebony is based in Kensington and Chelsea where there is the opportunity to work with young people to direct them away from crime and anti-social behaviour and towards living successful and purposeful lives. Also celebrating significant anniversaries this year are New World Steel Orchestra (25th), Contrast Steelband and Phase 1 Steel Orchestra (21st), Southside Harmonics and North Tyneside Steelband (20th) and Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra (10th). 2009 also sees the 55th anniversary of the ‘grand-daddy’ of all UK steel bands, Nostalgia. For the third consecutive year BAS is working with our partners – the Greater London Authority, London Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, the Royal Parks and others - to stage the 2009 National Panorama Competition in Hyde Park on Saturday 29 August. This year we are extending the programme to incorporate other carnival arts such as masquerade and calypso, exposing more of the creativity and culture of the Caribbean to London’s diverse

population. A precursor to the Notting Hill Carnival’s weekend of celebrations, it is the first major step by London’s carnival community in preparing itself for the demands of 2012. The 2009 Panorama promises to be one of the best yet, attracting both arrangers and judges from around the world. I wish all the bands participating in this event, and in competitions at the Notting Hill Carnival, the very best of luck. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to our 11th Annual Awards presentation, to be held at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury on Saturday 5 December 2009. As ever, the Awards celebrate the successes of steel bands in the UK and honour those who have made significant contributions to the movement. For more information and tickets contact debi@panpodium. com. Tickets to this event are strictly limited. Until the next time I wish you all a safe, happy and enjoyable Carnival season.

Pepe Francis Chair

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 3


F R O MAGAZINE M OFT THEHBRITISH E ASSOCIATION E D IOF TSTEELBANDS O R THE OFFICIAL

pan podium

> ISSUE 19 SUMMer 2009

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his 20th century acoustic invention started with the hammer and discarded oil drum in the 1930’s by Trinidadians and since then, the steelpan has spread infectiously with factories set up in the USA, Japan, Nigeria and the UK to name a few. Since its introduction in 1950-51 to the UK it is now firmly rooted into the fabric of multicultural Britain.

Pan Podium celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. A decade ago, it was difficult to source information on this artform; but its global recognition is now evident as musicians are promoting the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago worldwide through concerts, competitions, tours, albums and films. Our mission is to continue to work closely with our global media partners actively supporting and promoting the unselfish efforts of the global steelpan community to its world audience ensuring its recognition is always at the forefront. Pan Podium continues its programme of media development by introducing a revamped magazine with its new website to follow. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to Pan Podium’s success over the last decade. Pan 4 Life! Robbie J, Editor

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North Tyneside Steelband Festival This year’s North Tyneside Festival of Steelbands’ was the biggest and best to date!

Hethersett Steelers

The Steelers are always involved in the school Christmas and summer concerts, but enjoy outings at a variety of outside events.

22 Sunshine Panners

BASFDF Pan Explosion 2009

Initiated by the British Association of Steelbands to encourage young people to compose, arrange and play musical pieces on the steelpan.

Birmingham Steelbands Festival

The players’ ages involved in this festival ranged from six to seventeen years.

Rudy ‘Two Lef’ Smith

His music can be described as straight ahead jazz and jazz in be-bop and he is referred to as the jazz king of steelpan.

They became quite well known in the area as the ‘sounds of steel’ and were heard at schools, garden fetes and country shows.

25 CD Reviews 26 Ebony’s 40th Anniversary

Pan Dreams

They have an accomplished repertoire; their live music provides a wide spectrum of musical genres

Summer Carnival transforms the city centre into the biggest stage in the Netherlands.

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Ebony would have been known as ‘Ebonites Steelband’ today had the name not already been taken when Cape went to register the band in 1969.

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36 Dutch Steelband Festival

De Kwakel was soon transformed from its tranquil state into a buzzing steeldrum heaven

39 Cool Pans

Cool Pans three major aims are, to have fun, develop their technical skills on the instrument and spread the steelpan culture throughout Sweden and Europe.

40 CSI at the Afrique/Carib Festival in Holland

Their music attracted the public like bees to honey at the Stadhuisplein Square.

42 Gerald Forsyth

Readers Letters

In 1969, Gerald Forsyth set up the first school steel band in Islington Green School, London, and became its teacher.

32 Pan Chat Radio and Book Review

44 CAPCA/BAS Junior Panorama

34 BAS/GLA Trafalgar Square Steelbands Jamboree 2009

46 The Prime Minster and Pan

Pan chat radio has been on air for more than six months. Cy Grant’s book, ‘Ring of Steel’.

Trafalgar Square became a steelband village.

The audience was treated to an explosion of sweet steel band music played by young enthusiastic pan musicians.

He is a lover of the steelpan instrument, a ‘panman’ himself, and one-time head of the Antiguan Steelband Association.

Editor: Robbie Joseph Writers/Contributors: The Pan Café, When Steel Talks, Rob Slocombe, Stephon Phillip, Rudy Smith, Dave Edwards, Lionel McCalman, Tim Brownbridge, Jenny Gilberg, Digna – Steelbandshop Holland, Anita Petri, Norma Quarshie, Ducos, Hedvig Manswell. 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: panpodium@aol.com or robbie@panpodium.com Website: www.panpodium.com 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.

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 5


event profile

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oung pannists from across the region converged at Wallsend Memorial Hall on Friday, 3rd July; full of enthusiasm and ready display their dexterity with their instruments. The event was opened by KEVI Steel (King Edward VI School, Morpeth, MD: Jenny Gilberg) who as newcomers to the event, were delighted to be placed 3rd. North Tyneside Steelbands Intermediate/ Training Band (North Tyneside, MD: Dave Edwards) snatched 2nd place with their rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon and Kingsmeadow Steel Band (Gateshead, MD: Julie Robinson), put on an excellent performance, and were deservedly placed 1st. All the other bands performing: Chilli Road Steelband (Heaton, MD: Paul Fletcher), Monkseaton Community

North Tyneside

Steelbands Festival 2009 This year’s North Tyneside Steelbands Festival was the biggest and best to date! Steelbands North along with North Tyneside Council, Community Foundation and the British Association Steelbands, directed by Dave Edwards and assisted by North Tyneside Young Leaders, facilitated the event. 6 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009

Before the awards ceremony, there was a collaborative mass play by all 87 players, of the ‘Israelites’ by Jimmy Cliff (arranged by young leader, Holly Connon). Leading up to the event, scores were distributed to all the bands and tuition and support offered by young leaders. The mass play was recorded and has since been distributed to all the bands. All bands received a trophy sponsored by the British Association of

High School (Monkseaton, MD: Michael Darling), Monkseaton Middle School Steelband - Bands 1&2, (Monkseaton, MD’s: Hannah Betham, Holly Connon and Grace Paul), Rocket Panners (Stephenson Memorial First School, Howden, MD: Jenny Gilberg) and St Cuthberts Steelband – Bands 1 & 2 (Hartlepool, MD: Mike Davison) put on superb performances demonstrating a high level of musicianship and dedication to the development of steel pan in the North. It was brilliant to have ‘newcomer’ bands at the event performing alongside some of the regions established bands like ‘Chilli Road’, managed by Paul Fletcher - who along with Dave Edwards and Ken Patterson brought steel pan to the North East over twenty years ago!

Steelbands and medals were awarded to the most promising player from each band and were presented by Ian Coulthart of North Tyneside Music Service. The general consensus was that the event was a tremendous success reflecting the evolution of the fast growing steelband culture in Newcastle and the North of England. u

By Jenny Gilberg

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 7


band profile

Hethersett Steelers Hethersett is a village, population c. 6000, about 100 miles north of London. The city of Norwich lies less than 10 miles northeast. Hethersett Junior School is based on a long-established Church of England School, for pupils aged 7 to 11. The area is both beautiful and prosperous, Norfolk being both a farming county and a holiday resort. The school actively supports music-making, and up to 50% of pupils have instrumental lessons.

Words and Images: Rob Slocombe

8 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009

The fuse was lit at Hethersett by music lead, Anne Hallam, in 1998, using mini-pans, with success, and then persuading the school to invest in some full-sized pans. Around that time, Yasmin Emerson, now of Panic Steelband (MD Liz Kennerley) in Cambridge, did a teacher-training placement in Hethersett. There are just two adult steelbands in Norfolk, so progress has to be made from the ground up.

After Anne moved on, Rob Slocombe was recruited to run the steelband, augmenting the instrumentation from a variety of sources. Rob, a local GP, had become Norfolk’s first peripatetic steelband tutor, in 2002, via a series of lucky breaks. He currently runs two ten-piece steelbands at the school ‘The Hethersett Steelers’ and the ‘senior’ group, ‘The Hethersett Show-Steelers’ of mixed ability, with ages from eight to eleven, and on to fifteen. Pupils moving up to High School form the nucleus of the latter, plus assist in coaching the youngsters. Rob stated, ‘I am an experienced trombone player in a variety of genres, but when I attended a concert including Stowmarket Middle School steelband some 20 years ago, I heard the call to Pan. Soon afterwards, I bought my first pan from Terry Noel, of BT Melodians, and taught myself some tunes. I started collecting empty oil drums in the, perhaps naïve, hope that I could make some pans (so far I’ve made a couple of viable single-bass pans). Then I took on a music degree, focused mainly on the brass band genre, simultaneously with becoming a volunteer helper in a steelband at a special school. I became steadily

more adept at arranging for Pan. On completion of my BA, I took on another school, and then a mixture of brass and steel teaching via the County. Since then, I have coached several Norfolk school steelbands and have run a number of steelband workshops for adults and children.

