Pan 4 Life
Editor Robbie Joseph Writers/Contributors Joy Lapps, Lionel McCalman, Monika Nicoletti- Tung, Junior Gill,Vanessa Clarke,Victoria Jacquiss, Phillip 'Jamma' Stewart, Christine Murphy, Greta Trevers, Lionel McCalman and Phil Wood Photography: Response Photography, Carl Gabriel Layout & Design: Indus Digital Services
Published by: BAS BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF STEELBANDS The Tabernacle, Powis Square, London W112AV Tel: 020 7565 7813 - Fax: 020 7565 7810 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Website: www.panpodium.com
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Notting Hill Carnival for 2004! The Russ Henderson steelband was the first band to appear at the 1964 Notting Hill Children Carnival organised by Rhaune Laslette.
in this issue 4. SOUNDS OF STEEL
15. TAMLA BATRA
Hampshire’s community steel orchestra who spearheaded the Portchester Pan Project.
Born in Kenya of Indian parentage, Tamla migrated to England where he adopted the steelpan artform.
Both Russ and Sterling played at that 1964 Carnival will perform with Panectar and Nostalgia at this year’s celebrations. Ebony retained their Pan Explosion title at the fifth BAS Pan Explosion competition held in May. Samuel Dubois won the Pan Explosion soloist competition. Our summer events saw steelband performances in Leicester Square up from five last year to eight this year. Our annual Steelband Jamboree in Trafalgar Square on the 1st August was a great success with everyone looking forward to next year's event. Carnival Sunday morning will see the rejuvenation of J'ouvert, an all steelband event where the UK's top steel orchestras will take to the road from 6a.m. So come out in your numbers and support this event. Remember to wear something old as J'ouvert brings out the mud and body paint that will adorn its revellers during this celebration.
5. GRETA TREVERS
16. PAN EXPLOSION 2004
After the Carnival celebration follows 40 years of Carnival at the V&A Museum on the 2nd October, this annual event is growing in stature.We were all looking forward to the World Steelband Music Festival finals being held in London in May 2005.This is the first time this event will be held outside Trinidad; the Mecca of steelpan with the UK being the chosen venue.The BAS Annual Awards and Dinner on the 4th December brings the curtains down on this year's events. 2004 has brought new opportunities for Pan in the UK and this trend can only continue to develop if you get involve and support BAS in spreading the Pan Gospel. !
10. STERLING BETANCOURT
Steelpan’s No1 Fan. Greta was editor A BAS competition with a concept of the SAGB Pan Newsletter. to encourage younger players in composing, arranging and playing 6. NEW WORLD STEEL musical pieces on the steelpan Leeds based throughout the 1980s they were a regular feature across 17. PAN IN LEICESTER the city and around the country. SQUARE Another BAS initiative to promote 7. VICTORIA JACQUISS steelpan and afford its members Playing and teaching steel pans in greater performance opportunities. 1983, in inner city, Leeds.
8. LONDON CARNIVAL VILLAGE
18. JOY LAPPS The Princess of Pan.
This venture will be accessible to all 19. NORDFEST 2004 carnivalists and provide a focal point Three-day steelband festival in for the artform. Zurich and possibly Switzerland.
9. OFFBEAT STEELBAND
20. WILBERT JUNIOR GILL
One of Switzerland top bands who is distinguished through their arranger’s special style of music.
Musical director of the Music Center Affoltern, in Zürich.
21. RALPH RICHARDSON
Based in Switzerland he is responsible for teaching hundreds Top steel pan musician added to the of Swiss students the art of playing roll of Fellows of the Royal Society of the steelpan. Arts.
11. 20TH CENTURY STEEL
22. BIRMINGHAM SCHOOL OF PAN
Representing the Islands of St. Hoping to make their appearance at Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in the National Panorama competition the New York area. in a few years.
14. TRAFALGAR SQUARE Fourth year of this BAS and the Mayor of London‘s office event 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.
Greta Trevers- Steelpanâ€™s No 1 Fan I first heard the magical voice of pan in 1978 when the BA Groovers steel orchestra was playing at the International Festival in the courtyard of St Martin in the Fields. I was immediately captivated by the thrilling sound the vibrations bringing healing to the body and mind. Later when they gave a concert inside the church I was amazed by their range and versatility - someone actually thought that the organ was playing too!
Sounds of Steel! Sounds of Steel is a community steel orchestra with over 40 members based at Portchester Community School, near Fareham in Hampshire. Members of Sounds of Steel are aged from approximately 12 22 years of age. Peter Beadell who is Head of Music at Portchester Community School and also steel pan coordinator for Hampshire Music Service started the band about eight years ago. The group won the 'on the road' competition at Notting Hill Carnival in 2001 and 2002. When Sounds of Steel won in 2001 it was the first time a group from outside London had ever won the competition. Sounds of Steel have toured Spain, Italy, Germany and the Caribbean islands of Grenada and Barbados in recent years as well as performing at many prestigious events in this country. Two big highlights for the band have been playing for HM Queen Elizabeth 11 at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth and playing in the Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. Sounds of Steel spearhead the Portchester Pan Project. This project seeks to support Steel Pan work through partnerships with schools, teachers, the youth service and community groups. Some of the older members of Sounds of Steel are training to become steel pan tutors and we are delighted to say that our tutors were the first in the country to pass the OCN tutoring course in steel pan arranging and teaching. At Portchester we provide steel pan courses under the adult education programme and also classes for junior school age children as well as classes for older children. In association with Hampshire Music Service we visit schools giving steel pan demonstrations and workshops and we also send tutors into schools, which have their own instruments.
