I'm never quite comfortable with assigning the creation of these instruments to individuals, except in specific instances like the spider web by Tony Williams or the high tenor by Bertie marshall as examples. Early Steelband In the early days as I recall most steelbands had tuners, and these guys copied from each other. Pan tuning … Continue reading RECOGNIZING THE HEROES AND CREATORS OF THE STEELPAN INSTRUMENT
On July 1st, 2019, my friend Errol Phillips passed away.An extremely talented musician from Woodbrook, Trinidad, and an ex Starlift Steel Orchestra player, this versatile musician mastered the bass, guitar, keyboards, and particularly the tenor pan.Errol was one of the few Trinidadians I've ever known locally in New Hampshire, and I do miss him.However, we … Continue reading Merry Christmas, with Steelpan Music!
Is Paris Burning? is the name of a 1966 movie of the same name based on the question reportedly asked by Adolf Hitler following his order to destroy the city rather than let it be re-captured by the Allies in late August 1944. The story was adapted into a feature film by the same name … Continue reading “Is Paris Burning?” A Trinidadian musical retrospective.
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of vintage calypso music, and a thought occurred to me. When we speak of the future of the art-form we should also address the music we play, it’s quality, and the most suitable music genre that the steelband can call it’s own. We have an incredible catalogue of … Continue reading Vintage Calypso and The Steelband
I have come to believe that it’s very unfair to compare panorama arrangers of today with the great arrangers of the last century.As a matter of fact, it’s even unfair to compare today’s work by veteran arrangers still with us with their past presentations, when most of us believe that their best work was done … Continue reading Comparing Steelband Panorama Arrangers , then and now.
My dear friends, as a lover of the culture of Trinidad and Tobago, lately I’ve been having “Crazy “ thoughts. I’ve been thinking of the contributions made to our culture by the only Chinese/Venezuelan Trinidadian calypsonian I’m aware of, Edwin Ayoung, the man we know as Crazy. Ayoung was born in 1944 at Maraval Road, … Continue reading Crazy thoughts- a salute to the calypsonian called “Crazy “
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, presenting The Best Video performance of Calypsonian as Panman*. From Champs in Concert 2000, here’s Colin Lucas the Pan Calypso Monarch of that year and“Pan Is Mine!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDaE3_BqTsw Colin Lucas "Pan Is Mine!" And the runner up is Owen Scrunter Johnson and The Lost Tenor” It is a fact that many … Continue reading Presenting The Best Video performance of Calypsonian as Panman*
“Pan night and day “ is one of Lord Kitchener’s best, most musical steelpan related calypsos. Indeed, in 1985 it featured at panorama in an unusual tie for first place between Desperadoes and Renegades. However, even as far back as 1985, The Grand Master was concerned about the absence of the steelband from the streets … Continue reading Pan Night And Day
Dennis Williams Franklyn , aka Merchant, was orphaned at eleven and grew up in an orphanage in Belmont, Trinidad.As an adult he led a troubled life , spending time in prison , becoming addicted to drugs , and dying of Hiv/Aids in 1999. However he was one of our most gifted calypso composers, and created … Continue reading Singer/Composer Dennis Williams, – Merchant- a unique calypso star.
Whenever I think of the Steelband Panorama competition of 1966, hear Lord Kitchener’s “My Brother, your Sister“ or Sparrow’s “Obeah Wedding“, I also remember the preliminaries, rain , sweet pan, Guinness Cavaliers - and Desperadoes! It was a rainy day , and people were sliding and playing in the mud , a little preview of … Continue reading Panorama 1966 -Pan and Rain