A critique of the fabulous Big 5 Steelband concert.

In spite of the uneven audio quality of the webcast via YouTube, I enjoyed the Big 5 concert immensely.
The bands all displayed the highest quality of steelband excellence , and it must have been a joy to be present for the live performance.

However , in spite of my enjoyment , I couldn’t help having thoughts that appear contradictory , and may be controversial.
But they reflect my feeling about pan music in general today.

Like I said , I enjoyed the Big 5 concert , but I was thinking that the music was targeting the wrong audience .
It was targeted to old people like me.
But we , unfortunately , are not the main consumers of music today.

Young people are.

Steelbands still favor classical music , vintage ballads from yesteryear and show tunes , etc.
These genres , even jazz to a certain extent, have little attraction to popular music fans of today , since they have limited appeal to modern youth.

When Bob Marley made his breakthrough , Chris Blackwell of Island records took the raw reggae cuts , polished them , added rock elements -rock style guitar etc. , and deliberately targeted a young , rock and roll audience.
In other words , Marley’s success didn’t happen “just so”.
The band was packaged , advertised , and sold to a targeted audience.

Steelbands have to figure out a way of making the music of both local and popular genres, more contemporary, so as to appeal to the youthful masses.

“We jamming still” should be a template to local composers of pan music as to how to compose and present contemporary music that sounds great on pan , but can appeal to the consumers of music , which are the youth.

And steelbands should be more actively trying to find, arrange and play modern , contemporary popular tunes of any genre that can be mastered by the steelband , so as to appeal of the youth of today , with whom the future of the art-form lies.

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