As well as our Portchester centre we have also opened steel pan centres in the north of Hampshire in John Hunt of Everest Community School and to the west of Hampshire at Testwood School, Totton. This year saw our second Hampshire steel band festival organised by Peter Beadell, with support from Hampshire Music Service. All of the Hampshire Schools with steel bands were invited and a very successful day was held at Thornden Hall, Chandlers Ford. We had daytime workshops provided by Toussaint Clarke, Leroy Clarke, Wayne Gibson and Dan Sadler and we were delighted to welcome Southside Harmonics as our guests for the evening concert. A new initiative we have is our Panjazz project. This is an exciting new venture to bring steel pans together with the more traditional jazz instruments such as the saxophone to produce what we think is a sensational sound. The Panjazz ensemble performed at the Hampshire steel band festival and delighted everyone with their original sound. Although we get great support from Hampshire Music Service and Portchester Community School, Sounds of Steel and the Portchester Pan Project are mostly selffunded and we raise money by performing and selling our two cds - Sounds of Steel and Sounds of Steel Live in the Caribbean. We do not have a sponsor and we would welcome any enquiries, as transportation, uniforms and instruments are all very costly. Anyone interested in booking Sounds of Steel or finding out more about the Pan Project please contact Peter Beadell (steel pan coordinator) or Christine Murphy (steel pan administrator). By: Christine Murphy
PORTCHESTER PAN PROJECT We are based at Portchester Community School, White Hart Lane, Portchester, Fareham, Hants. PO16 9BD Tel 023 9236 4388 Fax 023 9220 1528 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I love a wide variety of music, but have no talent to play. However, I wanted to help promote 'the sound of steel' so joined the committee of the Steelband Association of Great Britain (London and Home Counties Branch). I realised that all the members who were players were all busy rehearsing, performing, arranging Festivals, GLC concerts, residential workshops and seminars for teachers, so I did my best to publicise their work. My first contribution was to give out leaflets at all the events and sell hundred of home produced badges to the children. I acted, as liaison with the public, many of whom were experiencing pan for the first time. I always wore my long red skirt and our colourful T-shirts and led everyone in the dance to the irresistible rhythms; even the gloomiest faces broke into smiles! I took over editorship of our journal, Pan News, and spent many hours typing, collating, stapling and stuffing envelopes. My small bed-sitter became an office! I ran many regular features including, 'Calling All Children', headed by our mascot - my dear 'Little Ed'. I got lots of help in this undertaking from Clyde Dias, the peripatetic pan tutor. My greatest scoop was to interview the late Anthony Prospect. Pan News went to 33 editions. I also produced an updated band list for all the steelbands willing to perform in public as this information was always in demand.
I have made lasting friendships with so many SAGB members, Elisabeth Morris of the North West Branch (where I became a Trustee); Susan Morgan of Oldham, Sister Monica Tywang whose mother was my generous host for the 1983 Trinidad Carnival in Port of Spain; Aubrey Bryan who played at my recent celebration party and Debi Gardner, my favourite player who does so much now for BAS. In the late 80's, I gave a talk on Trinidad Carnival in the UK illustrated by Carl Gabriel's superb photographic slides at the Mary Ward Centre in Queen Square, London. My association with the world of pan involved a lot of commitment and hard work but I reaped so many rewards. I try to attend all the pan events these days and write to the Mayor of London to encourage the GLA's support for Pan promotions. I love the Festival of Music for Youth and the Schools' Proms (Larry Westland promised me to include steelbands and he has). Have I an ambition? Well, all I want is for Pan to be encouraged everywhere and I would love to attend the World Steelband Music Festival in London next May. Happy music-making everyone! BY: GRETA TRAVIS
Victoria Jacquiss It's 8.15 on a sunny March morning in Newport. Victoria Jaquiss is picking up her hire car and heading up to the valleys of South Wales. In each of ten two-day stints Victoria is setting up the steel pans for Gwent Music Service. Today she is visiting Nantyglo Comprehensive where Year 9 has been diligently rehearsing "Mad World" and "Bananas in Pyjamas".
Pan Rising - New World is born again! It is a sad reflection on state of steel pan in Britain at the moment that, whilst there are probably more people playing the instrument than ever before throughout the country, almost all the top orchestras are still concentrated within London. Why great cities such as Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester cannot put together a band of sufficient size and quality to challenge for Panorama remains a mystery,but at least the city of Leeds is now prepared to do something about it. Renowned for having one of the oldest-established Caribbean carnivals in the UK, it has been forgotten that for many years Leeds also boasted a top steel band - New World. Throughout the 1980s they were a regular feature across the city and around the country, with dozens of local teenagers passing through their training programmes. Sadly, in the 1990s they seemed to run out of steam and eventually the decision was taken to pack away the pans and close the band down. Pan did not die in Leeds however. On the contrary, through the work of tutors such as Dudley Nesbitt and Melvyn Zakers backed by a supportive city council and Leeds College of Music, a new generation of young players was introduced to the instrument. Also, the successful rise of North Stars just up the road in Huddersfield gave added incentive for Leeds to want to get its act together. Eventually it was Leeds's very own 'Mr Carnival' Arthur France who said enough was enough - it was time for New World Steel Orchestra to be 'born again'. He firstly called upon
the advice of that giant of the international carnival scene Geraldine Connor (of Carnival Messiah fame) who is a Leeds resident and together they set out a new vision. By 2010, Leeds would have a 50-strong steel orchestra of international standing run by local young people. The foundation of the vision would be a Steel Pan Programme comprising year-round music training and personal development for youngsters between 5 and 19 in the city. A management committee was formed and an ambitious 100-page proposal was drawn up. The committee has set itself the challenge of raising over ÂŁ90,000 over coming months to support teaching and acquiring with new pans. The grand plan was revealed and launched at a glittering event in Leeds Civic Hall in April. The Lord Mayor opened an evening of music and speeches for a packed audience of local and international pan lovers. Former players such as ace-bassist Gayle Parmel gave impassioned accounts of how important pan had been in their earlier years,helping to form them as individuals and as artists. Pepe Francis, representing BAS, welcomed the initiative and said he looked forward to seeing New World Steel Orchestra back on the steel band circuit. Guests of honour were Pan Trinbago Vice-President Keith Byer and Secretary Richard Forteau (over in the UK to discuss the forthcoming world championships). They said how impressed they were with the quality and quantity of steel pan music now being played in the UK and wished New World every success with their re-launch. There were musical interludes during the evening with a virtuoso duet from Nesbitt and Zakers, whilst North Stars Steel Orchestra set the standard that the new New World will now be aspiring to match. Every one in the UK pan scene should be pleased to see the return of an old band and should wish New World the very best of luck. BY: PHIL WOOD
Victoria started playing and teaching steel pans in 1983, in inner city, Leeds, quickly realising that pupils learnt to play music in a variety of ways. The traditional "aural" method suited some, but not all. She began devising the "Foxwood Songsheets", a system of deliberately imprecise musical notation which told players what notes and what chords to play, but leaving it to the "aural" tradition for the exact phrasing and rhythms, tempo and dynamics.
because they like playing everything, and because you never know who can't make it to the gig.
