Like a fly on the wall, I eavesdroped at a Pan Trinbago event this week and, from what I overheard, plans are well in place for Carnival 2013. However, before I deal with Panorama, allow me to reveal some preliminary plans for Steel Fest 2012, a Pan Trinbago production to be staged on May 4 - 15. The main venues for Steel Fest ’12 are the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port-of-Spain, San Fernando and Tobago. The event is being produced by a management committee, assembled by Pan Trinbago, headed by Niherst chairman Maureen Manchouk, who is also head of T&T Pan Instruments Ltd. The grand finale of Steel Fest ’12 takes the form of a colourful float parade around the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, featuring steelbands on decorated floats. Now on to Carnival 2013: The Greens, maligned by some pan purists, shall remain a revenue-earning fixture in Panorama 2013. Pan Trinbago vice-president Bryon Serrette said the detractors to the new innovation at the Savannah for this year’s National Panorama semifinal have failed to see the bigger picture.
He opined that The Greens attracted thousands of young people to “a Panorama space and event,” young people who would not have even considered going to Panorama. Of course The Greens also proved to be a lucrative addition for Pan Trinbago’s coffers. I also overheard that Ariapita Avenue will be renamed, for J’Ouvert 2013, Pan Avenue, the Woodbrook stretch of road being made entirely exclusive to steelbands. Parading bands will use this thoroughfare as the main artery to a Bomb competition to be judged at Victoria Square. For me the most exciting piece of maco was Pan Trinbago’s intention to introduce yet another steelband competition to next year’s Carnival—a Groovy Soca Panorama on the road. This move is apparently inspired by the proliferation of very good groovy soca compositions produced this year, and the growing community to young, talented steelband arrangers. The young arrangers equipped themselves commendably in the Panorama competition, especially in the large conventional bands final, including Duvonne Stewart (Renegades); Arrdin Herbert (Invaders); and, Seion Gomez (Solo Harmonites). Other young arrangers to impress were Shanelle Abraham (Skiffle); Andre White (Desperadoes); and, Cheo Cato (Pamberi).
On the subject of pan, congratulations are in order for Pan Trinbago executive member and Valley Harps manager Allan “Pablo” Augustus and Delores Adams on their marriage on Glorious Saturday. Attired in regal African wear, the bride and groom looked resplendent in outfits made by Carol Prince-Mandela. Amongst the guests were previous Pan Trinbago president Owen Serrette; current president Keith Diaz; Pan Trinbago officials Richard Forteau and Fitzroy Henry; former Witco Desperadoes’ managers Anthony Mc Quilkin, Dr Finbar Fletcher and Sandra Awai; Valley Harps’ Michelle Huggins-Watts and Kala Aki Bua; CAL Invaders’ officials Michael Din Chong, Liz Namsoo and Desiree Myers; Michael Marcano, Andrew “Soca” Brumante and Lanel Lopez of bpTT Renegades; and, Solo Harmonites arranger Seion Gomez. Guests were serenaded by Carenage pan ’round neck ensemble Sapophonics.
Happy birthday Lord Kitchener
Had Grandmaster Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts) lived he would be celebrating his 90th birthday on April 18. Certainly not forgotten, Kitchener’s birthdate will be celebrated by Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (Tuco) and Kalypso Revue next Wednesday at De Nu Pub, Woodbrook. Kalypso Revue was founded by Kitchener, along with the late Sonny Woodley and Carl “Jazzy” Pantin. Its name then was Kitchener’s Calypso Revue and one its brightest stars was Michael Osouna, aka Sugar Aloes, now the don at the tent, based for many years at SWWTU Hall, on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain. Come Wednesday, Aloes will be joined joined by Revue colleagues Baron, Pink Panther, Skatie, de Might Trini, Devon Seale and others, promising one helluva a good kaiso show. A special guest artiste is former Calypso King Relator. Also on the cast is Regeneration Now, the country’s foremost vintage kaiso duet, with musical accompaniment by Cummongs & D’Wailers. Showtime is 8.30 pm.
Again, I am forced to end this column on a sad note having lost four friends in a rather short period. Gone are acclaimed pianist Dennis de Souza; extempore calypsonian extraordindaire Sheldon John; Beverly Yorke, sister of party promoter Gerard Yorke; and, Dianne Daniell, wife of calypso composer/judge Alvin Daniell. Not unlike last year at this time, the first quarter of the year has left me a saddened guy with the demise of these fine individuals. To their relatives and friends, I extend profound condolences.