‘I have been at Hethersett for five years. Early into my peripatetic career, I arranged to attend rehearsals and performances of several school-based steelbands, in order to gather ideas. Victoria Jaquiss in Leeds showed me the power of colour-coding of chords, and I have adapted this. I simultaneously use note names along with standard music notation, which is unambiguous about rhythm, and which gives crossover to other music-making. More complex arrangements need separate parts, but I also like ‘lead sheet’ charts, usually with three staves, so that players can pick a line, yet see what the others are up to.’ The Steelers are always involved in the school Christmas and summer concerts, but enjoy outings at a variety of outside events. These have included a buskathon in aid of World Vision, local fetes, yearly contributions to the Rotary Club Christmas Charity event at the Castle Mall shopping centre in Norwich, regular appearances at Center Parcs, Brandon, participation in the Norfolk ‘Our World’ event, and performances at the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Show. There are maybe a dozen school steelbands in Norfolk. Rob is keen for his band members to hear and enjoy the performances of other bands, and hopes to take them further afield to achieve this. Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 9


band profile

Pan Dreams Steelband In 1997, the seeds of pleasure for the Caribbean fell on fertile land in the county of Zug in Switzerland. As two new steelbands in the region were searching for new members, they thought, why not make it a collective effort, so decided to combine their efforts and form one band. Their musicians come from 5 different Swiss counties, Zug, Aargau, Zßrich, Uri and Schwyz. At their first encounter at Steinhausen, it was clear that they got on very well with each other and so the Pan Dreams Steelband was born. Their fascination with the sweet sounds of steel saw them rehearsing once a week on Tuesdays finishing off the evening with some social networking. Pan Dreams perform at over thirty gigs a year in Switzerland and across the borders. They have an accomplished repertoire, their live music provides a wide spectrum of musical genres from Calypso, Cha-cha-cha, Salsa, Samba, Mambo, Waltz, Rock ‚n Roll, Pop to Swiss folklore. Pan Dreams boast of their ability to awaken the holiday feelings of sun, sand and sea, a drink at the

10 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009

bar with music to relax and enjoy. Their main aim is to pass on the Caribbean feeling to all their audiences. Since January 2009, Junior Edwards has been their tutor, inspired by his musical family he started playing the steelpan from the tender age of eight. He has been living and working in Switzerland since 1996. Junior - steelpan tutor, musical arranger, drummer and percussionist has produced several successful steelband projects in Switzerland. For more information on Junior then visit his website www. junior-edwards.ch. If you want more information on the Pan Dreams steelband then do not hesitate to visit their website www.pandreams.ch or email their President, Beat Geisser at beat.geisser@bluewin.ch or telephone him on 078 727 3361. If you want to book Pan Dreams for gigs then please contact Werner Weber on 078 684 1213 or email him at info@pan-dreams.ch Words and Images: Beat Geisser


event profile

Pantasia dominates the BASFDF Pan Explosion Competition 2009

On a bright and warm summer’s evening on Saturday May 30th the fairly new premises of the UKCCA in Luton was filled with the sweet strains of steelband music emitted from the seven steelbands dotted around their grounds running their last practice sessions before entering the spacious auditorium to perform in front of a capacity audience.  

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oel ‘Tubbs’ Hamilton –Mills, the event’s MC reminded the audience of the concept of the event i.e. initiated by the British Association of Steelbands to encourage young people to compose, arrange and play musical pieces on the steelpan and how it has progressed from its humble beginnings in the Tabernacle, Powis Square, London from 1999 to date.    The event started with Rachel Rankin nee Haywood playing four musical pieces, Prelude in C Minor by Bach, All at Once by Whitney Houston, Carillon by Herbie Flowers and Carnival is for Woman by Ray Holman.   Her performance confirmed the fact of the steelpan’s versatility with all genres of music. 

...the concept of the event i.e. initiated by the British Association of Steelbands to encourage young people to compose, arrange and play musical pieces on the steelpan...

The twenty five and Under Ensembles competition followed with Pantasia being victorious with 531.5 points followed by the Ebony Protegez in second place with 482 points. The Dubois sisters continue to work their musical magic with their young band of pannists. Delphina ‘Panness’ James, former Chair of BASFDF gave the following feedback on Pantasia’s performance, ‘Pantasia’s own composition was nicely controlled and rehearsed. Great structure with nice chord voicings. I enjoyed listening to their tune of choice which was an old tune played by today’s youth. This is definitely a band to be reckoned with in future years.’   The UKCCA Revellers, their resident steelband led by Ian Beckles performed as the guest band after the intermission with Richard Alvin Gittens visiting from Trinidad playing lead soloist on the tenor. Their solid performance left the audience thirsting for more of their fine music. They were followed by Shakka who sang and played the keyboards providing an added feature to the Pan Explosion programme. BAS Chairman, Pepe Francis, made a short speech commending the BASFDF on how much they have achieved since their inception. 

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 13


event profile

Birmingham Music Service Steelband Festival Tuesday, the 30th June 2009 saw the Birmingham Music Service host its first Steel Band festival at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) Centre, Birmingham, home of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

The 26 and over Ensembles competition followed with Pantasia and Ebony jointly capturing first place with 522 points. In third place was Eclipse led by Mark ‘Tyson’ Williams with 495 points. Real Steel from Plymouth attained fourth position with 472 points, this was their first appearance in this competition. Harlow who was a guest band last year also competed for the first time in this competition with all their players being under 25 except for their arranger, Samuel Dubois, a former Pan Explosion Champion. They were awarded fifth place with 433 points.   Judges on the night were Debbie Romain, Rachel Rankin and Richard Gittens with BAS Secretary, Debi Gardner, as the Adjudicator.   The event’s musicality was of a very high standard with players showing their enhanced dexterity with the steelpan instrument. As in all similar events the winner on the night was steelband music as everyone in attendance was treated to a wealth of it.  After the event Pan Podium spoke to a number of people and Lizzie from Newcastle who played with the Caribbean Steel International Orchestra (CSI) at the 2008 Notting Hill Panorama commented, ‘I think Pan Explosion provides a brilliant opportunity for young players to showcase their deft skills to a live audience. BAS has provided the perfect platform for young pannists to gain and enhance their confidence when playing to large live audiences’.        The evening drew to a close with all in attendance wondering when was the next Pan explosion and where will it be held as the UKCCA venue was an ideal one for this sort of event.  Hats off to the BASFDF and BAS for yet another successful event.    14 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009

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‘I think Pan Explosion provides a brilliant opportunity for young players to showcase their deft skills to a live audience....’

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n 1998, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra achieved a home of its own in the heart of Birmingham’s City Centre. Built to complement the facilities of Symphony Hall, CBSO Centre provides magnificent rehearsal and administrative facilities for the orchestra, its players, its choruses and its sister organisation Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Since the CBSO and BCMG travel so widely in the UK and abroad, the Centre is able to provide opportunities for use by the wider world which enabled the first Birmingham Steelband festival. The event was organised by the Birmingham Music Service’s head of world music, Harjit Singh, in conjunction with steel pan tutors Stephon Phillip, Beverly Wickham, Sabrina Douglin, Cheryl Best, Verender Lochab and Stephen Lapsley. All primary and secondary schools currently receiving steel pan tuition in Birmingham were invited along to take part in what turned out to be an illuminating and rewarding experience

results Ensembles – (25 and under) 1st Pantasia 2nd Ebony Protegez

531.5 pts 482 pts

Ensembles – (26 and over) 1st Ebony & Pantasia

522 pts

3rd Eclipse

495 pts

4th Real Steel

472 pts

5th Harlow

433 pts

‘The players’ ages involved in this festival ranged from six to seventeen years. The youngest band from the Banners Gate Infant School, specially made smaller pans fascinated a lot of the older children.’

for all those involved. The adjudicator for the event was none other than the celebrated pan manufacturer/ tuner/arranger and player, Victor Phillip, founder of the Phase One steel orchestra. At the end of each session, Victor offered general words of encouragement to all participating bands and also provided them with a written critique. Diana Hancox of the Steel Pan Academy was MC/compere for the day. Her role involved interviewing the children, getting an insight into their playing experience as well as the musical pieces they were performing. The players’ ages involved in this festival ranged from six to seventeen years. The youngest band from the Banners Gate Infant School, specially made smaller pans fascinated a lot of the older children. The repertoire for the day was wide and varied including such pieces as, Old Macdonald, Love Me Tender, Hallelujah, Doctor Who, Nah Do Dat, Mercy, and Take 5. Each group was aptly supported and encouraged by the audience which was mostly made up of players. This showed the camaraderie which exists amongst the young Midland panists revealing that their strength lies in their unity and support for each other. Twenty school bands and two area orchestras participated with a few schools cancelling due to the current swine flu epidemic. The positive feedback received has the whole team eagerly looking forward to doing it all again next year. By Stephon Phillip Birmingham Music Service