Victoria doesn't usually have a fixed idea when she starts a song.She likes pupils to contribute musical suggestions,and often tailors a musical piece to the players' abilities. Her philosophy of education is child-centred. She teaches everyone to play music, rather than a song. For her the players are more important than the music. If it's too hard for anyone she simplifies it; if it looks like they could handle a challenge then a challenge it is!
From the start of the Welsh adventure, Victoria has been instrumental in the acquisition of pan instruments for the different schools. Each set of pans included a single second or single guitar for children with limited mobility or Special Educational Needs
Success for Victoria is not winning a competition, but when players perform to the best of their abilities. Failure is when they don't return the following week. Success is when they can play unsupervised. Failure is when they don't practise regularly,When Victoria first became steel pan development officer for Leeds Music Service (now Leeds ArtForms) it was the norm for schools to keep their pans packed away between the peripatetic teachers' visits. This has changed with Victoria's intervention. At lunchtime, Victoria sets off for Croesyceiliog Comprehensive where she is acceding to pupils' demands to switch pans. Victoria encourages this action in any class she teaches until they find the instrument of their choice. In her own band, Foxwood Steel Bandits, they all swap round
Tuesday morning finds Victoria at Chepstow Comprehensive. Four sets of beginners are learning where the chords in the key of C are.In the afternoon it's over to St Julian's,Newport where the main band proudly shows what they played for the concert the evening before.
Storage is a problem for UK schools but recognition of the benefits of having steelpans as a teaching instrument and a school band as an asset leads to space being found. The biggest problem for Leeds schools was lack of involvement of the music teacher. When the peripatetic teacher wasn't there, they had no way of being able to follow up the peri's work. Victoria made sure that all the Gwent teachers could use the Foxwood song sheets and the Gwent Music Support Service ensured that all teachers had a training day opportunity. On Thursday in Leeds the Silver Steel Sparrows have two concerts in one day, first at Leeds Civic Hall and then at the Royal Armouries, but there's no time for extra rehearsals. With the band's mixture of pop, classical and calypso the audience is suitably impressed, and the band is rewarded with a good 55 seconds on local television that evening. GREAT ACHIEVEMENT!
London Carnival Village The Art & Business of Carnival The Carnival Village is a venture by Yaa Asante Waa, Association of British Calypsoians, Ebony and Mangrove steelbands. In their search for permanent premises these organisations have come together to ensure the creation of the Village. The Village will be accessible to all carnivalists and provide a focal point for the artform. The Village is a wonderful undertaking and will ensure that our Caribbean culture is further established in multi cultural Britain.
THE MISSION: Carnival Village will be a flagship cultural venue for black arts that delivers high quality, encourages, trains and nurtures artists; and supports the development of carnival related creative industries. It will do this to add to the economic and cultural well being of the community. THE VILLAGE'S CULTURAL AIMS: To promote, conserve, protect and develop black culture in general and carnival in particular. ● To entertain ● To promote an understanding of carnival and its history ● To encourage international cultural exchange ● To be at the forefront of black arts development ● To promote cultural activity as a sense of belonging ● To contribute to the cultural strategy of the region ● To provide resources, including IT, to nurture and encourage creative talent. ●
ITS ECONOMIC AIMS: ● Through carnival and related arts, to make an economic contribution to the community ● To create employment opportunities ● To encourage international business exchange ● To provide resources, including IT, to nurture and encourage business skills ● To train in personal and professional development ● To provide a showcase for good design ● To facilitate sales of carnival crafts and steel pans ● To contribute to the economic strategy of the region
Off Beat Steelband by: Monika Nicoletti-Tung
IN GENERAL, THE VILLAGE WILL ● Support work that challenges discriminatory practices and negative stereotyping of black and ethnic minority communities ● Provide an inclusive environment primarily, but not exclusively, for the African-Caribbean community and to enhance the quality of life for the socially excluded. ● Achieve high standards in everything they do ● Generate a sense of pride in what we have and what we do. ● Encourage organisations to work together in the furtherance of these aims. 'London's diverse communities are a major strength and, in order for London to develop to its full potential as a truly modern, world-class city, it has to maximise the benefits that diversity brings to the cultural sector' - The Mayor of London. HOW YOU CAN HELP? ● Become an ambassador ● Gift aid ● Corporate sponsorship ● Give some time ● Provide ideas Please let the Carnival Village know in what way you can offer your assistance by contacting them at email@example.com .
Come on get involved! Let's promote and develop our culture. Steelpan officially arrived in the UK in 1951 for the Festival of Britain in the likes of TASPO and to date we have not yet established a cultural centre like 'the Village' for steelpan, Mas and its related artforms.
What really makes the difference is - without doubt their music. Bandleader and musical director, Ralph Richardson (Port of Spain, T&T) is the driving force behind their uniqueness. What makes Off Beat so distinguished is Ralph's special style of musical arrangements. He will constantly review musical pieces to ensure that they meet his high standards before allowing the band to play it in the public domain. He shies away from easy arrangements and will not bring a finished song to the players. He is always open to suggestions and willing to explore ideas to achieve the best results. He turns his attention to each instrument and player, giving each their own special lines. These complex arrangements contain songs of all styles, some even composed by him. Ralph never resorts to compromises for weak players. He has the faith and patience to improve each weak player. The Swiss audience likes to hear the typical island songs but Ralph is not tempted by this hunger, he prefers a varied repertoire.
