When the Graf Zeppelin visited Trinidad (1933)

One Sunday morning I chanced to hear, a rumbling and a tumbling in the atmosphere....." Calypsonians, especially in the early days, followed the tradition of the West African griot, commenting on everyday occurrences and memorable events. One such memorable event was the visit of the legendary German airship , the Graf Zeppelin to Trinidad  , … Continue reading When the Graf Zeppelin visited Trinidad (1933)

Fonclaire Steel Orchestra – Lord Kitchener’s “Pan Here to Stay”

An arrangement by Ken “Professor ‘' Philmore and Milton “Wire” Austin Panorama Finals 1986 featured this bouncy arrangement of Lord Kitchener's "Pan Here to Stay" arranged by the late Ken"Professor" Philmore and Milton Wire Austin. This performance of the Grand Master's classic calypso remains one of my favorite Panorama performances by Fonclaire Steel Orchestra , … Continue reading Fonclaire Steel Orchestra – Lord Kitchener’s “Pan Here to Stay”

Remembering Kim Loy Wong , the original leader of Hilanders Steel Orchestra .

On October 3rd, 2018 , we received the news from his son Michael that former steel-band leader, instructor and pan tuning pioneer Kim Loy Wong , had passed. He was the original leader of the legendary Hilanders (Highlanders) Steel Orchestra , and one of the first steel-pan tuners to introduce the world to the art … Continue reading Remembering Kim Loy Wong , the original leader of Hilanders Steel Orchestra .

Five Takeaways from the 2018 Republic Day J’ouvert jump-up held in Woodbrook , Trinidad

1) Trinis love pan , and always will. It's in their DNA 2) Steelbands have their own rhythm and tempo , and that doesn't mean trying to keep pace with the DJs. (Incidentally , this was always the case . even when we had brass bands on the road , back in the day) 3) … Continue reading Five Takeaways from the 2018 Republic Day J’ouvert jump-up held in Woodbrook , Trinidad

The sad story of a talented friend , musician and steel-pan player.

I first came to know Michael Alleyne around nineteen sixty one. I was still attending Naparima College in San Fernando when we moved to Marabella , and was fortunate to find that my friend and classmate Derek Greaves lived nearby. That year , we did what was to become routine for most of the early … Continue reading The sad story of a talented friend , musician and steel-pan player.

The Lord Brigo, another unsung calypso legend

SAMUEL ABRAHAM , THE LORD BRIGO To those knowledgeable about the calypso art-form , the late Samuel Abraham, the Lord Brigo , was certainly a legend , whose unique style and delivery placed him among the greats , even going back to the golden age of traditional calypso , the sixties.Here is Brigo performing the … Continue reading The Lord Brigo, another unsung calypso legend

Lord Commander ,”the thinking man’s calypsonian “

.Lord Commander is a good example of the calypsonians of the fifties and sixties who placed as much emphasis on thoughtful lyrics as the did to music and rhythm. Commander was considered the "the thinking man's calypsonian", since his calypsos provided a thoughtful argument that reflected a distinct point of view. Here , Commander argues … Continue reading Lord Commander ,”the thinking man’s calypsonian “