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 15


who’s who

u Denmark based Trinidadian born Rudy ‘Two Lef’ Smith plays the alto steel pans, is a composer, recording artist and a musical arranger. His music can be described as straight ahead jazz and Jazz in be-bop and he is referred to the jazz king of steelpan. Rudy is an accomplished arranger and is respected for his ability to write scores for the

Rudy ‘Two Lef’ Smith His 1984 recording, Be Bach, provides interplay of piano, steelpan and bass and demonstrates the versatility of the instrument, indicating that pan can hold its own on the world stage. Music reviews describes him as ‘floating the notes above his double tenors against the hot accompaniment of the piano, bass and drums’. Rudy is known internationally for his performances in jazz festivals in Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Africa, Belgium, Holland, Finland, West Indies and the USA. He continues to play in clubs in Scandinavia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Africa, West Indies, Belgium and Holland and recorded with top Swedish musicians on the EMI label as well as other labels such as Sanch and Storyville. Photo: Response Photography

16 / Pan Podium / Winter 2009

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 17


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udy is originally from Port of Spain, Trinidad and his chosen instrument is the steelpan, Trinidad and Tobago’s national musical instrument. Noted for his performances with many highly regarded jazz artists, Rudy has attracted attention as one of the brightest steelpan soloist in jazz. He has recorded and performed with artistes such as George Cables, Tommy Flanagan, Horace Parlan, Bernie Senesky, and Andrew Cyrille. Frank Morgan, Ed Thigpen, David Williams, Dom Um Ramao, Red Mitchell, Mats Winding, Belgium TV Big Band, Don Thompson and many others... He perfected his unique style by studying jazz luminaries - Milt Jackson, Bobby Hutcherson, Oscar Peterson and John Coltrane. Rudy has toured internationally and has performed at some of the major clubs and jazz festivals in the USA, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean. Krister Malm, Ph. D., musicologist, Sweden wrote – ‘Double alto pan player Rudy Smith has started a new phase in the story of pan. And not only in the story of the pan but in the story of AfroAmerican music. Rudy Smith has married the most important Afro-Caribbean invention in the field of musical instruments, the steelpan, to the most important Afro-American musical tradition, the jazz. And more than that. He has developed a solo style of the steelpan which has not been heard before. His technique is dazzling. But it is not a question of empty virtuosity. Rudy Smith´s playing is marked by the same astonishing inventiveness that has created the steelpan.’ Whilst Mark Miller of the Globe and Mail in Toronto, Canada penned – ‘It would be all too easy to make a fuss about the apparent novelty of the steel drum as a jazz instrument. The sound of the pan, after all, is the sound of calypso, not of bebop- or blues-note, at least, until Rudy Smith, a Trinidadian musician travelling out of Copenhagen, strikes the first notes of a hip tune like John Coltrane’s “Some Other Blues”. Damned if it isn´t perfectly natural.’ Thorbjoern Sjoegren, Berlingske Tidende, from Denmark stated, ‘It may perhaps be rather natural (and easy) to consider the use of steel-drums in jazz as something of curiosity, but the way in which Rudy Smith handles his two 50 cm- wide metal things it is not difficult for him to convince us of their legitimate use in jazz.’ The Metro Word, Toronto carried the following on Rudy- “The hollow tones of a steelpan might seem a major disadvantage for the warm note- bending playing required in jazz soloing, but with a delicate style of improvisation and careful attention to each song´s structure, Smith has defied convention and emerged as a sought-after player.”

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The Modern Sound Quintet was formed by Rudy in late 1960s in Sweden. This international group of musicians featured John Rochford (piano) from Barbados, Sigfried McIntosh (bass) from Surinam, George Allyen (drums) from Trinidad and Kofi Ayivor (congas) from Ghana. Lars Samuelson, a jazz trumpet player and producer in Sweden who heard this quite unique quintet, was captivated by their concept and sound, and asked them to record an album, Otinku, the resulting album, was recorded in Stockholm in 1971, produced by Samuelson, and originally released on the Odeon label, a subsidiary of EMI Finland. With an Afro-jazz/Caribbean orientation, the selections are a rich mixture of jazz standards and original compositions, including recently re-discovered killer funk tunes “Otinku” and “Sugar Daddy,” and a fine steel jazz version of “Bags Groove.” The album was their only release and is now a soughtafter item for steel pan/Caribbean music fans and vinyl diggers. “Still Around”, by the Rudy Smith Quartet is the first record Rudy made under his own name after the Modern Sound Quartet in 1984. Rudy recorded this album while living in Denmark with Ole Mathiessen on piano, Niels Prostholm on bass and the South African Gilbert Matthews on drums. Steel drums are generally used for traditional Afro-Caribbean pan music, but Rudy makes excellent use of them in a jazz context. Rudy’s appearances include - Beaches Jazz Festival, Toronto, Canada; George Gershwin Theatre, New York, USA; Stockholm Jazz Festival, Sweden; Pori Jazz Festival, Finland; Jaroslav Jazz Festival, Russia; Oostende Jazz Festival, Belgium; Tilburg Jazz Meeting, Holland; Donaueschinger Musiktage, Germany; Kensington Town Hall, London, England; Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Denmark; Barbados Jazz Festival, Barbados; Trinidad & Tobago Panjazz Festival, Music composer for “The Perfect Angel”, Det Lille Teater, Nov. 1999, Denmark; Lincoln Center, Broadway, New York; Baseline, Johannesburg, South Africa; Aardklop Concert House, South Africa and many others Rudy has arranged music for steel bands in national panorama competitions worldwide including Glissando in London, Birdsong in Trinidad and many more. His discography includes – Rudy Smith Quartet Still Around, Stretching Out, Time to Move On, Live in Stockholm and Musical Journey. Rudy Smith Trio - Live in Toronto. u

Visit his websites to learn more about this amazing musician/composer/arranger/tuner www.rudysmith.dk and www.myspace.com/rudysmithjazz

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“The hollow tones of a steelpan might seem a major disadvantage for the warm note- bending playing required in jazz soloing, but with a delicate style of improvisation and careful attention to each song´s structure, Smith has defied convention and emerged as a sought-after player.” Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 19


event profile

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otterdam located in the province of South Holland is the second largest municipality in the Netherlands. The city has the largest port in Europe and was until recently the world’s busiest port; it is found on the banks of the river, Nieuwe Maas, one of the streams in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse rivers. The name “Rotterdam” is derived from a dam in a small river the Rotte that joins the Nieuwe Maas at the heart of the city. Initially an Antillean and Aruban occasion, Zomer (Summer) Carnival has grown over the years into an event with which many cultures can identify. Nowadays, Surinam, Brazil, Cape Verde and Bolivia are among the visible influences. People have come together, giving birth to a new national tradition. Summer Carnival has developed its own content and artistic profile. It is an annual 2-day event in the city centre of Rotterdam, Netherlands. This 2-day event (24, 25 July) was a big hit this year, as it was its’ 25th anniversary. It is a huge event where around 2000 masqueraders in the traditional street parade enjoyed one of the biggest events in Holland. The one million visitors, who come from all over Europe to dance to the Latin music, look at the colourful and amazing costumes and floats in the big street parade enjoyed it immensely. The growth of Summer Carnival, both in size and quality, meant that the city of Rotterdam has embraced the event. It is festive, colourful, proud and a protest - all at the same time. Its format appeals to a wide audience. Summer Carnival transforms the city centre into the biggest stage in the Netherlands.

Rotterdam Zomer Carnival ‘09 Battle of the drums 20 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009

In addition to the 25 live orchestras in the parade, Summer Carnival presents national and international artistes on stage. In the past Oscar D’Leon, Gruppo Gale, Kassav, Daniela Mercury, Terra Samba, Isaac Delgado performed. International co-operation is growing every day and projects are being developed with groups or organisations globally. The Warming Up/Battle of Drums was held at the Bavaria Podium just outside the Town Hall, you could literally feel the beats of the drums in your heart. Highlight of the evening 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. Young Antilleans who migrated to Holland with almost no future, no job and little or no education used their initiative to form brass bands in order to keep themselves busy and to relate to

tradition. These initiatives were strongly supported by the local districts, because it gave these young people something to do and some perspective in life. The Batala Group opened the event with a scintillating street performance followed by the Engine Room featuring Mangrove Steel and Brass, a new addition to this event. This initiative gave the audience an opportunity to enjoy a fusion of brass, steel and drums conducted by Robert Bailey. Four Brass bands left from four different locations and met each other for the musical battle at the Bavaria Podium on the Coolsingel. The four finalists were The Legendairs (Den Haag), Brass Eternity Music (Rotterdam), Capelle Brass Explosion (Capelle/Ussel) and Rhythm Sensation Brass (Delft). Over a hundred percussionists and trumpeters competed in this musical battle for the coveted title of ‘Best Brass Band of Summer Carnival 2009’. The competitors worked laboriously on their choreography, costumes and music. The bands have become more creative in the past years transforming the relaxed fun time parade into a professional marching and stage performance. The winner, Brass Eternity Music and the Summer Carnival Queen will travel to the Notting Hill Carnival in London where Brass Eternity Music will play as a guest band at the National Panorama, Champions of Steel’ competition. This exchange program between the British Association of Steelbands and the Rotterdam Carnival organisers, Ducos Productions, will see the ‘Champions of Steel’ winner do a return performance at the Battle of Drums in 2010. On Saturday, the big Street Parade emerged in the city centre. Ebony steelband and Engine Room performed at the Bavaria Podium and the Churchill/ Brazil Squares on the day of the parade and certainly entertained their audiences with their usual professionalism including their new found entertainer, Rodell Sorzano. At night there is still a lot to see on the two live stages so you can party until the wee hours. Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 21


band profile

A

visit to Haydon Bridge High School was organised with the Caribbean Society to promote Caribbean art and culture including calypso, steel pan and cuisine. In 1996, the first steel pans made by Dudley Dickson arrived in Tynedale, the birth of the Sunshine Panners with a six bass, a double guitar, a double second, two tenors and a drum kit. The original members aged 12-14, shared a range of musical talents but were all novices on steel drums. A number of arranged teaching sessions through the established North East Music Co-operative saw them learn a small number of tunes which formed their early repertoire.