In Switzerland, there are some 150 steel bands.The big question is:What distinguishes Off Beat from all the other bands? It is not the number of players in the group or the amount of gigs or special events they perform as these are classed as normal. Off Beat performs at different steel band festivals all around the country as well as birthday parties, weddings and dinners of various firms. Their music also makes you think about tropical holidays, palm trees, sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, rum & coke, no worries or having people forming a conga line and partying.That's what the 150 other groups are also able to do.
Off Beat have organized several Caribbean parties with their local radio stations, Radio Tropic and Caribbean Cooks.They are also very proud of being a fixed member of an event-agency at the municipal "Tropical Garden". Off Beat is a consolidation of three steelbands formerly Evolution, Ton-o-pan and Rhapsody in Steel players founded in 1998, located in Zurich. Their ages range between 23 and 62 with half of the group starting as beginners. The players' full time occupations are as consultants, teachers, social workers, geologists, housewives, artists or students. Playing steel pan and the love for it is their way to relax after a hard day's work and also as a medium to forget their sorrows and problems of everyday life. Off Beat also has CDs on sale, the latest is "MIS TAKES Evolution plays Richardson", Ralph Richardson's new launch - a collection with some of his own favourite compositions. Off Beat is not just a steel band but also an independent steelpan meeting point, and their website is always up to date.
If you want to get listed submit your event or link to your website. Their web-statistics speaks for itself - you will be able to reach pan people all around the world. The Editor has received several letters confirming that readers were glad to hear and read about what is happening with Pan in Europe. Visit their website to learn more about the band. Join the Pan Gospel and get united! Website: http://www.steelband-offbeat.com ● Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
20th Century Steel Orchestra Sterling Betancourt
They have the distinction of being the only Steel Pan Association representing the Islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in the New York area. Formed in 1981 with a membership of over forty-five players, Alford Morgan captained the orchestra with musical arrangers Kenton Kirby and Arthur "Bono" Smith.
After decades of honours being bestowed on entrepreneurs, top academics and inventors, a top steel pan musician has been added to the roll of Fellows of the Royal Society of Arts. It should come as no surprise that our own Sterling Betancourt, has been invited to join this prestigious society making him the only pan musician of his generation to have achieved this honour.
Arthur remains committed and lead 20th Century to win three panorama competitions in SVG and the Bomb competition in 1982. In the spring of 1982, the group accepted a gig with a five-man team of pannists entertaining cruisers aboard the Tranois Cruise Line. The cruise ended and the group began a new chapter in New Jersey with the aid of Maria Ferreira. This group of regenerated pannists entertained pan lovers for six years at various functions in New Jersey, most notably at the annual Spring Music Festival, a cultural music festival held in May on the campus grounds of Rutgers College, New Jersey.
Pan Podium has learnt that his achievements were unconditionally recognised particularly since this pioneer has been at the forefront of the Caribbean's musical scene for the past five decades. Within the British Arts fraternity (just twenty years ago), the steel pan was seen as a novelty instrument with roots in only but a few ethnic minority communities. But as a shortcut to international acceptance, steel bands now adorns our classrooms and school curriculum, and is visible on the popular music circuit, and concert halls. The World Steel Band Music Festival, being held in London (May 2005) is a testament to this.
long friend, Russell Henderson in the Russell Henderson Steel Band. He was a founder member of the Nostalgia Steel Band and is still its leader. Sterling has set up countless steel bands in Switzerland, and a band which bears his name, 'Sterling's Angels Steel Band' is a top performing band in and around Zurich. Ms. Celia Burgess-Macey, Senior lecturer at Goldsmith's College, University of London, said of Sterling Betancourt, "The community is immensely proud of the achievements he has made. This is an honour for us all". Professor Haroun Shah also added his words of congratulations. "We were all extremely pleased when we heard of the award".
Their vivacious Captain, Ingrid "Bebbes" Cambridge, a pannist for nineteen years began her career and credits her successes to a school Steel Pan program with Bishop's College, Kingstown, SVG tutored by Monty Constance. Her winning years includes all the Junior Panorama competitions in SVG from 1990 to 1998, the National Panorama Competition in 1994, and the Easter Pan Festival in 1989, 1991 and 1994. She hopes to develop the 20th Century Orchestra into a household name within the global pan community.
Sterling was a member of the original steel band to tour the United Kingdom, The Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra, (TASPO) in 1951. He remained in Britain after the tour ended, and became a musical icon around London and the Home Counties, playing with his life-
No stranger to awards, Sterling is also a Fellow of the University of East London, and the holder of an MBE.This year he celebrates 40 years of involvement in the Notting Hill Carnival and is planning a photographic exhibition of his life as a pan musician.
