It is no secret that many of us would like to see a return to a strong participation by steelbands in all aspects of Trinidad’s Carnival , including a major role in providing music for the carnival parade.
Such activities , however would take a lot of work and planning .
This is not the nineteen-sixties or seventies , and anything less than a professional approach will not be acceptable.
My question is a hypothetical , but gets to the root of the matter.
Suppose by some miracle band leaders were to turn to steelbands to provide music for masqueraders as an alternative to the djs , would the steelbands of today be capable of accepting such roles ?
And I’m not talking about a few pans on trucks, played by kids.
I’m talking about two days of music .probably done in shifts, by steelbands large and powerful enough, with a musical repertoire to satisfy the needs of the mas playing public.
This is not charity , people , no one will just tolerate a substandard performance by steelbands just because it is “we culture” .
The bands will have to produce.
I think that only a few bands may be able to handle this , and we know the names , but I certainly would like to be proved wrong.
Because , like I said , it will take real work , planning , and imagination.
And a refocussing of the steelband , arrangers and players on an entirely different musical format for carnival , geared towards partying , not competition.
It is also probably why many would just as soon ignore the Carnival parade entirely , and just wait for that panorama check.
Please , please tell me where I’m wrong people. !
This is one instance where I sincerely hope that I am.