Sunshine panners For many years youth provision in the West and North Tynedale area has been very limited, but where activities do exist young people find it very difficult to reach them due to infrequent, expensive or non existent public transport to our main villages. Venues are limited and provide little choice or variation in activities to engage young people.

In 1995, Barbara Mansfield, the Deputy Head of Haydon Bridge High School searched for something new, an activity that was different, inspiring, enjoyable and educational offering a new opportunity to engage young people in the area. This resulted in the idea to create a Steel Band. An activity based on music but with a completely different

approach than traditional instruments found in the UK. Taught normally by repetition and being non-reliant on sheet music, steel pan opens music to a wider audience and encourages participation from all ages and levels of ability, many of whom would shy away from music taught in the traditional way.

‘‘

The original band quickly developed their own repertoire which can still be heard in their current performances. Public performances provided a means of income to purchase and maintain instruments through collections and charitable donations. They became quite well known in the area as the ‘sounds of steel’ and were heard at schools, garden fetes and country shows. Throughout 1997-98 the band’s membership grew to around 25 young people aged 12-15 with additional instruments being bought from pan manufacturers throughout the UK. With public transport being all but non-existent in their area the band relies heavily on the use of private transport to function as a group.

Words and Images: Tim Brownbridge.

They became quite well known in the area as the ‘sounds of steel’ and were heard at schools, garden fetes and country shows. Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 23


cd & book review

CD & Book reviews A pick of the best

A

ugust 2000 marked their first trip to the Notting Hill Carnival which inspired future visits to both London and Trinidad and Tobago. In 2001, they attended a residential workshop at Ridley Hall near Haydon Bridge with many other band members from across the North east including the Newcastle All Stars and NTSB. The workshop culminated in a public performance in the Queens Hall in Hexham. A similar workshop was attended the following year. 2003 saw a significant milestone both for the band’s experience and capability with their first trip to Trinidad and Tobago. The two week trip was a cultural visit where members toured the islands and attended Panorama and Carnival in Port of Spain. In late 2003, they acquired a vehicle and trailer enabling them to transport 24 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009

players and instruments to performances. In 2004, the band had their biggest UK trip, spending 10 days at the Sidmouth Folk Festival performing and hosting workshops throughout the festival. 2005, saw the local school pyramid organisation introduce pans during their activities week. The band visited each school for a day, ran workshops and performed concerts. The success of this event resulted in the activities week ‘road show’ being repeated each year. They perform most weekends between May and October with occasional bookings during winter. 2005, saw their first visit to Glenarm Highland games on the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland, the biggest Highland Games event outside Scotland, attracting tens of thousands over the two days.

The band played on both days of the event sharing the stage with Irish Dancers, Scots Pipe bands and Ulster Folk groups. They also played at the 2006 and 2008 events. In 2006, their Trinbago trip involved cultural visits, places of historic interest, Junior Panorama, attending pan playing workshops with the Redemption Sound Setters, a visit to the Phase II Pan Groove’s panyard, National Panorama, Jouvert and Carnival celebrations. In August 2006, the band was invited with other North East players to join Stardust steel orchestra for the Notting Hill Panorama. Four band members took the invitation which paved the way for a larger band visit the following year.

This CD is for all Lord Kitchener’s lovers. One man and his pan, Noel La Pierre, has certainly made this tribute to the Grand Master a collector’s item. Eight tracks from 67, My Pussin and Rain-o-Rama, to Sugar Bum Bum. It is beautiful to hear a single tenor singing the rhythms of our beloved pioneer.

The Jazz UK magazine gave the opinion that this CD is rated the most original jazz album of the year. Easy listening jazz quartet, all masters in their own right certainly showed their great musicianship on this album with a promise of more to come. Nice background music with mellow vibes.

In 2007, 12 players joined Stardust steel orchestra who finished in second place. Three players returned in 2008 to play with the CSI Trust steelband. Over the last three years the band has supplied five players to the Volcano regional band organised by The Sage Gateshead and visited Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival in Feb 2009 with fifteen players.

A Beautiful Revue on Pan

Jazz@the Pan Café Vol 1

Sunshine Panners are currently developing their new panyard enabling easier access in Haydon Bridge High School’s grounds where they are based, incorporating practice and storage areas. The band’s thirty odd instruments are tuned and maintained by Dudley Dixon. They currently have forty members aged from eight to twenty four. Their regular performance band normally includes about fifteen members with the rest attending training sessions provided by the older band members. The band has never been managed or led by a musical director or teacher, all teaching has been provided by the older or more experienced players passing on their knowledge and skills. Band members are encouraged to identify and arrange their own tunes for the band to develop and perform. Occasional master classes have been arranged using accomplished pannists Norman Stewart, Wendy Brown and Dudley Nesbitt. The band already has many bookings for 2009 and with new members being recruited annually they look forward to continued growth and an exciting future in their new home in Haydon Bridge.

Recorded in 1996, this is a superb example of Liam’s musicality. Great studio quality recordings and a must have for pan connoisseurs. Eleven tracks of music which he dedicates to his mom, dad and sister. The track, ‘Oh Yes I Remember Clifford’ is dedicated to Clifford Alexis, a true inspiration.

Liam Teague

Emotions of Steel

Book Review Cy Grant Ring of Steel: Pan Sound and Symbol • ISBN-10: 0333661281 / • ISBN-13: 978-0333661284 Produced by Major and Minor productions and released by COTT in 1995. This CD features Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe and Denyse Plummer’s, ‘Mind Yuh Business’, ‘Break a Leg’, and ‘Bad Boy’. Eleven tracks of great tunes written for pan. Own it and feel the Jumbie.

Jumbie

Mind Yuh Business

An inspirational book which traces the development of the steelpan’s transmutation from the oil drum into a highly tuned musical instrument. Grant’s Anansi tells us of Ogun (god of war and iron). How one day his voice will resonate/through his son (Pan), spiraling outwards, spanning the globe (a ring of steel) as a healing web of sound. Grant has clearly placed soulful emphasis into the writing of this influential and beautiful script and the philosophy behind the music and how it influences lives and cultures. Well researched and brilliantly written!


special feature

Appreciating 40 years of

Ebony Steelband 1969 - 2009 A Humble Beginning:

The steel pan originated from Trinidad and Tobago in the 1930s and is the only percussion musical instrument to be invented in the 20th century. The steel pan is a pitched percussion instrument made from oil drums that is shaped and tuned chromatically. Ebony Steelband is proud to take this beautiful musical gift from Trinidad and Tobago and mould it into British culture as a creative learning and performing tool. Ebony Steelband was founded in the chilly autumn of 1969 by Cape James and Winston ‘Pee’ Joseph. With a small group of dedicated people who had migrated from the Caribbean in the 1950s and 1960s, rehearsals started in an old, cold garden shed in Cape’s garden in Acton, beginning Ebony’s journey as the number one steelband in the UK. Ebony would have been known as ‘Ebonites Steelband’ today had the name not already been taken when Cape went to register the band in 1969. Photo by: Carl Gabriel

26 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009

Words: Norma Quarshie


B

y the 1980s, the band attracted a young generation of offspring from Caribbean migrants and young British people. With eager young people, new musical arrangers were sought and introduced to the band. Arrangers included Kenrick Isidore, Rudy ‘TwoLef’ Smith, Anise ‘Halfers’ Hadeed, Geraldine Connor, musical director and Mary Frank, a classical arranger.

Ebony’s Historical Journey To overcome the cold, snow and racism in their new homeland in the UK, Ebony’s founders developed a piece of the Caribbean in the UK through the steel pan. The steel pan may look a humble instrument but it is by no means a quiet one. While in the garden shed rehearsing the neighbours pelted the shed with potatoes as the band practice favourite and popular calypso tunes for forthcoming events. It was only when Ebony played ‘Hey Jude’ by the Beatles and ‘English Country Garden’, did the unrelenting neighbours finally understood the musical language of the steel pan and began to embrace the players and their instruments. From then on, the band was asked to perform at one of the neighbour’s annual cricket club events. In the 1970s, the spirit of the steel pan quickly drew Caribbean and British people to Ebony. The humble band of six grew in size and was joined by Earl Lewis, Hugh and Wendell Hargreaves, Ivan Hutchinson, Leeford Sylvester, Hollis Clifton, Isaac McGilvery, McLean Julien, Carl ‘Bugsy’ Gabriel, David Mark and Randolph Baptiste. The band even attracted membership from a police officer and performed a range of music, arranged by Randolph Baptiste that included favourites such as ‘Ascot’, Dance with Me, and ‘Sincerely’ by Nat King Cole at venues such as the Clarendon Hotel in Hammersmith, Qualingues Hotel in the West End and annual events held by the Trinidad and Tobago Nurses Association. In 1976, Ebony made its first television appearance on Hughie Green’s ‘Opportunity Knocks’. For their performance the band composed and played ‘Steel Away’ which was sung by Lord Cloak and achieved fourth position. Lord Cloak continues to sing calypso in the UK today and could claim Ebony Steelband as the stepping-stone to taking this path. Following the ‘Opportunity Knocks’ show, Ebony played with Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones at Earls Court to kick start their world tour. Mick Jagger even wrote a song for the band to play at Earls’ Court but there was insufficient time for the band to rehearse and perform the tune.