Terry Haynes, an all rounder in the world of pan, with the Cello as his "most loved" instrument, began his love affair with pan at the age of six. Influenced by his father Lawrence "Pappy" Haynes who managed a family band, he was instrumental in the development of the Bishops College Steel Pan Program. His fondest memory is that
of performing at the 1998 World Pan Expo in Portugal and hopes to produce and release a recording of it in the near future. Terry is focused on the growth of their membership and exposure of the orchestra. The multi talented Vice Captain, Roxy Monroe, formerly associated with the Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra, plays the tenor and keyboards. He attributes his induction to the love of pan to his uncle, Randolph "Bull" Simmons, and keeps his memory alive with the Silver Cup his uncle won in a pan competition. Roxy's accomplishments include an Honor for his abilities to read and interpret music for pan. Their current arranger, Treldon "Tubu" Gordon has visions for the future of the pan. His goal is to instill a love for pan in today's youth with the missive that the "memory of pan" is handed down to future generations. To that purpose, he is tirelessly recruiting and training the youths of Brooklyn and the tri-state area. They practice at CafĂŠ Omar in Brooklyn, New York in preparation for the 2004 West Indian Labor Day Parade. 20th Century Steel Orchestra USA hope to support Vincy Mas 2004, showcase the talents of Vincy calypsonians and ignite pan lovers enroute to the Labor Day festivities with the eclectic mix of Vincy Kaiso and the sweet sounds of pan. They also look forward to entering the 2005 New York Panorama Competition. BY: VANESSA CLARKE
Over 50Years of Pan in the UK
Tamla Batra Born in Kenya of Indian parentage, Tamla migrated to England in 1970. He got involved with the steelpan when he was attending the Christopher Wren School in Shepherd's Bush,West London. His influence of steelpan came at school where he had lots of friends from Grenada, Jamaica and Trinidad. He remembers practising at lunch times and even skipping classes to play this wonderful instrument. Tamla was quick to add that there were no musicians in his family and his musical profession is one of individual choice as he was initially discouraged from his profession. Gary Chang was his first steelpan tutor at school and in 1976 he played with Gary and Ralph Richardson in the Soucouyant Steelband. Tamla joined Groovers Steelband led by Terry Noel in 1977/78 and performed at the Commonwealth Games in Canada. British Airways sponsored Groovers in the 1980s and this enabled the band to travel worldwide doing promotional work for them. They were looked upon as the most diverse band at the time as most of their 36 players came from different nationalities. He has many fond memories of playing for the Pope, the Royal family, Muhammad Ali, the Prince of Omar and at St Paul's and Canterbury cathedrals.
Trafalgar Square Pan Jamboree 2004 Steelpan is here to stay! On a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon on the 2nd August 2004, when temperatures reached the high twenties, Trafalgar Square was transformed into a Steelpan Village. Six of the UK's top steel orchestras Nostalgia, Metronomes, Southside Harmonics, Pantasia, Stardust and Croydon entertained the crowds of visitors, tourists and supporters to London's refurbished land mark. This event has been running for the past four years and is as a result of closer working initiatives by the British Association of Steelbands (BAS) with the Mayor of London's office. Over the past four years BAS has fully supported the Mayor in taking this London icon (Trafalgar Square) to another level to be fully appreciated and enjoyed by local and national communities as well as global tourists. Even though performance times were between 3-6 p.m. Metronomes started playing at 2:30 p.m. fuelled by the lovely weather, the ambience of the Square and crowd appreciation. Pantasia and Southside Harmonics followed and the Square was transformed into an electric atmosphere, people were dancing everywhere. As the six orchestras were dotted around the lower level of the Square it was not unfamiliar to see the crowds drifting along from band to band as though mimicking the Square's 'inhabitants', the pigeons. As the afternoon progressed and the temperature rose, the fountains became wading pools for many children as well as some adults. The Elvis look-alikes made their annual appearance and treated the crowds to some vibrant twisting. In the meantime Croydon steel orchestra positioned at the foot of the stairs which provided ample seating and gave the distinct
impression of an amphitheatre, treated their audience to a varied repertoire and even had some young lads doing the traditional Russian dance. Stardust positioned at the North corner of the Square and dishing out some catchy numbers attracted large audiences at times and received lots of compliments. Pantasia was by far the orchestra with the beat and repertoire that pleased the crowds immensely. Pan Jazz was their theme and they deliver it so well. The jewel in the crown was by no doubt Nostalgia, the only 'pan around the neck' orchestra in the UK with their founder, Sterling Betancourt MBE, still carrying his tenor pan at age 78. The crowds followed Nostalgia as they made their way around the Square led by the lone flag woman proudly waving a Trinidadian flag. Southside Harmonics' young and capable players delivered some heart rendering tunes and had the crowd fully entertained and begging for more. Their submission to the public's request saw the GLA's appointed events organiser for the Square' Summer events put a stop to their performance owing to time restraints. The event was a great success with Trafalgar Square being filled with the sweet sound of steelpan ensuring that everyone was treated to the wealth of pan music on offer. Don't miss the 2005 Trafalgar Steelpan Jamboree.
In 1982, he spent six months on tour in Bharin with Sterling and became a professional musician in the mid 80s performing with Tony Charles and Sterling Betancourt. Tamla did several tours with bands all over the world and in 1990 visited Zurich where he played with a few bands before he started teaching the art form in Switzerland. Tamla and Patrik Bernhard were responsible for the musical arrangement of Poet and Peasant played by Panch at the 2000 World Steelband Music Festival in Trinidad. He has played with Glissando, Mangrove, Stardust & Metronomes steelbands in London and Arima Melodians in Trinidad. He pays homage to Gary Chang, Ralph Richardson, Pedro Burgess, Aubrey Bryan, Russell
Henderson, Desmond Bowen and Clyde Diaz for their dedication in directing his skills and love for the instrument. Tamla also plays the keyboards, drums, bass and percussion but his main instrument is the tenor pan. He believes that infrastructure in the pan fraternity is a must and that the way forward is training pan musicians in the theory of music to ensure professionalism, continuity and diversity in steelpan music. Players must be guided to be much more diverse to widen their horizons and that of the instrument. He stated that improvisation is important and the Jazz/Latin/Salsa beat is important on the road to greater recognition for the instrument.
