After 26 years Pan Jammers finally broke their Panorama jinx as they were crowned joint Petrotrin National Panorama Single Pan champs with San Juan East Side Symphony last Friday night.
The Panorama judges could not declare a clear winner between the two bands after their thrilling performances at Skinner Park, San Fernando, and opted to have the bands share the spoils.
Both bands amassed a total of 281 points and will share the $320,000 prize and title.
T&T Fire Services copped third place with 276 points for their rendition of Lord Kitchener's 1973 hit Rainorama.
In the Small Conventional band category, the third time proved lucky for Super Novas Steel Orchestra. They walked away with the title and the $400,000 prize on their third try competing in the pan finals.
The Arouca-based band dethroned reigning champs Arima Golden Symphony, who placed fourth, to cop the title amassing 288 points. Second place went to Petrotrin Siparia Deltones, the lone South band in the final. They received 285 points. The category was not without controversy and at one point it seemed that Petrotrin Siparia Deltones, of Railway Road, Siparia, would not perform in the hotly-contested competition. Panorama committee adjudicators had queried the number of players, saying the band had more than the stipulated 60. The matter was later resolved and the band went on to give one of the most entertaining performances of the evening.
Their presentation of Junior "Mr Famous" Noel's Play More Local was greeted with thunderous applause as their portrayal was accompanied by moko jumbies, tassa and African drumming and characters dressed as Shadow, Lord Kitchener, Popcaan and Vybz Kartel.
Selwyn Williams, PRO of Super Novas, dedicated the band's win to master arranger Jit Samaroo, out of whose band Super Novas was born. He said the win was special for the Surrey Village band.
"It feels very ecstatic, it feels very great. I am happy for the young people, the band, and the community that stayed with us, supported us–and we are very grateful for that.
"We were expecting to win. We worked hard enough for it. This is the first time we won. We entered it three times. We are a young band," he said.
The band played their take on Winston "The Original De Fosto Himself" Scarborough's 2014 hit, In De Minor. The music was arranged by Samaroo's son Ajit, and included samples of Ravi's chutney hit Bread and Denise Plummer's Nah Leaving.
Super Novas players rushed onto the stage screaming and jumping up and down moments before their band's name was announced as winner.
Pan Trinbago President Keith Diaz aptly described the competition as "fierce."
All 16 bands in the Single Pan category and ten bands on the Small Conventional Bands delivered par excellence performances.
Unfortunately, the superb performances were delivered before a disappointly small crowd. Empty chairs speckled the park while the bleachers were nowhere near full.
However, the loyal pan lovers who turned up for the finals lapped up the music and theatrical performances from the country's finest small and single pan bands.
The finals got off to a late start on last Thursday, with San Juan East Side Symphony taking the stage at 7.14pm to perform SuperBlue's 2013 super hit Fantastic Friday. After a ten-minute delay and shouts of "Play the pan" from the audience, the champs began to play.
At 11.25 pm Fascinators Pan Symphony, of Tunapuna, opened the Small Conventional Bands finals with their rendition, of Anslem Douglas's 2014 hit Big in the Dance.
Pan Jammers arranger and committee member Robert Tobitt could not contain his joy after the results were announced at around 3.40 am.
Tobitt told reporters he was happy the Sam Boucaud Road, Upper Santa Cruz-based band finally won a title after some 26 years.
"I think it is 26 years since Pan Jammers has won a Panorama title so I think for the community of Santa Cruz it is going to be an overwhelming time. We did a lot of work and preparation so I was confident that we would have been in the first three. But when I heard that we tied for first it was really overwhelming. Next year we are going to be defending really hard," he said.
Tobitt added, "I know Duvone Stewart is a very good arranger and he has been doing well for the past couple of years, so to tie with him is something really nice."
San Juan East Side Symphony captain Andre Franco said he was thrilled to have retained the title for a fourth consecutive year, even though he has to share it with Pan Jammers.
"We were expecting it (to win) we are the defending champions. We put in a lot of hard work as usual, we worked hard. We were not expecting the tie, but after God all things are possible and the Lord is on our side also," Franco said.
The Pan Jammers/San Juan East Side Symphony tie was not the only tie in the Single Pan category.
Uni Stars, of Laventille and Tobago band, Hope Pan Groovers, shared fifth spot amassing 274 points and Scorpion Pan Reflections, of Carenage, tied with La Creole Pan Groove, of Diego Martin, for ninth spot with 271 points each.
Trinidad Nostalgic of Arima placed fourth with 275 points. Shades of Steel, of Vistabella, the lone South band, placed 16th in the final.
1st San Juan East Side Symphony and Pan Jammers–281
3rd T&T Fire Services–276
4th Trinidad Nostalgic–275
5th Uni Stars and Hope Pan Groovers– 274
Small Conventional Band
1st Super Novas–288
2nd Siparia Deltones–285
3rd Crescendos Musical–280
4th Arima Golden Symphony–278
5th Laventille Serenaders–275