International arrangers such as Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe of Phase II Pan Groove, Earl Rodney of Solo Harmonites and Pat Bishop, acclaimed musical director of Trinidad and Tobago took the band through the pace with their musical arrangements. Ebony Steelband is a regular participant at the UK’s National Panorama Championship since it began in 1978 but the championship had eluded Ebony over the years. The band had undying support from its players, masqueraders and supporters yet year after year under the musical direction of Randolph Baptiste the band was unsuccessful in winning the panorama championship. In 1982, Pepe Francis who had been a masquerader with Ebony since the 1970s

and an activist, among others, for the success of steel pan progression in the UK brought in Kenrick Isidore to arrange the band’s panorama tunes. This resulted in Ebony capturing 3rd place at the competition that year. When Pepe brought in Anise ‘Halfers’ Hadeed and Geraldine Connor they created a musical infusion that brought the panorama championship within Ebony’s grasp. In 1983 under the musical direction of ‘Halfers’ and Geraldine who arranged the tunes’ ‘I Music’ by Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe and ‘Rebecca’ by Super Blue, Ebony won its first UK National Panorama Championship and never looked back. Following the 1983 panorama championship Randolph Baptiste decided to leave Ebony Steelband to start his own band, Stardust. He asked Cape and Pee to join him on his new venture but they chose to remain with Ebony. Randolph’s parting words to Cape were that Cape “had created a monster”. Following Randolph’s departure Pepe became Manager of Ebony with Earl Lewis as Captain and Winston ‘Pee’ Joseph as Chairman. Ebony won the UK’s National Panorama Championship a total of 17 times thanks to the commitment and dedication of its pan players, its musical arrangers, the supreme quality of its instruments which is attributed to excellent pan tuning by Dudley Dickson, one of the best steel pan tuners in the world and the undying love of its supporters.

Photo by: Carl Gabriel

Carnival Celebration Carnival is said to be an annual celebration of life that is celebrated in many countries. The Notting Hill Carnival started in 1964 when Mrs Rhaune Laslett invited pan players to perform at a small event she was organising in Notting Hill to ease racial tensions in the area. From then on the event evolved to include costumes. Leslie Palmer and Selwyn Baptiste were the first carnival coordinators at that time. For many, carnival is not carnival without the presence of the steel pan! Ebony made its mark at the London Notting Carnival

in 1971 and has had a presence at the carnival ever since. The London Notting Hill Carnival was and continues to be a highlight for Ebony. Today, trucks carry bands around the carnival route but in the 1970s it was Ebony’s dedicated supporters who pulled the band’s makeshift float along the route. In 1972, Ebony took another step towards progression by becoming the first steelband to have a canopy over its float. Ebony was not only a steelband. Its own costume band was started in 1972 by Laurence ‘Stretch’

For many, carnival is not carnival without the presence of the steel pan! Ebony made its mark at the London Notting Carnival in 1971 and has had a presence at the carnival ever since.

Noel with Elsie James and Winifred Hutchinson as seamstresses. The band attracted a huge following of people from as far as Huddersfield. The Holder family was a great asset in costume-making for Ebony in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Pepe Francis then brought in Keith Lakhan, Bertie DeLandro and others to form Ebony’s Mas’ Committee. The Quashie and Lewis family, known as the ‘LewQuash’ family joined Ebony’s costume band in 1982 when Monica Lewis became involved and have been involved in both pan playing and costume making with the band. Opportunities through Education Anyone can play the steel pan and everyone is welcome to join the innovative and forward thinking Ebony Steelband through a number of

projects that include:The Ebony Steelband Millennium Volunteers Project The project was initiated by the Community Service Volunteering to teach young people between the ages of 16-24 how to play the steel pan. Young people are awarded the Millennium Volunteers Certificates and encouraged to perform at charitable and other events to develop their performance skills. Ebony Steelband Youth Project Ebony funds this project which is designed to teach children aged 15 years and under how to play the steel pan. Young people are awarded the Millennium Volunteer Certificate and encouraged to participate in internal Ebony functions to develop their performance skills.

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 29


Partnerships Ebony has a successful track record of partnerships with organisations. They included long-term partnerships with: Red Stripe (1980 - 1994) - who marketed the band in their theme colours  BWIA (1991- 2006) - a long term partnership with the British West Indian Airlines

Many of Ebony’s original pan players are retired from the band. Some have returned to the Caribbean, others remained in the UK and some are departed such as Earl Lewis, Randolph Baptiste, David ‘Sweet Waist’ Lewis, Cheryl Chancellor, Laurence ‘Stretch’ Noel and Cape James to name a few. As Ebony celebrates its 40th anniversary, the band expresses heartfelt thanks and appreciation to everyone who has contributed and supported the band throughout the years. There are too many names to mention them all individually nevertheless Ebony is grateful for the part each and everyone has played in shaping the band.

Contact Details: Ebony Steelband Trust, Unit 39, Baseline Business Studios Whitchurch Road, London W11 4AT Tel: 020 7792 1418 Fax: 020 7792 1854 Email: services@ebony.org.uk Website: www.ebony.org.uk 30 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009

Pa l

00 99-2 9 19

Anniversary

We love to hear from you! Send us your news and views

THE OFFI CIAL MAG AZIN E OF THE BRIT ISH ASS OCIA TION OF STE ELBA NDS

Podium? hat’s up Pan

Issue 19 ● Summ er ‘09

Pan Podium Wha ah gwan?

Buoy, wen I check an see dat yuh celebrating yuh tenth anniversary, yuh buoy realize dat he have to write ah lil sumting to congratulate yuh on all de hard wuk yuh doing in promotin we culture. Wen ah get meh copy of Pan Podium, all dem people in meh village want ah read. Some ah dem sey that they like how we pan being used all over de world. Pan Podium yuh is doing we country proud wid yuh magazine, it showing ah positive ting especially how de place is now. Keep the flag flying! Selwyn Goitia, Toco, Trinidad

Hello Pan Podium

Having collected all the issues, I just wanted to say that you have an excellent magazine that is informative, colourful and exciting about steel bands, players, arrangers and events all over the world. The band profiles are extremely helpful as an update and the people in who’s who are introduced as the role models for the steel pan art form. Your magazine is also a great medium and an effective networking tool that puts people together who love the fantastic world of steel pan. Happy 10th anniversary. Thank You. Anita Petri, Switzerland

ve elapsed at ten years ha nal and th ve lie be t n’ atio I ca ch of your educ Podium an since the laun P ive magazine. t very informat its name. Everything abou to . m up iu es od liv P y an ul P tr ine n be located in the artform ca impressed that your magaz be to   ue n. in io at nt I co form a wealth of in st wanted to contains such publication is an icon.  I ju done ur ork you have Culturally, yo the tireless w t of r fo en ly m al ru st on in rs e national th thank you pe d an inued e nt ur co lt you my cu ld like to wish azine. Big Up in promoting ou w d an o ag Tob mag Trinidad and l produced and published el w  a on s  es cc su Pan Podium! New York. ord, Brooklyn, Michael Wilf

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Ebony also performs annually at Buckingham Palace and has toured Nigeria and Malawi. Ebony has a strong support base but there is no dedicated supporter than Billy Ocean who has remained loyal to the band since the 1970s. Billy can be found with Ebony at the Notting Hill Carnival. Ebony has even accompanied the award winning singer on two of his tours in 1996 and 2007.

Commendations Ebony Steelband spanned four generations of dedicated and committed pan players and supporters. The band is privileged to have worked with some of the best musical arrangers and directors all of whom have played a significant part in the band’s progression.

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Band Tours Ebony has performed at some of the most prestigious events and places in the world which included: Greece in 1985 by invitation from the Greek Cultural Department in celebration of Alexander the Great’s 200th birthday. The band performed at the Amphitheatre in Thessaloniki (Solinka) and was the first Steelband to be invited in this manner  European Steelband Music Festival 2000 and 2002 in Paris and The Netherlands

 Moods of Pan Festival 2005 in Antigua  International Cricket World Cup 2006 in Delhi, India  FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany  Fortune Cup 2008 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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Ebony’s Outreach Programme The programme is designed to give as many people as possible an opportunity to play the steel pan. The programme teaches the history of the steel pan and how it can be integrated into mainstream music. There are opportunities to listen to steelband performances and to become a performer. One to one and group classes are designed for people with disabilities and the programme is delivered to people in prisons, hospitals, academic and mental health institutions.