Pan Explosion 2004 Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Notting Hill Carnival The fifth annual British Association of Steel bands' Pan Explosion was held on Sunday 2nd May 2004 at the Tabernacle in Powis Square, London. Unlike the English weather at this time of the year, this spring day was perfect for hosting the event,bright and warm as if blessed by the heavens. Dallaway Steelband performed in the foyer of the Tabernacle entertaining the crowd before the start of the show. The British Association of Steelbands (BAS) is proud to have initiated and developed this competition. Its concept is to encourage younger players under the age of twenty-five for the ensembles competition and thirty for the soloist's competition. 2004 being the fourth year the soloist's competition is in existence. As the theme for all of BAS's 2004 events is the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Notting Hill Carnival it was only fitting for the show to be opened by veteran pan player, Russell Henderson, his steelband, the Russell Henderson Steelband, was the first to play at the 1964 Notting Hill Neighbourhood Festival organised by Rhaune Lasette. This event has progressed to become the Notting Hill Carnival as we know it today. Russell opened the show with two catchy tunes played on his pan slung around his neck as he had done forty years ago. He was proud to announce that he was eighty years old and still going strong. The pan soloist competition followed and was fiercely contested by all six players. In the end the victory went to Samuel Dubois of Ebony with second place going to Carl Nash of Dallaway, third position was awarded to Justin 'Redz' Richardson of Metronomes with fourth place going to the first female competitor in this competition, Belinda Stevens of the Croydon Steel Orchestra. Fifth and six places were awarded to
seventeen year old Ryan Eastmond and sixteen year old Dwayne Xavier of Mangrove Steelband respectively. Robert Clarke and Friends entertained the crowd during the interval with some wonderful and enjoyable Pan Jazz music. Look out for them at the BAS Annual Awards on the 4th December 2004 at the Holiday Inn in Bloomsbury. The ensemble competition saw Ebony Steelband retained its title under the musical directorship of Carline Etienne. In second place was the Ebony Millennium Volunteers steelband led by Samuel Dubois with Croydon Steel Orchestra under the guidance of Belinda Stevens attaining third place.
Pan in Leicester Square If London has a heart then it must be Leicester Square, traversed by over 22 million people a year. During summer the much needed shade is provided by the tree-lined square in the centre. Leicester Square's multiplex cinemas show all the latest films with major cinemas standing on three sides of the square offering over 12 films at any one time. Cheap restaurants, nightclubs, portrait artists and outdoor entertainers strive to catch the attention of the passing public. Top London nightclubs such as the Hippodrome, Equinox and Maximus can be found in the area, as well as numerous other venues nearby ready to show you a good time. The Square is a beehive of activity filled with young people ready to drink the place dry and party till dawn.
The MC on the night was none other than Martin Jay of Choice FM 96.9 with DJ Sugar K of Unique FM 102.2 pumping out sweet pan and soca music all night. Judges on the night were Gerald Forsyth, Princess Rollock and Kyron Akal.
In the center of the Square is a copy of the Shakespeare memorial in Westminster Abbey. Busts of Sir Isaac Newton, Joshua Reynolds and William Hogarth including a modern statue of Charlie Chaplin (1981) by John Doubleday can also be found in the environs.
is just one of the many ventures being adopted and carried forward by BAS to further promote steelpan and its music whilst giving its musicians the opportunity to play to large audiences thus developing their confidence, skills and playing style.
BAS now looks forward to hosting and supporting yet another highly charged and competitive explosion of pan revealing the innovative skills and talents of the many young pan musicians aspiring to explore the vast avenues of musicianship available to them in 2005.
The British Association of Steelbands working with the Westminster Council has added to the ambience of the Square by hosting summer steelband concerts for the past two years. Five steelbands performed in 2003 with this figure increasing to eight in 2004 owing to the appreciation and enjoyment of the Squareâ€™s visitors. This
In 2005, the Association is hoping that the Westminster Council agrees to more steelband concerts that would only prove beneficial to both parties, entertainment for the Squareâ€™s visitors whilst BAS develops it promotional strategy and afford its members with greater performance opportunities.
Joy Lapps The Princess of the Pan In 1997, Joy began studying the steel drums under the instruction of Vince Cato at the Anglican Church of the Nativity in Toronto. As a prodigious talent, she was soon dubbed "the princess of the pan". Her efficiency with the tenor pan and her diverse performance range have led to great audience reception, and flattering recognition from seasoned professional pannists. Though Joy specializes in gospel, classical and old school rhythm and blues, her range reaches into calypso, reggae, hip hop, and other forms of popular music. This musical range is rooted in five years of high school band and music theory studies, a mastery of the tenor and baritone sax, university courses in West African Drum Ensemble and Caribbean Ensemble, and a life long love and dedication to music. As an audience favourite, Joy brings her genuine and bright personality to performances where she is known for gripping audiences at such notable events as Canada's only annual all-female showcase The Honey Jam, Toronto's prestigious Harry Jerome Awards, and CBC radio's "Sounds Like Canada". Currently, Joy performs at events such as weddings, dinner parties, talent showcases, concerts, community events, and even the Caribana parade route. In 2004, a new stage of Joy's career began when she released her debut CD "Praise on Pan: How Great Thou Art". After multiple pressings, this internationally distributed CD continues to sell-out and has received a
strong review in Canada's premiere urban publication, Word Magazine. After holding a sold-out concert in December 2003 with her vocalist sisters Asha and Subria titled "For The Love of Music", the Lapps sisters presented "For The Love of Music Part II" in June 2004, which Joy headlined. Though a noteworthy soloist with numerous bookings and plans of future CD releases, Joy's long term aspiration is to arrange and direct her own steel band. Now set to enter her second year at York University's Schulich School of Business, Joy has remained committed to excellence in all areas of her life. Her community involvements include mentoring and performances with the Urban Legal Planners, the York University Black Student Alliance, the Antigua and Barbuda Association, and an executive position on York's United Caribbean Student Association, which stand out among her scholarships, awards, and extensive community service. A firm believer in the importance of community, Joy responds to the success that she has seen in her still budding career, saying that she would "like to thank the entire community for their support over the years and ask for their continued encouragement".
NORDFest 2004Steelband Festival Held in MFO Park in Bahnhof Zurich Oerlikon, twenty-six Swiss steelbands performed over the weekend of the 25-27th June 2004. The organisers of the Steelband Festival was “Off Beat “Magic” with President, Monika Nicoletti-Tung, Logistics/Engineering manager, Eduard “Edi” Stolz, Restaurant & Bar manager Yoli Hausherr and over 40 hard working volunteers ensuring that it was a great success.
SOME NOTABLE PERFORMANCES PAST AND FUTURE!
PAST ● 2004 Harry Jerome Awards ● UCSA Twisted Elements Talent Show ● Annual Black History Month Service for Anglican Churches ● 2003 Miss Guyana Canada Pageant ● Honey Jam ● Sounds Like Canada, CBC Radio Show ● Teen TVO ● Richmond Hill Santa Claus Parade ● Caribana 2003 ● Pan Alive 2003 ● Weddings, Funerals, Brunches, Dinner & Dances ● For the Love of Music Concert Featuring Joy and her sisters Asha and Subria ● Pickering Town Centre Multicultural Festival ● For the Love of Music IIConcert Featuring Joy and her sisters Asha and Subria FUTURE ● Weddings, Brunches, Dinner and Dances
NORD Fest Steelband Festival is the first three-day steelband festival in Zurich and possibly Switzerland. The aims of the Festival were to grasp the opportunity to infect the general public at the NORD Fest 2004 with the sweet magical sound of steel pan and its musical variety. ● to promote the steelpan instrument in Zurich and Switzerland on a whole. ● to attract the attention of the Swiss government and the responsible parties in the ministry of education for music. ●
The “Jewels” of the festival were the two youth steel bands, Kool Kats and Steel Magic, highlighting the fact that the steel pan culture has continuity and will continue to prosper in Switzerland far into the future. In addition the dedication and hard work of tutors/musicians in the likes of Ralph Richardson, Junior Gill, Tamla Batra, David Henry, Claudio Pini, Gary Padmore, Peo Oertli-Kassim, Doris Reindear, Roland Buhler, Patrik Bernhard and Micha Hausemann made the festival a success. On the Friday,Agagilla,Steelistics,Tartarugas,Quilombo and the Apple Steel Bands entertained the audience. Saturday’s steelbands performances included Frangipani, Pantaloni, Tropical Dreams, Carambolage, Kool Kats, Pan Dreams, Rhythmics Selection, Pan Phonics, No Panique, Ferrum Helveticum, Bollito Misto and the Provocateurs. Bollito
Misto was the only ‘Pan around the neck‘ steelband to perform at the event and they took great pleasure in leading the crowds through the Park to the performance area. The highlight of the evening was by no doubt the Provocateurs, an orchestra put together by Junior Gill comprising of all the pan tutors/musicians or in their own words, ‘all de ole dogs’ in Zurich – including Ralph Richardson, David Henry, Ralph Ballack and Paul Francis. What a musical treat. At one point in their performance the ‘Pan Jumbie’ took hold of me and as I stood in front of the stage with hair rising on my arms, heart beating to the rhythm of their music and my spirit soaring in Pan heaven. I felt that they were the perfect messengers for steelpan and its culture in Switzerland. Sunday’s performances were by Pfanne, Steel Magic, Off Beat, Kaleidoscope, Cariba, Zurich Renegades, Steel Parrots, Danza Mania, Corazon Latino and Sweat & Steel steelbands bringing down the curtain on what was a very well planned, entertaining and enjoyable event. Each steelband’s performance was individual and a highlight in itself proving the versatility and dexterity of the instrument and its musicians. In addition to the steelband festival there was also extra entertainment provided in the MFO Park. International cuisine was on offer from the many stalls operating on the day. So you when you were famished for food, drink or music it was all supplied.
LOOK OUT FOR NORD FEST 2005. IT WILL BE A TREAT SO SEE AND BE THERE!
Wilbert JUNIOR Gill Composer,Arranger,Pannist and Percussionist
Born London 1963. Junior is based in Zürich (Switzerland), where he has been studying and teaching music since 1991. He is the musical director of the Music Center Affoltern, in Zürich that caters for Keyboard, Drums, Guitar, Marimba, Percussion + studio technique courses. He has performed with quite a few well known musicians, either on stage or in Jam Sessions. Phil Collins, Santana, George Duke, Airto Moriera and Victor Bailey – to name a few.
Junior has learnt to master the steelpan, through listening and learning from the pan musicians of the so called “Old School“, in the likes of Gary Chang, Ken Johnson, Selwyn Baptiste, Pedro Burgess, Sterling Betancourt, Russ Henderson, Aubrey Bryan, Zigilee Constantine, Kenrick Isidore, Boots Davidson, Tony Charles and his first ever teacher Clyde Dias. Since 2002, he has been performing, touring, recording and composing music with the legendary Panamanian drummer, Professor William Cobham and his new fusion highlight,“Culture Mix“. Junior says that he owes a lot to Bill for taking the chance of nurturing him through the highly professional music scene.To date, Junior has toured all over Europe as well as perform on television and recorded with various musicians. A lot of his success in Switzerland is due to the unlimited support from Margrith Fischer, an ex-member of the legendary Swiss Pan Round the Neck Band, Sandflöö. Together they formed The Swiss National Steel Orchestra, founded the Wilbert Gill Steelpan School and formed the Kool Kats children steelband. They currently run the Music Center Affoltern together. From age 4, Junior began showing a great interest in music. He recalls being in trouble for dancing on the living room table, trying to emulate Sammy Davis Jr. His sisters encouraged him to play the piano and he excelled in playing the xylophone, marimba and bongos whilst in
primary school. At his secondary school, Clement Danes Grammar, he took lessons in drumming and was allowed to perform with the Christopher Wren School Steelband, where his good friend Tamla Batra was playing.Tamla gave Junior the push that was needed to learn the scales and harmonies. Junior went on to attend the Middlesex Polytechnic in Trent Park, where he combined music, as a major study, and quantitative mathematics as a minor in a combined studies degree course. In 1976, he arranged Auld Lang Syne for the Soucouyant Steelband and 1978 saw him perform with BA Groovers at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada. Junior performed with the Christopher Wren school at the Royal Albert Hall in 1977 and played with London All Stars at the 1979 Notting Hill Carnival. He went on to captain and did some musical arranging for Glissando, three times Festival winners.Junior has also played with the Caribbean Safari steelband, founded the 21st Century Steel Music Production company and took Kool Kats Steelband to the first youth steelband festival in Barbados in 2000. He has worked with David Bowie, appeared on Swiss National television and performed at the Pan Is Beautiful VIII in Trinidad, with the Swiss National Steel Orchestra. A true pan musician taking music to further realms of stardom.