 Achieve accreditation for our training and education package  Develop a volunteer base  Maintain its position as a premier steel orchestra in Europe  Secure a permanent base for steel pan practice sessions and workshops  Secure funding and sponsorship

Reader’s Letters

9-2009 199

Ebony in the 21st Century Ebony is a band of durability. To preserve this Ebony plan to deliver goals to meet local needs. In the short term Ebony aims to:-

Have your say!

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Caribbean Times Newspaper SPX, sportswear company Go Perrys, van hire and dealership Benson & Hedges, tobacco company  Greater London Council, governing body for London  It is with thanks to these organisations that Ebony was able to achieve some of its many goals.    

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Other partners included:-

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Summer ‘09 issue

write us and

win!

Write to us here at Pan Podium with your thoughts and feedback on the magazine. If we print yours as the ‘Star’ letter you could win a year’s subscription of Pan Podium and CDs.

In all letters please include your name, address and email contact. Letters that are not published in the magazine will be used for the website. All letters are subject to editing for space and clarity.

Send your letters to: robbie@panpodium.com

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 31


Pan chat radio has been on air for more than six months. They currently have over one thousand (1000) listeners logging into their site each month with that figure growing by the minute. Their success has been through the hard work and dedication of its founder, David Vine, who has made it his mission to promote the musical instrument of his choice, the steelpan.

Pan Chat Radio

JAI SHRI GANESHAYA NAMAH!

I want you to know that the Mother Ship has landed. Words and Images: Jai Bom

Pan Chat is what it says, surfers can register and talk about anything relating to Pan. The high standard of music available on the site is certainly a bonus. Vine has received numerous emails confirming their appreciation for his music selection which accommodates everyone’s tastes. Every month a Panorama classic is featured on Pan Chat Radio. Vine admits that he has been swayed towards Clive Bradley’s selections but makes no apologies for his actions. He has also featured Phase 11 Pan Groove’s, ‘Pan Rebels’, Trinidad All Stars, ‘Doh Back Back’ and Despers USA, ‘Song of Praise’. Speakers’ Corner can get the most innocent of the Pan society screaming at the computer screen. Vine would rather you email him as screaming does not help. Vine states that their review section is probably the most in depth review of pan music anywhere in the world, no matter how new or old an album is, if it can be sold and he likes it, it will get a review and he invites anyone to send their music if they want it reviewed. Since starting the Pan Cafe in 2006 and working on countless songs for different artistes and albums, Vine began to miss the day to day pan fraternity chat. He confirmed that the gossip and the politics was a treat for him in his band playing days but since going solo this has been his biggest loss, thus the reason for his radio show. After its launch, the response was incredible. One of his listeners called Geddes said, ‘thank you for giving ordinary pan folk a voice’. A statement like this is inspirational and proves to be a driving force.

V

ine extends his appreciation to the people who are going out of their way to help, push and support the Pan Café and Pan Chat Radio. His two producers, the amazing pannist, Dexter Joseph, and the famous, Peter Aleong. The wonderful Miss Monika from Pan-Jumbie.com. Major contributions

‘‘ ’’

The most talked about topic is the World Cup Panorama’

from Gospel Pan in New York, Kurleigh Lowe from Highlite Vibes, Hameed Shaqq The Pan Piper and Pedro Burgess. Friends of the show Includes Pan People like Gary Gibson, Jeff Narell, Dave Reynolds, Victor Provost, Ralph Richardson, Jamma and Jamani, Bickley Rivera, Yoshihiro Harada, Sune Borregaard, Gary Trotman, Pan Podium, When Steel Talks, Pan TNT Radio and the awesome Catt from Philadelphia. The most talked about topic is the World Cup Panorama. Gospel is accredited for this idea. This will be a podcast that will feature the four 2009 panorama winners around the world - Trinidad, Toronto, UK, NY plus a guest band. The winning band attains the ‘bragging rights’ of being the best in the world. It works very simply, once the podcast goes out a voting system is set up around the world, and the band with the most worldwide votes wins. Other subjects on their discussion board include, ‘What do our governing bodies do for us?’, ‘What is Pan Unity’ and ‘Ideas for our governing bodies’. These topics generate a lot of ideas and Vine confirmed that Pan Radio is not supported by any governing body and has no bias or allegiance to anyone. The Pan Café Quartet have just released their first album on the Pan Cafe’s record Label called Jazz@thepancafe Vol1,’Maiden Voyage’, a collection of jazz tunes including Spain, Maiden Voyage, Giant Steps and In A Sentimental Mood. Jazz UK magazine stated that this CD was one of the most original albums heard this year. CDs can be purchased on their website or you can download mp3’s from any ITunes store. The Pan Cafe People, the in house steel band has

released their album entitled, ‘Introducing Pan Cafe People’. They have decided to give this album to friends of the Pan Cafe for free, so to get your copy go to http://www. thepancafe.com, click on free steel band album for download and follow the instructions. Pan Café’s future releases include, Jazz@thepancafe vol2 featuring Dexter Joseph, Soca @thepancafe featuring Vine. Soul@thepancafe vol1 is in production. The Pan Cafe people have almost finished their second album, ‘A tribute to the mighty pan-jumbie.com’. Dexter Joseph continues to write and record and Pan Cafe Recordings have just signed a band called, ‘The Eye Connection’ and the Panyard Poet will be releasing his first album in 2010. Vine confirms his belief that Pan Chat Radio and The Pan Café will grow from strength to strength. He stated, ‘I always say to my listeners, ‘you only have a voice if you use it’. Debate is a good thing no matter what you believe, and Pan Chat Radio is where you can do it. I am ready for anything and anybody, so if you think your bad enough or you just want to get something off your chest, email radio@thepancafe.com. Remember, don’t ask what Pan can do for you, ask what you can do for Pan.

Pan was in danger, but no more. Why fight it, meh Lion roar. Pan is sacred, you know that. Pan Music sweet, Pan Music Phatt. Where’s the Pan? Where you from? It’s Pan Chat radio, at The Pan Cafe.com

Need a Steelband? All events catered for Steelbands to suit any occassion  E: steelbands@panpodium.com

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 33


event profile

Trafalg arSquare Steelband Jamboree The bright warm summer’s afternoon gave the perfect setting for a Caribbean styled steelband jamboree in Trafalgar Square. Five of the UK’s top steelbands appeared at the BAS/GLA 8th annual Steelband Jamboree. Over the past years, BAS has fully supported both Mayors of London in taking this iconic venue, Trafalgar Square, to another level to be fully appreciated and enjoyed by local and national communities as well as global tourists.

Owing to the introduction of live acts on the fourth plinth, the southwest section of the square was off limits due to the mechanical crane being used to lift people unto the plinth. CSI, Ebony, Southside Harmonics and London All Stars were dotted around the lower level of the square whilst Sounds of Steel from Portsmouth was positioned on the upper level facing the National Gallery. Unfortunately Metronomes who was scheduled to appear on the top level with Sounds of Steel had to withdraw at very short notice owing to some of their players suffering from a viral infection. Sunday the 2nd August 2009, saw people dancing everywhere on the Square to the sweet strains of sweet steelband music which filled the air with renditions from all genres. The dexterity of the pan musicians coupled with the crowd appreciation added to the ambience of the square gave it an electric atmosphere. Trafalgar Square was transformed into a Steelband Village. The steel orchestras entertained the crowds of visitors, tourists and supporters and it was not unfamiliar to see the crowds drifting from orchestra to orchestra as they played alternatively. This was CSI steel band trust’s second appearance at this event. They treated the crowds to some lively and melodic music. Brent Holder continued his yeoman work with his young and talented musicians. London All Stars led by Frank Rollock Snr was positioned to the left of CSI; this renowned family band certainly gave their audience a musical treat. One of their musical pieces included Frank Rollock Jnr playing a single tenor bass and single second pan at the same time. What amazing co-ordination playing the single second with two sticks and the tenor bass with one. Pan Podium was told that

this is the first time that this has been done. What a gifted musician! Sounds of Steel from Portsmouth certainly drew the crowds to the upper level of the Square with their vibrant and rhythmic selections attracting constant and consistent positive remarks on their brilliant performance. Southside Harmonics positioned close to the foot of the main stairs which provided an amphitheatre setting, treated their audience to a varied repertoire with some heart rendering tunes that pleased the crowds immensely. Julian Gibbs continues his musical journey to develop his young and capable players into skilful and talented pannists. As is traditional, Liz, the event flag woman, could be seen proudly waving her Trinidadian flag in front of each band throughout their performances. Her energenised waving, swaying and wining to the infectious steelband music gave that added boost to the event. Ebony steelband positioned at the base of Nelson’s column and led by Albert Faustine certainly had the audience dancing to the sweet sounds of steel. Their pannists dished out some catchy renditions which received lots of compliments. The bands captivated the crowds with their wide repertoires and their submissions to the public‘s requests for more saw their performances surpass the scheduled finish time, the Greater London Authority’s representative was also present to enjoy the evening’s festivities and the Square’s heritage warden soon called a halt to their over played performances. BAS/GLA has hosted yet another successful Steelband Jamboree filled with a wealth of steel pan music. Book your diary now for the 2010 BAS/ GLA Trafalgar Square Pan Jamboree. Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 35


event profile

When I thought about a Steelband Festival in the Netherlands a few years ago I could not have dreamed about what happened in De Kwakel on the 20th of June.