Ralph Richardson At 68, Ralph is still very much involved with his music. Based in Switzerland, he is responsible for teaching hundreds of Swiss students the art of playing the steelpan. He continues to teach Off Beat, Steel Magic, Pfanne and ABB steel bands as well conduct weekly workshops and school projects. He never shies away from a challenge. Ralph stated: "I believe I can teach anyone to play the pan." Whilst in Switzerland for the NORDfest 2004, Pan Podium was able to see this in practice. Ralph was teaching a group of disadvantaged students of mixed nationalities to perform at a concert and he had them all playing a tune on the pan even though they never played one before.This he achieved in ten hours over five days. He possesses a great amount of patience and his dedication is phenomenal. Determination to achieve the best in his music is a powerful driving force for him. Ralph worked as a galley boy and cook for six years for the Scandinavian Shipping Lines before going to London where he worked in a factory testing water heaters. At that time Ralph knew that music was his life so he got together with Gary Chang and Paul Francis to do some gigging.They did the hotel circuit on Park Lane during the weekends. He is a self-taught musician. He bought himself a piano and started writing his own music. He attended the Eric Guilder School of Music for three months where he was told that he had a natural gift for music. He went to a session in the CBS studio with Pedro Burgess and Irving Chambers to play for the Battie Mamzelle band, a rock band incorporating steel pan. Ralph did their music and they rehearsed at the Three Fives club whilst he was playing in the Manchurian on Baker Street. Before Battie Mamzelle dissolved through mismanagement they produced an album of Ralph's music, entitled I See The Light. He also played with the Soucouyant steelband in London. Ralph toured Vietnam, Holland, Santo Domingo, and Europe and did freelance music sessions whenever he
was in London. Michael Blackman became his agent and Ralph stayed in London owing to the huge amount of work at the time. He went to Germany for two weeks where he met Russell Valdez and Tom Dyer, they formed a combo and did lots gigs and some tracks in the studio but the musicianship was a let down and this led Ralph back to Trinidad. After a month there he received an invitation to go to Switzerland in 1984 and has not looked back since. Ralph is an accomplished musician who is a proficient bassist, pianist and percussionist. Music is the food of life and Ralph's is always famished. He has just released his CD entitled Mis Takes, which came about from a band called Evolution that disbanded owing to family commitments.The production of the CD has been made possible through the help of Teye Akunor and Monika Nicoletti-Tung. Ralph is still lead player in his own steel band, Sounds of Steel. Trinidad and Tobago has a great Ambassador in Ralph Richardson who has taken the national instrument and its music to further realms of recognition.
BAS Annual Awards Dinner and Dance
HAVING A FUNCTION? NEED STEELBAND MUSIC?
4th December 2004 Holiday Inn Bloomsbury Coram Street, London WC1 Dinner starts promptly at 8 p.m. Entertainment: Pan Soloist, Parang, Steelband, Combo and Soca DJ
Birmingham School of Pan
Call: 07944 156006 or 0207 565 7817 or email: Panpodium@aol.com
Pan 4 Life
Tickets: £40 - includes half a bottle of wine For tickets and bookings contact Debi: 07956 546724 - Robbie: 07944 156006 Please book early as seats are limited
Teaching the true art of playing the Pan I founded the BSP in May 2003. The inspiration came from my son Jamani, as a soloist his performances would attract a lot of young children to the pan. In our neighbourhood there are a lot of children. Any time my children were practicing all the children would gravitate to our back garden wanting to play, after practice I allowed them to have a go, before long I had 17 kids in the garden all practicing. Being keen they would come to practice as they came from school. On week ends and school holidays they would be knocking from as early as 8.30a.m, wanting to take the pans out. Many of the parents were very keen on what was taking place, but it was not long before I got a letter from the council complaining about the noise. After that I stopped for a while.The youngsters were gutted. Angela, my wife, encouraged me to continue for the children's sake. So I started looking round for a studio to rent that gave me 24 hours access and proximity to our neighbourhood to afford players accessibility. I knew with this vibe it would create a real pan yard situation. A room at 'The Multi Cultural Village' was found just three minutes walking distance from our neighbourhood with recording studios, After informing parents of the new venue for rehearsals we had our first practice session then I realised I needed a bigger room and a full set of pans. So I contacted Toussaint Clark and Yohan Poppewell to acquire some from Trinidad if possible. I was in luck; Toussaint had some beautiful pans made by Lincoln Noel and some that he made himself that sounded so good I took them. Yohan called and said he could get some pans made by Butch Kelman. We could not resist this offer so had the extra instruments shipped over. When I heard the instruments playing together for the first time I knew we had a unique sound. Some of the older guys aged between16 to 22 were so dedicated that I empowered them to manage rehearsals and the studio. Rhion Weeks, the captain and some of the older boys showed dedication through this
responsibility and were practicing scales, chords and songs in the early hours of the morning so I rented a bigger room and gave them gigs. Dudley Nesbitt also arranges for them and this allows them to work with a different arranger. A lot of the band's success is due to 98% of them being born in the Caribbean. The band has lots of siblings and parents are very keen to help. This help has led to the teaching of a younger group from as young as six. The school's teaching is based on the roots of pan, members are taught its history so it is meaningful. All genres of music, as well as showmanship and JAMMING are taught. This has encouraged lots more people to get involved with a current membership of 35 full time members. The BSP has enjoyed Radio and TV Coverage, recent performances include Symphony Hall, ICC Birmingham, BBC Radio West Midlands Easter Music Concert, the Daily Telegraph Holiday Show at the NEC, Birmingham Carnival and the Channel Four Viv Richards documentary. BSP will be under some vigorous training, over the next few years in preparation for our appearance at the National Panorama competition. BY: JAMMA STEWART
Pan Sticks FOR SALE contact: Felix Joseph T: 020 8478 8773 - 07808 847 974
Subscription Form The British Association of Steelbands Name Organisation Address
Postcode Telephone Email 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
Spreading the love of Pan