Words and Images: Digna Van den Broek

After a year of planning the day finally arrived. Initially it was difficult to get the Dutch steelbands both professional and amateur enthusiastic about the event but after numerous emails and telephone calls we got a few and as we drew closer to the date more bands confirmed their attendance. The preparations started on the Friday evening with members of the Tavenu steelband constructing the performance stages which lasted until the wee hours of the morning and again on the morning of the event to ensure everything was done. Pan Gang – the German youth steel orchestra from Dortmund arrived first and loved the environment. De Kwakel was soon transformed from its

tranquil state into a buzzing steeldrum heaven with steel pans dotted everywhere as all the steelbands arrived. The social networking which ensued between pan players fully satisfied the organisers’ remit to socialise, have fun and share sweet strains of steelband music. The Play Inn started at 4 p.m. in the strong sunshine which prevailed at that time. Everywhere you looked on the plaza steel drums of all shapes, sizes and colours could be seen. Players came from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands to participate in this session. The organizers had prepared six tunes to be played. Carlos, the instructor of the host steelband, Tavenu, was late so Paula James from Pan Magic initiated the start.

Netherlands

1st Steelband Festival 2009

It was amazing!

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 37


band profile

A

fter overcoming their nervous start all the players played like they never played before. The session brought players from varied backgrounds together to play in unity. They had so much fun performing in the Play Inn session that it was deemed the founding of the European Steelband. Carlos’ and the Belgian players late arrival saw the session stretched beyond six tunes. After the session all participating bands got the opportunity to introduce themselves to the audience and play a tune allowing anybody who knew it to play along with them. This camaraderie certainly cemented the relationships of all participating bands for future events. Dinner was served at six o’clock with eighty people having Wienerschitzels with French fries or potato krokets (a Dutch snack) and vegetables. The organisers were pleased that everyone was able to eat together. The first secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Embassy in Brussels, Mr. Bruce Lai, and his family arrived and opened the festival with a speech filled with admiration for the hosting of such an event in the Netherlands. He was pleased to see Trinidad and Tobago souvenirs and all the steel drums in a country so far from home and gave his blessings to the success of the festival. The first band to perform was Tavenu, the associate organiser, and their exciting renditions certainly set the pace

38 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009

of the event. They were followed by Pan Magic from the north of the Netherlands; their twelve players stoked the fire with their vibrant playing and solid arrangements. The audience was warming to the sweet sound of steel and could be seen dancing to the pulsating rhythms. Tropical Steelpans was next on the bill and the audience could be seen drifting from band to band as they performed without any hesitation or complaints. They were just swaying to the catchy Caribbean beats in the warm sunshine. After Tropical Steelpans, the audience was treated to the amazing youth steel orchestra, Pan Gang, from Dortmund, Germany. Their twenty one members all under the age of 16 certainly entertained their audience who were very vocal in their compliments. Their use of the PanKat in their deliveries gave it that added boost. Their versatility and dexterity with the steelpan instruments were evident as each player was able to play all the instruments. Their performance was phenomenal and they enjoyed every minute of it. Werner, the Pan Gang leader, stated, ‘they have played good in the past but I have never seen them play like this before.’ The Pan Gang stayed overnight in the canteen of a flower plantation and treated the festival as a big weekend party. The audience loved them and they loved being in the Netherlands to perform at the first Dutch steelband festival.

C

Steel Masters followed and continued entertaining the audience with a high level of musicianship. This band uses steel pans which were made in the early 1960’s on the Navy ship, De Zeven Provinciën. They are not the Navy Steelband, but their members are all ex-marines and have been playing together for over 40 years. Their leader, Gerard van Elk, kept the audience busy with his playing, dancing and singing, which they loved. The final band to perform was the Dutch Navy Steelband. They were magnificent; wherever they perform their audiences are fully satisfied. The festival audience went wild and was demanding more even after the scheduled time of midnight. The Navy steel band succumbed to their wishes by playing extra songs but sadly their performance had to be curtailed owing to time restrictions on the Festival permit. Dolisa Green, Frauke Lühning, Mr. Steel, Hans Sondervan from the Dutch Police Steelband and many more people involved in the steelband culture attended the festival. Digna from Steelbandshop Holland and Tavenu extended their appreciation to all who attended and assisted in making this event a very successful one. The Festival will be repeated again in 2011, so start making your arrangements to attend.

Cool Pans Steelband Words and Images: Hedvig Manswell

ool Pans was born in 1995 after a group of friends who took a steelpan class decided to form their own band. Tis Swedish steelband kept their pan tutors as musical arrangers and band leaders. The name Cool Pans comes from their “mother band” Hot Pans, who initially held the class, as they were not quite as hot as their teachers. Today, they have taken on a typical Swedish socialist form with no band leader, but instead everyone’s voice is heard, and the well known Rudy ‘Two Lef’ Smith as their number one arranger. The band holds steelpan workshops twice yearly giving all curious newcomers the opportunity to try their skills on the instrument, and to spread the culture further. These workshops have also proven to be a useful source for recruiting new players. Cool Pans’ three major aims are, to have fun, develop their technical skills on the instrument and spread the steelpan culture throughout Sweden and Europe. These aims have seen them travel and perform in England, Norway, France and Germany. In London, they joined forces with the Glissando steel orchestra to play in the BAS National ‘Champions of Steel’ Panorama competition in 2007. Cool Pans has performed at events ranging from carnivals and weddings

to TV morning shows and company parties. In 2007, they performed on the red carpet for the Polar Music Price, for which they arranged Sonny Rollins’ ‘St Thomas’ to that year’s winner’s great delight as he walked down the carpet to his biggest hit, rearranged for pan in Cool Pans’ own innovative way. Cool Pans have been invited to play at the Polar Music Prize again this year. Many of Cool Pans’ members are avid Trinidad and Tobago Carnival fans and religiously attend, the Greatest Show on Earth’, returning home to Sweden inspired by the music and with an itch to play in the ‘real’ Panorama, which has evolved to be one of their bigger goals to reach in the band’s near future. In Sweden, Cool Pans has become the resident opening act for Trinidadian soca artiste, Bunji Garlin, who refers to them as ‘the all female Swedish steel band’, ignoring the fact that the whole rhythm section, one bass, one guitar, one double second and one tenor players are in fact male. In 2009, they were the opening act for soca artiste, Maximus Dan, which clearly reveals the direction that Cool Pans are about - to be young, fresh, updated with the latest songs mixed with a touch of the great oldies and popular music, to win over the unfamiliar crowd, but always ensuring that they are bringing the party to their audiences.

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 39


event profile

CSI Steelband Trust appears at the 5th Dutch Afrique-Carib Festival in Holland 40 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009

After months of planning and laborious work by their pannists, CSI Steelband Trust was ready for their Festival performance in Almere, Netherlands. On Saturday the 4th July 2009 all twenty four members of CSI arrived at their panyard based in the Ravenscourt Theatre School in Hammersmith, London in the wee hours to load their coach and start their eight hour journey to Holland. Their journey from Hammersmith to Dover was uneventful with everyone catching forty winks owing to the early start. Once on the ferry to Calais, France they came alive exploring the duty free shops and restaurants on board. A card game with the loser drinking a glass of water was soon introduced. The journey time elapsed so quickly that they were all surprised that they had reached the French coastline in such a short time. The English Channel was very calm on that morning. Once off the ferry, the journey through France and Belgium towards the Netherlands proved to be a great time for all the

players to participate in games and other activities. This bonding session proved very useful to bring them even closer to each other. Their camaraderie was given a big boost so much so that during one rest stop of the journey a game of , ‘left hand’ proved very fruitful for a number of them. Their arrival at Almere, Netherlands was greeted by a live performance of local singers on a stage opposite their hotel. What a reception it was after such a long and tiring journey. Everyone was energized by the reception; so much so that they went on to do some dry skating and enjoying the live evening concert before retiring for the day. Sunday the 5th July, saw an early start to the activities with all players combining their efforts to get their instruments set up and participated in ‘warming up’ sessions before they initiated the start of the Festival which was hosted by Zulile a.k.a. ‘Love Sista’. CSI performed for more than an hour ensuring that their repertoire did not

include any repeats. Their music attracted the public like bees to honey and the Square at Stadhuisplein, Almere was soon filled with a large, appreciative and fully entertained audience. CSI’s performance was followed by a number of artistes which included Benicia, Prince Malachi, El Che, Soca Twins, Junior Kelly, Maikal X, Conquering Lion, Conjunto Latinos, Mikey Dangerous, La Fiesta, Celebration Time and Flexclusive. The journey back to London was also eventful. Since their performance at the 5th Dutch Afrique-Carib festival CSI have performed at the BAS/GLA Trafalgar Square Jamboree and Junior Panorama competition and are looking forward to participating in the BAS National Panorama competition, their second appearance on the road at Notting Hill Carnival 2009 and attending next year’s Afrique-Carib Festival. For more information on the event visit the festival’s website – www.afrique-carib.nl Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 41


who’s who

Gerald Forsyth OBE

Steel band music was brought to these shores over 50 years ago and is now part of the British musical culture. Acceptance and promotion of this art form has come about largely because of individuals such as Gerald Forsyth, an educator of extraordinary talents.

G

erald was born in the island of Trinidad, (part of the twin province of Trinidad and Tobago), and came to the United Kingdom in 1960. Already an accomplished musician in his hometown, he set about reclaiming his country’s legacy, the steel band, and promoting it in the entertainment industry. In those early days, he was a jazz pianist and a steel pan musician – and a steel pan maker when few individuals possessed that knowledge. However his contribution to music education in the United Kingdom is far reaching. In 1969, Gerald Forsyth set up the first school steel band in Islington Green School, London, and became its teacher. He was the first peripatetic teacher in any school to be appointed a ‘steel band music tutor’, a post he held for nine years. The steel band became an instant success in the school, and similar projects spread throughout London and the Home Counties. Soon there were so many school steel bands around, that the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) put out an advertisement in the education journal, for the post of ‘Steel Band Organiser for the ILEA’. Gerald Forsyth applied and was appointed to the post in 1978. He held the position until the abolition of ILEA in 1990. Gerald remained

a steel pan tutor in many schools and youth clubs, namely, White Lion Youth Club, Islington; John Kelly Boys School, Brent; Homerton School, Hackney; Kingsdale School, Dulwich; George Orwell School, Hornsey; Hackney Youth Services Music Department, Jubilee, Primary School, Brent; … and many more. School steel bands continued to increase in numbers all over the UK, and Gerald Forsyth was instrumental in setting up, and adjudicating at school steel band festivals all over the country. He also set up the first National School Steel Band Orchestra, and has had immense success with pupils whose music ability was discovered and nurtured to great heights. He was the Musical Director of East London School of Steel Band Music, Hackney. He has also been a national adjudicator for the British Association of Steelbands and is also the Honorary President of the Steel Pan Educators and Tutors Association (SPETA). Today, there are over 5,000 steel bands in British schools. We all owe this success to the legacy of Gerald Forsyth. For this remarkable achievement, (40 years of steel bands in British schools), we congratulate Mr. Gerald Forsyth OBE, on his National Award.

‘40 years of steel bands in British Schools; 1969-2009’

Words: Lionel McCalman Photo: Response Photography

42 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 43


event profile

On Monday the 10th August 2009, the annual CAPCA/BAS Carnival and Junior Panorama competitions transformed the Kensington Memorial Park, St Marks Road, London W10 into a Carnival Village. The overcast skies and spitting rain did not deter the festivities. The park was filled with sweet strains of steelband music from the junior steelbands dotted around the Park completing their final rehearsals before the competition. Nostalgia steel band led by Lionel MacCalman accompanied the Carnival parade before the start of the Junior Panorama competition. The British Association of Steelband in partnership with the Children and Parents Carnival Association under the stewardship and guidance of Lee Woolford Chivers hosted the competition. Judges were Mark Williams of Eclipse steel orchestra, Chris Storey of Pantasia steel orchestra and Lyndon Lacrete from the Caribbean Music Association. CSI Steelband Trust treated the audience to a scintillating Brent Holder’s arrangement of Destra’s, ‘I dare you’. Their choreographed dancing, tight delivery and profound dexterity earn them the Champion’s podium again. In second place was Harlow

steel band under the musical directorship of Samuel Du Bois. They played ‘Thunder’ by Kes the Band. A great achievement for Harlow as this was their first appearance at this competition. Samuel and manager, Denyse Barwick, continue to work tirelessly; inspiring their young musicians. Croydon Steel Orchestra led by musical director, Paul Dowie was the largest band on the day and played his musically arranged rendition of Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe’s, ‘Magic Drum’, which earned them third place. This youthful band had bags of enthusiasm which will prove to be an asset in future competitions. The audience was treated to an explosion of sweet steel band music played by young enthusiastic pan musicians. On the day steel band music was the overall winner; the wealth of music on offer certainly captivated the audience. This infectious music is spreading like a global pandemic and Pan Podium is ably assisting in its dispersion. Everyone is now looking forward to next year’s competition with great enthusiasm. Pan 4 Life! Results: 1st – CSI Steelband Trust 2nd – Harlow Steelband 3rd – Croydon Steel Orchestra

BAS/CAPCA Junior Steelband Competition 2K9 CSI Steelband Trust retains their CAPCA/BAS Junior Panorama title 44 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 45


who’s who

PAN and the Prime Minister On July 30th in Antigua, Winston Baldwin Spencer was happily on hand to present the winners of his country’s 2009 National Panorama competition - Hell’s Gate Steel Orchestra - with their trophy and prize. For two nights of the annual Gemonites Steel Orchestra-organized Moods of Pan Festival in November 2008, he was among the crowd of steelpan music lovers at Deanery Grounds in St. John’s, mingling easily and unassumingly. It is common knowledge that for the previous year’s festival, Spencer had hastened directly from the airport (after being away on official business) to the venue, gamely trying to catch Trinidad & Tobago’s internationally-acclaimed Exodus Steel Orchestra on stage. He would arrive moments after their performance, however. What is this passion for PAN? Harold Lovell (left), Minister of Tourism and Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer (right)

Words & Photo: When Steel Talks

46 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009


Given the challenges that face many who engage in the steelpan artform even in the Caribbean, WST briefly engaged Prime Minister Spencer on the issue.

Q

“If you could speak to the other Prime Ministers, Heads of State of the other Caribbean islands that may not necessarily benefit from a Head of State that is as passionate about the steelpan artform as you are - what would you like to say to them to encourage the movement?”

A

Mr. Spencer is deep intellectually, articulate, forward-thinking, charismatic, pragmatic and nationalistic. He is a man of many skills and talents. He is equally at home in the panyard as he is in a room filled with the world’s Heads of State. He is a lover of the steelpan instrument, a ‘panman’ himself, and onetime head of the Antiguan Steelband Association. And - he is the Honourable Prime Minister Winston Baldwin Spencer of the beautiful twin-island republic of Antigua & Barbuda. The business of steelpan is equally important to the Prime Minister as other matters of national interest. He is unapologetic in his enthusiasm and support of the country’s steelpan artform, and expressed his desire to expand Moods of Pan to make it a ‘must-see, must-attend affair,’ recognizing it as an integral component in Antigua and Barbuda’s thrust in making their country the “events capital of the Eastern Caribbean.” Now in his second term in office, Spencer was leader of the country’s political opposition many years prior, and a stalwart in labor issues and matters affecting his country’s populace. His grassroots connection still evident, he is at home with “common folk.” This was apparent when, after a very long day, he turned up late evening at the panyard of Halcyon Steel Orchestra, a band with which he is still feels connected. Relaxing in the back seat of his official vehicle with eyes almost closed, Spencer seemed content to let the waves of pan music wash over him almost as ‘therapy,’ emanating from the Halcyon pan collective as they practiced for the festival. And as he alighted from his vehicle to oblige When Steel Talks’ (WST) request for his picture with Halcyon band members, it was equally apparent that the people had no hesitation in approaching him directly. He even patiently listened to what could be considered an ‘earful.’

“…Certainly - let me answer…what I would say to my colleagues as Heads of State - where they should be, with respect to the steelband movement; I would want to encourage them to get on board, because it is an expression of our being as a people, as Caribbean people. This is our music - it is our expression.” “We have given this thing to the world and it is something that means a lot to the psyche of Caribbean people - it is our thing. Therefore - from that standpoint - as leaders and so on, we ought to be identifying with the artform and to give it as much encouragement and exposure as possible, so that it can grow and flourish not only in the Caribbean, but throughout the world. And, it is important that we do this because others have seen what the steelband movement, or the pan, can do - and what it is capable of as a musical instrument... and in Japan, the United States and other parts of the world - they are doing so much with it. So even from that standpoint - we as leaders need to be paying great attention to what this is, and to make sure that we hold it - while we give it to the world, we hold it as ours.”

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Q A

Asked about his ‘favorite arranger,’ Prime Minister Spencer had this to say in part:

“With respect to who I would consider - as an arranger I would put out there - I may be a little prejudiced here because - Len “Boogsie” Sharpe when I got to know him and he came to Antigua - and he assisted and arranged for the steelband (Halcyon) and so on, I developed a personal relationship with him. I just feel this guy is a genius....He is my arranger.” “Let me say this - having said that though - I do believe that fellows like Clive Bradley could be considered the maestros of pan arranging. He was great in his own way. It is just that I feel Boogsie brings something to the art form....” Spencer is looked upon by many as a great diplomat. His hallmarks remain tact and approachability, both which continue to benefit not only his country and the Caribbean region, but also his country’s steelband artform. Perhaps he could play an integral role in the hosting of a summit on Pan, with the engagement of other Caribbean leaders in the endeavor? Spencer’s hands-on role in and support of, the ongoing development of steel orchestras and the artform as a whole in his country - speak volumes. Any other Caribbean Heads of State care to join up?

See WST full interviews with Prime Minister Spencer at: www.Antigua.PanOnTheNet.com 48 / Pan Podium / Summer 2009

Summer 2009 / Pan Podium / 49


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Panpodium Issue 19  

Spreading the Love of Pan

Panpodium Issue 19  

Spreading the Love of Pan

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